I know there is a lot of literature about mental health out there but I still feel this area is largely undermined. Although it is recognised it still remains whether it has the same status as physical disability. We do hear about campaigns and charities offering services for anxiety and depression but is there a way to generically manage the symptoms and cause of mental health illnesses?

This question has been in my mind since beginning a new job role. On the one hand it is refreshing to see that private companies and mainstream companies are embracing this new area. However, I believe we are offering the service users help and assistance on a basic level. I know and I understand that we cannot help everybody but mental illness is not a one size fits all.

Those thought processes a person with anxiety struggles with, and how this then manifests itself physically for some people cannot be related to unless you have experienced it. Yes knowing the background information and having training is a major advantage for there is something apt about the experience. No I am not encouraging or in any way propagating that people should suffer before understanding but I think people could be more aware of their approach.

Ok I think my point was that don’t be so dismissive that something goes undetected. Follow your instincts.


Where did it go?

I cannot believe that it is almost 2019. How time has passed us by. It’s certainly been a remarkable year and I believe I have learnt a lot this year.

I have learnt that I can let go. This may be easy for everyone but for me I was holding onto events which had no bearing on my present circumstances. I have visited the place of my heritage and been a part of my younger sisters wedding. The two are not mutually exclusive but they intertwined. I attended some Islamic courses which boosted me spiritually (much needed in this fast pace of life.)

I became a part of a parenting community online. I sat by a lake and listened to the sounds of nature whilst throwing rocks and watching the ripples. I experienced what it is like to have no electricity in scorching heat.

Why I have listed these things? To me we wait for others to give us some unconscious stamp of approval (more so in South East Asian communities.) In reality it doesn’t matter. Life is what is happening whilst we wait by the side lines. Then something unexpected happens and we realise what’s important. We dwell on those moments and regret wasting time worrying.

No this is not do label a community but we have to acknowledge that there is a level of wrong in our ideological views. Yes all cultures have there ills but please let’s have a uniform approach to things.

Working in mental health I have seen first hand the impact of culture used wrongly and even religion. All in all we have to remember that we are all human beings who all want contentment and happiness in our lives. I speak more so or women discouraging women because of things such as power or one upmanship. Why not celebrate together.

Fine you disagree with someone-that’s ok. Don’t berate and degrade someone because they think differently to you. It saddens and disappoints me to see broken self esteem and self confidence because of a ‘he said’ or ‘she said’ situation.

If you enjoy being at home and then going for a walk-go for it. If you enjoy lying in bed on a weekend (after a week or day of working do it.) if you enjoy writing (like me) then do it. Don’t wait for encouragement give it to yourself. Self love is underrated I think although yes I acknowledge there are limits.

Yes this year is going to finish but it is never to late to make a change. Let’s make 2019 memorable in our ways.

Hello November

Well it’s all been go go go for me after returning from Bangladesh. It was a swift return to work whilst being jet lagged then it was weddings, engagements and lets not forget day to day living. There have been moments when I’ve thought I need to write this or I need to write that but I just haven’t had the time to sit, collect my thoughts and write.

I can’t believe 2018 is nearly gone. This year has gone really fast for me. Time in general seems to have a way of elapsing. I have to say I am grateful to Allah this year I think I have had some really exciting experiences and feel as though I am reaching that point where I believe that I am making the most of the blessings given to me. Although when working, I do feel guilty leaving those tiny humans. It’s been a huge change for them as they have been accustomed to me being at home but do you know something I make the most of and cherish all those cuddles.

I am still discovering myself I think as a mum and regaining the person I was whilst mixing that with who I’ve become (if that makes sense.) This year I have formed new relationships which I hope to retain and let go of things I have been holding onto.

I’ve rediscovered my passion for teaching Alhumdulillah (praise be to God.) I’ve embraced Autumn and its colours capturing it in photos. Often we lose ourselves thinking about the future, the past but undermine the present.

So share with me your reflections of this year. Yes I know it’s a little early to say goodbye to 2018 but let’s reflect and move forward.

