UNTIL WHAT END

When faced with a trial

Where does strength start

Where does weakness end

When does it stop hurting

When is it being brave

Choosing not to give up

When is it being a fool

Holding on desperately

Until what end?

 

When is it a trial for strength

When is it a sign to move on

When do you tighten the hold

When do you cut loose the rope

When do you dust up and rise again

When do you choose to stay down

When is enough is enough

Until what end?

 

S.U.I.C.I.D.E.

Ssshhhhhhhhhh…

Don’t talk about it

Don’t even think about it

The more we ignore it

The more it’ll go away

Soon enough, it’ll all be forgotten

Killing oneself?

That only happens in the West

If you ever feel like doing it

Probably because you don’t believe

You lack faith in God

You have no hope in life

Stop thinking about it at all

It’ll all pass

And you’ll move on

So forget about it

And Ssshhhhhh

Never bring it up again.

The amount of times I’ve been silenced on suicide and mental health astonishes even me at this point in life, never have I seen people be so ignorant and treat a matter as taboo, even when it happens several times in their community as they treat mental illness and suicide. It looks like staying silent on the matter is just increasing the rates by the tens and thousands.

In 2017 , suicide rates in Kenya raised by 58%.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that close to 800,000 people commit suicide every year, which means one person every 40 seconds.

Kenya is ranked as 6th in Africa for the highest number of depression cases reported.

For ages 15-29, suicide is the second leading cause of death.

And get this, males are at a higher risk of suicide than females.

Toxic masculinity, where men aren’t allowed to feel, talk about their feelings or express emotions should stop.

We have big issues to address in our community, and instead of treating it like a serious matter which needs attention, we push it aside, sweep it under the carpet and hope we never have to ever talk about it.

Suicide is not a single thought, of I want to die.

It’s walking up in the morning wishing you had died in your sleep.

It’s feeling no will to continue living, barely surviving

It’s wishing you never have to explain, why you always tired and down

Wishing you’d just fade away and no one would notice

It’s trying to escape the suffocation

The drowning, the exhaustion

It’s thinking you don’t have anything to live for

No one cares

No one ever did

No one will ever do

It’s not wanting to cause pain

Not wanting to be a burden

It’s feeling left out

Like no one can understand

They never do

They never will

It’s feeling too much

Then nothing at all

Craving the lightness of just being a soul

It’s the depression talking

The misery setting in

And anxiety rooted within

It’s the dark thoughts clouding all good

That even when you try to remember that there is hope

It disappears

Cause in the end we all are alone.

That is what feeling suicidal is to me

That even when you want to hope

It runs fast leaving coldness

It’s losing one’s self to

Numbness

Darkness

Drowning

Cutting

Jumping

Hanging

Swallowing

Hopelessness

one small act and it’ll all fade away

No more pain

No more dismay

No hurting anymore.

But see, all this is a LIE. PEOPLE CARE.

Even when we think that it’ll all end with us, it doesn’t.

We still have mountains to climb

Sunsets to watch

Drinks to enjoy

Rains to dance in

Oceans to explore

Cultures to experience

We are yet to love and be loved

To care and be cared for

And it all begins with me

And you

You mean the world to someone else

You never are alone

Stop with the depreciating jokes

Every morning

Tell yourself

You are strong

You can make it

You can make it

You can make it

Then strive for it

Strive for a better day

Strive for a real smile

One day at a time

Just one more day at a time

Smell the fresh earthy smell after rain

The warm coffee scent

The rich chocolate taste

The feeling of the first morning ray

The sound of the chirping birds

You never are alone

Seek help

Lean on others to support you

To family and friends dealing with people struggling with mental illnesses and suicidal thoughts, talk about it, don’t shun them away, and later wonder why they never said anything, why you never noticed and that you were always there. If you can’t handle it, ask a professional to intervene.

Be a good listener, listen well.

Offer emotional support.

Encourage them to seek help.

Remind them that the sun will rise again.

