So brace yourselves ladies and gentlemen this will be a long one.
I haven’t mentioned this previously but I have depression and anxiety. Now this will be useful as I explain the events of this weekend and possibly other blog posts that I write. For this post I am going to draw upon several aspects of my life that shape some of my behaviours, actions and thoughts. I have not stated my mental health condition in order to garner sympathy and pity. Far from it. I believe that I have been experiencing this for a reason and if what I have been through and go through helps one person or makes somebody smile I will be satisfied.
Spirituality and belief
This is the first part I want to write about. I learnt more about my faith once I attended university. I revelled in learning about Islamic History, Arabic language and religious texts. I felt and still feel this how I want to live my life through this guidance. So I researched and studied a little of the religion. I attended lectures and became friends with more Muslims. What I did not consider was the practical element and relating this to my life. At university I was in a bubble and made plans of how I saw my future. Once leaving this bubble it was a struggle. Adjusting to family life once more was difficult. Balancing things were hard (or so I thought.) This wasn’t anybody’s fault but I realise I was looking for answers that weren’t really evident. Once I got married my confusion grew worse eventually leading to sorrow and then hope.
As a Muslim British Bangladeshi (yes identifying my ethnicity is important) girl this began as an emotional rollercoaster. Now although I write and can lecture in this situation I was baffled. I found myself complying to things that I wasn’t really happy with or rather wanted to do. I know marriage is not easy and good things come to those who wait but a little understanding and empathy wouldn’t go amiss. Also no one is to blame how I react is dependant on me not on anybody else. This I realised especially after this weekend is important. You are your own person. Anxiety and depression is not you. Marriage is not you. Spirituality and belief are not you. Yes they can determine how you may conduct yourself or certaine lifestyles you choose but ultimately you are your OWN person.
I am not encouraging selfishness but if you want to beat things believe in yourself. Don’t wait for anyone or anything to provide for you. Yes call upon God but be optimistic. You can. In the past I was thinking that I would find answers and feel valued by getting married, having children. No it stems from self love. I am not saying that those things do not provide me joy because they do.
Ahhh this is a word that is thrown around. I hear aunties talking about it when they discuss weddings, occasions and various other things. Every family has their own culture and whether our parents and elders like it or not the generations that have grown up here in England have a different culture. This is really important to acknowledge. Culture is not bad I love it actually but don’t use it as a vice.
Speaking to my friends, colleagues and relatives I found that I am not the only person who has experienced the conflict between the above three. But however just live life and enjoy it.
That last sentence is something I truly, truly believe today. My daughter is currently in theatre but she will ok inshallah (God willing) and Alhumdulillah (praise be to Allah) that it’s nothing serious. But during the process I got myself in a state and used all my energy battling my own thoughts. It honestly took all my strength not blaming myself (although I did.) It was an accident. All I could thing about was what is everybody going to think? What are they going to say? What should my response be? How will I make it better? Why am I not more careful? Why didn’t I give her paracetamol at home? Why do I respond to situations in the way I do? Why am I not perfect? ( and no I didn’t take it out on my daughter but they are effected.) The thoughts went on to the point that I remembered things that were long gone. Things that had happened that people wouldn’t give a second thought to I think about again and again. This is anxiety and depression. One makes me feel the physical impact of my thoughts. How did I get it well as a result of I think focusing on things that really in the long term don’t really matter.
I am going to beat this for myself, for my kids, for my husband and for my Lord.