dealing with anxiety

Anxiety, it’s horrible, this feeling that holds you back, that pulls at you and instils this fear inside your head, this nervous nature of overthinking and a thousand questions in your head making you want to run away.

Some of us get panic attacks, others push people away, some isolate themselves and others completely break down. It’s worse for some than others, and it’s so much more than nerves. I’m going to give you five top tips that helped me with my anxiety and helping to reduce my panic attacks and I pray they help you too.

1.) First of all, understand that what you’re going through is something you’re allowed to go through, it’s not a bad thing, it does not make you weak or a bad person, you’re just going through a tough time and this is how your mind reacts. Accept your anxiety, you will get through it like all the times before, you are going to survive and everything is gonna be okay. You have to identify what triggers your anxiety, what makes you anxious and why? I think it’s best to draw it out, to write down all the possible solutions, along with all the positive ones which often our brains leave out when we overthink.

2.) You are in control of your life. You make your own decisions in life, you choose what to do and what not to do, your anxiety does not control you, you control your anxiety. Nobody gets everything perfect the first time, not everything always goes to plan, but sometimes in life you need to take that leap of faith and just do it, just do that one thing you’ve been putting off, you cannot achieve perfection but if you don’t start you won’t achieve anything at all. Do not let your decisions bully you, do not let them suffocate you, jump into it without worrying if it’s good or bad. If you do it good then wonderful and if bad, you’ll only learn the things you would’ve missed out on if you let your anxiety stop you.

3.) Forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for that panic attack, forgive yourself for opening up to somebody and feeling bad because they got upset because you were upset. Forgive yourself and start a clean slate every day, letting go of the past, to stop letting it pull back your strings. Cut ties with yesterday and build bonds only with today. It’s so natural for us to become our own harshest judges, to pick up on the smallest things and make a mountain out of a molehill, so stop dwelling on everything and move forward, continue building, continue growing.

4.) Anxiety does stop you from living your life, it leaves you frozen at the moment, lost in time and space and unable to move forward. But the day only has 24 hours, and as bad as those 24 hours were, they will pass. The day will go and night will come, weeks and months will go past, time will not stop, and neither should you. The world is forever moving on, remembering and forgetting, building and breaking. So no matter how horrible everything feels remember time will pass, that that event will finish, the day will come to an end, that moment is coming, don’t let life stop you from living, don’t fall behind time.

5.) Take slow steps, It’s a long winding, tough journey, but it’s a journey we all can make and we all can get through. You got this. You have survived all your panic attacks and moments of uncertainty and giving up before and you will do again. Take deep breaths. Get some fresh air. Drink some water. Go for a walk. Call your friends. Speak to your parents. Have a rest. Distract yourself in a movie. Everything will always be okay, it is all going to work out, it’s all going to be wonderful for you.

May happiness and ease always find you.

Faisal

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Becoming mentally strong

Life, as we understand, is, is essentially a test, this world is temporary, we live this life for x amount of years and then we depart, it was never meant to be our eternal home.

But that doesn’t mean it’s all doom and gloom, we often misunderstand these quotes that refer to life being a test and associate a bubble of negativity with it, leading to more anxieties and building negative links within your mind that makes you believe you’ll never be happy, that your hardships in life are here as a punishment, that you’re not worthy of happiness.

We place ourselves in a bubble of negative emotions and thoughts, where we magnify our misfortune, asking why it happens to us, it keeps us stuck and focused on that problem meaning you cannot find a solution.

We all go through hardship, mental and emotional, physical and spiritual. This life is not a life if you are not tested if you do not go through struggles and difficulties.

And essentially it all boils down to your mindset, the way you perceive the difficulties that are inevitable. As mentioned before, you could use them to push your negativity, to fall into a spiral of negative beliefs and this when combined with actual medically recognised mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, it becomes lethal. It’s like when you put coke and mentos together, it causes an explosion of sadness within, a sense of hopelessness and despair that follows you in every decision, in every opportunity you want to take.

Mental Health issues do exist, they are medically recognised, in contrast to often cultural beliefs, people do suffer even though they don’t want to, and we often confuse this and blame other stuff such as a lack of spirituality or associations with jinn or just making a scene and wanting attention. People need medicines to maintain a sense of sanity, they need emotional and physical therapy through a variety of exercises to understand and deal with their emotions and difficulties.

But essentially, grief and sadness, it’s a vital part of our life. Without sadness, we will never understand what happiness feels like, if this life was full of happiness, we would not be living a happy life, we would just be living a life because happiness is all we know, and I know it’s a bit philosophical, but through that you’re not really happy at all. So sadness is needed. It comes in various forms throughout our life, when we were younger it was not getting that PlayStation game, as we grew it became exam stress, trying to get into uni, making new friends, finding a social group, issues with social media, relationships, family problems, losing a loved one, there are a million reasons why sadness comes to us but also a million reasons to be happy. Waking up is a blessing, seeing your family, getting a good result on your exam, your football team winning, a new birth in the family, a child learning new things, watching something that makes you laugh, a fresh pair of trainers.

