I like the idea of him. The idea of attention and affection. Again, as I said, it’s been a while since I’ve met a guy who doesn’t bore me to death. But im bored and I know it’s the only reason im interested in keeping this friendship alive. He is interesting… There is something about hanging out with the wicked kids that is just so fascinating and thrilling. I like people who have problems, I like to fix problems even though im not that good at fixing the, but I like to help whenever I can. Do my unselfish deed of the day, you know. I know I should probably not post this but you guys know me, im not one to follow rules, but one of my ex lovers contacted me a few days ago. It was strange. I had dreamt about him just to wake up to a text message from him. Well, what did he want? First off, he was furious with me. Poor thing had just found the post I made about him and put two and two together. He didn’t like the idea of being the topic of one of my blog posts. See most guys don’t. They hate it. Main reason I lose guy friends is over this shit but again, my blog, my rules. They don’t like it, they don’t have to read it. Back to this guy, he was one of my summer boy toys. Not a very handsome man but had beautiful eyes and lashes and a good sense of humor so I kept him around for a while. I thought we had potential to be great friends, but he said I got too attached and I in return laughed in his face. It ended there. But then comes this post. A friend of him, a person I very much dislike, joked with him about being the guy in one of my posts. I didn’t share any names, I never do, I didn’t share any of his “secrets”, and I sure as hell didn’t share anything personal about him. Only my close group of friends knew whom the post was about because you know I gossip and shit. Point is, guy gets upset, makes a big fucking deal out of it and I’m just sitting there like “WTF man chill it’s just a stupid blog” and his response “yeah a stupid blog with over 35,000 views” and I got to admit I felt proud when he said that. So if he reads this post, and im not sure he will, but if he does, hey darling, how’s it been. Good hearing from you, and im not sorry for posting this Now back to studying economics!
“I’m yours toniiiiiiight” ugh that sounds too much, maybe I should say something less creepy and maybe not a song lyric. “Hm, so muna who is this new guy taking up your time” he asks me while we video chat on Sunday night. “He is just some guy” I say. “Some guy?” you don’t waste your time on just some guy!” I guess he knows me better than I thought. “Well, he is broken and my God you know I love broken things! But…” “But what? Let me guess, he isn’t your type or something of that stupid sort.” “No, no, he just reminds me too much of you know who. He is a writer you know!” “Well fucking great, another person to fuck with your head. Muna when will you learn to just give up on these good for nothing writers and musicians?” “But this time it will be different, I promise you darling, I know how not to get hurt, I’ve learnt my lesson, I promise you.”. “Muna, sunshine, babe, love, please let this one go for now. You know you are only wasting time because you are bored.” He is right you know. I am just wasting my time because im bored. It’s been a while since ive spoke to a man who doesn’t bore me to death. Plus, I guess he’s cute, but like my friend said, not my type. I’m sure for a fact I’m not his. I don’t think im anyone’s type unless I lose 40 pounds honestly. Yeah yeah I know here we go with that low self-esteem again, but it’s true. James tells me if it bothers me so much I should do something about it, and I will. I mean I am. But these stupid meds keep making me gain weight. AAAAH I hate it.
“You always do this Muna! Always. Make them think you like them. Make them feel special and loved. Then you get them hooked on your affection. Then you break them. It’s a pattern but in the end you are always the one who gets hurt!” Shit, he is right again. I over exaggerate how much I like someone because I’m a mellow dramatic person. I’ll over text, over call, over everything out of boredom I guess and I become their best friend. Then I lose interest. With this guy I lost interest the moment he told me he gets a high from making girls fall for him. I don’t play those stupid foolish games. I’m not 13 anymore. All this in return leads me to believe im not good enough for anyone because I’m needy and pathetic at times, and yes I know I could change a bit and “fix” my flaws but I promised myself I would always stay real to myself and changing for a guys affection is stupid. “ Plus, muna, you know these guys don’t care for you like your friends do. They are using you for either sex or attention.” “ haha you think I don’t know that? I also know for a fact this one is using me for the attention. He likes that someone out there somewhere is spending their time talking to him. But here’s the thing, im just bored and if I get to make one more broken person feel loved, why the fuck not?” “ Babe, sunshine, love, do you know how fucked up that is?” “yeah, yes, I do!
Now I’m sure you are wondering why I wrote this, why im sharing a personal thing on my blog and oh yeah he might see this, but that would require him to read my blog, which I don’t think he does anyways. So all is well!
He says he likes pretty girls and God likes pretty too. So where do I turn to? I woke up this morning feeling anxious and sad. Maybe it was the little sleep or the too much coffee but I was nauseous. It’s been 3 weeks, 21 days, since I last binged and purged and im not going to lie, the temptation is killing me slowly. I wish I had better genetics, I wish i was a better mate, I wish at times that im simply not me. Yeah yeah clichés and all, but sometimes myself hate is so strong it breaks my heart. See people have hurt me before, but no one has ever done anything compared to the damage I have done to my body and myself. I used to cut my wrists, you know, for the rush. I always liked a good high. You can barely see my scars on left wrist anymore. My god, im a mess. Im a tragic mess. I should be thankful for all that God has given me but I cant help but be sad sometimes, like now. But when I watch all of them fall in love and accomplish their dreams it makes me wonder what is wrong with me. I’m standing still. Is it their shrinking waistlines or their beautiful smiles that make them better than me? I was missed by Gods touch, I think. So what now? Do I give into temptation and purge every meal until im beautiful again or do I get the help I so much need. My god, at times like this I wish I were dead as to not deal with these emotions. The happier I get the worse off I become. These stupid meds aren’t working anymore, I think, and I haven’t seen my therapist in 2 weeks. But maybe it is him who makes me feel insecure, like im being lied to. Like im being manipulated into falling for him because it “gives him a high”. Im stronger than this. I know I am but im a fool at times.
His voice resonates in my memory, it sounds so sweet, so calming. I miss him sometimes. Not recently but sometimes. I spoke with one of the most fascinating people today, he’s great to say the very very least, but all I could think of how much his voice reminded me of yours. The way you have a slight accent, the way you say certain words, you know the way you speak. The depth of your voice and all that stuff. Gosh I couldn’t be more of a cliché, sitting here in the dark on my bed crying and writing this. I hate you so much. I really do. I really really do. How could one person cause another person so much pain? It’s so stupid and pathetic. I’m pathetic. I’m sorry, self-pity isn’t an attractive quality, but hey I’m filled with those so fuck it. Take it or leave it, right? I don’t think you read my blog anymore; you have better things to do. I know I shouldn’t still care. But you now what this month marks right? Remember what you offered to do for me just a year ago? I lost both of you. In one year. It’s more than a girl can handle. Im so sorry im such a mess. While looking for a picture of me and vedika I went through old files and all your pictures popped up and I couldn’t help but cry as I deleted them, something I should have done a while back. It’s just that I still had hope that one day we would be friends again. It seems like 2013 has been a year of loss for me. Ive been losing one person after the other. And here is the thing I give all of me to people. Everything I can offer. Anything. I just want to be loved back. Is that too much to ask for?
Like a flame erupting from a wood fire, I feel my insides displace themselves as I fall on the ground. I was fine just 10 minutes ago so what happened? Maybe it’s the lack of caffeine in my system or the fact that I hadn’t eaten anything in 24 hours, but something was definitely up. I sit in the coffee shop near campus not saying a word to anyone, looking aimlessly at the black screen of my laptop thinking, why do I need to go through this every time? It’s just really hard being me. I know we all say that but sometimes I think I mean it more than other people. Bipolar isn’t easy to live with, especially when you have rapid cycles. We all experience ups and downs but not like this. When you have bipolar, they are sharp ups and even sharper downs. Depending on how you cycle, it can look like a normal cosine graph, wide and spread out, or it can be the graph of someone who is about to go into cardiac arrest, very messy, very close to one another, very sharp. Im a rapid cycler, so my mood always looks like the cardiac arrest one, it is very unstable and fast paced. It’s almost so fast that I cant catch a breath sometimes.
