Tag Archives: anxiety

Making ends meet

We’re six people, and we live in a two apartment bedroom. My dad drives a taxi and he works twelve hours each day to make ends meet. I work part time and I’m looking for a full time job. My older brother temporarily drives an Uber and he’s saving money to pay for a certification he needs. My younger brother and sister are in college and my mom is a house wife, who has diabetes, blood pressure and depression.

But we’re all blessed. We have our moments which end in tears and days of anger and anguish but at the end things turn out fine. We yell our throats out, throw fists, disagree and fight, and hurt each other. But at the end Alhamdulillah- we make it in one piece. Sometimes broken, sometimes tattered, but still we make it. We always do.

Coming to Pakistan we’re no longer the middle class or people trying to make ends meet. We become the elite. The upper class. Mostly because we have American passports which is messed up on it’s own and it’s a another story. But also because here people are deprived of basic human rights. Little children as young as seven are forced to work in people’s houses because they need to survive. It makes me sick and there’s nothing much I can do right now.

But I can narrate stories of women who’ve sat next to my mother and cried tears of blood.

From “my ten-year-old son died because we didn’t have enough money to pay for his medical examinations” to “my seven-year-old daughter works in people’s houses because we don’t have enough money to feed her.”

Stories about diseases that could be prevented with simple medication. Physical and mental abuse and how women have to deal with them with smiles because that’s what they’re taught. It’s okay if your husband hits you. It’s not a big deal. At least he has a roof over your head and he puts food on the table.

I’m not saying Pakistan is all bad. It has its issues like America does. But the people in Pakistan are loving and hospitable. They give when they barely have enough to eat.

One thing I’ve learned is that every person, regardless of nationality, religion and skin color has a story to tell. We’re all closed books with filled chapters reeking of tales aching to be told.

A woman whose husband married his brothers wife and kicked his own wife out with her two children.

A mother whose son left her on the streets.

Two innocent men of the same family being killed because of a political feud.

A woman bought from northern Pakistan to be sold as a bride.

A ten year old boy working as a dishwasher in a resturant.

I know all these people. They walk around me with smiles as bright as the sun trying to hide pain… but it drips from their bodies like sweat.

It’s so easy to judge, to throw hate, pass nasty comments, compare and envy… but its complicated to understand and comprehend.

Not everyone has a perfect life. What may seem like a bed of roses from far could be a mat littered with thorns.

What is love

Love is when your dad comes home tired from work at 2 am, but still takes you to the ER because you’re not feeling well. It’s when he tries to sell and advertise your book while driving a cab because he believes in you.

Love is when your mom walks all the way to your high school and waits outside with an extra umbrella because its pouring outside. It’s when your mom stays awake all night with a cold cloth on your head because you have a fever.

Love is when your older brother drives you to your college so you wouldn’t miss class because you aren’t feeling well. It’s when he’s willing to give up his pay just so you could get a new laptop.

Love is when your younger brother buys you ice cream because your mad at him. It’s when he’s willing to travel two hours just to see you.

Love is when your younger sister deals with your tantrums and smiles even when you make her cry. It’s when she gives you her shoulder to cry on even when she’s going through her own stuff.

Love is when someone special travels two hours just to give you flowers and chocolates. It’s when that person is willing to spend their entire life with you.

Love isn’t about gain or loss. It’s not a business. It’s a feeling that keeps you warm even when the sun refuses to rise. It’s the light that shines through the darkest tunnel. Love is when your heart is content and satisfied with whatever life throws at you.

When anxiety changes into depression

Anxiety is that odd feeling that grabs you by the throat and suffocates you to the point where you wheeze for air. No matter how hard you inhale you can’t seem to get anything inside of your lungs. It’s a feeling that constantly makes you worry. It nibbles on your insecurities and makes you lose your mind. You become tired and restless and your heart starts thrashing in your ribcage and you start sweating like crazy. All the energy you had in your body leaves you, making you feel so tired that you can’t even move. A deep slicing headache takes a hold of you. The pain is so bad that you’re willing to swallow as many pills as you can to make it go away.

The anxiety slowly leaves, and depression fills the void. Everything that once held meaning loses its purpose. Faith that once kept you in one peace starts to suffocate you, making you run around, gasping for air. You sit in one place like a statue staring into space because the wars in your mind are damaging you. You can’t fight the world because you’re losing a war with yourself. You lose faith and then slowly you lose every part of you that makes you human. All you want to do is lie down, curl into a ball, cover yourself and sleep. But even sleep gives up on you and you lay awake, trying to hold onto whatever excuse you can find to keep going.