You have to understand that to be mentally strong, which means to be able to overcome these griefs and anxieties, to get past the burdens in life and make progress with your mental health, it means you need to let go of your bad mental habits.

It’s a lot like developed physical strength. The way you train your body, you need to train your body. You adopt healthy habits, such as going to the gym, drinking water, eating clean. You lose bad habits such as junk food and takeaways, or being lazy and thus we develop muscle, lose fat, we become stronger and we feel it both physically and mentally. With mental strength, we need to develop positive habits such as gratitude, being grateful for being alive, all the blessings in our life, the little things. We need to develop understanding, faith, belief, trust, humility, we try to escape the uncomfortable things in life but nothing worth having in life comes easy, and the only way to deal with those things is to get through them. We need to let go off negative habits such as overthinking, blaming others, losing hope.

We all get sad, and there’s nothing wrong with that, we all have moments where we feel low and you’re allowed to feel that, that’s your emotions and you have every right to indulge in that, don’t try to fight it, we are told we will be tested, but it’s about what you do afterwards and change your world. To get right back up and continue fighting, to use your grief to push you, to change and develop you rather than break you. We all have ups and downs in life and sadness is part of that journey, equally as much as happiness is. Never feel as though you aren’t allowed to be sad, sadness is different for everyone. We all react differently and we all have different levels.

Life is a combination of ups and downs, good days and bad days, and I know we can all relate to this, we have moments where we have this surge of energy to chase our dreams and minutes later were filled with this despair that nothing might ever work out. But what you need to remember is that your downs only come to make your ups feel greater, to humble you, to build you. Your hardships build positive energy, resilience and hope, it makes you mentally stronger. And remember, when you go down, the only way you can go is up.

I know this is so easy to say but so hard to believe, but it’s all gonna be okay. This sadness is just a phase, it’s temporary, it’s a chapter in your book, no it isn’t the end of your story and it’s not gonna defeat you as much as you believe. I know many people have told you it’s all gonna work out and it’s gonna be okay and to have patience and let time heal and every time you’re like ‘No it’s not, I’ve been waiting for so long and nothing seems to get better, it’s always gonna be like this’ etc. Trust me. Believe me. I know.

But the thing is, when we hear that everything happens for a reason or everything happens for the best, it’s difficult to trust in that, it’s hard to see forward and believe that whatever is breaking you right now, the loss of a loved one or failing that exam, will lead to a greater good. You will only ever understand this when you look back in life, you can connect the dots of how destiny or fate, or whatever you believe in, played its part in bringing you to wherever you’re meant to be. What’s written for us will always find us.

One beautiful analogy I use a lot myself is seeing hardships as a route to my prayers being answered. For example, if I asked God for forgiveness and at the present moment I am not worthy of that forgiveness, maybe he places that difficulty in my life, which thus becomes a blessing in disguise, and pushes me further towards God. Because I feel like many of us, when afflicted with difficulty, find a surge in our spirituality. Suddenly we’re praying more, doing more good so that God can give us good. And through that difficulty that pushes you to become closer to God, God finds an excuse to forgive you, to give you more good, to place more happiness in our heart. So never see your hardships as a punishment, see them as an opportunity, as God’s way of guiding you to your destination and answering your prayers.

And suddenly I found myself embracing difficulties whereas before I used to hate them, as it brought me back to a hadith, although I haven’t related much of this to Islam or God as a Muslim I’ll make reference to it, it took me back to a hadith which went along the lines of how the Sahabah used to worry if Allah didn’t bless them with hardships, in fear that Allah is angry with them. Allah truly tests the ones he loves, because it furthers our love and faith within Him, it makes us more grateful and understanding of his majesty and mercy. And I found myself wanting hardships, because going through hardships meant Allah might forgive me, and if he forgives me he might grant me greater good, for when he takes something from us, he replaces it with something better, so maybe me failing this exam, meant that another opportunity will come, or maybe next time I’ll get 10 more marks than I might have got this time, and it’s a domino effect, maybe it’ll get me into a better uni and the blessings go on and on. Life always gets better, there is always ease with your hardships, it’s all about how you understand your hardships.

Hardships are a mercy, a path for you to attain mercy, a path for you to understand yourself more as a person, it’s truly a blessing.

We have a limited time on this Earth, every second ticked is a second lost and I, am I’m sure you don’t wanna die and look back and see how your life was mainly spent being sad and depressed but now you’re dead and you can’t change anything. We’re all gonna die, nobody is gonna remember the embarrassing moments or the small things we both kill our minds because. In the face of death, our problems are nothing so stop worrying, live your life, it’s temporary just like sadness and depression. We are so enriched with fear we forget to live.

You need to develop self-love and belief, to understand that not everything in life has a solution or answers and that’s okay, you need to trust in the flow of life and where it takes you, to trust in the plan Allah has for you for it is far greater than whatever we have in mind for ourselves. Do not compare yourself, you are a unique individual, only compare yourself to the person you were yesterday, continue to grow and blossom and develop yourself.