It isn’t like im always sad. No, not even close. Just like the ying-yang, things need to balance out. For all the time I spend being depressed, I spend just as much time being “happy” but it isn’t any type of happy, it is out of this world, uncontrollable, so happy I could die kind of happy. It’s pretty scary stuff. Everything tastes sweet. Everyone seems like a friend and everything looks like a good idea. When im in this happy phase, I do things I later regret and I promise you, there are very few things worse than that of the feelings of regret and guilt. When in this phase, not many people can tell im having an episode. When im out at a bar, laughing dancing and smoking cigs, no one will stop to think “oh she’s not doing too well” and most people assume im just really hyper and happy. But usually that isn’t the case. I cant remember the last time I was just plain and flat happy without feeling this extreme overwhelming feeling inside my stomach and head. It’s miserable living like this not being able to control my own emotions. Because after this high comes a low. This low is scary and terrifying because no matter what anyone tells you or tries to convince you, you will always feel sad and alone.
I’m fortunate to have a great support system. When I feel that im coming down from a high, I call someone or talk to someone who means a lot to me. This puts things in perspective. I don’t want to cause harm or pain to those I love, so I don’t wan to put them through another shit show of an attempted suicide. To be honest, ive been thinking about death a lot lately. How great it would be to be reunited with the creator. God loves all his creatures and is bound to forgive someone who was suffering for taking their own life, right? I find myself daydreaming and contemplating my own death, death by my own hands. I think this time I’ll try to hang myself in the closet with a scarf. That’s poetic right?! I’ve also been having tons of nightmares where I find myself coming face to face with death and not blinking or moving an inch. I have enough faith and love for god to know that when it’s my time to go, I’m going to go. It’s a beautiful thing you know, to overcome the fear of dying. We are taught to fight for existence, so what happens when we break through that teaching and accept death as a part of living?
A friend of mine once told me that we are souls stuck in a body and that oneday we will be free to roam around body free. That got me thinking about what being a soul really means. What aspects of us are soul and what aspects is body? Are our personalities parts of the soul? If so, doesn’t genetics play a huge role in our personalities? If that is also true, doesn’t that mean it’s part of body, which will mean that soul is in fact part of our body. So does the soul even exist? Or is it just chemicals and neurotransmitters in the brain acting and reacting in certain ways? Okay so I’ll stop here. This post is getting to long.
With much love,
In a land not so far away, in the center and heart of Virginia is a city so beautiful and history rich that it can make anyone fall in love during any of the seasons. Charlottesville, Va was a college town I called home, on and off, for 2 years a half. In 2010, I moved back to the United States from Palestine after being away for 12 years and not visiting once. It was a huge change. A life changing change as some might say. It was life altering and the culture shock was immense. However, I had the privilege that not many people were granted, and that was I was on a full scholarship to one of the nations best schools, The University of Virginia and all that was asked of me was to keep a certain GPA, to enjoy college, and make the university a better, more well rounded place with my story and intellect. On August 17th, 2010, my journey at UVa began, starting with international orientation and moving into the all girls international dorm.
My first semester was difficult both socially and academically. I remember my first college party and I was so anxious that I had my friends walk me home at midnight. I felt out-of-place and like I didn’t belong at UVa. I wanted to go home back to my small hometown and back to my group of friends that knew me; I wanted to go back to my old life. In reality I knew that was impossible given that my parents worked their whole lives to get my sister and I into great schools so we can hopefully get the jobs we wanted one day. My sister, 2 years earlier, faced the same problems and difficulties at Duke University in Durham, NC when she was a first year there. If we didn’t decided to remain at each of our schools, our only option was to return to Palestine and enroll in university there, which to my parents would have been a huge disappointment. They had invested too much money into our education, sending us to the best private schools, and into us for my sister and I to go to a third-rate university and get third-rate jobs once we graduated. So it was basically impossible to even consider leaving UVa after my parents and I had worked really hard for me to get in.
The one positive thing that was going well for me at UVa first semester was that I had the opportunity to meet incredibly intelligent, intellectually stimulating, friendly people, who I have the honor of calling my good friends today. On move in day for the rest of the first years who were not international, I was helping my first year roommate, Maya, move in. while I waited for her and her parents to unpack I called my parents to check up on them and spoke to them in Arabic, when the best thing that had ever happened in my life happened. An older man, my next doors’ neighbor’s father, came up to me and asked where I was from. We got talking and he introduced me to his daughter, Reema Azar. We hit it off from the start. We spent the day together exploring UVa and it was set in stone from that day that we would be good friends. Now for those who know me, you know that Reema has been my lifeline at UVa. She has literally saved my life twice and has been my support my system from day one. Other gifts of people UVa has given me are Vedika, my first year best friend, and Rana, my first year RA. I remember walking home from psych 101 first year and having a conversation with Vedika about how the world works and we both came to appreciate that less than 2 months from that day we hadn’t known each other, yet now we are each others closest friends. We got on to talk about how we all came from different parts of the world ( her from India and me from Palestine) and yet we got along so well and how we had never imagined to meet people from such countries ever in our lives.
However with the good must come the bad, and towards my first semester at UVa I fell into a sever depressive episode that lasted way until mid summer of the following year. When spring came around, I rushed and joined a sorority, and found home at UVa. After my first withdrawal that semester from the university I went home back to Palestine for the summer. It was when I went home that I began to appreciate UVa and all that it has given me in the past year. I was a different person. I was growing up and maturing and despite the depression, I was a much happier person. I returned to UVa that fall for my second year, or second semester of my first year technically, and roomed with a lovely Jewish girl name Liz. I barely made it through the semester but I completed it regardless. That semester I met the guy I was later to fall in love with and that began. In the spring of 2012, I returned to UVa and I had fallen into another depressive episode. I encountered one of the many racist encounters at UVa where someone tried to pull off my headscarf in a bar. The university did nothing to help me. I attempted to take my life, or actually you can say I was screaming for help, by over dosing then I called Reema to come help me. My dean rushed to my side at the ER to make sure it wasn’t related to the event of racism I had encountered. This is where my relationship with UVa began to go down hill. They were more concerned about my suicide attempt “getting out” rather than how I was doing. UVa has an image it likes to keep and I appreciate that but it made me feel used and unappreciated as a human. I later took the semester off to fully recover. However I visited UVa once a month and got to see all my friends and sisters when I was in town.
That spring, my bipolar was also diagnosed and I began to seek treatment. I went home to Palestine that summer and returned to UVa that coming fall. What I did not know was that stress caused my mood swings to fluctuate. I was in a full-blown hypomanic episode for weeks and no one knew, even I didn’t know at the time. I got myself into trouble academically and socially. I didn’t go to classes and I partied all week-long. I got involved in activities that were morally questionable and dangerous, but when you are in a hypomanic state, everything seems like a good idea. I wish I would have known that before hand. By the end of the semester I had lost my scholarship at UVa and was headed towards another withdraw from the university. I feel back into a depressive episode and contemplated ending my life. This time the university told me to take time off for a longer time and reevaluate what I wanted out of 1- my life 2- out of college and let them know when I was ready to come back.
After taking 7 months off from school and UVa, I decided I was ready to return this past summer. My scholarship was being appealed and it was most likely going to be given back to me given that I completed my summer classes successfully. Once I got UVa, I fell back into old habits. I began to miss doses of my medication, mixing things with my medications, and just had healthy relationships. By early July, I was done. I couldn’t finish the SLI program I was in and I was ready to withdraw and take other classes in summer session III. My scholarship was approved and returned to me on the basis that I complete 9 credits over the summer. However, once I dropped the SLI program, I lost my scholarship once again. I stayed in Charlottesville until the end of July, not taking my medication, wasting time, and involving myself in self-destructive behavior. It was a really bad decision to go back in the summer but I did it anyway. It was my entire fault and I had no one else to blame.
Once I came home from UVa this summer, I feel into another depressive episode. My parents didn’t want me to waste anymore time so they had me enroll as a visiting student at university here in Greensboro. Last week, I spoke to my dean and she informed me that I could appeal to get my credits transferred to UVa despite having a low GPA and not many credits. So I appealed. Now, I said many times before that I was done with UVa and never going back but I always had the option of returning. Well, my appeal didn’t go through and I don’t have the opportunity to return again to the university I have called home. The doors to UVa are finally shut for good.
The doors to the Lawn and Academical Village are shut, the doors to being in a secret society and reading my fourth year testimonial during rush are shut, the doors to walking the lawn and having the honor to say “I have worn the honor of honors, I have graduated from Virginia” are shut. This makes me terribly sad and nostalgic for better days. It also makes me feel guilty. I was given a once in a lifetime opportunity and I blew it, but I need to accept that im never going to graduate from UVa and complete my undergrad degree from there. It is time to put UVa and all the sweet memories behind me and move forward. UVa gave me so much. It made me who I am today; it made me a better person, a better scholar, a better citizen of the world. UVa made me better. So to all my friends and readers, who are still at this great University, cherish the time you have and don’t let this opportunity pass you by. You where hand-picked to be at this school, so appreciate yourself and appreciate Mr. Jefferson’s University.
