The “D” word

It feels like drowning in the dark, and you don’t know how to swim. Sometimes it feels like the sick feeling you have when you get the news that someone very close to you has a deadly disease. I can go on and on how horrible it feels but it won’t be enough. That’s what depression feels like.

In the beginning nothing worked, I didn’t know what was “happening” to me so my kind family doctor gave me anti-depressants. I remember how good they felt, “IT” was over I thought. Yes I didn’t feel depressed but eventually I stopped feeling anything at all. An outraged monster was unleashed in me, no compassion, no happiness. I thought I was invincible, nothing mattered. Bitterly I wondered, WHY ME?

We moved to another state, it was an apartment on the third floor. All I could think of was about putting the big couch in front of the balcony door so I wouldn’t try to kill myself. My loved ones … it didn’t matter. I forgot how to feel. I became a robot. I didn’t need food or sleep…. just the happy pill.

I wanted to feel again, so I gave up the happy potion. Ironic, eh? Now, I can feel. It’s gut wrenchingly painful a lot of the time but I can feel. I do feel better sometimes but it feels “awful good”, oh-so-good, but I know it might disappear any moment, leaving me in the abyss of darkness. What scares me most is what I might do to get rid of the pain…. what if it creates a distance between me and Allah…. what if I don’t see my loved ones anymore.

It’s been painful for the last few days. I remind myself, everything that happens to a believer is good for them. I trust in Allah and tell myself to do so often, but it’s so damn painful.

This post has been made anonymous to protect the identity of the author. She is one of many, many women, including faithful, loving Muslim moms, who battle depression.

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  • mahaezz

    You brave, courageous woman. Thank you for bringing the struggles of depression to light. We need to talk about it much more, so that those who are suffering are comfortable reaching out. We also need to overcome the stigma in our community towards those who are depressed, that they are somehow weak or lacking in faith. Everyone is susceptible, and while a healthy belief can be an enormous help and support in dealing with depression, it is not a guarantee that faith will make you immune to it.

    Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Hagar

    May Allah reward you for sharing.(((((BIG HUG))))) love you :-)

  • suma

    JAK for writing this post and giving us just a small glimpse of what depression feels like. I do hope that sometime you can share what you think is the best way to support and help family and friends who are suffering from depression. My heart goes out to you,dear sister. May Allah(swt)give you strength and patience and shower you in His love and mercy.

  • blessed

    Thank you for sharing such a personal topic. Please give us more insight into your feelings.

  • Dalal

    JAK for raising awareness of this issue and putting yourself out there. I hope you are having a better day today, ukhti. I recall a beautiful story you may have heard about a woman at the time of the Prophet (S) who suffered from seizures. She was ostracized because people didn’t understand her illness at the time. Plus her seizures would cause her to tear off her clothes, subhanAllah, so that made it especially difficult for her to bear. She asked the prophet (s) to make dua she would be cured. He told her he could and would do so, but also gave her the option to go on living with the disease as it would be her means of entering heaven. She decided on the latter option, and lived on with her condition. When the sahaba would want to know who was a person of Janna, they would refer to her, subhanAllah. I’m not saying you should force yourself to live with depression, in fact it is important to seek help. But, maybe it will give you some consolation to know that maybe it too will lead you to better things, inshAllah.

  • sigh

    Thank you for sharing this. I know the feelings you speak of – the feeling that someone has died … desensitizing yourself from everything and becoming a zombie. I’m glad to know that even “faithful, loving Muslim moms” can battle depression. Maybe there is hope for me after all.

  • Marwa

    Salaam sis,
    Thank you for opening the discussion about this subject that is so taboo in our communities. Please know that you have a bunch of sisters that you can reach out to and that you are not alone. Have you been able to speak with a Muslim counselor? If you don’t mind sharing, it would be great to know what has helped you and what has been a complete waste of time. We’re here for you sis.

  • zoia

    Assalamu ‘alaikum,

    I know the feeling I have suffered with it most of my life(along with a mentally ill mother)….I hated being that way which only made me more depressed and then I hated myself even more….on and on it went. I took meds…didn’t help. Once I accepted it I was able to deal with it. Looking at my hormonal health has been key.It is important that you meet with people muslim or not who share this challenge with you…remember take care of yourself first!

  • depressed

    Salam,

    I would like to say I know how you feel, but through my experience you never really know. Everyone has different trials they go through. Crying babies always hungry or dirty, energetic toddler always pushing the limits, demands of work, never-ending household chores, and a lonely feeling of being solely responsible for everything has driven me to my “edge.” Recently, I reluctantly started this “happy potion” my doctor prescribed, but I felt I had to. I was being a mean, angry mommy always full of rage. I pray that Allah will give mommies patience, faith, and ease after hardship.

  • Maha

    To the previous commenter, “and a lonely feeling of being solely responsible for everything.” I don’t want to say I know how you feel, but … well, I can relate to what you said. I have thought that many, many times and it makes me feel so alone and frightened and burdened. And no matter how hard I think I can’t find a solution to it.

  • Sister Rose

    Assalamu Alaikum Sister,

    I feel your pain and your experience. May Allah reward you bountifully for trying your best to hold on to His rope. Only He knows completley the extent of what you are experiencing. And perhaps He has a special place for you in Firdaus. For he has said that in Jannah there are things that no one has even imagined.

    I recently memorized a dua. May Allah bless it to be of benefit to you.

    “O Allah I am your slave. son of your male slave, son of your female slave, my forehead is in Your hand, and Your judgment upon me is assured, and whatever You have decreed for me is just, I ask You by every name belonging to You which You have named Yourself, or You have revealed in Your Book, or You taught one of Your creation , or You have preserved knowledge of that Name with You in the unseen, I ask You that You make the Quran the spring of my heart, and the light of my chest, a banisher for my grief and a reliever for my anxiety.”

    According to hadith, the Prophet (SAW) said whoever says this, Allah will replace his distress and grief with joy.

    Love,

    Your Sister in Islam


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