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.

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

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.

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

Trees

image

Trees are beautiful. They are the perfect representation of years of struggle and growth. Growing against all conditions, forever trying to touch the sun. Conditioning their selves to face the light, cast mighty shadows. Being selfish yet charitable.

Their bark, their trunk tortured, broken yet always growing out from the core. Battered and bruised on the hard exterior. Scars never running deep into the core, they are left on the surface. As a display of strength.

Leaves fall and new ones grow. Some ripped, some teared, some broken and some holding on for dear life. When leaves fall, know they grow back brighter, whole and refreshed. If the leaf is only partially there, know that it’s fine to be hurt and in pain. It’s fine to be missing apart of you. Because it grows back, stronger and sometimes you blossom with the sweet scent of flowers. That is when you remember they can never steal everything from you because you still hold on things which you have yet to discover.

The branches are weakest at the tip, getting thinner but more innovative. Never be afraid to branch out to grow further because in the end you will always have your centre if it doesn’t work out.

As we get closer to the top, the leaves stop layering, the experiences all start adding up and the closer we get to our centre you realise the leaf at the top is a total representation of you as it will be the last fall whilst blissfully wishing the world goodnight with no grudges.

Glistening sea breeze,

Shahe

The beginning

Deep breath. Exhale. Lungs emptied. Soothing air enters my being.

Life is never simple, not without difficulties. Muslims believe this dunya (world) is not made trial free, if this life was of ease there will be no need for Jannah (Heaven). The challenge of this world – you are expected to walk up the mountain with your back straight, all whilst carrying emotional and physical burdens. To what exactly? What is your goal? Sometimes we deceive ourselves, demand we have reached the top. But have you? Or are the clouds obscuring your vision. For me I looked for inner peace. I never knew that is what I wanted. Inner peace – what I searched for since I was a little girl. I was in turmoil inside. The storm raged onwards but I deceived myself and placed a mirage of an oasis over my soul.

Months ago I wrote a post whilst in utter anguish and depths of sadness I never knew existed. I couldn’t post it. I guess I was waiting for this very moment. Although I won’t be completely specific about everything, as I believe somethings are too personal for me to share with the world. But I will give you a glimpse in to my somewhat dull life.

In August Hollyoak’s aired a storyline about rape and abuse. There was a particular moment in the episode where one of the characters spoke about the after effects of the abuse from when she was a child. I remember watching the episode and tears flowing freely from my eyes, like a river being gently pushed along by currents, in this case the stirring of emotions from deep within me. I cried for the emotional aspect attached to such an ordeal and it’s metamorphosis into later life. These kind of things, they steal something from you and no matter what you do you can’t get it back. It isn’t the physical stuff, it is something much more precious – innocence.

The amount of emotional pain a person endures can vary in duration, intensity and it’s transgression into daily and future life. Some may feel ‘nothing’ whilst others experience an explosion of feelings which splatter and scatter into all regions of themselves.

August is when I realised. I realised that night, when I cried for 3 hours in the dark and felt a darkness in my soul; everything was not all right. The fact I felt a physical pain run through my body, a stab in my abdomen, constriction of my airways as my sadness tried to kill me. Well my soul that is. For weeks I felt like this, well noticeably down. I am sure it started months ago but I was too distracted to realise it was festering away underneath. But I had a friend.

Before April I had a friend whom I had known for years and they were my clutch. When ever I felt down they propped me up. I would stay up into the morning talking about my problems and they would just listen patiently. Never judging, staying neutral and not giving negative fuelling advice. As with many friendships they disintegrate. The removal of the clutch slowly made me lose balance until I fell on 4th August.

I had become short tempered and filled with rage. Naturally an argument took place between myself and my parents, namely my dad. They left me home alone. A silence echoed through the house only intermittently broken by tear drops and gasps for air. I caught a glimpse of a girl in the mirror. Deranged, unkempt, swollen red eyes, broken and blue. I looked at her and said “This is not me. I am not like this. I am happy”. A smile attempted to creep up the face but failed and could not be stabilised. I reached for a needle, took it to my arm and I watched my veins pulsate. Contemplating an action I thought I had long forgotten and buried. I fought.

Have you ever tried to fight yourself? Reason with your self. Beg yourself to be happy. To forget. Convince your self to not be afraid. Afraid of what? Yourself. Depression is a dark shadow no one ever tells you about. It finds you and clings on. Devouring your energy to sustain itself. A parasite.

I made a call that day. A call that changed my life.

“Every thought is a battle. Every breath is a war, and I don’t think I’m winning anymore” – Anon

Refreshing lemongrass,

Shahe

Day 3 – Simple Dua #100DaysOfIslam

Ya Allah soften my heart, open my eyes and amplify my hearing. Ya Allah shower our brothers and sisters in Palestine, Syria, Iraq and any where else where oppressors and tyrants rule, with rahmah. Ya Rahman, Ya Raheem the All Giving, All Seeing protect the Ummah against the corrupt.

Allow us (me) to never to stray from the rightous path, keep us striving for the goal of Jannah, where the struggles of this dunya will bring us peace. Ya Allah love all those I love for your sake and show them the light. Instill the beautiful traits of humanity in all of us so we may enter Jannah and raise in our ranks in Jannah.

Surah Al-Fatiha

(The delay in posting has been due to personal and family matters. Mainly because I felt like I needed to work on myself islamically. I am not perfect or the ideal Muslim. Everything I say is based on opnions and research. My fear of hypocrisy scared me from posting, which developed into laziness. But I felt guilt for neglecting my blog. As these posts are reminders for me more then anything. Apologises for being MIA.)

You are worth so much more.

Do you know you are worth so much more? You are more then the girl with serial boyfriends, more then the guy with a long sex list. You have something no one else does. Unharnessed power, love, perseverance and battle wounds. You healed. You built your life. If you are not happy with your life you change IT! Who else has that power?

You deserve someone who gives you his or her whole heart unconditionally. Someone who sees their life with you. Why take a string of relationships to find the one? I ask my self this question many times. No one uses the window if they have the manners and the means to use the door. 

Why spend your time thinking about an ideal relationship? Ideal partner? Use your youth to develop yourself, unlock the human powers which have not surfaced. No one has attempted to reach into their selves deeper. Deeper than the surface. You have something unique to give to the world. You are so special. A random combination and even when the bases are the same, the outcome is different. You are a perfect anomaly.  You may be similar to Angelina Jolie, Richard Bransen, Michael Jackson, Muhammed Ali, Nelson Mandela, Audrey Hepburn or the stranger that passed you moments ago. What’s the difference between them and you? Nothing. What’s the difference between you and them? Everything! They found something in them, a light so special and decided to share it with the world. Let me tell you something you possess this light too. The secret to making it work? Well turn it on.

For every rejection, for every negative thought, for every time they pushed you down. Remember you are worth so much more. Why please the creation? Doesn’t it hurt when they don’t love you back? Creating cracks which are difficult to heal. So you find resolutions in other means and forget you are better then this.

So precious to the world. A gem to your creator. The universe spent time putting you together. The creation cannot love you more than the creator. Your soul, no matter how many thorns have left their mark, is beautiful, untamed and free. Don’t shackle it for society, family or partners. Let it pull to the surface the light you have hidden for so long. Because you remembered you are so much more then this.

Feathered freedom,

Shahe