Once a wahoo always a wahoo at heart. Here is to you Dear Old UVa.
The morning after is always awkward for all those involved regardless of how many were there. I always feel ashamed after and I feel ashamed for reaching out and doing what I did. After an event like that, a major breakdown that is, I feel ashamed for reaching out to friends. For reaching out for help. For allowing myself to feel weak. I usually can’t face my friends for days until I get over how pathetic I must have seemed the night before. It’s been a stressful few days and I put my self in situations and positions that allowed others and myself to hurt me. I guess you can say I have a thing for pain, after all I do like things rough, it just keeps things interesting. For one of classes, I had to do research on a behavior I found to be deviant and instead of taking the easy way out and write about murder/suicide/drugs anything really, I chose to research heterosexual relationships and why girls might get “friend zoned” by a guy, something I know way to much of, and little more now that ive interviewed a large group of males and females. I started with wanting to just interview “nice guys” who actually turned out not to be so nice and just as shallow as many of the jerks I have encountered, so I expanded my research and data collection to old friends, old crushes, family friends, assholes, females, and old classmates. And not to my surprise the results where what I expected; if a guy doesn’t find a girl physically attractive, despite getting along with her and loving her, he wont date her. So what makes a girl attractive you might ask? Well that is a broad question but many of the common responses were: fit, athletic, pretty/cute face, motivated, not crazy (my personal favorite), and lets the guy be the Man in the relationship. (No I take that back, this is my favorite, of course)
So what happens when a girl isn’t: fit, athletic, pretty/cute, motivated and basically submissive? Is she destined to be alone forever? I would certainly hope not, and from what I’ve seen, even girls who don’t fit into those categories can still find someone to love them, but the quality of men they settle for and end up with is horrible. The guys are usually uninteresting, not very good looking, idiots at times, and lack ambition. This isn’t to say that this is true in every case, but is true in most of the cases I have examined. Another aspect that didn’t really surprise me was when I asked guys to list traits they found attractive, almost 80% of the time those traits where physical. When I asked about personality, the majority said that was a plus but not a given. To quote one guy, “ I’m not looking for a friend, I already have my guy friends for that, I’m looking for a mate, a partner. A fun exciting personally is a plus but not needed to have a great relationship.” On the other hand I had almost 20% of the guys I spoke to say personality is a must. To quote another guy, who happens to be a good friend, “I’m looking for my best friend. So if that girl/person happens to be my actual best friend at the time or a stranger I just met, I’m going to judge her based on her character. This isn’t to say looks are not important, some sexual attraction is needed to have a long lasting relationship.”
This project took a personal turn when I placed almost half of the guys, mostly the guys I haven’t seen in a while or have little connection to, in a hypothetical situation where I was the friend who liked them. I asked them to imagine such a scenario and what they would do any why. This is where I went wrong, I should not have made it personal for me but I seem to make stupid decisions most of the time and I was just curious to see what people thought of me. Point is I got 8 rejections from guys I didn’t find attractive boyfriend material. I got 2 “I’ll give it a shot”, and 1 “I would be honored” from guys I would never go for regardless. Main reasons for the rejections? 1- Attractiveness level. They just didn’t find me attractive or appealing physically. I was too fat, too tall, too white, or not pretty enough. 2- Not appealing personality wise. They didn’t find my openness and tendency to talk about my issues very publicly to be very attractive. They want no part in that.” Other flaws included my bipolar disorder and my tendency to move from one guy to the other. As for the guys who said, “I would give it a shot”, they found me attractive physically but had their restrictions about the blog and my openness.
Last thing, in my econ class last night I simply stated that my interviewing showed me and convinced me that guys are and will always be shallow. There was uproar. Some guys got really offended and others just nodded and agreed. Girls also got into the discussion and shared their views on this. Most of them were convinced they had never been friend zoned by a guy and that they do the friend zoning. This to me is bull-crap, and them being full of themselves. Because in reality we all can be placed in the friend zone by anyone, regardless of who we are.
So how does this relate to deviant behavior and sociology? Well that is what my paper aims to show and aims to relate. I will post the paper one I get it graded by my professor to see what everyone thinks.
Never has anything felt more personal, and never has anything felt more real. “stay strong” she tells me now that I’ve lost my support system and self dignity. Will he ever love me? Will they ever love? Will I ever love me again?
What do you do when someone screams out for help but is as silent as silent can be? I want him to save me. Im stupid im dumb to believe he even cares but im fighting for him, im fighting for hope im fighting because of hope and faith and I guess love or you can call it like.
Run, run, run, stop and breath. Fall to the ground and cry. Why did this all have to happen to me right now? I thought a break would help but it only gave me more time to think. More time to dwell. More time to hate myself.
Do you remember when I asked you to love me till the summer was done. Remember when you promised you will? Im sorry you left me alone. I liked you, I do, I mean I did. I guess.
She tells me she did nothing wrong and victims are never to blame but I did do something wrong. Both times, I put myself there and I am to blame. Sorry mind, body and soul for putting you through that, just trust me, never again.
Today was okay I guess. I survived it, right? It’s happening again. I’m falling for someone again. And just like the first time around I don’t know anything about this guy but I want to. i really really do. He is beautiful in every aspect. He is a catch, as they would say. He is simply mesmerizing in my insignificant opinion. I think he noticed me that one night at the bar but who knows. I tried looking for him when I realized he was there but couldn’t find him, and maybe it’s a good thing I didn’t because I would have messed it up like I always do. Why does this always happen this way. Why cant I like the guys who like me or notice me or want me? Plus, he isn’t Arab or Muslim so I don’t know how or what im getting myself into. My parents will never approve and I just want to spend the rest of my time getting to know him and observing and enjoying him.
So today I dyed my hair black. Blue black. I like it. I match with larry boo, my cat. It’s cute. I spent the day working on finding an internship for the summer id Summer at Sea doesn’t fall through. I also had a nice long talk with Jyo. That guy makes me so happy. Just being able to talk to someone and not having any tension of the sexual sort exist is nice. Only a few of my friends make me feel appreciated and that makes me sad. Really sad actually. I deactivated my facebook for a while to try and detoxify my life of social media and it’s been hard. To my surprise many took notice and asked where I went but few actually went the extra mile to ask why. Feeling appreciated is nice, it is comforting.
As for my new guy, I need advice on how to handle this situation. He will be moving to city next year and we aren’t even at the same school anymore and its confusing.
Words, as harsh as they can be, can also heal any open wound if we allow them to. “you are beautiful regardless of what they say” she whispers in my year near the balcony at the Irish pub. She hugs me tight and tells me to stay strong. I am her inspiration, kind of like a love song. See, I know I can aspire to inspire but to actually hear someone say that I inspire them to be better makes all the difference in my life. They all know what im facing and look at me with pity. I’m a borderline alcoholic with too much alcohol in her system. Im mixing toxins and engaging in unprotected sex and all for what? To feel alive? To feel good? To feel beautiful? These men feed of my insecurities and I feed off their fake affection. We feed each other’s egos’ with sex and cigarettes. I don’t know how to act if I don’t feel wanted. I only know how to exist when I am wanted. Girls like me are hardly ever wanted, you know. I’m used up and sad and drunk and perpetually waiting by the phone for someone to pick up and tell me that I did good. but I didn’t do good. I failed at this, and failed at that and feel victim to this and fell victim to that. And all for what, to feel alive, free and liberated? I feel humiliated and ashamed. That jerk Turkish guy had the nerve to look me straight in the eye and push me away like I was some piece of garbage he had already used. Or that other guy who found it funny to insult my weight because as he put it “if your going to act like a man, you better take it like a man” so there wasn’t any room for me to feel sensitive. All I wanted and all I still want is for someone to help me out and stand and sleep by my side regardless. But I guess I cant have that until I learn to love and respect myself. To feel comfortable in my own skin. I need to go on a journey of self-discovery. And that journey starts tonight.
It’s time to close the books on this place. Walk away and never look back. All my fallen lovers and friends will resonate in my memory like the sweet sound of humming birds. Where does your journey begin? Because mine starts here! It starts with taking the first few steps or taking the first step to be precise. My first step is letting go. There isn’t a recipe for success just like there isn’t a recipe for disaster, so take a deep breath and hold on tight, because life is one hell of a ride.
