I don’t have the answers but I can show you how to find them

If there’s one thing I intend with being vulnerable in my writing and sharing myself with others unconditionally is that I be a tangible example of hope not being futile. Where the sympathetic words void of emotional application fall short, I want to be the bridge over the existential vacuum that kills so many because there doesn’t seem to be a land beyond the abyss. I want to be the last minute diversion from suicide, to give hope one last chance.

I didn’t do anything extraordinary. I went on an odyssey in search of hope and love and I want to share my experiences taming the wild oceans of shadow work and the maps I devised to make the quest easier. I don’t want to fix anything or convince anyone, but be a lighthouse and a library for the earnest seeker.

Existential escape room

I didn’t realize how deep my self-hate ran. I’ve been actively resisting and fighting myself all my life. The onset of the mental disorders actually saved me, in retrospect. My self-destructive capacities were severely restricted and my life effectively became an existential escape room where I had to put all of me into figuring out life and solve divine tests. To survive I had to face everything in me that made me want to annihilate myself, and actually hold space for it instead… Learning to love the suffering in me, learning to differentiate what’s my feelings and what I’ve absorbed and internalized from the world was a mammoth task.

Love is so difficult because it involves enduring the discomfort and pain that needs to be understood and healed. It’s tempting to want to throw out the baby with the bathwater. In fact being held back by having to save the baby can make one resent the baby. It can make you doubt that any of your efforts and patience would culminate in anything constructive or meaningful. It can feel like it’s futile and there’s nothing to be gained by an unnecessary exposure to agony. Hope can seem like a scam, especially when you discover how much of the pain and wounds were incurred unjustly by selfish people and a toxic world. It’s like… on top of everything, I have to be the one suffering through undoing this??? Why don’t they suffer? What’s wrong with me that I’m affected like this? Anger and resentment can seem more empowering than feeling like a victim. But that always comes at the cost of pathologizing your feelings and your sensitivity and your life force. In fact, not feeling any type of guilt for inflicting hurt on others and not having capacity for empathy is truly abnormal and pathological. It’s definitely not an advantage and it comes at the cost of one’s humanity. But again, those are deeper and more subtle truths that aren’t as obvious as the widespread dysfunction and corruption in society. So instead of basing one’s morality on internal guidance, it can be tempting to use moral relativity and use those around you as a context for your actions. But bypassing and shortcuts never lead to the truth and progress.

Anyway, I can appreciate how complex and nuanced my journey has been and why it had to take the time it did. I wasn’t restricted or limited to time and space. It took what it needed to take. I did my very best, gave my very all, and left no stone unturned and no feeling unfelt.

Sacred scars

I feel the most positive and encouraged that I’ve felt in all my 13+ years depressed.

These past 4 months in particular have been especially taxing as I did a deep dive in shadow work and fostering my inner divine feminine, which entailed encountering several negative women archetypes.

And I can finally see how the dark connects to the light and I finally have an answer to a question that’s been echoing throughout my journey ; is my suffering worth it? And it absolutely is. I dedicated the best years to doing something that I had absolutely no concrete proof or precedence or peers in. Only a persistent intuition and faith in Allaah who was guiding me and teaching me throughout it all. I never expected that anything would come out of it. I did it to save my heart, frankly. I keep telling Allaah, if it wasn’t for Your active presence in my life, I would absolutely have committed suicide because there’s no way I’d keep living in a dreary and ruthless world like that. I was always one step away from the edge. So my shadow work was never a spiritual bypass or an attempt at keeping a facade. I’ve been in the midst of the muck for so long that everyone associates me with reclusiveness and as someone with wasted potential. And I genuinely don’t care that people look down on me. If they do hold me in high esteem it’s always for the most fickle and shallow reasons, so it doesn’t mean much. I say all that to say that my shadow work was never something I set out to do but as someone with compounded emotional and mental fracture and deep trauma, and as someone whose mind works at a different pace and pattern than most, the only way I’d find healing is by creating it myself. I started trekking out into trying to get somewhat of a grasp on mental health in 2008. I’d read self-help books that did more damage because they were deceptive in their promise and connected to ego instead of universal truths. I kept ending up in dead-end alleys which would lead to suicide attempts each time. A lot of trial and error, restarted by surviving and realizing that the only way to get out of the rock bottom is by finding a way to scale the walls. I became numb but had to keep my focus locked on that faint light at the distance to keep from succumbing to the overwhelming darkness I was immersed in. It’s haunting, seductive, tempting, the darkness, and to fold feels as easy as water rolling into a glass from a jug tilted at an angle, pouring it out.

There’s nothing to prepare you for that. It feels like a primordial battle on a wider scale, like this has been done before, and there are so so many half-way graves and remnants of people who didn’t make it out. I feel connected to their spirits and it’d give me added incentive to not only make it out for myself but to finish the trek on behalf of those who died trying.

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