JUST GOOD ENOUGH

Not the prettiest face out there,

Not the kindest soul

Not the innocent one in a bunch

Not the funniest in the lot

Not the ONE

Still deserving

Deserving of respect

Good enough for love

Just good enough

 

I believe

In my heart

In shades of gold and white

I believe in my soul

Colorful and light

Little bit old, Still bright

I believe in my smile

Mismatched teeth and dusty lips

I believe that my eyes

Brown and warm

All are good enough

Just enough

 

DARK SKIES

Dark skies

Proof of storms

In a bright time

Even storms are beautiful

In its destruction, we romanticize

We live in illusions

Of never-ending storms

We enjoy rainbows

A bright thought

After heavy showers

We look at dark skies

Wondering when the sun shall shine again

We know for sure, storms don’t last forever

Or do they?

Till now,

They’ve always been temporary

The winds come and blow

Thunder booms and cracks

Lightning flashes and blinds

We still believe,

The sun shall shine on us once again

It is said, (Vivian Greene, 2006)

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass,

it’s about learning to dance in the rain.

So why lose hope,

Dance in the rain,

Learn to live, even when in pain

Whatever has come, shall pass

So have hope and believe

Even this,

Shall come to an end.

Stay Home Little Girl!

Stay home little Girl

The world is big and bad

You wouldn’t survive it at all

Stay at home,

Don’t come out

Lock your doors

Don’t open them for none

Stay home

You need to be safe

Stay home

If you don’t want to be raped

Or abused

Or even killed right on the streets

But be wary

Of those you stay at home with

For sometimes betrayal comes from deep within.

So stay at home

But even so,

Don’t stay at home alone

With a man you don’t trust

But those that stab you in the end

Are those who’ve always had your back.

I’m not sure, now

Should you stay at home?

Risk your life?

Or go outside?

And risk your life?

When you go out,

Cover all

Don’t reveal

Not too short

You’ll be asking for it

Not too tight

How dare you!

Not too sleeveless

Not too showing

Not too beautiful

Are you serious right now?

Conceal

But even in jalabiyahs,

Do girls get raped too

So walk fast

But don’t run

You know what?

Maybe just run home

So you, little girl

Can stay safe

Be pretty,

But not too much

Don’t say you are pretty

Cause no one likes a vain princess

Be healthy, eat well

Be thin

Don’t eat too much

You need to fit in

Watch your surroundings well

Don’t draw attention to yourself

Hide your intelligence

Don’t reveal your thoughts

Let your speech be silent

No one wants a loudmouthed wife.

Do as your told

Don’t ask for your basic human rights

Listen to me little girl

Why should you always disobey?

Stay at home

Learn to cook and clean

To sew and stitch,

Maybe even learn to knit

Stay at home,

For that’s where you belong.

Not in a man’s world

Where at school

You fall prey to lewd glances from all,

Not in the roads,

Where you are vulnerable to all, not a thief, not a rapist, not a murderer

Not at home,

Where your own blood can turn against you

So stay in my heart little girl

I’ll protect you

I’ll give you my cavalry

Confidence and courage

I’ll give you an army

Women just like you

I’ll give you weaponry

Hope and dreams

I’ll teach you skills

To create a name for yourself

I’ll give you everything

So be careful when you leave home

Preserve your modesty

Know your worth

Have your goals

Speak

Let your voice be heard

Believe you can achieve

Let not any man bring you down

You are more than just your gender

I’m standing right beside you

Little girl,

Go forth and face the world.

You are pretty perfect,

Just the way you are.

Don’t change for the world

Go out and change the world.

 

Forgiving Humanity

She’s asked

Why are your thoughts sad

Why do your dreams sound broken

Why does your heart seem crushed

Do you not believe

In humanity anymore

What about its redemption

Can we earn not forgiveness

From our never-ending repentance

Our regrets. Our confessions.

What should we do?

To right our wrongs

To earn our vindication

Can we not earn back your trust?

Pretty little girl,

Forgive humanity

For turning a blind eye

We’ll turn over new leaves

Never again, will we concede

To evil, and what it yields

Excuse our misgivings

Pardon our shortcomings

Forgive us,

So we may learn to forgive ourselves

There still is hope

For not all of us cower in fear

We’ll stand up

Behind you, Right next to you

We’ll be brave

We’ll fight the silence

We’ll preach to the masses

Behind #metoo

We all shall be right there, with you.

