headspace | a bit personal

Heads up: This is going to be a very long entry. I’m determined to complete this once and for all.

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I’ve been feeling anxious (normal anxious, not disorder anxious. I haven’t been getting the latter anxious in a while) all day but, I think it’s time to talk about it. This post (the title) has been on my draft for a very very long time. This writing is not going to be about what went wrong or any details about what’s going on in my personal life because that is something that I don’t feel right to disclose on the website. I also don’t want to show that part because it’s just private.

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This is purely me feeling that I owe it to myself to let it out. So I can process it. And also for maybe some time down the road I could read this post back and be glad that I allow myself to feel vulnerable. Mann I have come a long way since before the whole anxiety thing πŸ˜… Dr G should be proud of me!

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Art from Pinterest

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There is a lot to be said but I don’t know where to start. I feel as if the more thought I put into it, it’s just making me more anxious and I’ll just end up leaving this post on draft for close to a year again. So, another heads up. This writing may be a bit scattered. But just as how I took the leap of faith posting my first writing on this website, I’m just going to do it again here.

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Where to start…

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I can only remember things roughly now. During the second visit I paid to Dr G back in early 2017, he straight up told me to end any relationships that reminds me of Townsville. It sounds drastic yeah? I told him it’s impossible. I have people who I cherished back there. He told me that as long as it’s not uni-related or anything that reminds me of studying in the previous uni, it’s alright. Other than that, keep my system clear from it. I think he said something along the line of it would only delay my recovery because I’d still hold on to the memories of what ifs.

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Tbh I thought he was out of his mind! He was implying that I let go of the memories I had in uni, the rooms I spent days and nights revising in, all the memories I had with my crush, my old room, my car. The heck is wrong with him. Of course I um, didn’t go through with his request…at first. But I came around after many many many nags from him later.

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I didn’t see it then. But I wasn’t ready to create healthy relationship with anyone. I wasn’t even sure about myself back then. I was toxic especially to myself. We addressed the PTSD I suffered from uni first, while trying to figure out what stems the anxiety. It took years. Writing this part down jogs back the memory of when all of those things happened. Mann it was hard. I never shared this with anyone – not even my parents or Max.

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Come to think of it. The reason why I manage to come out from the horrible rut now is because of my doctor and me. This is why I emphasise a lot on finding a good doctor if you’re struggling with mental health. Our loved ones may offer their support, but they don’t have the competency to help us. The way my doctor treats me is the way I inspire me to treat myself – kind, telling things as they are, and to have courage to stand up for myself. Besides, if you don’t have any issues with mental health, therapies are really good self-development medium.

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Soo I cut off everything. I even cut off any romantic feelings (this one actually is giving Dr G headache now haha). Dr G never fails to keep up to date with who my current crush is, encouraging me to go out and meet more people, etc. I think he notices that I don’t find myself adequate to love someone romantically. Am I still holding on to old memories and the what ifs – What if I was healthier? What if I knew then what I know now? Heh, what ifs can really open a blackhole.

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Next, is between me and societal pressure. Living in Malaysia and what more being a perfectionist raised in a community which people talk if you’re different, really affect me. I wanted to succumb to societal norms. I wanted to be that devoted godly muslim girl, but I can’t. At least it’s because the socially constructed idea of what a good muslim that I understood then was distorted. I spent a lot of time working on this.

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I didn’t realise that this was an issue worth visiting until out of all a sudden Dr G asked me this:

Dr G: “Do you feel out of place that you don’t fit into any stereotypes?”

Me: “Hm? What do you mean?”

Dr G: “You’re not a typical muslim girl, Nadirah. You’re not even a normal human being (πŸ˜‘). Do you think that this may be the reason you’re conflicted on how you live your life?”

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That guys, left me with months of work and thinking to do.

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Growing up my parents instilled the importance of learning in me. I learn to question everything. I learn to not accept things blindly. I learn that not everything is either right or wrong. I don’t believe that anyone on this earth right now is always right, no matter how educated we are, we are still merely humans.

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I actually tried hard to find God. I read and searched and asked about different ideologies – christianity, buddhism, atheism, taoism, hinduism. I read A LOT. I still look for it now. There was even a point that I considered Catholicism. And then one day I was just so done with everything. I prayed asking God to just cut me some slack. I believe in God. I love Him. I’m grateful for everything He’s given me. But I don’t understand why is it soo hard, and restrictive, and there’s a lot of societal judgement and pressure that I cannot for the life of me fathom.

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Around that time after I practically just gave up. I stumbled across multiple sources from Nouman Ali Khan, Mufti Menk, Yasmin Mogahed, etc that taught me that Islam heavily concerned adab (manners) and good character. It was mindblowing.

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I wondered why I haven’t come across these “kinds” of Islamic teaching growing up. It used to be all about the list of things I cannot do or God will be furious, and I’d be send to hell. These new sources that I found emphasise a lot about how God is merciful among anything else. Hence, the reason basmallah was recite before every action and repeated the most – In the name of God the most gracious and merciful. As a matter of fact, no other attribute of God as so often been stressed in the Quran (over 300 times) than these Divine attributes. I still smile whenever I think of this. It’s comforting that with the uncertainty of whatever happens later on or in the hereafter, as long as I love God sincerely, His mercy will certainly be there.

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I started being comfortable with my faith. I try to do and follow the best that I can, however, I don’t force and pressure myself to do things anymore. Baby steps, I keep telling myself. I turn out to be much much more happier now. I learn a lot more too – in regards to everything. Since seeking knowledge is given importance in the faith, I’m having a blast with finding knowledge. I want to learn about EVERYTHING – history, science, arts, sports, EVERYTHING. I now understand the difference between religion and culture, and I’m grateful for it every day.

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Can you believe that all that happened in the span of 2 years? I’m still a working progress. Will I ever allow myself to really love someone again? What new things will I learn on my journey in faith? Later in the years, will I still remain true to what I value and not just randomly getting into any relationships just because I’m scared that I’d end up alone? There are a lot more questions that I haven’t had the answer to. But well, we’ll see where life takes us. ☺️

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Happy birthday to me ❀️ I’m feeling a bit feverish today and my dad’s step mum passed away this morning. I don’t know if I can manage to wake up for my birthday tomorrow πŸ˜… p/s sorry for the very random pictures of my gym that I put in this entry!

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4 thoughts on “headspace | a bit personal

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