We often overthink small situations that push us further into grief, we need to stop stressing over the small things in life. It doesn’t matter in five years’ time then it means don’t spend more than five minutes stressing over it. The little things in life, just accept them, understand why they may have happened and that it cannot be changed, and your worrying will only just make things worse. Most of us are young, we’re under thirty, we’ve barely lived. Many of us still have to go to uni, which may be the best part of your life, get our dream job, get married, raise a family, see our friends and family grow, there’s so much to live for, so much to be hopeful for, so much to fight for. We’re so stuck in the moment we forget the see the positives that lie just around the corner.

We are often our biggest judges, we need to learn to forgive ourselves, we need to be kind to ourselves and others. We need to trust our struggle, to have faith it is all for the greater good, that life will not always be like this.

I believe one reason why there is an increase in mental health issues within the ummah, especially within the UK is because we face a different type of difficulty compared to what difficulties and prevalent in other parts of the world. We have to be tested but we aren’t tested by poverty, or homelessness or war, the way people from all around the world are, because we live in Britain and it has a welfare system and Alhamdulillah most of us can survive, we can get food on the table etc. And therefore, we are tested with mental difficulties, with depressions and anxieties. And it’s hard to see the light or hope when you’re in that zone and people often make comparisons between the difficulties we face and the difficulties people in Gaza or Ghana face, but we all are tested, just in different ways, one’s test is not less than another. So these are the tests we are given, but with every test, there is always a solution.

There’s an example I’d like to share. A teacher once held out a bottle of water and he asked the class, ‘how much does this bottle weigh’ and some students shouted out answers, ‘500 grams?’, ‘600 grams!’ when the teacher replied, ‘we won’t know until we actually weigh the bottle’. And then he asked what would happen if I held the bottle for a minute and they replied nothing, he then asked what if he held it for an hour and someone said your arm will ache, he then asked what about 12 hours and someone said your arm will practically fall off. The teacher replied that the bottle represents your stresses, your hardships and pains, and no matter how much it weighs, the longer you hold onto it, the more it hurts. So we need to learn to let go, to move on with life, to let the past remain as the past and become optimistic about the future.

You need to have a positive foundation in your friends and family, having a good support system is vital, to be able to confide in someone and not keep your stresses inside of you, it’s okay to let it out and just having someone listen, just knowing that there is someone there for you definitely picks you up. Knowing there is a family, a brotherhood or sisterhood who can help and be there for you removes that fear of completely collapsing because you know there will be people to pick you up, to bring you back to your strength.

Now taking a more religious focused approach to this, with Islam, it’s a safety net, your faith is a net that captures you when you fall. Allah loves you more than your mothers, more than your closest friends, more than anyone could ever do in this world. Those people would never wish an ounce of sadness and pain upon you, so if Allah gives you hardships, surely, it’s out of love? Surely, it’s because he loves you enough and he wants you to return to him, he wants to find an excuse to give you forgiveness and more good, he wants more for you.

Islam is about submission, we need to submit ourselves to Allah, to have full faith in what he has written for us, what he gives us in life. Allah is the only one who is constant in our lives, he was there when we were born and will be there when we die, he knows what’s in our hearts when we cannot understand it, he knows what we feel before we even speak it. It’s all about small steps. Allah is calling you, go back to him and I promise you that your sadness and depression would get better. He is the most forgiving and his mercy is greater than your sin so forget about your past and whatever you’ve done, just put your head on the prayer mat and cry, he understands, he knows your pain, it’s all a test as life is a test.

If you look into history, people have been in your position before, not even history, look at elders in your community, elder brothers or sisters within your generation and how they got past everything, likewise you will too. You have to keep hope, to keep genuine hope within your heart.

Your gonna come across beautiful sunsets, the moon beaming in the sky, long drives on the motorways, new moments with your friends and family, food you haven’t tried, places you haven’t visited, love you haven’t felt, opportunities that haven’t come to you. There is so much to live for.

Don’t give up. Your life is worth something, you are precious, and your life is has meaning and purpose. The problems you face today will soon disappear and be replaced with another set of problems, but you’ll get through that too and everything else, your problems won’t stop but you’ll get stronger and each time you’ll become a better person, that’s life, life is a test and your real reward lies in the hereafter. Life is beautiful, and there are good things come for both me and you, stay strong, stay happy and most importantly, stay alive.

  • Faisal

May God bless you all with happiness, love, prosperity, hope, meaning, purpose, good destiny and everything good that exists under the stars.

And if my words gave you even an ounce of hope, please remember me in your prayers, I need them just as much as you.

God bless and much love.

Surviving suicide.

This isn’t an easy post to write, let alone publish but I believe it’s for the best, a sign of hope to those who were once in my position.

I attempted suicide twice within a week exactly a year and a few weeks ago. I will be lying if I said I don’t remember it or it doesn’t wake me up on nights, that it doesn’t haunt me and hold me back. But then I would also be lying if I said it didn’t change my life, because it did. It sparked something within me, no it didn’t remove my anxiety and depression and bipolar, those are things I am currently fighting and thanks to God, winning. But it changed something within me, it moved me away from the idea of suicide altogether, it made me harm less frequently though every few month or so I succumb to it, but every problem is a different battle we fight and we’ll slowly defeat everything one by one. What I want to talk about is how I know look back and view my attempts and suicidal thoughts.

