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A Sit-Down with Yannah Guda

Yannah Guda is currently a political science student at the Ateneo de Manila University and a prose editor for HaluHalo Journal. She was previously the Editor-in-Chief and Head of the English Literature department for her high school magazine. In her spare time, she is an avid reader of queer novels, and a creative writer who puts queer characters in the center of her love stories, her family dramas, her gritty, historical ctions, and even her meditative, literary pieces. All she wants to do, at the end of the day, is write stories that make hearts bleed, and above all else, keep on beating




In issue 3, healthline explored all that which is usually restrained, kept from existing, for any number of reasons. What did it feel like, to instead explore all the events of “Prologue”?


Yannah: I wrote “A Prologue to Your Suicide Note” after a really long day where everything went wrong. For context, I was also fighting my depression as hard as I could with regular exercise, a good sleep schedule, trying to eat healthy, and taking my medicine on time while also juggling the entirely new culture and responsibilities of being a first year college student. I suppose I was just exhausted by how much energy and effort it took to stay alive—but still getting everything wrong.


Honestly, writing “A Prologue to Your Suicde Note” was so cathartic because in the silence of my bedroom, I didn’t have to consider the morality of my actions, whether they were good or bad. I could just admit to myself that I wanted to die. I wanted to die and instead of hurting myself or someone else or jumping off a roof, I wrote it out instead.


At the end of your piece, you explore the idea of being known through confession, even by others you might’ve never intended the confession for. When writing this piece, did you know if you’d share it? If so, did that affect your decision to write it?


Yannah: Originally, I was never supposed to send this piece to anyone.


… But then I read this piece again when I was more mentally stable and went, oh shit this slaps. I suppose Rudy Francisco said it best with, “I write best when I am, either, falling in love, or falling apart.”


The ironic part is, a week after I wrote this piece, I then wrote a shorter one about reasons I should stay alive and right now, that’s the piece I’m not willing to share with people.


And how do you feel about being known like this?


Yannah: I’m not sure if it’s sunk in yet. Terrifying. A bit exciting, in a weird way. That’s what we do as writers—we share our pain because we want to find others that share it, too. Or, if not share, at the very least understand it.


You know, I’ve watched A24’s The Whale recently and the core message I got from it was that our craft—especially as writers—is good because we, ourselves, are good. It’s such a simple, straight to the point moral, but I still cried my eyes out because—


Dear God, I hope I’m good enough.


What’s a confession you want to hear?


I hope my mom and dad come out to tell me that we are actually a Mafia family with generational wealth and a private beach house and a personal island. I have a vision on how to spend that much wealth!


Throughout your piece, the one-way nature of a confession is highlighted, along with the frustration of that. What’s a question you’d ask the next person being interviewed?


Yannah: How are you today? Have you eaten?


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Read "A Prologue to Your Suicide Note" in Issue 3: Confessions.



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