February 17, 2017

It’s only mid-February. Winter is here in almost full force in the DMV area. But I’m already looking ahead to spring. Not so much in a good way though. It’s more a feeling of dread. Mania hits me every single spring. No matter what I do. I can take all the vitamins and minerals that are supposed to alleviate mental health issues. I can fast or drink only water. Consume nothing but juices and berries, restrict carbs, and take my… Read more

February 17, 2017

Anxiety   Something happened when I participated in the Twitter #ThisIsHowAnxietyFeels hashtag. I realized how similar people are in their mental health journey. And I saw that what I experience isn’t as unusual as I thought. I know it sounds cliché and it would seem after all these years I would have already surmised that point. But this was different.  I’ve met a ton of bipolar & depression sufferers over the last decade or so. All of their stories mirrored… Read more

February 12, 2017

This Is What Anxiety Feels Like First let me say that social media has truly been a lifeline for me. Finding others online in similar situations has helped in ways I can’t even describe. Saturday night, a new acquaintance of mine started the twitter hashtag #ThisIsWhatAnxietyFeelsLike. Reading what people had to say was so enlightening. Heartbreaking at times, but overall I was thrilled to know other people understood what anxiety is really like. It’s been an amazing experience and I’m… Read more

January 10, 2017

I often find it hard to express myself. The word I would use is muted. Whether I’m depressed or manic, or even in a mixed state, it’s the same no matter what. The words just don’t come sometimes. It feels like I can’t tap into my language or expression center properly. As if my brain can’t connect with my emotions. At those times it’s like the elevator in my body can’t reach all of the floors. That’s the only way… Read more

August 1, 2016

  Nobody ever sees what you don’t do. The things you know are wrong & shouldn’t do, the things you’re tempted to do… But don’t. What you almost did that time. The close calls. The near misses. The internal struggle between right and wrong. No one can see that. They can’t appreciate how hard you work to silence the ghosts calling you to revisit old habits. Those pesky things sneak up out of nowhere trying to catch you off guard…. Read more

August 1, 2016

  My kids used to live in West Africa. They moved there with their father’s family when I got sick. Staying in contact with them was easy enough; if the phone or skype was working. We used magic jack to talk, but sometimes it was out of service. For the most part though, I could talk to them whenever I wanted. One time before they were set to return, I hadn’t been able to contact them for about 2 weeks… Read more

July 31, 2016

“Sakinah, can I ask why you got another tattoo? I just want to understand.” Someone said this after I had gotten my latest ink during a bout of mania. A simple “I don’t know”, had been my answer then. Regretful, and filled with shame, I thought I owed this person an explanation. But I didn’t have one. I mean, hey, I was manic. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Everything seems like a good idea when you’re… Read more

July 31, 2016

I told him I had no intention of sharing this story. The person who inadvertently helped save my life one night. So far, I’ve told him and no one else. I don’t like talking about this subject. But I know that it’s necessary in order to help people understand the struggle of mental illness. I’m talking about this incident both to show how humans can help one another by sharing their experiences, and to highlight suicidality. To begin, I mentioned… Read more

July 30, 2016

I’m angry that Islam was reduced to a collection of lines and circles on a page for me. That it was presented to me as a series of neon green blips and bleeps on a flat, black screen, having no depth. A lesson in do’s and don’ts. A laundry list of should’s and should not’s. A who’s who of the best and worst of people and deeds. But where is the heart? The meat, the crux of the matter? Where is… Read more

July 30, 2016

In my mind I get to point and stare like everybody else. It’s other. “Poor babies”, I say with exaggerated pity, shaking my head at their plight. Secretly I’m glad it’s not me. I’m on the outside looking in, counting my blessings. Wondering what it’s like to be one of ‘them’. In reality, I’m inside the cage with the rest of the crazies. I Am one of them. My mind just hasn’t accepted it yet. So I pretend. Read more


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