Halfway house

For months now, I’ve been intensely focused on being comfortable with minimal activity and noise, so I can hear the internal dialogues I’ve been evading for all my life. It’s like nails on a black board. It’s never a linear process, getting to the core. Not only because it’s not a horizontal process but a circle of layers you have to keep peeling back. But because just like the universe, the soul doesn’t have a centre. Just like the universe, the single point it started from is everywhere. So the core of someone is the non-resistant authenticity of this moment. 

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Today I realized that I’m mentally disable.

When you are worried about having to seek medical attention in the event of a physical illness because you haven’t been out in 7 months;
When you contemplate how much pain you can tolerate in said hypothetical event, because your body dysmorphia overshadows everything else, and you’d rather die than someone see you. See the despicable you.
When you think about not moving out from a toxic home because of what the process of moving out entails.
When you can’t let yourself fall in love, you can’t let another get close enough until you fix yourself.

That’s disability, but it took me ten years to realize, to accept. So it took me ten years to get better. You can’t change what you deny. For the longest time, I’d berate myself for my shortcomings and limitations. I’d hate myself for them, hate that I can’t just go anywhere I want without mentally preparing a week in advance only to break down in a panic attack the very last minute. I did not accept mental illness as an explanation, I rejected it and I thought if I’m strong enough, determined enough, resilient enough, I’ll deal with it. I’ll soldier through.

I’ll deal with the severe depression, the PTSD, the panic attacks. I’ll clean up my mental wasteland and I’ll do it all on my own.

Because I didn’t understand myself, I couldn’t explain to others why I can’t go to school today, or why I’m changing my mind about going out when we’re at the door, or why I ignore phone calls. And because people didn’t know what else to do to snap me back to reality, they’d say

Just try
You can do it. You’re smart.
What’s the problem?
This has gone on for so long. What are you waiting for? Until you die?
If you don’t start somewhere, you’ll forever procrastinate.
You can read all the books you want, but that isn’t going to change anything. You have to take the first step to go outside!
You’re young! You’re highly intelligent! Why are you wasting your life this way?
Ama talo keen noqo ama talo raac
What the heck Mulki! This is getting old real quick
Na intaad acudubilleysatid oo Ilaahay baridid, Qur’aan isku akhriyoo danahaaga ku toos.

And because I failed myself, because I denied my reality, I internalized those invalidating and patronizing prompts and it only served to break me more.

I’ve come far. Since 2008, I’ve been in auto-therapy. In these past 7 years, all I’ve been focused on is how to feel better. Granted, I did take many wrong turns and dead ends, but that’s how I learnt. I’d think about a plausible explanation to a certain mindset or hinder, I’d research and observe, and try different methods until I’d get the one solution that felt congruent to my being. And then I’d move on to the next layer of trauma and pain.

Considering the fact that I’ve had to contend with trauma that started when I was 5 and went on for another 18 years without interruption, I’ve made phenomenal strides. So I’m confident that, one day, I will become fully able to do what I’m passionate about but I can’t do that if I keep denying my pain and invalidate my limitations like some people have done. I have to stand up for myself because no one else can.

I have to make peace with myself because  I can’t heal with this civil war raging within me.

Spoils of war

Writing this is arduous and physically painful. I’ve never been this persevering in my life because I’ve never had to.


I went out yesterday for the first time since August. Yup. August. I only went out 3 times this summer, and two of those were for doctor’s appointments. I’ve battled agoraphobia before, but that’s not what kept me indoors all autumn. It was body dysmorphia and depression. I felt so incredibly self-conscious that I could not justify going out. I thought everyone saw what I saw; that I was this hideous whale. I felt disgusting and the critical voice in my head blared till it almost crippled me. The interesting thing is, it had nothing to do with my body.Now, I’ve gained a lot in my 10 years of battling this, but even when I was ‘thin’ I had the same voice read the same script; You are so disgusting. You’re a hideous cow. See that person? They are looking at you because they’re judging you.

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