Recovery

After CBT, I thought I was better. I thought I had my shit together. Like pills I popped a few CBT sessions and now I am cured.

The bitter truth is everyday is recovery. There is no definitive end point. This is the horrible truth to hear, I know. It’s sad people don’t really truly understand, they don’t get the blip in your heart; the shadow in the corners of your brain. It waits and fester. Everyday however the quality of life improves. During the initial attack, I didn’t know what to do. I spent the last couple of years evading it with numerous techniques. But now I am trying to own it. I am trying to own every emotion. Find the relevance in how I feel.

Every blessing and adversity all formed the growth. The growth that allowed me to cultivate a light for my darkness. I am not quite there but I am not too far gone either.

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Earth’s light

It was the green-ness of the earth that saved me. Blessed to witness it’s rebirth after a harsh winter. Admiration for their growth against the struggles of the world. And the light… The beautiful light – It made the dark sparkle.

There was a time when I asked tomorrow not to come. Now I cherish my first breath of tomorrow, as I rise from my slumber; humbled by the earth and awoken by the light.

Pre-Exams

Based on a old post to inspire anyone going through a struggle or like myself are worried about exams. Trusting someone whom is not physically there, or can’t not be seen has been mankinds greatest difficulty. We are not the first,  nor will we be the last. But my whole life I was told to believe in a Lord and I did as I was told. I believed. I no longer just believed, I knew. The world, my experiences and life itself connected together to show me His existence. For those who are familiar with Surah Rahman, a single ayat repeated several times “Of which of these favours of your Lord will you deny?” (paraphrased).  In that particular Surah I feel addresses mankinds need for confirmation. 

My blessings came in many forms. And I look over the last couple of years, I was always being tested for my ability to trust in Allah. Some say trust the universe and in essence it is a similar concept, but would my trust not be better placed in the Creator of the universe. I am still alive and this is a miracle. Having faced near death at least 4 times in the last 3 years; I feel privileged to be alive and live everyday like tomorrow may not exist. Somedays this is easier then others and somedays, I need this reminder more than anything.  I’ve seen my prayers manifest in such a way my heart has been opened to see the answers and responses to my prayers and be forever grateful. Alhamdulilah. I didn’t need this to confirm the existance of Allah because I made that connection a while back, via salaah and ‘ilm (knowledge). Don’t blindly follow –  seek knowledge from the appropriate sources, only that way will you learn to know Allah and begin to build that trust. The very trust which will give you freedom from the heartbreaks of this Dunya. Have a blessed night and may Allah always shower you with love and success in all your endeavours.

“…And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him. Indeed, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Allah has already set for everything a (decreed) extent.” – Holy Quran (65:3) 

New Year, New climb

“As you get older the years go faster” – Mum

I am taking some monumental steps in life affirming and changing decisions, as mid twenties brings a fresh array of choices and options. But for now, I’ll stay on this step and enjoy the view. Take it all in. Pay gratitude to the lessons of yester-year and appreciation to the good, the bad and the ugly – all experiences and shapers of the soul and heart. 

Depression didn’t just take away happiness and cause emotional imbalance. It took my identity, it took my source to write, to articulate my thoughts with confidence… This is the side no one talks about. It’s not just about having a healthy mind but it’s also rebuilding and rediscovering cornerstones of yourself. This quest is an element of self love. It’s finding who you want to be and strengthing the qualities. It’s remembering who you were and the personal traits you want to reacquire. For example, I forgot how lead with kindness and I have spent the last 8 months learning to lead differently. Have role models in place, so you have aspiration and guidance – I found mines at work. They showed me a different way. 

Last year I was trying to find myself again. This year I am trying to find my voice again.

Crisp new beginnings, 

Shahe

Present 

I choose to be present. 

In every moment and lingering feeling.  

I choose to feel the ground below me. 

Let the vibrations shudder through me. 

The tightness in the chest, as the heart beats a little faster. 

It has found resolve in being aligned with time. 

Not a beat ahead or a second behind. 

With every breath, with every rise and fall of the chest,

I stand a little taller. 

I choose to be present. 

Make use of warmth

Bought by the touch of skin. 

Hands revealing maps of lesser travelled routes. 

Determined to follow what we know. 

I choose to be free. 

From the constraints of history lessons and future plans. 

I choose to soar. 

To be amongst  the stars. 

Let the sun soak into the depths of my skin. 

Let the moon make me glisten. 

I choose to live. 

Right here. 

Right now. 

Bromance

​There are subtle passing moments, where realisation of your absence passes through like cold winds. 2 years of irregular hour conversations behind invisible walls, watched heavily. The goodbye, the final hug, I cannot grip tighter and I am forced to let go. I miss our late night chats, movies with popcorn, arguments, snacks in the kitchen and your shout of defence. My attorney, my lawyer – protecting me and sharing my sadness; crying my tears when my wells are dry.  You taught me how to be loved; you set the bar. Brothers show you what a man is, what a man can be… you showed me respect taught me the world is a mess but as long as you have good people around you there is plenty to dry the spill.