How do we move on from the things we hold dear in our hearts? For me, I’m still learning this trait. Here is a little story for you. This past weekend I visited the University of Virginia, my first home away from home, my first college, a place where I had almost my first everything. It was an exciting weekend seeing old friends and sorority sisters, but it was also a very emotional weekend. I was humiliated and insulted by many old acquaintances and friends, I felt reject and ignored by a few others, and lastly, I dealt with a personal loss of self-respect. However, though all of this I still managed to put on a smile, hug people good-bye, and wish them nothing but the best. I thought all was fine until the night I got home. The weekend began to sink in and what had just happened to me began to surface. At this moment in time, a place I once called home has become a hellhole were I felt unwelcomed and uninvited. How could that be? How can a place I hold so dearly to my heart turn into something so ugly in my mind? Oh dear old UVa, how did you turn into this mess in my head?
I began to relive the horror of the weekend in my therapist’s office. “He said what to you?” she asked when I told her about my friend’s boyfriend. “He did what to you?” she asked when I told her about the douche frat boy. She was exhausted listing to me talk about the weekend and told me “ No wonder you are tired! You have been through more humiliation and trauma than people deal with in 4 years but within 4 days. She got up and gave me a hug, told me I was in no shape of form to be taking exams, and that I needed to rest. She made me promise never to return to visit that place ever again. Can I keep this promise, I don’t know. I hope so. So this is where my new journey begins. I finally submitted the rest of my college applications. Next semester I am going to be in a new school putting UVa and everyone at UVa behind me. It’s time for a fresh start not but not a clean slate. I will forever hold the memory of UVa and the girl I was at UVa with me. Who I am today might not be the greatest person, but I know this person will one day contribute to my success.
She whispers in my ear “you are worthless and useless. Just let it out let it all go!” I believe her and I do. Why does she always control me? I thought this phase of my life was over and gone with. I spent too many hours recovering for it just to start over again. I have no one to blame but myself for this mess im in. I’m trying so hard to stay strong but I just cant fight her anymore. The urges. The need to binge and purge. The euphoric after taste and feeling. Im still struggling with bulimia and as hard as it is to write and talk about this, I think if I don’t get help now it will consume me, all of me. It will destroy my mind and body from the inside out. This is why I hate it when people take it upon themselves to comment on others’ weight. See, one of my medications has weight gain as a major side effect and at first I thought I could control it with regular exercise but I couldn’t. I have gained 40 pounds since February and it’s unhealthy. My parents and family have been criticizing me none stop for months, pushing my buttons, and even when I was comfortable with my body and proud of my curves, they took offense to it. Even my peers took offense, like how can I be okay with being fat? I even had someone tell me if I was going to do the things I do I needed to have a good body because no one likes a fat girl.
See, it’s not that I don’t work out, I do, a lot actually. I go for hour-long speed walks, do half and hour cardio and half an hour dancing almost daily at home and go to the gym when I can. But I can’t stop eating because of this stupid medication. So I turned to the only thing I knew, bulimia. I binge because of the emptiness in my life along with the side effects of meds, and I purge to take control and not gain any more weight. See, I know how it works; it two weeks i’ll be 20 pounds lighter, and everyone will start commenting on how “healthy” I look not knowing that I’ve been really running on an almost empty stomach for weeks, putting my body through hell, forcing my body to do the opposite of what it was created to do. In 6 months ill be down to where I was last year and the year before or maybe even lower, and everyone will love it. Tell me I look great, maybe that I still need to lose a few pounds off here and a little off there, but they will love me for sure because no one likes a fat girl.
It’s really difficult to live like this; day in and day out trying to impress everyone and to make him or her happy. I tried the whole not giving a fuck but people don’t let you just not care. They put it on themselves to force you to give a fuck., whither it be your family or friends or even strangers. It is like it was written in the stars that thinner is better, buffer is better and if you aren’t thin of buff you are worthless. So she continues to whisper in my ear as I eat my dinner “ you are worthless, you are useless, and remember, no one likes a fat girl!”
- 10 Things Having Bulimia Has Taught Me (thoughtcatalog.com)
Hmm, well this challenge has been a hard one. I’m not one to commit so as per usual I haven’t committed to this challenge but I’m trying. Something I’d like to change about myself is to stop feeling sorry for myself. It can be and is pretty pathetic. About two weeks ago, I was up in DC visiting my cousin and we went to a concert. During the concert the whole time all I can think of is why cant anyone love me the way these artists love the girls they write these songs about. Instead of enjoying the show I found myself putting myself down and feeling sorry for myself. Why me and why not me and all those stupid questions. I wish I didn’t ask those questions. I honestly wish I were more proactive about changing my life and how I see things. See this is what therapy is for, and I’ve been working really hard with my therapist on spotting the rot of my problems, you know like daddy issues and self esteem issues. But I’m not working hard enough, I think. Ahh see I cant make up my mind. Im unsure of so many things and I cant seem to make a decision without questioning it.
Point is, I know no one will love me like a love song, but feeling sorry for myself because of that is dumb. Time to get over it.
As my per usual therapy session every Wednesday, I arrive late to her office. This week I know what I want to talk about and I have a set of issues I need to get off my mind. See, i’m the type of person who likes to know why. Why did X do Y? Why did Y let X do Z? and etc. I like to know, I need to know, and I want to know. Along with my persistent personality, as you can imagine, this can lead to a disastrous annoying mix. I do not let things go until I know WHY!
I walk into her office calmly. I sit down on the blue couch, take a deep breath and open my eyes to see her staring back at me. I look her dead in the eye and ask: “why do they always leave?” She giggles at how intensely I just asked that. “what do you mean, or who do you mean? So I begin to talk about all my fallen ex friends and lovers and I go on and on and on about how X left me after I told him about situation Y, and how Z said I lied to him about liking him, and how I never really liked that other guy but now he has a girlfriend and I’m kind of upset. WHY DO THEY ALWAYS LEAVE? Why god why? It seems to be a pattern in my life, people leaving, and ive mentioned this before in other posts, but this week ive been feeling it intensely. I feel the emptiness that fills my life. I feel the loneliness that occupies my time. I taste the bitterness of rejection. She tells me some people cant handle the truth, and im way too honest for my own good. Great, another flaw.
This year has been tough. A few weeks ago I go an anon email asking why I don’t trust people and here I am answering and explaining why. At times I feel like I trust people way too much, I open up to them easily if they show me the slights bit of love or interest. I open myself up, I let my guard down and I let people in. spoiler alert, it never ends well. The reason I have an issue letting people in is because almost 75% of people I considered good friends turned their backs when I needed them most. They left me on the edge even sometimes fighting for my life, and they did not hesitate to look back once or try to help. I’ve lost almost half the people I loved and cared for, I mean truly cared for. It’s in part my fault for being naïve and assuming people want what is best and not acknowledging people all have their own agenda.
I don’t want to go into specifics because it seems every time I do go into specifics I lose someone else and honestly I cant afford to lose anyone out of my life right now. For those who have been keeping up with my blog from the beginning, you know of the friends ive made and the ones I lost. If you happen to be part of my life you might even know who these guys and girls are. So for my own sake I wont share anymore stories about specific people. Im done sharing. My best friend always tells me not to ever let anyone see me frown because that shows weakness. Maybe he is right.
“Fall to the floor, don’t raise your head” my mother whispered at 3 am one December night after the first few bombs fell over my city. She wanted us to keep our heads down and not make a sound; she didn’t want us to become targets, it seemed as though they would shoot at anything that moved.
In 2001, the second Palestinian Uprising began. I remember being driven home from school, getting on to the main street of the city, and seeing kids not much older than myself go bravely into battle armed with stones aimed against rubber bullets and tanks.
This time it was 4 am, and my mother woke my sister and I up from our sleep to show us to the soldiers who demanded that she wake us. Shortly after, these soldiers locked my family in one of our bedrooms. Over 75 soldiers, 3 tanks, and numerous jeeps took over our property. We were kept in this room for 3 days, with limited food and water – there was additional stress in this situation due to my father’s uncontrolled diabetes.
If you weren’t male, you didn’t matter. Your voice didn’t matter, your opinion didn’t matter, your health didn’t matter, your wellbeing didn’t matter, and you didn’t matter.
