I asked myself, does the fact that I’m not as excited about Ramadan as all these other people mean that my eman is that shoddy? Does the fact that I don’t have any plans or thoughts about doing anything out of the ordinary mean that I lack reverence for Allaah?
I had to sit with that for a while and it was mad uncomfortable because it’d be easier to just fix it all by doing stuff and getting into the spirit somehow. But I wanted to see my naked soul. I wanted to know the reality behind it, not just quell the anxiety. My pact with Allaah has been that I’ll always be truthful and sincere. Even with the ugly.
Shame. I felt a lot of shame coming up because I wasn’t performing like I should, and I wasn’t connecting to this significant month like I should. But then, I saw how the shame entailed that Allaah would push me away because of that. And that’s not true. The shame was creating a barrier between me and Allaah. The truth was that I’m severely depressed and I don’t find anything enjoyable and I simply don’t have the wherewithal to do a lot.
I get mad anxiety from being in the kitchen because there’s so many moving parts and hustle and bustle. I don’t fast because of a medical condition that I instead compensate monetarily for. So I told my mum, listen I’ll do all the cleaning, the laundry, the vacuuming, washing the dishes etc during Ramadan, just don’t expect me to participate in preparing iftaar because it gives me a lot of anxiety. And she thought that was a great idea because I was taking on the lion share of chores. I love cleaning, I don’t mind because it’s systematic and predictable.
There are a lot of obstacles that I have to find my own way through and it’s not easy because I don’t know of anyone who’s dealt with these things and tried to find a way through. Because although I am flawed I don’t want to abandon what I can do on account of what I feel I should do, namean? Being vulnerable with Allaah through the depression, the anxiety, the loneliness. It’s so difficult because of these beliefs I’ve inherited. But I don’t want my connection to Allaah to be via others. I need Allaah when I’m down and out. I need Allaah when I feel useless and done for. I don’t want my connection to be performative or conditional. I want to worship at rock bottom.