Adnan Malik wrote a note to his friends and followers in which he revealed how he's been grappling with anxiety since Sadqay Tumhare.
In his Instagram post, he addressed his acting career and the question he gets asked the most: why don't we see him on our screens more often?
According to Malik, he's penned this down because "every time I have gone out, people just can’t help asking me why I am no longer on the screen... Although it’s incredibly flattering to feel the genuine love of people who’ve appreciated my work as an actor, I do feel uncomfortable sometimes. In those quick short fire exchanges, I can’t seem to explain the role acting has in my life."
"I never wanted to be an actor," writes Adnan. "It was never on my agenda. For some reason everyone thought I should be an actor when I was in my early 20's. Tall, handsome, smart and well spoken is how people perceived me, but inside I was sad, incomplete, unloved and also full of shame."
Malik goes on to talk about his first experience as an actor on Sadqay Tumhare as Khalil and the challenges he faced while working on it.
"Now the thing I didn’t know about acting was that when the director calls cut, I should leave the character there as well. But I didn’t. I took Khalil home with me. I slowly became Khalil. I didn’t know where I started and he ended."
He added, "It was also at this point that I realized I have severe anxiety and being in front of the camera exacerbated that. I was raised as a 'perfectionist', and I couldn’t fail. Hence I put myself under tremendous pressure to be excellent. I remember there were times I had to do 30 retakes because I would sabotage my own performance thinking it wasn’t good enough. I was constantly battling my own demons on the inside. And it was very difficult."
"When I had to be angry, I didn’t know how to access authentic anger, so I dug deep into my childhood to find it. Places in my sub-conscious that I had buried; shadows that lingered in dungeons of shame. I triggered them."
For the director turned actor, this is where the issues started getting grave.
"I lost serious weight, would be up all night, worried about my performance, I would sometimes cry without knowing why. I began to resent my parents, disconnected myself to all my friends and relationships, and It all became too overwhelming. I had accessed my inner child and brought him to the surface and I was ashamed. I needed help."
He went on to say, "After I managed to get through the shooting of the drama I decided to see a therapist. It was the single best decision I’ve made for myself in my whole life. And that moment was the beginning of my journey of connecting with my true, authentic self."
"It’s been 5 years since Sadqay, and about 5 years, off and on, that I’ve been going to therapy. It’s been an incredible journey and one that I’m so grateful for. Sadqay led me to myself and I’m so much more comfortable in my skin now. I’m kinder to myself, I don’t look to be 'perfect' in all that I do. But that’s also exactly why I don’t take on many acting projects."
"I’d love to do more acting projects. I learn so much about myself. But the project has to have a certain integrity and vision to it. If I’m giving so much of myself to something, it’s got to be meaningful."
He ended his post with, "For now, to all the people who ask why I’m not on screen anymore, it’s because I see acting as a way to honor myself, to connect to a deeper spiritual self and a way to confront my own demons. I can’t take it lightly."