Presence of condition means I can be disconnected at any time. I turn against myself in anger for not wanting or being able to meet those conditions, because I feel suffocated by anything that splits or fragments my energy. So I retreat into isolation, every time. At least I don’t have to choose between me and me when I’m alone. And yet, that means I’m not flowing. I’m stagnant. It’s not long before the suicidal feelings set in. After all, what is the grave but the ultimate isolation.
People who feel suicidal or end up committing suicide are people who don’t feel that to live is safe. They feel an inordinate amount because of what those with robust egos have discarded or pushed away from their awareness to retain control and their worldview. And because others aren’t engaged in the bigger reality that unites us all, they can’t connect with them – these canaries in the coalmine-in the trenches to at least keep them company as they g(r)o(w) through encountering new facets of reality.
There’s no mental acknowledgement of the process of spiritual alchemy that transforms the individual through uniting the opposites that clash. There’s no interstitial space afforded those initiates called to go deeper into the spiritual abyss on behalf of humanity.
It’s like seeing the faint outline of raised waves on the horizon, and going towards it to explore what this anomaly is signaling to then warn the others of the inevitability.
Because what’s causing people to feel so suffocated that they opt to go against every natural desire to live is a symptom that affects us all collectively, whether we tune it out or not. And it’ll steadily eat away at the fabric that holds us together and keeps us sane until it reaches monstrous proportions that we no longer can avoid. We realize what the waves were when the tsunami has already crossed the shore.
Sometimes I like to hum loudly to drown out the howl of the biting wind whipping me in the face like this. I pray for an emotional calm as I trudge in this blizzard, seeking a faint light in the distant, a reassurance that I haven’t been swallowed whole by this storm. I stopped trying to warm my hands, curled up with cold, and I can feel my body slow down as a fog of despair starts moving through my mind ; what if I never find a way out of this? Am I just trying to postpone the inevitable?
Life, for me, is the most critical in these moments because if I stop I don’t think I’ll be able to recover the momentum to start back up again. Frantically searching for even a wisp of hope, a sign of life, flicking through the archive of my mind to see if I can recall if anyone has mentioned pushing past this threshold before. In my ears, my heartbeat is pulsating with the poisonous doubt that has entered my blood stream. I slow down as I’m flooded with the memories of all the times I persevered in vain and my efforts were for naught. I feel like a knot in my stomach shot up to my throat, like an inverse punch. Warmth spreads through me as I create a light out of the certain futility of trying. My tears well up and my nose is tickling with a cold sensation. I don’t see the blizzard anymore or hear the ferocious winds whipping past me. I feel like I’ve arrived, and I know I don’t have to suffer the expansive loneliness of this unending blizzard anymore.
I was not swallowed whole by the blizzard, but I helplessly succumbed to it. I calmly walked towards what had snuffed out my light.
I’ve internalized the incessant question I’ve been asked over the years : why can’t you just fix whatever is wrong and get back to life? What’s taking you so long?
I’ve tried everything and I’ve flipped the question every which way looking for an answer. Nothing. Only intense shame smiling back at me. I feel so disgusted by me. I feel so destroyed that I don’t know what to do. I compartmentalize time to keep from being buried too soon. One day at a time. The shame is more bearable that way.
No help. No support. No paved paths. I wish I could be invisible but the comfort eating I’ve been hiding in left indelible, undeniable marks on my body and now I can’t even blend in no more.
What’s worse than a tragedy? A plus size tragedy.
“That’s incredibly fascinating and an unusual account”. He leaned back with his arms crossed and looked at me across the small round table where I sat, along with my psychologist.
I had an appointment with my GP in the same building as my psychologist’s office. He was to renew some prescriptions and update my medical certificate that details the conditions of my disability. I had explained to him why the sleeping pills he had prescribed me months ago stopped working after a few days. He said it’s normal because the body gets used to it. What we’ll do is increase the dose. I objected to this by saying that the dose is perfectly fine and my issue isn’t pharmacological. I’ve had severe depression and ptsd which I’ve battled since I was 16,17 and I’ve adapted to the symptoms. Merely correcting the sleeping patterns disrupts me and triggers intense anxiety because it exposes me to the daily routines and the emotional unsafety I encounter in being awake during the day as well as sitting with the expectations that come along with a normal circadian rhythm.
