Immediate Cures.

She did the morning usual, the winning of the argument in her mind by getting up from bed, the basic washing, the praying, the changing of her clothes and then heading downstairs. That semester, she was spending almost half of her week at home. Her schedule celebrating the last of five tough years.

She pressed a button, and the coffee machine roared to life. She held her red mug, passed it under running tap water then slammed it on the cold grey marble. She entered the living room and approached a window. She slid it open. A cold breeze rushed into her lungs, making her feeling alive for the split of a second. She turned around to face the other side of the room and stared at the window in the opposing wall. She heard a thought and felt her mind lightening up. She looked at the window, and for the first time, she saw the window not as a source of sunlight and fresh air, not as an opening to the outside world, but as a savior. A savior of the darkness that had been eating her mind alive for years. She could picture herself taking a couple of steps back, then running with her fastest speed to dive freely into nothingness. She could hear the crash, waking up the neighbors and gathering everyone on the street. She realized that she was just seconds away from the cure. She realized that she’d always been so close to ending the voice that had been crushing her soul.

But then she noticed two problems regarding the idea. First, she lived in the first floor, which meant she’d probably just break a leg. And second, she was a practicing Muslim. In Islam, lives are believed to be gifts granted to living beings by Allah (God) and so, people cannot choose to end anyone’s life as well as theirs own. If they did, they’d be cursed. But she didn’t want to be in pain both in her life and death. She wanted an escape to a place where she’d be happy.

A beep came from the hallway cutting through the silence in the living room and the noise in her head. She remembered that she had left the coffee machine open. She immediately turned her eyes away from the window, shaking her head as if driving the idea out of her mind. She went to the stairs landing where the kitchenette is placed. Dark and cold, the stairs caught her eyes. Her mind immediately journeyed down to the kitchen. She heard a thought and felt her mind lightening up. She started searching through her memories where the sharpest of knives was to be found.

She stood at the middle of the kitchen with the reflection of her face on the shiny silver knife. She placed the knife on her wrist and felt the cold metal on her thin skin.

The door bell rang.

She looked at the floor. There was not a single drop of blood. She looked back at her wrist, and found that she hadn’t sliced through.

She threw the knife into the drawer and gathered herself together before heading to the door.

Her brother swung it open.

She threw her arms around him and held him tightly.

She had survived another day.

***

Note: This post describes exactly what I have been passing through the past couple of years. It is not easy to publicly speak about some of the darkest days of my life but I see it as my duty to do so, hoping to spread awareness about mental illness in a society that still portraits them under the light of shame. I hope awareness of mental illness, especially depression, would drive its sufferers to seek professional help and push institutions such as schools and universities to establish mental health centers.  I thank God this is over and pray that no one would ever pass through similar days.

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The Concept of Growing Older

As I turn 23, I am struck, just like every year with the new number I am adding beside my name. Although I know that according to society, being in your early 20s is considered ‘young’, but also according to society, at 23 I am supposed to be either married or about to get married. I am supposed to have a job and become financially independent from my parents.

But growing older is not getting married and having children. It is not that huge promotion at work. Growing older is not the greying of your hair or the wrinkles around the corners of your eyes. It is not the increase intake of medication or the inability to take the stairs. Growing older is not adding more candles to your birthday cake, either.

Growing older is the ability to freely formulate your opinions. To create original ideas. Growing older is your ability to treat those who hurt you with respect. To be able to forgive. To be more understanding. Growing older is giving the room to yourself to continuously evolve. To know that at this very point in your life, this will never be the final version of yourself. That you can adapt freely to changes, to the things you lose and others you gain. Growing older is to lock that ego of yours and allow your knowledge to continuously expand, to be always open for new ideas and information. Growing older is to open the doors of your soul to the ever-changing world.