Within traditional Arab families and society, females are perceived as property owned by the males in their lives, whether it be their father, brother, husband or even their own sons. In short, within these families, women were essentially born to serve men.
As I child, I realized that I was different than other females around me, I believed that I didn’t belong to anyone but God. This was further emphasized as I began my journey into womanhood; it was a time where my life began to change both biologically and philosophically.
“Oh you can’t talk to them, they are boys, what will people say? Who will want to marry you if you aren’t pure? Don’t you dare do something to shame the family name!”
My God, if I had a dollar for every time I heard one of those lines, I could start my own NGO (something I plan to do)! Back then, all I had to fight with was my voice. I began to speak up and fight for women’s rights. When I transferred to a different high school and entered my first co-ed school, my life changed furthermore. I now faced with questions I hadn’t put much thought into before, beginning with the issue of clothing. I knew if I wore the tight pants and curved button down, I would feel that I was giving in to what men wanted. If I dressed in an oversized uniform, I was portraying the notion that Muslim women did not have the right to dress in a way that expressed their identities and personalities. I was stuck, so I decided to conduct my own form of sociological research. My ‘data’ was both interesting yet predictable. When I wore the over sized clothing, I was perceived as the oppressed Muslim girl in a liberal Quaker school. When I wore the skinny pants and button down, I was perceived as an attractive distraction to boys and not a someone who lived according to their religion.
I learned that it is impossible to dress or live only for ourselves. Ideology, media, family, and schools all influence us and in some cases coerce us into conforming. Looking back now, I see that this was truly the start of my path towards feminism. In my world of Quaker school, Muslim family and Palestinian roots, in addition to the daily Israeli oppression, I slowly began to feel that life was overwhelming. It was around this time my battle with bulimia began, and was intensified as I continued to search for different meanings of self and identity.
In the fall of 2010, I began my first semester at college. At the beginning of my second year, I quickly learned that my new roommate was a pro-Israeli Jewish girl named Liz. Initially, I was worried about this and I took a step back to think of the chances that out of the entire student population at UVA, one of the two Palestinian students would get a chance to room with someone I would have otherwise not met or gotten to know. I slowly comforted my thoughts and worries by thinking of the value an experience could have on my education, my life, and my view on personal and sensitive issues. I wasn’t disappointed. Until then, I had allowed stereotypes and preconceived conceptions cloud my judgment. At first, there was some tension, mainly due to the fact that I perceived myself as the victim of occupation and Liz perceiving “her people” as victims of life. As Liz and I got to know each other, and began to share stories, we began to understand why we couldn’t truly walk in each other’s shoes when it came to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict – I had lived through it while she read and learned about it through media outlets. We came to agree that the Palestinian- Israeli conflict had been my life whereas for her, it was a political statement. In a few months, I began to realize that my voice and my stories could bring change, both for me and for others.
Soon after I began to see things this way, I began to speak up about my experience as a Palestinian to almost anyone who was interested. I spoke at events, I had coffee-dates with strangers, and I spoke with my professors. I also began to speak up in situations where I would not have in the past. These proactive steps increased my willingness to share and to care. The family I come from is very “hush-hush”, a culture where no one discusses war, occupation, mental illness (or illness in general), or sex openly, not even with my family members. To speak up was out of the ordinary. I slowly began to use my voice to vocalize my struggles as a Muslim Palestinian female to other students, becoming an activist by telling my story.
“Please ask mom to take you to the ER, Muna, PLEASE” pleaded my sister on the phone after I had taken over 50 pills to try and end my life for the second time. As I spoke to my sister on the phone I began to calculate the value of my life. Do I help people? Maybe. Do I care for people more than I care for myself? Yes. Do people care for me? That one was a hard one to answer but having someone beg me to save my own life gave me hope that maybe the answer might be yes to that one too. I ended up in the ER that night and was then sent to a behavioral center for a few days. My doctors knew I needed to be on a mood stabilizer that eliminated my hypomania, which they believed caused theses depressive episodes. So that is exactly what they did. They kept me for observation for a few days and I began to see the difference in myself. For the first time in a while, I began to clearly see the answers to the questions I had once asked myself. For the first time ever, I began to heal.
In February of 2012, after withdrawing from the University of Virginia for the 2nd time, my parents, my deans, and my sister urged me to see someone to talk to, so I did. I began seeing a therapist and psychiatrist on a regular basis. In the sweet month of March of that same year, I was diagnosed with Bipolar II disorder. I sill remember the day my therapist asked me if I thought I was bipolar and I remember answering “do I look crazy to you?” I guess the joke was on me. A few weeks after having this conversation, I began experiencing intense and rapid mood swings. The best was to describe these mood swings is like you are on a bike ride and the weather is nice. You enter a forest and things are great, you can smell something sweet and you want to follow that smell, so you do. You cycle as fast as you can to reach that sweet smell’s origin, but instead you get pulled deeper in the forest and it begins to rain and pour and you notice that you are lost, out of breath and it is getting dark, too dark to see. Living with Bipolar II is a bike ride switching from pretty summer sweet scented weather to cold winter scary dark weather. It is a constant ride. Describing my illness in such a way wasn’t always the case – it is truly something I have come to learn. I found that putting my disorder into words and metaphors helped me better understand my disorder, accept the help I needed, and continue living. It also re-emphasized the ways that stories change lives. It was at this point when I found that I had a passion and a calling.
In May of 2012, I decided to enter the world of blogging. I began with Tumblr then moved to WordPress. I used these to tell my friends and family that I have been dealing with severe depression for the past 2 years and the effects this had on me, academically, mentally, and emotionally. I made a promise to myself to not hold anything back and speak my mind. I was determined to use the most crucial thing I had – my voice – to bring light to the things that are important to me. I wanted to bring change to my life and those around me. So I began to write and almost a year, 350 posts, 3 blogs, and over a total of 80,000 views later, my life has changed 180 degrees.
As I began to write and share my story with over 1300 followers on Facebook, Tumblr, and WordPress, people began to take notice. I began receiving emails from friends and fellow peers explaining to me that they were experiencing something similar, that they had experienced something like this in the past, and to thank me for sharing with them and helping them so the same. I slowly began receiving similar messages from people I did not know. I wrote about life as a Palestinian and shared my stories with the world. I spoke up about issues Muslim women face in the modern world. I shared what it is like to be a liberal feminist at a Southern school and what it was like to live with a mental illness and the ups and downs that came with this. I began to tell others of the other disorders I have dealt with, like eating disorders, and I began to speak up about issues that didn’t directly affect me but I cared for. I began to make the best use of the greatest thing I was ever given, my voice.
The writing helped me heal, and gave me a voice. During this time, I discovered a new way to communicate and one that I love and wish to pursue. I began a photo blog and created themed photo-shoots that represented issues young adults could face in college. I also began a fashion blog for the modern Muslim woman. This all helped me grow as a person. What helps me to continue to grow and heal however are the reactions I have received from my fellow peers and followers. In our world of social media, I believe that my ability to combine text and photographs in a way that can help others heal.
This realization started the night I posted my first post; a fellow UVa student messaged me informing me he was dealing with the same emotions I was and he was very thankful to hear someone speak up about it because he never could. He now had a voice, and he had someone to talk to, and I made a new friend. This past January, after sharing that I was dealing with Bipolar II, I received an anonymous email from a follower to thank me for sharing but to also help her share her story. This follower’s sister took her own life in 2010 and left nothing behind to explain the reasons why. After her sister’s death, this follower was informed that her sister had bipolar II disorder but could find no one to talk to or understand. She went on to inform me that she had dedicated her life to help the mentally ill and was learning how to live with her own diagnosis of bipolar. Below is a line from the message she sent me.
“Every time I receive an email notification that you have posted something I smile because I know you didn’t kill yourself. I wish my sister were as strong as you are. Maybe she would have been alive today receiving e-mails from strangers thanking her.”
It gave me hope on my hopeless days and made me believe that maybe I was helping others cope with their own loss. I shared her story on my blog and Facebook page and the response was overwhelming! People were no longer holding back and they began to email me and inform me of their own personal issues and saw me as a friend and someone to reach out to.
This February, a day after I was released from the behavioral center, a rape victim also contacted me. She was a fellow UVa student who found my blog through Google. She wrote me to thank me for changing how she felt and saving her life through my own strength. Through my blog, she found the strength to tell more and more people about what she had been through. I have come to see what many mean when they say that by helping others we help ourselves.