Things that once made you happy, don’t bring a smile to your face anymore. Even the simplest tasks, like making breakfast seem like a burden. Getting out of bed seems useless.

Thoughts roam around in your mind, making you question the validity of your existence. You lose hope and at that moment everything just seems useless. That soft voice telling you to end it all takes over and you find yourself smiling to that thought. It brings an odd comfort.

Depression or anxiety is not easy to deal with. It’s like you’re drowning in an ocean and everyone else is drowning with you, but they can breathe, and you can’t. It’s like everything is on fire and no one seems hurt but you. It’s like everyone else is living in a parallel universe and no matter what you do, you can’t seem to escape.

Everyone has their way of dealing with anxiety. I write. I wrote a freaking poetry book to deal with my mental health. Curing my Venom. It’s based on the five stages of grief. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. But no matter what stage I’m on, I can’t seem to move on to acceptance. I always get dragged back. I don’t know what’s holding me, but I do know I have chains as thick as iron grasping my arms. And I’m suffocating.

Be gentle with people who have anxiety and depression or any other mental illness. They’re too busy fighting the demons in their minds that they can’t seem to fight you. Give them assurance. Constant assurance that things will be okay because sometimes the demons in their mind are so loud that they can’t hear you over the ruckus in their brain.

Why you held on for so long…

I’m doubting myself again
and I don’t know what to do
do I give up or do I pull myself through?

But the days are getting darker
and I don’t see the light
what’s the point of this crusade
when I can’t even fight?

The journey seems too long
and the mountains are too high
I’m sinking to the ground
yet I’m aiming for the sky.

I have wounds as thick as oceans
and bruises as dark as coal
how do I move ahead
when I don’t know where to go.

I don’t have a shield
or a cover above my head
I’m breathing and wheezing
but something in me is dead.

Don’t give up. Not now not ever.
remember why you held on for so long
doubt will only break you
but my love, I know you’re very strong.

Your wounds may be many
and you may be feeling down
but why are you afraid of falling
when you’ve risen from the ground.

Take a break
inhale. Victory is yours to kiss
I believe in you
I know you can do this.

Poetry book: Curing My Venom

Will it actually be okay?

“It’s okay.”
“It’ll be alright.”

Your lips are moving but your words aren’t reaching me. I’m trying so hard to grasp onto the letters spewing out of your mouth, but they slip from between my ears like sand does in a closed palm. I can’t comprehend what you’re saying. Don’t raise your voice, it’ll only make me deaf.

The words your chanting have stopped making sense to me and the demons rioting in my mind are taking control. They’re harsh words make more sense, then your sugar-coated lies. Those demons are so loud that I can hear them scream like they’re standing next to me.

“Nothing will ever be okay”
“Look at yourself. You’re all sorts of fucked-up…”

Yes!
I find myself agreeing and repeating those same words to myself, saying them over and over again in my mind. The vapor of hope, I was holding close to my chest, vanishes and I find myself being molested by despair. I cry and scream but no one seems to hear. And it feels as if everything coming out of my mouth is a sin. Maybe I deserve all this. Maybe I should be punished. I’m already ruined, I’ll ruin everyone else around me too. I feel like a weed growing among roses, which needs to be pulled out or it’ll ruin the beauty of everything else.

I’ve come to the point where I’ve stopped yelling at those voices in my head. I’ve stopped fighting them because, in the end, I’m the one who gets stabbed. I curl into a ball and pull the covers over myself in an attempt to hide, but I can’t seem to do that. The more I try to conceal myself the more visible I become.

No matter where I go, I can’t hide myself from me. I can’t run away from what I am. From what I don’t want to be. This self-inflicted war makes my chest tight and it aches so bad that even inhaling hurts. How can I fight the world, when the war I’m fighting is taking place in my head? How can I win, when the person I’m fighting is me?

It’s hard to see the good in things when you’re blinded by grief. It’s hard to be positive when you’ve grown up in negativity. But I guess that’s what life is. It’s a war and you’re a soldier. It’s a dictator and you’re a rebel and rebels don’t give up. Rebels never give up. You’re brave, not because you’ve always won but because you’ve chosen to rise after every fall. Warriors don’t give up. No matter how brutal the voices become, no matter how bloody the battlefield gets. You’re strong because you’re here, torn, messed up, broken. But you’re here and that’s all that matters.