1.) It’s not worth it. If I died I would’ve never lived. Doesn’t make sense but it does. If I died then, an 18 year old in college before taking his exams, stressed and depressed and anxious and arms full of scars and crying myself to sleep every night, drugged out and broken and whatever the fuck I felt, it means I would not be alive today. Let me explain. I would have not had the opportunity to do the things I did in the last 13 months, and this is different for all of us. I went on a holiday of a lifetime, I made so many new friends, I got into university, I started to find myself, I spent nights laughing till my stomach aches, I spent Eid and birthdays with my family, I dreamed dreams that came true, I continued to inspire, I made my grandmother smile, I hopefully saved a life and some of you may be thinking, ‘my life is shit I won’t achieve these things’, fuck the material things I don’t even care about those, it’s moments like making your mother smile and seeing the glow within her eyes when she knows you nearly died. It’s waking up in the morning and breathing the fresh air and appreciating life, it’s all the little things. I don’t know what I would’ve done if I died without experiencing these things, without being who I am today. It is looking back and re reading all my poems about the times where I gave up, seeing how fat I have come as a human, as a soul. That is what you need to live for.

2.) It all works out. TRUST ME ON THIS PLEASE. I am writing all this because I’ve been what you’re going through and I’ve faced it and I am surviving. I thought my world was at its end and there was no hope, no where for me to go and that life will always be like this. I was so wrong. Life is beautiful, life is worth living and it’s not perfect, I still fight my depression and there are nights where I want to harm and sometimes even disappear, but that used to be every night and now its once every 4 months or so. Slowly but surely things work out. I got into the university I wanted and I am doing a course I love, if i didn’t fail I would not be here so happy, everything happens for a reason. Believe in all the good and all the bad that happens to you because it all happens for the best, even though you may feel like it’s gonna break you and lead to your end, it won’t. Our problems are temporary, they will pass and new problems will come but that’s life and we will conquer them all god willing.

3.) Believe it or not, you are ever so loved. I know life comes and we feel isolated and so alone and we’re like ‘nobody will miss us when we’re gone’, yessss fam I know, I get these thoughts too but truth is, you are loved. No matter how distant you are from your family and friends, they will miss you when you’re gone. People care for you. If you leave this world I can assure you people will weep throughout the nights blaming themselves for your death. The world needs you. The world will not be the same without you, your presence is felt, I promise you. You are beautiful and special, and there is nobody like you in this world and there will never ever be anyone like you, you are special.

4.) The best days of your life are yet to cone. Most of us are 14-25 years old, say we live till 80 God-willing, we’ve barely lived a third or a quarter of our lives. We have so much to live for, so many days to stay alive for. Like you’re gonna grow up and go through college, university, living your life, marriage, kids, there is so much yet to come so please be optimistic, have belief in your future that everything will work out and soon you’;; look back and wonder why you were ever sad.

5.) And the fifth and final piece of advice I have to give you is that life is precious. We only get one life, it depends on your beliefs, but I believe in one life in this world and a life in the hereafter. This life is a test, you don’t just walk out of an exam because it’s difficult, you break it down and try to understand it, that’s like life. And also some religions prohibit suicide, and that is because eventually God makes a way for us, we provides a path of relief, life isn’t here to break you down, it is here to strengthen you, to make you stronger and a better person so please keep hope.

Your life is beautiful and you are needed in this world, I cannot empathise that enough. I hope you take my story and experiences as inspiration, I pray you find the peace you are searching for and if you have any other questions, feel free to email or DM me.

Have a beautiful day and keep smiling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Defeating sadness and depression.

Hey guys,

Woah. This is my first blog post and hopefully I shall be uploading regularly.

Now this topic of defeating sadness is one that is quite personal to me, I suffer from depression, anxiety and a bipolar disorder, however I don’t want to get into detail. Over the last two years as I’ve been writing on Instagram, I’ve helped various people with depression as well as helping myself, I’m around 60% through my recovery and I have loads of tips and advice I wish to share and I believe with help you. This is gonna be long and it may not help you fully as every situation is different and we all respond differently, however it should put some things into perspective and help you understand that depression and sadness is something you can defeat, or at least not let it get the best of you.