I have lived through many battles in my life but I have emerged stronger and more tolerant and understanding of others and myself. I now have the creativity and drive to seek a place that will nurture my talents. I believe that my future will be filled with greater light and a greater sense of awareness of the talents I have to offer. I think the stories I will get a chance to share about life will be inspirational, artistic, and above all, life affirming. I hope that you feel the same.
Im sitting here trying to study for my philosophy exam and friend sends me a link to your new song. Stupidly, I decide to listen to it since I still do believe you are talented regardless of how I feel about you. It’s ok, I’ve heard better. That same friend gives me an update on you without me asking and not to my surprise I don’t give a fuck how you are doing. You probably think this is another post about me not being over the petty friendship we had, and honestly it’s not. And it isn’t a post about how im “so over you”. This is just me writing my thoughts. I spent most of the day listening to Jeff Buckley and that took me back to the summer we became friends. I listened to him because I saw that you liked him. Im such a loser sometimes. Looking back it’s been one hell of a year and im scared that fall time will always remind me of you. The idea of always being reminded of you scares me. It scares me because I remember what it feels like to lose not because I lost you but because I lost, period. Joke was on me, and will always be. It isn’t fair that I have to remember things I don’t want to. And im good at letting things go, I think, but I cant I just cant let go of your memory and it’s pathetic. My emotional instability doesn’t help me with this whole ordeal. I know I shouldn’t post this but I still will. Sorry.
Excuse me while I speak my mind. Im not going to censor my thoughts or words because it makes someone feel uncomfortable. This isn’t to say that I don’t appreciate you as a fellow human and moral being, it just means that im not going to change my way of thinking because it doens’t fit into your conformity box. Wouldn’t you like it if I was just like everyone else. Don’t you wish I was shy, happy, stable and un-opinionated? Wouldn’t it be better if people like me don’t exist. People who don’t conform, you know, the troublemakers? Tell me, why does it bother people so much that I don’t follow rules. I have my own set of rules and those are the lack of rules. Why is that a problem? Wouldn’t you like it if I rolled over and took it like a “girl”. Yeah, you would like it if I was weak, not in the emotional sense but in the confidence sense. Actually, no do not excuse me while I speak my mind. I couldn’t care less if my words and thoughts don’t suit everyone. If you really have a problem with how I think, please help your self and do not read this blog and eliminate yourself from my life. Thank you.
Be around people who inspire you. Befriend those who make you want to be the best person you can be. I need to take my own advice sometimes because I choose friends for all the wrong reasons, but luckily for me, all my friends have been great selections and choices. I think know I’m the friend your parents warn you about; the friend that will have you taking tequila shots and table dancing or put you in situations that will test not only your morals and beliefs but also your patience. Im a bad influence and I know it. I’m nothing but trouble and I bet you, if you get involved in my life your bound to run into trouble because that is just how I am. I have strong opinions on things and I speak my mind. Not many people are fond of me, and that will make them less fond of you if you’re my friend. I get it. People who have entered my life like to distance themselves after they have been in it for a while, either because they see i’m nothing but trouble or because they don’t understand me. Does that make them bad people for leaving my life? Maybe. But I get why they do it. Not everyone is attracted to “broken” things like I am.
You should surround yourself with people who inspire the good in you not the deviant. Be around people who make you smile. Be around people who add positive energy not negative. If you feel someone is putting your morals to the test, just leave. You don’t need to have to deal with such things. Yes, it’s easier said than done, I know, and when you have people in your life that you just don’t know what to do with them, the best thing is to let them go. People, including myself, that test other people and push them to their limits need to change their behavior rather than needing others to adjust to their behavior. Does that make sense? Here is an example; lets say XX seduced her then best friend, XY, into sleeping with her even though XY really was not into her and had a “no sex with friends” policy. Well, XX then gets pregnant and decides to get an abortion. However, XY being pro-life doesn’t think she should but he knows she needs to for both of their sakes. See, in this example, the correct thing to do was not to feed into XX’s manipulations and schemes. XY should have stood up to her and resist her no matter how hard it might have been, no pun intended. I know for a fact that my friends give into my bullshit all the time and only a select few have the power to tell me no and my respect for those select few is very high.
Point is, don’t put up with people’s BS if you don’t want t because you simply don’t have to. To my friends who put up with me, thank you, I know I can be a lot to handle.
Im numb. No im not numb, I do feel. I feel one thing and one thing only: Anger. Im pissed off. I want to bash a head into a door so i bash my own. I want to slap a face across the face so I slap my own. I want to yell at someone so I yell at myself for being pathetic, for failing, for not getting into that program or this school. Im upset so I’ll throw my phone across the car to try to break the windshield but it hits the passenger seat instead. Now im furious so ill cry until it all feels numb again. These sever mood swings aren’t sweet. It’s not like the movies, it doesn’t end once the director screams cut. This is my life. Everyday, day in and day out. I buy a pack of cigarettes and I smoke one by one as I sip on my coffee, but it’s not the same without the conversation. It wasn’t the nicotine I liked but the company I had when I was with you. You? Who are you? Not you, I know your reading, but all the yous I have shared cigarettes with. Im not making much sense am I ? I know im not because it doesn’t make any sense to me right now. So ill just sit here smoking on my own and sipping my too bitter coffee while you go do what you need to do. Im not alone in this. We all suffer some sort of loss.
I have many dreams and aspirations, but one dream and aspiration I have, and the dream im going to focus this post on, is to truly feel loved by someone in an affectionate way.
It’s no secret that I haven’t been the most successful when it comes to love and relationships. I’ve been heartbroken for the most part of the past year, and jealous and bitter for the other part of it. I’ve made posts before about love and what I expect out of a guy and a relationship (I attached the links to those at the bottom of this post) and honestly my wants haven’t changed and as I mentioned before I wont settle for anything less than what I want. It’s not like im asking for much. I don’t want the prince charming with the perfect smile, hair and face. I don’t want the night and shining armor to come save and swift me off my feet. No I’m looking for my soul mate, someone who can taste my pain through my tears and find me beautiful when I’m breaking shit in the middle of a manic episode. One thing has changed though, I am much more open to dating outside my race and religion now versus before. Just from experience I know it is going to be close to impossible to find an Arab Muslim male that will appreciate a woman like me and respect me despite all that I have been through, and that’s okay, Arab men like the submissive type, and Yes I am stereotyping because I haven’t meet one Arab guy who doesn’t like some type of control. On the other hand, one of the few Men who have made me feel special was a total stranger at Foxfield who appreciated that I did things my way and didn’t care about others. He was white, middle class American. Yes I’m surprised as well!
Anywho, achieving my dream; if I found my soulmate I don’t know how I will react, hopefully I will be smart and sane enough to keep them around before shutting them down completely. I know I will be more at ease with my body and my self-image if I found the person who is going to love me despite the marks and scars. In return, that will increase my confidence, and help me achieving other bigger dreams I have, like saving the world. Until that person shows up in my life, I’ll just need to learn how to love myself in all my forms and moods.
Sending much love your way,
So what does it feel like or look like when someone is having a depressive episode? I tried to capture the emotions and pain felt during a depressive episode in this video. However, it doesn’t come close to how it really feels but I hope you can feel some of the emotions and pain I was feeling. This isn’t to bring you down but to help you better understand. If people truly understood what it feels like to be in a depressive state of mind, there would not be a stigma surrounding mental illness. Watch in full screen to get the full experience.
As one of my favorite songs go, “a coma might feel better than this, attempting to discover where to begin” I’m lost for words and don’t how to start this. Im tired as hell. I missed classes today to sleep. I spent all of yesterday recovering from the overdose. Mom and dad didn’t want to send me to the emergency room so they wont send me to behavioral health. The idea of that place gives me a stomach pain. The people, the nurses, the food, those damn yellow walls! So what happened? How am I still alive? I wrote my suicide letter explaining why I did what I did and I had it set to be posted 8 hours after I took the pills, with the intention of being dead by then. Obviously I miscalculated how many pills I really needed to kill me, because at 8:50am my parents began getting phone calls from concerned friends, starting with Reema informing them of what I have done. Mother rushed to wake me up to my disappointment I was still alive. Mom shook me to wake up and gave me an earful about how this shit needs to stop. I don’t remember mush of what happened after that. My mother forced to me make myself throw up to get red of any undigested pills, I do remember that. I remember waking up at 6:14pm and checked my email and facebook just to find that I have already removed the post of facebook. I had many messages in my inbox from people who were concerned. Didn’t have the strength to read them till this morning. I had tons of messages in my email inbox from readers all over the world reaching out to me. People were showing me a lot of love but I still felt cold inside, kind of empty and disappointed.