 

 

Listen Up, NO means NO.

I feel my heart heavy

My feet dragging on

Everywhere I look

I see pain and heartbreak

Girls been raped

Abused then accused

There was consent

They lied

After all, they enjoyed it

And then they were asked

Why didn’t you speak up sooner

Stop changing the narrative

We know what happened

Even when were not there

We know

After being told

To cover up

Wash up

Clean yourself up

Then shut up

It’s done anyway

We’ll raise you higher up

Worry not,

We’ll give you free tuition

To cover up this flawed situation

Come on, we are in a corrupt nation

Seems like we gained naught from our education

That No means No

Say yes, say Yes

Even, when you tried to say no

We’ll prove it was yes, it was yes

Before educating me for free

A price you want to buy me

For my silence, for my screams

I’ll give you a lesson for free

NO MEANS NO

I say NO to your price

I shall not be bought

I say NO to silence

I stand NOT alone

I say NO to rape culture

I only wish I was heard

When I first said NO.

Let’s learn consent

If I was tricked into it, then it’s a NO

If I was drugged, Then it’s a NO

If I said yes, then changed my mind, it’s my choice, and I choose to say NO

If I was held hostage, knife on my throat, Trust me it’s a NO

If I did NOT explicitly, without doubt, force or willingness, say Yes, then it’s a NO

I owe you nothing

No matter who you are

Not my body, Not my choice

It’s mine, My decision to make

And if it’s a NO, It’s a NO

Take a hint, and LET GO, It’s A NO

How many more times

Do I have to repeat myself

I seem to be not passing the message through

But if I will be believed

Then

See you in court

See, I kept an If

Because in this corrupt country

With most high ups deep in bigotry

I doubt that I’ll ever be heard

But for you, listening

Reading this, and understanding

Share my story

So we can stand together

To fight this creature

An ugly monster

In the form of rape culture

#metoo

NEW BEGINNINGS

What better way to end the Mental health awareness month, than a promise and a pledge to myself.

A promise I intend to honor and a pledge I vow to keep.

I was asked my opinion on self harm once, why do people do it? Why do people get addicted and does it ever stop? Self harm, is an addiction, because pain is addictive. Why do people do it? In my opinion, it’s the pain you can control and one you can see. It’s a method to cope, a very terrible one. Is it addictive? Yes, it is. Very much so. It usually starts as an impulse, a small jolt to keep one in check, for some, to remind them that they still feel, that they still are alive, an impulsive decision at a moment of weakness. Slowly, one depends on it, as a distraction from any emotional pain, physical pain heals faster, but emotional ones fester and poison, if not treated. Then it becomes an addiction, an obsession, a false sense of control.

It sickens me to the depth of my heart to see Media romanticizing it, making it feel cool or Writers making it feel almost as normal as breathing. It is not. Believe me, self harm brings in guilt and shame, and having to keep it a secret is worse. The relief is short-lived, before you have to deal with whatever is troubling you. Instead of solving any problem, you just let it be bottled up inside, hiding it in the closet and sweeping every problem under the rug. It only takes sometime before it bursts, opens and blows up in your face.

For someone affected, they do not wish for that upon anybody. The guilt of asking your loved one to stop an addiction, you know the harm of it all to well. The hopelessness when something goes wrong, and it’s not in your hands anymore. The despair, when you see someone you love go down the path, you struggle to leave. It’s not worth it.

It’s not the way to do it, get help and confide in someone, it gets better. Life does get better. Asking for help is  hard, I know, trust me. Leaning on someone, letting one take care of you for once, or letting someone in. It’s opening the doors to you chamber of secrets, everything dark and ugly, sometimes and expecting them to love you the same and see you the same. Trust, giving someone the power to hurt you but believing in them to not to.

Talk to someone you trust, let them in and believe in yourself.