First of all, I want you to understand that it is okay to be sad, you have that right and nobody can take it away from you, I’m not saying its great to be sad, no, you have the right to be happy however sadness isn’t something bad, as society paints it. We all have ups and downs in life and sadness is part of that journey, equally as much as happiness is. Never feel as though you aren’t allowed to be sad, sadness is different for everyone. We all react differently and we all have different levels. Someone may just be feeling down or you may be like me, heavily depressed. Sometimes it’s because of certain things in life bringing us down or like me, mental health issues, where there is nothing wrong but you feel so sad to a point you’re suicidal. I want you to do one thing for me. Get a pen and a paper. Yes, get up and go. Write the word sadness in the middle and circle it, and then draw a mind map of all the different reasons as to why you’re sad and all your problems. Then circle the problems and draw lines saying who, what,when, why, where and how for each individual problem. I know it seems so long but honestly, it’ll help you understand where your sadness is coming from and the reason for it. To be honest, for me personally, we create our own sadness in our heads, and I’m saying this purely from me right now, Faisal who is generally happy, however if I was having a bad day I’m not sure I would say the same simply because I wouldn’t be able to think clearly. Hence I write these words today on one of my sane days to read when my sadness overtakes my mind and thinking clearly seems like an illusion. It’s so hard to not talk about myself, I don’t want to otherwise we’ll be here for hours. Truth is, I don’t even know if this will help, I want it too but it’s so hard to capture everything in words.

depression-spider-diagram
A spider diagram like this. Expressing your emotions is always the best way to release them. Make it more detailed and note down every reason which makes you sad and depressed and try to be as specific as possible. My counselor introduced this to me and it saved my life, literally. It helps you pinpoint what makes you sad and then you can work on how to deal with it.

I know this is so easy to say but so hard to believe, but its all gonna be okay. This sadness is just a phase, it’s temporary, it’s a chapter in your book, no it isn’t the end of your story and it’s not gonna defeat you as much as you believe. I know many people have told you it’s all gonna work out and it’s gonna be okay and to have patience and let time heal and every time you’re like ‘No it’s not, I’ve been waiting for so long and nothing seems to get better, it’s always gonna be like this’ etc. Trust me. Believe me. I know. If you believe that nobody understands, I do, I am the same as you so please believe me. I said the same things you said and to be honest part of me is still saying it. It’s funny, I’m struggling with depression yet here I am trying to save thousands with my words, I guess saving others means I’ll save myself hence I try so hard to make the world a better place. But yes, believe me it gets better. Nobody knows how or when but it does. Keep repeating to yourself that It’ll get better because that hope that one day I’ll be free of this misery got me through. And hey, it’s coming true. My mental health is so much more better, i got discharged from the hospital for my depression and life is amazing. Yeah I have days where I isolate myself and I cannot lie but suicidal thoughts still touch my lips so I drown them in sad songs and cigarettes which don’t help but I’m getting through that, I’m drowning out those bad things with prayer. Please don’t judge me, we all deal with sadness differently. But going back to my point where I said we create our own sadness, It’s true. For me, I create scenarios and fantasies in my head and imagine this and that happening when it never will and hence depressing myself. I over think. I know many of you lot struggle with this, it’s literally the thing that kills me the most. So technically we create our own depression, sound silly doesn’t it, but many of us are culprits. What helps me is when I do think I’m gonna overthink, I plan the situation out on a paper. TRUST ME GUYS, write and draw everything down because it helps put it all into perspective rather than our minds dancing thoughts around our head and forcing us into sadness. I write down the problem/situation and then all the possible scenarios that could happen, I then write down how I can handle these situations and it puts my mind to rest hence stopping me from creating my own sadness.

overthinking-diagram
This will help you stop all the unnecessary worrying as you can plan out all the positives. Life is all about pulling out the positives from every negative, there’s a solution to everything. It’s not the end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I really hope this helps you. Life is too short to be sad. It’s true, like most of you lot are young like me, aged 14-25 or a little older or younger. Think about it, all the problems that depressed you years ago, for most of us, those problems don’t exist anymore. There’s no point being sad (bold point Faisal seeing as you’re always depressed LOOOOL okay yes let me talk to myself, I mean we always chose to focus on the negativity when there is so much positivity to take hold of). The problems we worried about are gone and now replaced with new problems which have us depressed now, and in a couple of weeks, months, or years the same thing will happen to our problems now. I think about how when (if God wills) I’m 25 and married with kids, I’ll look back and say why the hell was I always a depressed teenager, because life worked out and now I’m happy. Like I was wasting all that time in my youth when I had the potential to be something amazing (trying too right now), we’ll be full of regret worrying. And when I’m 40, I’ll look back and say why was I stressed at 25 and so on and so on. We have to replace the negative thoughts with positive thoughts, that’s the key to survival because it induces positive thinking. Our sadness destroys us and the ones who love us, and don’t say nobody loves your or doesn’t care about you because no matter how distant you feel from your family, they’ll always love you and if you still disagree, God loves you and if you still disagree, I love and care for you. If I didn’t why would I spend my time writing this to help you despite whatever I’m going through too. Yes this is for me too, I should take my own advice and read this whenever I’m sad but it’s a little harder with depression. I don’t wanna go into detail about how depression makes you feel, I’ve written plenty about that on my Instagram, but in short it’s like a dark cover over your mind so you cannot think clearly and it’s the hardest thing ever to think clearly because it’s nothing small, it’s a medical condition. But it’s possible to control, look at me now, if I didn’t have it under control this blog would be called something along the lines of ‘Life isn’t worth living’ and in the words of Justin Bieber (More of a Zayn fan to be honest) life is worth living. I’ll get into detail of controlling mental health in a little while now back to my point. If you want some motivation in life, look in the mirror, you’ve survived every heartbreak, night spent crying, problem, self harm scar and suicide attempt till now, and that’s for a reason, because the universe wants you alive and you were meant to read these hearty(didn’t even know this was a word) words of mine. Also, search up motivational speeches on YouTube, there are MILLIONS, I would recommend Eric Thomas, he gives some amazing life motivation.

