As we reach the halfway line of Ramadan, we often forget that some Muslims deal with more than just hunger pangs and late nights. Here is what mental health has taught me:
I never thought I would get to where and who I have become today. I never thought that after the hardships, the tests, the negativity, the illness and the disappointments, I would be left with this much endurance and resilience remaining in my system.
I remember when my body would refuse to move from severe fatigue, and a mind paralysed in a vicious cycle of depression, dysphoria and anxiety. Whilst I cannot say I am cured of all these things, I am almost completely certain that I am not willing to give up the fight.
I believe one of the hardest realities to face for anyone who suffers from debilitating symptoms, is the fact that with chronic illness comes misunderstanding. For the majority of my life, I have felt misunderstood for reasons I could not comprehend or understand at the time. I cannot say this has entirely changed, but I am certain that making the effort to accept, understand and love yourself will open doors and opportunities you had never imagined.
What I have realised is that the hardships which are so easily misunderstood serve as a literal filter in life. I cannot say that this filter isn't very forgiving in the short term, for you will lose some you considered loyal and understanding, but I am certain that in the long term it's sole purpose is to train you into the imperfect, wiser human you were meant to be.
For this I am grateful.
You see, we are all on a journey. I'm simply following mine.