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.
Lamyaa is a human rights and mental health activist, spoken word artist and self-taught painter. she is a final year student reading Internation relations ba (hons) at the university of westminster.
She has performed and shared her activism on academic and media platforms in the last three years, including her recent appearance islam channel's 'lyrically speaking'. She is passionate about the rights of refugees and minorities, and aspires to continue her studies in conflict and security.