We have a limited time on this Earth, every second ticked is a second lost and I, am I’m sure you don’t wanna die and look back and see how your life was mainly spent being sad and depressed but now you’re dead and you can’t change anything. We’re all gonna die, nobody is gonna remember the embarrassing moments or the small things we both kill our minds because. In the face of death, our problems are nothing so stop worrying, live your life, it’s temporary just like sadness and depression. (I may comment on stress/anxiety and bipolar disorder if I’m not feeling lazy however I believe that’ll be a whole different blog post another time soon).

We can’t change life, life is a constant cycle of ups and downs, so just take a step back and ask yourself, ‘What’s the point of being sad when happiness will come and then a different sadness and a better happiness?’. Being sad is wasting your precious time and energy over something that’s gonna pass like everything before and everything after. Life is full of ups and down, sometimes they’re alone and sometimes they come together. Once again, trust me when I say this, everything happens for a reason and everything happens for the best. We don’t understand the reasons now because we don’t see the results so we become depressed and upset and whatnot. However when time passes and things gently fall into place when they’re meant to (Life has this perfect timing thing which is hella annoying but its perfect like I said (don’t disagree) oh damn I did a bracket within a bracket like is that even legal LOOL, anyways back to it) so just gave faith in God and the universe that things will happen when they’re meant to. And then when we look back we’ll be glad things happened the way they did, that we went through the hardships and all the bad days because what we have now is amazing and probably so much better than what we initially wanted. As a muslim I believe in the Qur’an (our holy book), and it states that God is the best of planners. So sometimes you just gotta sit back and let life take it’s course. We can’t fight the universe. Everything has a reasoning behind it. Inhale the ups and exhale the downs. Sadness is temporary just like happiness and that’s me being real af. Both are temporary, they’re forever interchanging and swapping so take hold of the good times and when the bad times come, don’t worry, it’s gonna pass so just try get yourself on the good times again. You may ask me ‘What’s the point of being happy if I’m just gonna be sad again?’ well what’s the point of being sad when you’re gonna be happy again? (DAMN). Happiness is just better than sadness so might as well take hold of the good temporary rather than the bad temporary (hope I’m making sense). And an example of everything happening for a reason is me. I believe I went through everything, and am still going through all of it because God wanted me to experience and understand this pain so I’m able to help heal the world. I’m glad I nearly killed myself because it made me understand what it feels like, I UNDERSTAND YOU MAN PLEASE TAKE MY ADVICE (@ME TOO).

Another key to happiness (DJ Khaled reference) is loving yourself (Baby you should go and love yourself). Self love. As hard as it is. I’m a really sensitive person. I’ve always put others ahead of me and always worried myself too much about the people I love and sometimes harmed myself because of people.But the minute I realised that my life is worth as much as anyone else’s, that I deserve to be as happy as everyone else and I stopped putting myself down, I started to love myself. Like, it’s not vain to love yourself. You’ve survived all these years, you are amazing. You make people smile. You fucking (excuse my language) (I would’ve said excuse my french but I speak french so bonjour) kill yourself to make your loved ones smile. YOU DESERVE THE SAME, It’s amazing to be a kind soul and heal the world but hey, you gotta heal yourself too. Learn to sometimes put yourself first.