 

Even in the dark

When there seems to be no light

And the weight of the world 

Burdens your shoulders

And a little voice 

Says you can never do it

Exclaim with power and conviction

“I can and I will

For with every sunset, ends a bad day

But every sunrise, begins a new day”

You can and you will

Life does get better

Trust and believe in yourself

Just like I do in you

I may not know you

But I understand the struggle you go through

I may not know your full battle, 

Or see all your wounds

But in the end

I am human like you too

Tell me so I can help

Speak out and I shall listen

Beyond what the eye sees

Is a soul I am in love with

For all the scars and struggles

A beautiful soul

That I can’t help but be in awe of

Life does get better.

This promise to myself, is that I shall try my very best to not succumb to the little whisper.

I am stronger than that, braver than that and wiser.

I promise not to judge by the scars on somebody’s arms, not by the burns on your feet, not by the wounds on your fists, or the bandage on your head. Not by anything at all, I promise I will try to listen, to look at you and love you, maybe even love you more.

Often, we ignore others’ cries for help because we are too blinded by our own struggles. We often lose so many to fend on their own, we let too many people down, we failed so many people, but now is a good place to start. Right here and right now, pledge to be a source of comfort and solace, to lend an ear and to see beyond the walls and masks, to see for who they really are and still love the same.

And for those still struggling, life gets better.

 

HOME SICK

I started feeling lonely recently, withdrawn from human contact, keeping socialization to a minimum, maintaining conversation only when necessary, doing everything I can not to let anybody come close, including being flippantly rude, ignoring calls and messages. I even started losing topics of conversations, with my best friend, my mother.

Other than the weather, the times and how I feel adapted to a new place, here, I feel trapped, I feel suffocated, and I don’t want to feel this way. Anxious, scared and terrified.

And being away from home hits hard. Some days everything irritates me. From the weather to the little things like misplacing an item. Small inconveniences make me want to curl up in a ball and cry.  And being someone scared of putting my emotions out there, I’d rather stay in and be hush about it. When you’ve been labelled a cry baby, dramatic and attention seeking from a young age, letting others in is braver than most would like to admit. Admitting it makes one vulnerable, and human, but vulnerable. I wouldn’t want any one to worry about me, especially my parents and I definitely don’t want fake pity from someone who will pretend to understand only to gossip about it. I might sound bitter, but trust comes at a price if all you’ve seen and mostly experienced is being at the receiving end of broken trust.

When I left my home for a new country, barely a week after my Uncle passed, then a little later, my little baby girl and then my cousin-brother who I grew up with, just days after his birthday. I’ve never regretted being here and choosing to follow my heart more than I did in those days. And there was no one here, I could turn to, not because I don’t trust friends I’ve made here, but scared of what letting people in might bring. I made a mistake of letting one loss slip out, and someone joked about how I can always find a ‘replacement’ for a brother I love and lost. So far, this has been the hardest to deal with.

I’ve had happy times, many a  times. Sleepovers, movie nights, trying new restaurants, exploring new places and meeting new people. All adventures that made me feel happy and excited that I agreed to leave and travel and meet new people. and follow my dream. I wish that I was more open to more adventures, but it’s another issue if you have social anxiety and would rather 100% stay in than go out. Living in fear of being judged, by being judgmental myself. I fear no one would understand, that I judge them where they stand as I myself fear the same for myself. I do try to push out of my limits and comfort zones, maybe not as hard as I can, but as long as I am comfortable.

And I feel more better as I type this out, lighter, a little bit scared, but better nonetheless. It was a big change and for a while, I changed myself in hopes that I would fit in, but it never happened. And it took me a while to see reason and realize that I was not true to myself and my principles. It’s better to be myself and face the world, than change and face the same issues, because no matter how hard I push myself to try to be someone else, the world still runs the same course, and that is not something I can change.

To try to deal with it, I had a routine I followed, pamper days in the safety of the room I live in, cooking for myself, reading and getting lost in words, and movies and series and shopping and walks alone. Some activities work, others remind me that I’m alone here. Then I expanded my routine, added more time for activities I like that made me feel better. Listening to Qur’aan more, reading it more and trying to understand it better, watching YouTube channels that I like and reading and writing more. I’m still finding new ways to deal with it.

Everyone deals with it differently. Any big change in your life and how do you deal with it? How do you deal with homesickness?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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