There were many nights I will just sit on my prayer mat and let the tears roll down continuously without knowing or having anything to say. I believed He knew the deep pain I was feeling even when I had no words to express them.
Battling Depression and Finding God
“Your Lord has not abandoned you, neither is He displeased with you” (Quran 93:3)
I was tired. Tired of explaining to people that depression is a psychological medical illness and not a mere absence of Iman. I was tired of telling them overthinking doesn’t happen within your control. I was exhausted making people understand that a mere “it’s ok”, “don’t worry” or “all will be fine” will never stop my mind from overthinking.
If you have anxiety, it does not mean your connection with God is weak or that you aren’t a good Muslim. It’s sad that some people think like that. Even our messenger, the Prophet Muhammed, had times of feeling depressed and was in low spirits for a long time when he didn’t receive any revelation from Allah for a certain period of time. The Prophet was worried and sad that God might have abandoned him because he hadn’t received any messages from Allah’s side yet. That’s when Allah beautifully sent this amazing verse of Surah Dhuha. He comforted the Prophet directly with His words.
This is a story of how I found comfort and relief out of my depression. I remembered those days, where I spent soaking my tears in my pillows late nights and could not go to bed without the fear of having another nightmare. I tried sleeping but my mind won’t stop racing. The more I tried to stop it, the more it raced, creating such an intense throbbing pain in my head and heart simultaneously. It was such an excruciating pain.
Sadly, I could not make people understand how it feels because it was psychological yet the pain could be felt as though it has radiated and consumed my whole body. I tried connecting with people just to feel the human connection within me all over again and, not hoping that they might understand what I was going through, because I knew they never would. It never helped. In fact, the more I sought human connection, the more I felt disconnected from them.
The suicidal thoughts were making me lose my mind. Each day passed like forever. I did try talking to Allah, begging Him to remove this pain that was squeezing the very hope out of me. With despair, days and months passed by slowly, painfully.
I was on the verge of giving up, thinking that this might never change. I remembered the times that when I was so strong in handling life’s challenges once upon a time. And then I realized I was wrong. The strength never belonged to me to begin with. It was His blessing upon me. He gave me the strength to go through the struggles and battles. He never removed the strength now though, because I am still battling the pain with tears, fears, and worries. I am still battling it. “It’s just a different type of battle. That’s all”, I tried consoling myself.
But this is not what I wanted. I clearly knew it. So I asked Him more, begged Him more, talked to Him more. This time sincerely, painfully, I let myself bled. Because I realized you need to expose the wound to be treated in order to heal it. Covering it and hiding it will only increase the infection and delay the healing process.
I gave my healing process ample time. I forgave myself for being the way I was. I told myself, “It’s possible to live your life with this”. Slowly, I began to see changes. Less sleeplessness, my heart started to feel light once again. On and off, the depression bouts kept attacking. I tried to carry out my life tasks as usual but with occasional pain. But throughout the entire process, I never stopped one thing; Begging and crying to Him to heal me completely. I did that days and nights in long prostration and in deep conversations with Him.
There were many nights I will just sit on my prayer mat and let the tears roll down continuously without knowing or having anything to say. I believed He knew the deep pain I was feeling even when I had no words to express them. My miracle of healing happened way too later. But, it happened finally. I started to get back my lost hope, strength, courage, and most importantly my connection with Him.
Finally, I too began to realize my Lord has not abandoned me, neither was He displeased with me.