Okay, now let’s talk about mental health, then religion and then suicide and then some general advice (loads to go) and then I’m done. I warned you this is going to be long but Faisal is going all in today. I’ve been giving bits and pieces of advice regarding this throughout my 21 months on Instagram but this is the first time I put this all together. There are loads of mental health illnesses however I’m largely going to focus on depression, stress/anxiety and somewhat bipolar disorder. I remember the girl I loved back this time last year made me feel as though it’s bad to be bipolar, I lived 11 months accepting and believing that I’m not allowed to be bipolar. Funny isn’t it? The way the world makes you feel. Maybe I was born with these traits, maybe they’re genetic and maybe I picked them up but the fucking (sorry again) fact is that I have these and I have to learn to live with them. Mental health is much more than just sadness, I know, it’s a way of life we have to live with, balancing our lives around it because of our minds and souls. I don’t wanna get too detailed because like I said I’ll be here for hours (Done a spoken word poem on how mental health matters on YouTube so check that out, just search thesmilingakh) (YES I CAN SHOUT MY YOUTUBE OUT SLYLY SHHHHHH). But yes, it isn’t necessarily defeatable like sadness but it can be controlled by using the advice above. Personally, there’s loads of help out there.You just need to open up, it’s hard, especially with family but it helps so so so so so much because I hid mine for 4 years and by bottling it all inside it kills you and one day you’ll erupt like a volcano (been there done that). Let me quickly tell you how my mental health got revealed and how it benefited me, along with some advice. Okay, so my depression and mental health stems from a variety of things, in small it’s family life, my brain and college (now I’m finished with college and realised I was sad for two miserable years for nothing because I failed all my exams yet still made it into university). In January, in my maths exam, I was totally done with life, this is the period up till May (exams) where my mental health was at it’s worth, I mean daily isolating myself, arm full of scars, lungs full of cigarettes, brain full of suicidal thoughts, and I attempted it twice and failed (hence I’m here to make sure no one feels the way I did). In my maths exam, I wrote a suicide letter, on my way home I was planning to run in front of a car and kill myself, on my way home I was going to do it but I got scared so I didn’t, anyways, the school saw and they called the police to my house so around 7pm, they came and showed my mum (single mother) the letter an I opened up to my college, my parents and the police (irrelevant ******** LOOOL they didn’t do anything they were just being nosey little rats). BUT, BEST DECISION EVER. It was hard, telling your mum that you’re suicidal because of her and a million other things and it got SOOOOOOOOOO much worse before it got better but when it got better, it bought me here, to share my story and to help and that must show you that it can be defeated. My college were so helpful. I went through counselling for depression and therapy for my anxiety and bipolar. I was on medicines for 3 weeks but they made me really suicidal and I overdosed twice on them (like 10x the dose) to kill myself so I stopped. It’s hard, different things work for different people but you need to open up because there is help out there. I’m guessing some people are reading this and saying depression doesn’t exist and I need God etc, I agree, personally religion helped me but it only worked alongside counselling and therapy. Talking it out and drawing it out and finding ways to express myself and my anger helped. Writing saved my life. I write for sanity and God has blessed me with an abundance of followers and friends who sent me hundreds of messages of encouragement and I pray that you all reach the highest rank of Heaven and are blessed with the best in this world and the next.You also need good support all around you, counseling is so helpful, therapy helps, workshops, self-help books, medicine for some (talk to your doctor) and just expressing yourself. It doesn’t remove it, it just makes you able to live normally and control it. There isn’t one thing that will help you, it’s a combination of loads of different things. Currently, I am discharged so I am not receiving any counseling or therapy, I’m just relying on my own advice and religion and videos on youtube and support from family and friends. And before anyone attacks me, yes I know depression is much more than just being sad xo.

Okay, now for me personally, one of the main factors in dealing with sadness is religion. If you aren’t Muslim, then find faith in your own God and try to seek peace from your religion, if not then I highly recommend you read up on Islam, if you need any help just email me (will be at the bottom). For the Muslims, asalamu alaykum. In the Qur’an, like I said before, we see that it says ‘But they plan, and Allah plans. And Allah is the best of planners’ (8:30), and as Muslims we believe in the Qur’an so we should listen to these words of Allah as he is telling us to keep faith in his plan as it’s better for us than what we want for ourselves. Furthermore, it says that ‘and whoever turns away from my remembrance will indeed live a depressed life’ (20:124). I believe in this and have personally felt it. I started praying 5 times a day 4 weeks ago, after loads of inconsistency such as praying for a week and then not for a week, and then praying 2 times a day for a month and going a couple of weeks without praying etc. My life is so much more peaceful when I pray and read Qur’an and my depression is helped along with the counseling and all the advice above. Praying gives you this peace in your heart, especially when you sit and cry to Allah during the nights and release all the sadness from your heart and pour it out in prayer. Coming back to the deen is what saved me. It’s hard so take your time and go slowly and develop consistency and slowly but surely you’ll improve and Allah knows what’s in your heart and how hard everything is. If you’re struggling to get close to deen a few tips I would give you is to force yourself to pray because that’s what I did and eventually my heart yearned to pray. Furthermore, try read a page of Qur’an a day and every other day increase it by a little. It’s all about small steps. Allah is calling you, go back to him and I promise you that your sadness and depression would get better. He is the most forgiving and his mercy is greater than your sin so forget about your past and whatever you’ve done, just put your head on the prayer mat and cry, he understands, he knows your pain, it’s all a test as life is a test. The Qur’an holds solutions to all our problems. Here are a few verses to give some peace to your heart, these are Allah’s direct words, he loves us 70 times more than our mothers and never puts us through depression or suicidal thoughts because he hates us, it’s because he loves us and he wants to test us. I’m not trying to preach to you because I’m nowhere near religious, I’m just letting you know religion plays a big part in helping you find peace.