I woke up this morning feeling like crap from all the physical pain. I hate this feeling. The feeling after a major breakdown, where your body wishes it were dead, where your mind has given up on thinking, where your heart has given up on living. It isn’t a great place to be. Im still in the mindset and to tell you the truth I wish I was successful at taking my own life. I don’t regret taking the pills and attempting but I do regret making it through, but it isn’t like I had a choice. See, living with bipolar disorder isn’t easy. It doesn’t go away like a cold or flu or anything that you can treat. You need to live with this for the rest of your life plus being medicated plus therapy. Im already super sensitive and emotional and on top of all that im emotions are exaggerated by the disorder. I feel things 10x more than a healthy person would feel things. When im sad, im REALLY fucking sad. When I’m happy, im REALLY happy. There is no stability, nothing. And im going through a rough time right now, so shits all over the place and I don’t have the energy to solve my own problems. I act out to not feel too sad or too happy. To try and fight these over exaggerated emotions.
Point is, I made it through and now im recovering from the overdose but that doesn’t mean im doing any better.
Just now, I received this as an anon message and I really want to thank who ever took the time to write this and send it. I don’t remember who you are, but i’d like to know who you are. It’s silly but it put a smile on my face. So thank you, anon love letter writer.
“Dear precious MRS,
You might think I do not notice you. You might think that this summer was the first time I saw you. You might think I don’t follow and keep up with your life but I do. I have had an infatuation with you since I saw you two years ago at Sky Bar in downtown Charlottesville. Do you remember me now? I was with my girlfriend then and all I could think about was how much I wanted to get to know you. You are so special and unique to the extent you do not know how important you are to everyone in your life. This summer you told me you had a thing for broken men but I am too much of an asshole to show you how broken I really am. Do you remember me now? I read every post, every comment, and every word you write so I can feel closer to you. Sometimes I feel like you are speaking straight at me but I know you probably don’t care for me half as much as I care for you. I am not going to sit here and write about your beauty or the way your lips look when they part for you to speak, but I do want you to know that your beauty is infatuating. You complain that no man could ever love you but here I am madly in love with you. I know I can’t be alone in this. You don’t think much of yourself because all that you have done with other men, but to me it means nothing. I understand you were hurting and needed love. We never had a chance to be something more but in another life I know you would have been the one. “
Last week a stranger added me on facebook so I hesitated to accept the request. The girl who added me Alia, inboxed me and sharing her story. She was looking for advice from me as she was a firm follower of my blog. Her dilemma? She was a Muslim Woman from Bangladish who has fallen in love with a Non-muslim male. She asked me what to do: either to defy her parents,religion, and society and marry this guy, or live the rest of her life in love with a man she loved but couldn’t marry because she wasnt going to marry anyone but him.
See, I don’t know much about falling for non muslims or non arabs so I asked an old friend who I knew from the all girls school I went to in Palestine what she thought since she had recently gotten engaged to the love of her life, a white american male. In return she wrote this letter to my newly found Bangladeshi friend, Alia. I hope this can help other muslim females looking for answers. And it reads:
“I would love to give you my advice. I will direct this you, fellow muslim sisters . First here is my little warning .I speak from experience when I say this but no matter how many people I asked for advice the response was always the same, always encouraging and yet it never was enough. It took years, I thought about it frequently and I was still depressed and confused. However, I did a few things that helped me make a decision that I am proud of. This is the advice I will give you, I will not tell you what I think is right or wrong. This has nothing to do with good vs. bad, haram vs. halal. I will give you some facts to hold on to that I have learned and believe very strongly, these facts are like my bible they keep me alive and restore my faith in life and the universe.
Fact # 1: Your mother and father love you unconditionally! This is the most important fact, if you forget it guilt and pain will eat you alive.
Fact # 2: Humans has a huge capacity for love. You could fall in love with almost any individual who opens up to you. I say this for two reasons (1) you could easily turn your back on this person even if it hurts the both of you, but you will find love again (2) you obviously have nothing against non-muslims otherwise you would not have opened your heart to this person.
Fact # 3: If a Muslim man can marry a non-muslim woman, then the reverse is also acceptable. Why? This concept was designed in patriarchal society, a society where marriage was more of an economic (this way a woman had a secured provider and a man could have a legacy) than a thing about love. Muslim aren’t the only ones who value this tradition Jews and Christians do to although these religions have been more flexible to change! So how does it make sense to follow this rule in a present day where women can provide for themselves and have a more dominant role in running the household. My love and I have equal roles we make decisions together, if I wanted my kids to be Muslim then he says good as long as he has the right to believe what he believes. So why should I turn my back on such a beautiful man?
Fact # 4: Be the change you wish to see in the world. One day I was on the phone with my mother. At this point she knew there was an American man in my life. She said “Nadia, people dont do this, people will talk” I said “things are changing mama, if more people did it, it would be more acceptable, if it were more acceptable you wont be ashamed of me and hurt”. That when I learned the true meaning of this quote. Yes I love my fiance‘, but do I seriously want to marry an arab man because I was told that is my only option? do I want to bring my children into a world where women have limited life opportunities because of their gender? No way!
Fact # 5: Live by your own rules. Early on in college before I met my fiance’ I had identity issues. I was depressed, I drank alcohol (nothing wrong with that, but I drank till I blacked out) I smoked. It didn’t know if I was a bad person, if I was a Muslim, I didnt even know if God existed. I went to a counselor, I talked to friends. Finally I made friends with a gay guy, whose father was a respected religious christian in their home town, so the son could not tell his father he was gay because it would hurt his father. This friend he said “Nadia, remember you make your own rules”. And since then I have been on a journey to find myself and the above facts are some of those facts. I can believe whatever I want. Now the other part of my rant: I am not going to ask you “Do you love him? or how much? or is he worth it?” Lol, obviously you love him, why else would you be in this situation. He makes you happy, even if he isnt perfect! However, remember that you are not picking him over your family. Remember you dont love him more or less than you love them. Remember that he doesnt have to perfect. Don’t keep worrying that you pick him, he leaves you and then you lose both him and your parents! You cannot live life in constant fear of failure, trust me I’m studying medicine I know the fear of failure and it is stupid. Eventually you will need to “come out” to your parents. You will need so much support to do this. You might even take a friend with you who will protect you and just give you strength. The one you love doesn’t deserve to be hidden, they are beautiful and everyone should know how amazing this person is. Hiding him will just hurt him.
Now that we talk about pain. Remember that mom and dad love you, but you are hurting them pretty bad. I still struggle with this pain every day; however, they live in Ramallah and I live in Indiana. So we dont talk too much. When we do talk I get depressed, but thats okay just take it one day at a time. I told myself that this is my decision, I need to be there for my parents to comfort them and listen to them yell at me when they are angry. This is hard to do and it hurts, but I am working on it. It is the least I owe them. At this point they know about him and that we are getting married.
They dont want to tell the extended family yet though. Well I’ll let them do it on their time. The only time I am upset with myself is when I do a poor job of being there for them. I’ve reached the point where I have accepted my decision, I have overcome the fear of failure, I know I love both him and them, and all I want is to help them with their pain and keep them close to me even if they dont want to talk to me. In the end, they have made sacrifices for me. My final note is something down the road, but if you chose to marry this person remember they will get upset and when they come around they will still be pissed and ask him to convert if you want to marry him. Well my fiance’ and I are agnostic, why would i ask him to Islam when I dont practice? He wont even be a real Muslim if it isnt in his heart. I empathize with my parents because I know this will make things easier on them, but I ask my fiance’ and he said no. I will not make him choose, and I wouldnt want him to. Please let me know if I can help. I am glad to share my story. I love helping people when I can.
Good luck sisters.”
** all names have been changed!
Your blog is very interesting as i love to listen to different opinions when it comes to religion especially about islam. I’ve seen some of your pictures and i would like you to explain if thats a hijab or not ( is this the shia or suni way ) ? Because the muslim women i see in the states usually cover their hair and body
See, I don’t consider my self a hijabi as of recently. It is neither a sunni or shia way, it’s my own way of wearing the hijab or not wearing I guess you can say. I made a couple of posts about this and i’ve added the links bellow. Hope it helps!
