It’s a roller-coaster. At times, it feels as though the world is perfect – things just could not get any better. At other times, I feel as though I have been pulled into a pit of darkness, suffocating – unable to find this light everyone say exists at the end of every tunnel.
My family know something is up. Friends also are aware that I fall into these sudden pits of low mood – and nothing they can do or say can lift me back up. Which makes it that much more difficult. I remember calling unto Allah, asking Him to tell me what is wrong with me. I ask Him to support me. I find it hard to speak to people – as I have issues with trust. Just being let down so many times takes a toll on your ability to place trust upon another person.
Even speaking to a qualified person is difficult. Knowing someone will be analysing you or having to speak about things that you want to bury. I don’t want to relive those moments. It may be a healing process; but I can’t bear to think about what life was like. I don’t like re-living moments I prefer to block out. It makes me uncomfortable.
Even when typing this, I get anxious. I know I have blocked out so many experiences. I have tried to speak about them with family. They speak so freely – as if it’s normal. But I hate it. I always ask to change the topic.
But sometimes, all I need is an ear. To just hear what I feel – but they seem not to be there. I require someone to lift me when I am feeling down. But instead, I’ve become the ear for many others. I don’t mind this – but I wonder why I have no one. My own family desert me. They have their own issues – and rarely ask if I am OK. So I carry on; braving a smile. And mashAllah friends tend to be busy. Not their fault of course, but it takes a lot of courage to speak up. And you kind of expect them to be there the whole time. But when they become busy – you wonder; why did I even say anything?
I don’t blame them. I know it is not the fault of my friends and family that they cannot support me adequately. They are not used to such situations – and I presume they must get annoyed at having to constantly feel I need support. So I keep quiet. Bravely plaster on a smile and cry to myself at night.
I did go to the GP for anxiety issues. They did provide some medication – and asked me to see a counsellor; to which I refused. They asked me to fill in a questionnaire – measuring my mental state: Do you feel suicidal? Have you ever self harmed?
The answers were ‘yes’ – but I answered no – in fear that they’ll send me for counselling. How would other people perceive me? Weak? How would I carry on supporting those many people who lean on me? How my future family feel knowing I have been for counselling? That I am on medication for anxiety.
So many questions run through my head. Then I look at a family who isn’t Muslim. MashAllah the support is enviable.
I just hope one day, I can pick myself up without the fear of being judged. I just hope friends and family are able to understand that sometimes, all that is needed is an ear. Just asking, ‘how are you?’ can open so many doors. Just being there – knowing that someone is there to fall back on – is enough as a support.
Maybe one day we will change and become better friends and supporters.
But for now; I’ll continue to brave a smile. My scars are within. My disabilities are buried – no one can see what’s wrong. And maybe – for now – that is the best way for me. Maybe when the ummah wakes up a little and realised that mental illnesses leave much of a scar as physical illnesses, I’ll be brave enough to talk. Maybe, that day is getting closer.