Rewind.2013,and I was feeling pretty good.I was reading a crap ton of books,participating in readathons,and I was active on social media.I had a YT channel and I was making videos.I wouldn't say I was a social media butterfly.But, I was interacting a lot with many different people,in different place across the US and the world.In my real life I didn't have any friends.But don't feel bad.I have never had a lot of friends before in my life.Like mama June says,"It is what it is."
As far as Islam was concerned I was happy with my practice.While I was starting to have some issues with Muslims,the religion itself had a hold on me and my heart that still to this day makes me teary-eyed.I don't want to talk badly about any person(s) in particular.But as for myself I felt that I was starting to take things very seriously.I wouldn't be surprised if that during that time I was making someone else's practice very difficult.(Wow that is harder to type than you think.I want to delete that sentence,but there it will stay.No to shame me,but as a reminder).For the previous 6 or so months I was wearing niqab,and living an uber pious life.Shooting down the critics and their twisted misconception.And dare I brave it again- my zeal turned towards other Muslims as well.And for that I am sorry.Truly and utterly sorry.And I thank Allaah every day for the fall that came after all that pride.
So what was the fall within Islam? Well I burned out.I got overwhelmed with all the information, and "gray areas".At the beginning of 2014 I was fed up.I felt like I was failing in my practice,and that my sisters weren't truly my friends.That second bit needs explanation.For the first 4 years of my practice of Islam I had made some great business connections with Muslim sisters.But I began to feel hurt when I wouldn't get invitations to anything but events where I was the consumer.No coffees,iftars,lunches,etc.I was invited to homes thinking we would be discussing Islam,but would leave with bags of merch without so much as one letter of the Quran being discussed.I was even consulted on what merchandise should be bought by the seller to sell to her clientele.I should have been paid for how much I played that role.(There were also a couple of occurrences that made it to the headlines.Things involving terrorism.Both falling so close to me that they did have some negative effects on how I viewed the Muslim community.)
I have since cut off all ties with these sisters.I love them to death, and wish them and their families well.But I just can't.And unfortunately by the time I cut ties with these women things got even worse.
In the winter,my husband's company slows to a crawl.He has to work when there is work so that we do not find ourselves in financial strain. So driving an hour away to the masjid, more often than not, isn't possible.We could drive the hour,but in that particular masjid the sexes are so separated that to split up husband and wife doesn't seem to be a problem.But it is for my husband and I.We spend large amounts of time apart.When we are at the masjid we want to be together.Eat together,sit together.We will pray in our respective sections,I happen to love our women's section,but for the rest of the time I want to be with my husband and he with me.So many times we hear,"Brother this section is for women only", or, "Brother,can you sit elsewhere?". And it's said with me sitting there with him.It's only logical to say that if we went to where the men were at I would be asked to go somewhere else.So needless to say in light of cold temps and outside being the only place we could sit together we opted to stay home.And absence from the masjid did not make my heart grow fonder. My iman started to wither.The worse things happening being my taking off my niqab first and then taking off my hijab.
My niqab came off after a bad situation in a restaurant where I was being filmed by a complete stranger.The cops were involved.The person filming wasn't reprimanded in any way. I was just fed up with being gawked at.If hijab was meant to keep me from being bothered,this was not the hijab I need to have.So I went back to just the headscarf.But that didn't last for long either.I did eventually take off my headscarf figuring that headscarf or not I was still a good Muslim,still modest.And I was.I never stopped practicing.I did,however,give Muslims who knew me plenty to talk about.( It's now back on.And I will discuss my return in a later post InShaAllaah.)
Another part of my fall? In 2014 my Trichotillomania and BPD came back with a vengeance,I am currently in the process of regrowing the hair on the crown of my head, and my eyelashes.I keep re plucking them(GRR!)!! Looking back 2013 was a manic swing for me.I read a ton of books,I was emphatic in my practice of Islam,I was very busy on my social platforms.Not to mention I had my kids and husband to care for.I had a lot of balls in the air.How I didn't see the mania I don't know.But when I returned to therapy after my breakdown my therapist saw it right away.2014 I had abandoned just about everything.I sneakingly say I was in a one year reading slump.But I was depressed.And I did all things the depressed do.Which is dig my own hole and bury myself in it.Which caused my anxiety to rear it's ugly head.
What threw things into depression maximum overdrive was an incident,(Winter 2014/2015),with a company my husband used to contract with.Basically they owed him over $7,000 USD. I,however, didn't find this out until the fourth month of nonpayment.My husband is just too nice.He didn't pressure the company for payment AND he continued to do jobs for them.And we were not the only ones.This caused major problems between me and my husband.I ended up getting them to pay only after going to their offices and causing a scene.(Which is very easy to do with a chemical imbalance.)Then instead of payment in full,my husband agreed to a payment plan spanning five months!! And they even wanted him to continue working with the company.I calmed down about the payment plan,but wouldn't budge on my view about continuing with them.They were very adamant about him completing jobs for them,but beat around the bush when it came time to pay.And sadly my husband's immigration status makes him afraid to speak up sometimes.I'm glad to say we are no longer in contract with that company.
Fast forward to 2015. I returned to therapy and medication in February.I got back in the gym.I put one foot in front of the other and I returned to civilization.I am currently on only one medication.I hate taking a lot of pills so I decided-with my wonderful therapist- to do two therapy sessions a week and one med.I wish I could do no meds.But it's not possible at the moment.And two therapy sessions are a must for me.I found this out through trial and error.
And so here I am blogging again.It was a big topic of discussion for four months.And I am currently discussing my YT channel's future with my husband and my therapist.There is a lot that goes into video making-even the simplest ones.The set up,preparation,filming,editing,posting,and comment section care is very time consuming.The perfectionist in me want to do right by my channel and those who watch my videos.But I do miss sharing the things that matter to me with the world.Like I said I am practicing Islam.I am wearing the headscarf again.But I have a very different view on Islam and my practice of it now.
Just recently I felt genuinely happy for all of like 10 seconds.Not literally that amount of time.But for a brief moment I felt happy.And it was like that first sip of water when breaking your fast.Again I am involved in things that give me so much that I wish they would never end.I have given up on normal.That does not exist.I'm not normal.I have my issues-as does everyone else.I just can't hide mine as well.And that is okay.I have connected with some great people.I have a therapist that I consider a dear friend.(I am wondering if she can accept gifts.I really want to give her something wonderful.Maybe as a wedding present?)I am not alone.And after a year of thinking I was this is a humongous difference for me.
Does this mean I am cured?No.Does this mean that I now have the keys to never relapsing again?Certainly not.But it does mean that for this moment I can get excited about my books,find happiness in my children,accept love from my husband,and help from strangers.It means I can take care of my pets.It means I will play with makeup,try on a million outfits,and wear perfume.It means my food has flavor,and my thirst is quenched.It means that now I can do my best and my best is good enough.It means that for now with all sincerity,I can say,"Alhamdullilah".