Remember a few months ago when I liked a guy I couldn’t have and I was all emotional and shit. I laugh at myself sometimes. I’m so consumed with the now. You know all those tumblr posts and inspirational quotes that tell you to live in the now and forget about what has already happened and what is to come? Well, I think those are bullshit. Why not think about the future? I want to go places and living in the now will not take me anywhere productive. I don’t want guys, I don’t want temporary highs and funs, I want to accomplish hopes and dreams and shit. im done.
As per usual instead of dealing with my emotions im writing about them which is kind of dealing with them but not really since I romanticize the emotions and memories when I write which leads to people thinking I was more attached than I really was, blah blah blah. Okay. Lately since ‘ive gotten home to Greensboro, ive had a lot of time to think over the past two months. For starters it has been by far the most exciting summer vacation thus far in my life. The reasons why don’t matter, but the people who made it great do. See, I went through many lovers this summer, and through them I learned a little about myself. Not all great things, some really disturbing shit actually but it was in line with me trying to discover who I am. There are select few of these men who have remained with me in my mind and no not because of their abilities; it was the lack of their abilities that left a mark. I apologize in advance to both guys incase this makes them uncomfortable but to get over what happened I need to bitch it out.
Guy#1- Summer session two: to be honest I never really understood why I ever became friends with him but he was great company. Made me feel nice at times with sweet words and acting as if he cared about what happened in my eventful life that made me like him. No not like him like him, but rather like him as a person. I assumed he liked me, so to find it if I was right I told him I liked him, which was not true, just to see his reaction. He asked me what I wanted out of the whole thing we were doing and I said I didn’t know but I sure as hell knew it wasn’t a relationship. Don’t take me wrong, he has tons of potential, but I would have destroyed his self esteem and plus I know my parents would never approve. After that confrontation I began to turn to him as a close friend. He would come over when ever I was sad and cheer me up or when I was hypomanic to calm me down. It was sweet. Until the day I got sent to the ER for an evaluation. I texted him to see him after he was done with class and his response? “you’re getting too attached plus im seeing someone” I kind of died of laughter when I got this text but it still bothered me. How dare he do this to me, I thought he liked me as a person but obviously I was wrong. I tried my best to be the best a friend can be with him but you know, like the recurring theme in my life, I wasn’t good enough.
Guy#2- Midsummers and Session three: darling if you are reading this, im so sorry! I know I promised not to bring it up ever again since we are good friends now, but I have to! I met this guy on the trinity dance floor. Yeah I know all great stories start on the trinity dance floor. We began to get to know each other over the next couple of days and I really like this guy but we lacked chemistry, like BIG TIME. It just didn’t work. We weren’t into each other like that but I thought he was into me so I forced myself to see all the good in him, and he is pretty handsome but not really my type of guy. Long story short, I bitch about him to my friend, my friend tells me he assumes he is gay, we get under the influence of something and I tell him this and then BAM! We were standing in the kitchen at a friend’s place on Tuesday night were he looks at me and tells me he is repulsed, disgusted and ashamed of me. He wouldn’t tell his friends my name because he didn’t want any of them to know what I looked like. He was repulsed and disgusted by my body . However, he really liked me as a person and friend. As I said before, no chemistry! This lead to a huge argument and me feeling insecure and pissed the fuck off. However after many apologizes and him explaining himself and me letting him have it, he still wanted to friends. So we remained friends and we hung out ALL the time. My friends all thought I was crazy but I knew I had to give him a shot! And it paid off. The day I was sent to the ER he came and spent the whole day and night with me to make sure I was okay. Even after I left we’ve been connected through email and every time his name pops up on my screen I cant help but smile. I guess great friendships start it the weirdest ways!
Point is, I needed to write that out. Maybe it’s a little TMI but hey, this is an online journal. Classes start next week for me and summer is coming to end. Cheers to the best summer yet!
“You have an interesting story, you will change lives with your story” she said to me this afternoon. It wasn’t the first time I’ve heard that line before. I don’t know how valid or truthful that is though. Will I change lives? Will I change the world? Will I change anyone? Am I capable of doing all those things? Well, I don’t have the slightest clue. I hope I will. I want to. But I don’t know if I’ll have the strength to accomplish all that I dream of. I come from a small city with expensive taste and big dreams. Not dreams of becoming famous or rich, no dreams of changing the world and leaving a definite mark on everyone and anyone I meet. I dream of fighting for other people’s rights, for my people’s rights, for humanity. I want to be an activist, and as lame as it might sound, I want to devote my life helping others and fighting for what I deem to be right.
However, being bipolar changes things. It changes a lot of things. Did you know that in order to live a normal life I would have to be medicated for the rest of my life unless there are some magical advances in medicine and psychiatry. I need to be on a mood stabilizer at all times so I don’t break into a manic episode, which will lead to a depressive episode, which might lead to me taking my own life. Fun, I know. I also need to be in therapy for a really long time to work on the many issues I have. Again, fun I know!
Point is, how will I manage to achieve my goals while fighting a very internal personal battle? The secret is to use this battle I fight to help others. I know this blog isn’t much but for those who read it, it helps educate them on bipolar disorder and mental illness. I hope one day to reach a larger audience with my story through writing, informative videos, and hopefully a documentary someday. As for now, I am working on my Living with Bipolar 3 post that will be very detailed and informative to anyone with bipolar or anyone who is interested in reading more about it. I’ll have it posted by the end of the week. Also, please share my posts with as many people as you can, the more people this reaches, the closer I am to attain my dream. Thanks loves.
Lately it’s been weird. Weird in what sense you might ask, well weird in the sense that it feels as if I am standing on the sidelines watching and experiencing my life pass and go by. A few nights ago I cried, and I cried a lot to the point I felt sick to my stomach, crawling on the floor, banging my head on the wall trying to figure shit out. But I didn’t. So I cried some more the next day and the day after. Today I spent the majority of my time in bed crying and falling in and out of sleep. It was pretty pathetic if you ask me. I can be a tad bit over sensitive and I acknowledge this, clearly. You can say I’m pretty aware and conscious of my emotions, feelings, or whatever you want to call it. However, however, however, I still don’t understand my thought processes sometimes. Maybe it’s my illness, maybe it’s the fact that I avoid confronting my problems and internal/external conflicts, but honestly sometimes I don’t get myself. And it’s okay. You know why? Well, because it happens to so many people who I have to come to believe it is part of human nature not to have all this shit figured out.
I haven’t written in a while, and I feel kind of rusty but it’s about time I got back to doing what I love and enjoy doing, blogging. It is very touching and warm heartening to receive emails, texts, and messages asking why I haven’t been writing and asking how I’ve been doing. Lately i’ve been too consumed with the immediate and the now, going after humanly earthly pleasures, losing sight of what is important and what truly makes me feel mentally and emotionally satisfied. Ive been chasing the “dream” I had of what it meant to be happy. Ive been chasing sex, toxins and all these empty time-consuming, mental space taking, life sucking things that I began to forget who I am or atleast who I want to be. I don’t want to be the girl who cries herself to sleep because some guy didn’t find her suitably fuckable. I don’t want to be that girl that you can call whenever and she wont say no because she needs the company more than you do. I don’t want to be that girl that everyone can just rely on to be the hot mess of a party. I don’t want to be that girl with the life that makes everyone else’s life seem pretty darn good. I don’t want to be that person.
See, as a Women, Gender and Sexuality major im used to bringing up the problems we face and point out how fucked up the system is, but im not accustomed to pinpointing or creating a solution. So what is the solution here? I wish I had an answer. Well, I kind of do, but I don’t like the answer I have. It’s the answer a year of therapy and 2 years of being medicated have trained and prepared me to propose. However, it is not the answer I want or the answer I really need right now. I basically need to get my shit together. Yes, it’s that simple. It implies so much but it is really what I need to do. But here is the thing. I don’t know if that is what I want to do. I kind of like being a mess at times and not taking my meds regularly because to me, it is an excuse to be irresponsible and to have something to blame it on. God, I have so much to say right now and my thoughts are racing but part of getting my shit together is not exposing so much about myself. I know the point of this blog is to be an online journal, an open book to my life, but over the past few weeks I’ve come to realize people don’t appreciate other people “bitching” about their lives because you know, “we all have our problems!”
Point is, this isn’t a very cohesive post but it is better than nothing. I owe it to the people who care enough to read this blog to post something every few days. So thank you, lovely people for reading and reaching out to me asking me to write and update this blog. Some days, it is the love you show me that keeps me going.