Grief

Death is not sadness. It is a new found emptiness. Tears attempt to fill the irreplaceable void, so the darkness of the abyss is not as near frightening.
10th January. She hadn’t spoken in days and doctors are sure she will not make it past this weekend. Everything has stopped for her fraction of this Dunya, whilst our work, family, duties, bills – the components of livelihood, compel us forward. Force us to rejoin our unraveling Dunya, no matter how much we ignore it, it will spill out until we notice the mess and clean. Completion of overnight watch duty; it was time to head to youth work. Left for 3 hours. On the platform to 3 stops back to the hospital. No signal. No network. Just Wi-Fi. A single message broadcasted. One whatsapp call. 1 minute. 3 it’s true and a lifetime of tears. 

Tears flooded and gasps for air frightened commuters as several trains left me stranded. A woman in a hi-vis tapped the shrouded shoulders and caused a momentary return to reality. 

“Are you alright?”

“Yes, sorry” 

As if my sadness required an apology, it did not mean to infringe on your happiness.

To escape the torment of crying in public, scurried on the train and held the pole of the central line. With no where to bury my head, I let single tears stream down in the hope they were invisible.

The last time I cried in front of her was as I sprinkled rose water over her body.
27th October. Her lungs are being lousy. She needs forced oxygen. No talking today. I stayed the night. all alone. Turned my head for one minute. Her chest stopped moving. “No” echoed through me. I felt her heartbeat slip a way. Read the shahadah. 

5…3..2…….1. 

Then she comes.
“Am sorry honey. She’s gone”
2 minutes of internal screaming. 10 minutes of trying to utter the words. And a lifetime of a chipped heart.

When she stopped breathing I did to. My lungs forgot how to operate. I now choke on the very oxygen that left her. 

The last time I cried in front of her was just after the Janazah prayer where I refused to leave her. 

Anyone can rationalise death. I’ve done it both times. No amount of explanations and understanding can ease the pain of lost future memories or the permanent imagery of a vessel with no soul. But what comforts is the beautiful reel they left in the wake of their life. The sweet moments like when she saved you from your mum, who loved shoving shampoo in your eyes or when she told you a story on Eid and you fell asleep with a handesh in your hand. Death is inevitable but what is unwritten (in essence) is how we decide to live our lives. I choose to be present. I choose to love relentlessly. To forgive before being asked. Let my life be a beautiful story, let generations tell my story at campfires, where the warmth of the lingering ghost of my soul keeps hearts from catching hypothermia.

Raw

And we are back here again; 748 days later I am staring into the abyss. Afraid of returning. Back to a world I barely escaped. How many wars have I fought? But the enemy doesn’t go away. The omens, the signs are all there for it’s return. I can see it hiding in the shadows, behind corners and amoungst the memories of former feelings. How many more times will I have to declare “I am stronger and I will defeat this”. Will this be my final battle cry?

Return is Imminent

Alhamdulilah. One year, your life can be cast into the abyss. Actively seeking the light; an escape from the torment. Running away from oneself. Trapped by the demons, which inhabit your soul; created and fed with our very own hands.

It is not your fault, the circumstances gave the demons life. The moments when life failed you, the world failed you. The only mistake you made was not standing up. Allowing the whispers to take you. The real wins are the failures. There are lessons only found once the dust has cleared. They reveal a rarity of something magnificent. An uncovering of your true soul. One not conditioned by society.

I am proud of myself. From where I’ve come, the whens, the whats and the whys. There were moments, when my mere existence in this very moment of time was questionable and not plausible. I take pride in my journey. Some may not understand it. People will judge. But the beauty is, it is MINE! What I have learnt over this year, is to not wait for the acknowledgement of others to be proud of my accomplishments. I am in no need of their approval or hand clapping. In life the only person truely in your corner is yourself. Only YOU know the depths of the difficulties YOU have over come, only YOU are aware of the strength you poured in when YOU had none. We live in a world which has conditioned us to only feel happy with ourselves at the approvals, likes, retweets, envious congratulations of others. Because we are always doing it for the gram, fb and tweeting till the sunrise. But whilst our face remains glued to the screen, we miss the beauty of the world for what it is and miss the most important part – the documenting of our journey. The journey we will play back as we see a new generation of kids and we rock back and forth, thanking life and preparing for life after the dunya.

Today’s marks the end of exams; all I have to say is I’ve made it. Some know that this spec of a moment right now is euphoria in righteous tears of something which was deemed unimaginable.

Fight

A boxer’s marked strength is not in his fists, but in the moments he exhibits resilience and stands again. Positioned firmed and rooted; shaken but not enough to be put down.

It’s easy to forget the progression of life. The natural order of life’s events may feel like ultimatums in our conquest for happiness. Yet, when we step back and adore the painting of our life, we notice the harsh strokes are the most detailed and beautiful, because that is where the vibrance in differences and struggles resides. Taking ownership of the brush we can create precision and governance in our unique masterpiece.

Driven into the ground, we can become quite acquainted with the dirt and somewhat bury ourselves. But the heroes dig out. It was never a choice between fight or flight; rather fight back so they can fly free. Never stop the good fight. Life’s calamities does not kill them, rather enriches their experience. And these experiences that is what strength us, that is what flexes the muscles of our soul. So you feel a little deeper and stand a lot taller.

Floating amongst dancing clouds,

Shahe