Ah October

I remember having the need to write this in September. There have been so many reflections I have wanted to write about. Time has escaped me really. I have been on a holiday with my husband and children.

I had not been to Bangladesh in eighteen years. Visiting it as an adult with my own children allowed me to go down nostalgia lane. It is strange how our experiences are different as children and now as adults.

This was a unique experience for the children. The lack of the internet encouraged them to think ‘out of the box.’ The rural landscape was somewhere for them to explore. Being restricted in resources made them use their imaginations. Don’t get me wrong I love the internet and believe it has advantages but I do think its a convenience that is in a way stemming childhood. No I am not judging anyone’s parenting style or skills but children should and need to engage and experience things away from the internet too.

I guess I was drifting away from the reflection there. It was the rural area that really made me reflect and think about a lot of things. It was the basic living that really demonstrated that real humility does still exist out there. We live in an age of convenience. As much as we have we are still isolated I feel. The interaction is no longer there. I am not against advances in any such way but there is benefit in moving away from it every now and again.

Of course I like things done quickly. I love saving time but there is a blessing in slowing down and just looking at the scenery sometimes.

A story to remember

This weekend I attended a weekend seminar. It was absolutely amazing. For a long time I have wanted to learn about this chapter in the Quran. It is the chapter entitled Yusuf. Yes this is a Prophet known in as Joseph in Christianity and is also known in Judaism.

I want to share that even all those years ago people were afflicted with issues we are faced with today. The Prophet Yusuf was effected by abandonment, false accusation, imprisonment and then success. Its how attained the success that really struck a chord with me so to speak. The process of the what he underwent and the language that is utilised to portray what happened to him.

When reading the Quran as my understanding of Arabic is limited I rely on the translation to understand the verses. Being a self professed literary and linguistic geek I do go onto analyse the structures but know I am not fully gaining the authentic interpretation of events. Its the subtleties of embedded within the Arabic language that really convey the meaning. For instance the emotion embedded within the language to inform us of the events as they unfolded.

The chapter begins with a young boy and his dream. Immediately we are then told of a caution the Prophet Yaqoob gives to his son (I could write another post just about the lessons from this.) Then it switches to the other sons and their plan. I often wondered why at times the Quran switched. Unlike ordinary narrative structures I knew there were things I was missing. Even though I read the translation and knew a little tafseer. Like works of literature that I explain to students using a literary guide the instructor explained it in the same manner.

I believe its the parallel that I liked of teaching and conveying information. It wasn’t monotonous and I think the next few posts will be about me sharing my experience. This one was simply my thoughts so far.

I bid you adieu

I am utterly amazed at how Ramadan flew by. For those who are not aware let me provide a brief description and it’s significance to Muslims. Ramadan is the month in which fasting (abstaining from food and drink ) is prohibited between sunrise and sunset for Muslims. It sounds arduous and cumbersome but in reality it allows me to refocus. I was saddened at its parting this year. Its presence felt like a fleeting visitor who came to my home provided me with a glimpse of peace and then left me in waiting for its return. I’ve seen and read a lot of posts of the bittersweet feeling they have at its departure. I have this feeling to.

But I know we can still feel those feelings during the other Islamic months too. Don’t get me wrong I struggled with the long days but I was at peace. I pray that our fasts are accepted. I pray that we meet the next Ramadan with openness and good deeds and benefit from the blessings given to us by the one above.

So it is not adieu ( yes I like my Shakespeare) but an anticipation for your return.

We made it

I find times in the car a time to contemplate. It’s one of those of rare occasions where my husband and I are not occupied or tending to our responsibilities (namely children.)

Today I am not on the car with husband. I am driving in the passenger seat at the back and listening to and contemplating the month ahead. Muslims all over the world will be fasting in the month of Ramadan. But recently I have been thinking and being grateful for the long fasts Alhumdulillah (praise be to Allah.)

Every year he has made it easy for me. Although I have been apprehensive and anxious Allah has always gotten me through.

This year I am grateful to reach another Ramadan and reap its benefits with the permission of Allah.

May Allah accept it from you and may he accept it from me. Ameen.