‘For indeed with hardship there will be ease’ (94:05)

‘By which  Allah guides those who pursue His pleasure to the ways of peace and brings them out from darknesses into the light, by his permission, and guides them to a straight path’ (05:16)

‘And those who, when they commit an immorality or wrong themselves, remember Allah and seek forgiveness for their sins – and who can forgive sins except Allah?’ – (03:135)

Final one guys, yes I know you’re probably tired of reading and like 90% of people got bored and left but this is one of the most important, and if you stayed it means you truly want to be happy and I pray you and everyone else who reads this article (yes even you lazy ones) are blessed with happiness and a cure from your sadness/depression. Let me talk about suicide. I know many of us are plagued with suicidal thoughts and some like me have attempted it and those reading failed with me all praise to God and survived and to those we have lost, I’m sorry, I pray God grants you the best. Suicide isn’t the way to go. Please trust me. I didn’t nearly die for people to not believe me, please believe me. You think you want to die, but you don’t.  I’ve already mentioned by attempts in April above and don’t want to get into too much detail, it just brings back bad memories and all but long story short I overdosed and thankfully I rushed myself to hospital quickly so they could heal my self harm scars and get the medicines out of my body and I was perfectly fine physically but mentally broken as probably the most broken soul on Earth (even though people have it 1000000000000000000000000 times worse than me). But lying there I realised I didn’t want to die, and so the next day I was better but my family kept using it against me saying stuff to my brothers like ‘leave him alone or he’ll probably swallow more pills like he always does’ and she told my aunty when I just wanted it between us. So the next week I did the same thing with more pills and I wanted to die but my mum saw me this time having a panic attack and my arms bleeding and she called an ambulance and seeing my mum so broken at 3am in the hospital sitting away from me and crying, damn, it put an end to my suicide attempts. The thoughts didn’t necessarily stop but I don’t act upon them. I also stopped the self harm though I relapsed 12 days ago after nearly 3 months clean. But yeah, suicide isn’t worth it, it will kill you and your family and in Islam it’s forbidden anyways, it’s hard but keep patience. You only have one life and you don’t want to throw it away. You’re young, you have so many years of life to live if God wills, you’ve barely lived a third so please don’t attempt suicide. For all my struggling and for me writing all this I only ask one thing, don’t harm or kill yourselves, please. There’s so much for you to live for, you haven’t tried so many things or gone to so many places (I’ve written A LOT about this so check my Instagram). I would love to talk more about this but maybe another time, bad memories are just coming back. And here are some tips on avoiding self harm. Firstly, throw away your blades. Secondly, draw on yourself rather than harming, get a felt tip marker and just draw patterns, words, anything except cutting. Thirdly, try to avoid isolating yourself, I spend loads of time in my room alone so try and limit it because it’ll give you less opportunity to harm yourself. Fourthly, understand your body is precious, it’s a gift from God and you don’t deserve to harm yourself. Next, find distractions for when you want to harm, such as talking or phoning a friend, texting someone, watching a movie or a YouTube video and just distracting yourself from the sadness which makes you want to harm. And lastly, smile. Life is too short to be sad, go out and live and fight for your happiness to make your life better.

And finally, some general advice. Just keep going, take it day by day and don’t let the world get the better of you. And remember, someone always has it worse than you so you are blessed, look around you and see how you have a roof on your head and food on the table, always remember to count the blessings before you list the hardships. I wish you all the best and damn this was exactly 4500 words and I wrote a bloody essay but yeah, stay happy.

Faisal.

 

Contact info:

@TheSmilingAkh (Instagram)

Thesmilingakh@gmail.com (Email)

Edit: 07/01/2017

Hey there guys I’m just adding to my recent post I uploaded 4/5 months ago I believe. Thankfully I’d say I’m 95% past my depression, on the way to handling it, through what I’ve said above, plus things I’ve learnt and most importantly time. Sometimes you just have to let time take its role, it’s hard waiting but sometimes its the only thing we can do, we just have to be patient as things change with time, as our circumstances develop and we develop and grow as humans. Your problems aren’t going to last forever as much as it seems like they will, because life is always changing, people come and go, problems come and go, everyone changes and everything changes, that’s how it is.

Next, you have to (and this is what helped me the most like literally this saved my life and made me stress like 3833804383x less) – stop stressing over the small things in life. It it doesn’t matter in five years time then it means don’t spend more than five minutes stressing over it. The little things in life, just accept them, understand why they may have happened and that it cannot be changed and your worrying will only just make things worse.

Depression is lethal I know, I know how low it makes you feel but I promise it isn’t the end of the world. Speak to someone, anyone, theres loads of anonymous services such as the Samaritans and I’ve given them a call various times when I waas suicidal. But look at me as an example, I was on the verge of suicide and now thankfully, all praise to God I’m smiling and you guys will also be too. Just don’t give up on yourselves. Here are some links you might find useful.

 

 

 

Update

Hey guys, its the 22/05/17 and I would say I am 99% past my depression. In the last couple months I have changed my life and mindset in terms of my thinking. I guess in life we have to accept all the good and bad and to just thank God because everything happens for a reason, no matter how difficult your situation may leave you, understand that your difficulties will pass, your hardships are temporary. Keep going and keep fighting, you will defeat your battle, you will be happy again. Forgive yourself for your past and have belief in better days, this life is yours and it is in your hands and you can control whether you let your sadness defeat you or build you into a better and stronger person. To whoever is reading his, I am so proud of you. I will pray for you and hope you find the peace you are searching for.

Faisal x