He said, ah, because it makes you face everything you hadn’t dealt with while it was just as easy as taking sleeping pills?
No. This is the only way I can remain alive. When I’ve faced these systematic battles without sufficient resources, understanding and support it’s led me to such desperate extremes that I’ve attempted suicide. That’s why my psyche reacted so viscerally to being snuffed on its only safe space : the peace of mind the night affords. I don’t live in conditions conducive for emotional security. I’ll have to deal with the underlying system before I pull the plug.
“I’ve never heard this before. You’re unusually conscious and aware of this.”
She’s an unusual woman, my psychologist quipped, to which we all laughed. I was beaming because I was believed and relieved that a man of his stature saw it fit to concede to my self-knowledge. It was a validation I could believe.
I’m not disabled by my inability to adapt, but because the system isn’t equipped for someone like me. And it’s easier for people to put that on me than jeopardize their blind trust in the infallibility of the system. If it’s all you have it’s not unusual that these cognitive dissonances arise. No one wants to live in existential uncertainty. But I’ve had to. That’s why my insight and vision is so piercing – clarity is all I have to survive, to avoid being exploited and deceived.
I don’t know how to live with this kind of pain crowding my body. It feels like there’s no room for me to investigate, as if I’m just pushing up against the sore places, making things worse by my curiosity. As if understanding amplifies the pain and exacerbates the suffering. As if the darkness of repression is a safe house.
But that safe house is where hope dies, so now what? Did I just dig my own grave by believing that the best way to deal with pain is to keep it out of mind?
It’s so upsetting when people who expect things of you can’t understand the extent of psychological disorders. They think it’s something you can tuck away to squeeze in one more thing. When I say I can’t, it’s very difficult on me, they say what? To write ONE email is difficult? To do these two SMALL things is difficult?
YES. Rub my disability in my face will you. Make it glaringly obvious how powerless I am at times will you. Make it obvious how you and society at large sees me as some lazy scoundrel will you. Rub salt in my wounds, please.
What’s worse is that it took me so many years to own my depression, to own the days I’m down, to own when for reasons unbeknownst to me my brain is on a survival lock down mode. For years I internalized this response I’m met with so much so that I’d get panicky as soon as my mood would take a dip. Not for self-compassion, not because I was afraid of that I’d get lost in the dark abyss, not because I was afraid that I’d encounter a setback I’d never be able to overcome. No. I’d get panicky because I was so afraid that I wouldn’t be able to meet expectations and not knowing how to explain what happens to me. It sounds absolutely maddening when I spell it out like this, but when you’re in survival mode 24/7, you don’t have the luxury of having a clear mind for reflecting over the situation. It never got as far as to reach my neocortex. My amygdala had me in a lock down because to defy the panic, to defy the disappointment felt like DEATH. There was NOTHING for me beyond people’s disapproval. My life was hanging by a tiny thread. I couldn’t on top of everything else shake up the little stability and familiarity that gave me enough will to live to see the next day at least.
No matter how many words I learn, I doubt I’ll ever be able to communicate the horror I lived through. It really showed me the underbelly of society and that’s why I’m so passionate about truth and sincerity and empathy. I’ve been to the very bottom and for some reason or another Allaah didn’t let the bottom give way. He kept fishing me up and I’ll never ever ever be able to fully show how grateful I am to Him. I was swallowed by the beast and imprisoned by the devil. I was stuck in situations no one could ever bail me out of. It wasn’t that Allaah saved me, but the way He did was nothing short of a miracle everytime. I deadass don’t know how I made it to my 29th year. That’s just wild to me. And that’s why I made a promise to Allaah that for the rest of my days I’ll be in service of the divine will of helping people in whatever capacity I’m inspired to. My only hope in this world is to fulfill my existential purpose. I’ve seen through the false allurements and deceptive persuasions and I have no interest to get entangled in that cesspool. Ironically, the so-called pleasures of life is what makes the world a toxic place to be in. But the world isn’t inherently toxic. Not if you’re aligned with the natural rhythms of things. Not if you don’t attempt to control and invert and reverse the divine order.