Sunday, November 10, 2013

Wishing on a Prayer



Salaam, everyone. I have a favor to ask. All this while, I've asked and gotten support and prayers from you for my husband and family members during their challenging times. This time, I'm asking for myself.

Unknowingly, I've been battling major depression and other disorders that come with that diagnosis. With the help of an awesome doctor, I've been on prescribed medication for almost a month. As a result, I am now able to live my life in such a way I couldn't do for many years. I've begun with a total makeover and now jump starting my daily life with the hope that the rest of my life would be the best years of my life.

Some may disapprove of my 'public' admission but I have never pretended to be a perfect human being. I also am confident this would make me a better counselor than I've ever been before. 

I know Allah has equipped me with the strength to survive whatever He deems me fit to face. I'm grateful for my loving husband who never fails to hold me together each time I fall apart. 

So, I would really appreciate if you could spare a doa for me and maybe a few words of encouragement. Thank you so much to all of you who have chosen to share moments of your lives with me. Jazakallahu khayr, in advance. 

P/S: I'm starting Jazzercize classes today. Wish me luck! 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Dodging Depression



I believe this is one of the hardest entry yet for me to write. But I truly believe this needs to be done, staying true to the original purpose of this blog as a dumping place for my internal dialogues. So here goes nothing.

Last Wednesday, for the first time in my entire life, I visited a psychiatrist. And after answering all his probing questions, I was diagnosed as having a mood disorder: Depression. In all honesty, that felt like a grenade exploding in my head. Apparently, all these years I have been battling insomnia, anxiety, weight gain, etc; it was merely dealing with symptoms of depression. Affirmation wouldn't quite describe it for me. It was more like a revelation. Well, at the very least, I didn't take the short cut and be quick at labeling myself with that disorder. In fact, I did everything in my power of control to dodge it! Way to go, Johana! There must be some form of achievement there, somewhere.

Anyone who knows me well would have seen how hard I fought these symptoms, using all kinds of therapies, including alternative and mainstream medicine. I believed in supplementing my body's deficiencies by taking vitamins, using healing properties of gemstones, undergoing acupuncture, reiki... the whole nine yards. Those treatments worked temporarily. Obviously, because I wasn't dealing with the real source of the problem.

My biggest stumbling block has always been trust. I have difficulties trusting people. Because when I do trust, I do it wholeheartedly and explicitly. I trusted the psychiatrist because he came highly recommended by my supervisor and he spoke highly of this professional and very experienced specialist. My psychiatrist was quick to add that the medication he prescribed for me is derived from melatonin and that I should be alright between 3 weeks to 3 months, depending on my degree of depression as well as the factors contributing to my condition.

How do I feel about my diagnosis? Relieved. For once, someone validates and justifies why I felt the way I did. Past tense. Why? Because most of the negative emotions I had have ebbed away. I am grateful for this relief, although deep in my heart, I wish I had trusted someone sooner to help me with what I had. I recognize the fact that it may not be over just yet. I am still somewhat shaky, but definitely a lot stable than I have felt in a long, long time. I am finally able to feel happiness, joy and peace of mind. For as long as I can remember, I have felt only one thing: numb. Not anymore. 

In my previous entry, I wrote that I was beyond fixing. I am glad I was wrong. Allah has finally answered my prayers. Syukur. 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Beyond Fixing


You don't need to say it. I know I'm beyond fixing. There's no cure for what I have. I don't think there's even a word to describe it accurately. You didn't fail me. I'm beyond fixing.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Itchy Fingers Pounding Keys


I'm sorry. There's an absence of enthusiasm in my choice of words for this entry, which is highly unsimilar to entries I've made in the past around the end or beginning of a year. Maybe it's because I am 6 kg overweight due to water retention and my face is veiled with a mask of angry and itchy rashes. 

Let's recap 2012 in a paragraph: besieged by a strange ailment that rendered me unable to speak, the death of my much loved grandfather, the passing of my brother-in-law on my birthday, a fall that caused me to suffer from slipped disc and unable to walk for almost 3 weeks, frozen shoulder that gives me terrible pains and muscle spasms which has lasted until now. In a nutshell, 2012 was hell for me.

Of course, when compared to the plight of those more unfortunate than me, my life would resemble a day in paradise. I mean, I'm hardly starving or dying. Nor am I homeless or penniless. Or many other worse things my morbid mind is capable of conjuring up in this ungodly hour of the night. To be fair, I have survived quite a bit of struggles of my own, although some quarters would accuse me of being a cry baby or drama queen for even mentioning my so called troubles.

But the point is I survived. And I find it truly insulting when someone trivializes my sufferings simply because I survived them. Does pain become nothing after it has stopped? Don't the tears shed mean nothing now that the suffering has ended?

Please excuse my ramblings. I have to keep on typing just so I can stop my fingers from scratching the itchy rashes on my face. Yes. My face is full of rashes. And this is a huge deal for me right now. Wanna know why? Because it's the only one I have to face this world!

Many advice pivot around the same topic. Forget the past. Let it go. But I reckon we need to be careful what we forget and what we let go. Because almost everyone we already have in our lives currently has a part in our past. Are we to forget them too? What exactly are we suppose to forget? Because if everyone I know forgets their past, and since I'm a part of it, I would be forgotten too. And so would they. How would they like to be forgotten?

Apologies. It's not enough to say you're sorry if it doesn't come along with a promise never to do it again. It has to come with a question, "How can I make up for all the wrongs I have done?"An apology does not buy you permission to repeat your misdoings. Forgiveness should not be abused in such manner.

I've come to the realization that I've done a terrible thing: accommodate. I've taken all I was served and refashioned myself until I am beyond recognition. I look at myself in the mirror and I don't know who that stranger is. All in the name of pleasing others. All in the name of tolerance and acceptance. And what has that amounted for me? I've lost myself. I've got nothing left to give. So, what gives?

For those who have the inclination of personalizing anything and everything I write or say, here's a newsflash for you: this is NOT about you. This is MY BLOG. It's about me. These are my thoughts. I use this blog to vent my thoughts. 

The ground is shaky all around me. This is hardly the time to set up a home and grow deep roots. I must wait until there's calmness again. I don't know when that will be. Meanwhile, I plough through. Soldier on, Johana. The world is watching.