At the intersection of race, culture and mental illness



What I Mean When I Say I’m Lonely


Here’s the thing. I’m not mad at anybody for not understanding what I go through on a daily basis. Everybody has their own struggles and their own issues. I understand that. What hurts is when I say I’m lonely and isolated, and I want to explain what this feels like, people always rush to commiserate. And for a moment I think, maybe I’m not the only one living in a black hole, in this box of nothingness. People say, ‘reach out’, ‘tell someone when you’re hurting’ and I think ok, that sounds easy enough. The lonely ones will get my language. They’ll know what to look for when I’m being swallowed up by the echoes of my walls. My townhouse has a lot of them. The hardwood floors and cascading ceilings make the sounds of nothingness worse. Especially at night. You see, not having a family and no one to talk to day after day makes the walls and ceilings absorb silence in a way you can only imagine if you live alone. If you’ve lived alone for years as I have. I have 3 kids and I was married for 11 years. The loneliness you feel when surrounded by people, particularly children and a spouse is nothing like the loneliness you feel when you are utterly alone. When you are the only one in the house. I’ve lived it; it’s worlds apart. And I’m starting to resent when people try to compare their loneliness to mine. It’s not the same at all. If it were, people would have known I was in trouble last night when I was suicidal and hurting. They would have reached out instead of ignoring me and shutting me down. I felt completely abandoned by the universe and it really hurt. But then I realized that if I were going to survive this bout with loneliness, I had to talk to myself the way I always talk to my friends when they need me. So that’s what I did all night. It wasn’t easy. I tweeted and stayed online. I didn’t let myself sleep. I knew if I went to sleep, I wouldn’t wake up. I just kept telling myself affirming messages as if I were encouraging a friend who was in trouble. I cried a lot, because I was hurt that no one was there. But I kept telling myself I could do it. And soon enough the rain ended and the morning came. I had made it through the night alhamdulillah. I took my medicine and slept most of the day. In the evening I started to feel better. It’s night now and I’m still not out of the woods. But I’m recovering. I never want to have to do that again. But I know now that I can if I need to. But also I want people to stop telling me they understand loneliness because they really don’t. I’m still waiting to find someone who does.


What My Life Was Like When My Kids Were Overseas

Love, Unanswered

*I wrote this short paragraph one night when I was feeling particularly vulnerable. I was involved in an unconventional friendship with a person who at the time didn’t see me the way in which I saw him. It made our friendship very challenging to say the least. 

I want him to take me seriously. To see me; all of me, no matter how wild and uncontrolled that ‘me’ is. As a person, I mean. Not as a group of symptoms to be managed. Or a challenge to overcome. I wonder if he could ever love me. I don’t care about his situation and if he’s available. That’s not what I’m talking about. I just want to know if someone like him could ever love someone like me. Is it even possible? I wonder and I hope… 

Getting help for suicidal thoughts online

Let me try to explain why I had a knee jerk negative reaction to the news that Facebook is launching suicide prevention tools on its site the other day. First off I think it’s praiseworthy that the company is trying to help people who are suicidal, of course. That goes without saying. But I had a trigger response to the idea that someone like me might one day feel suicidal and post something there that would be policed, and I felt scared all of a sudden. Really scared. Though I’ve often been truly suicidal, I don’t actually want to die. And when I’m suicidal, I’m not thinking rationally at all. I got scared that I might see or read something that though it’s intended to help, might scare me into doing the very thing I shouldn’t. That’s how suicidality is for me. Sometimes when people try to help, I run the other way out of fear. That’s why I often end up hospitalized for suicidal thoughts and ideation. For me, suicidality is it’s own mental illness, if you will. If I were able to think clearly, I wouldn’t want to take my own life in the first place and I wouldn’t need psychiatric help.

But that’s just me. I know everyone doesn’t have my experience. However this is why I reacted so poorly when I read the news and why I got so frightened. It’s why I’d still be scared to post anything on Facebook if I were ever suicidal again. I can’t be sure how I’d react to any type of help that didn’t come from a person talking to me face to face, in a safe environment. For me, it’s too precarious and I may make a permanent mistake that I don’t intend. So though I thoroughly support Facebook in their mental health efforts, I know I can’t utilize the services if I’m feeling suicidal. I just can’t take the risk.

Single Parenting a Sick Child… and some tips!

This is a wonderful post!! Really insightful.


Part of parenting is taking care of your sick child or children, right? But is single parenting a sick child so much tougher?  YES. You cannot split the physical and emotional exhaustion.

In the beginning of a child’s illness, there’s this instinctual softness that overwhelms you as a parent. You want to soothe your baby with warm baths, whip up hot soups. Awe… the snuggling. You can’t beat the snuggling and rubbing your fingers over those curls and waves while they fall asleep.

Sounds lovely, peaceful and filled with hope. It reads like a commercial story board for a baby bath time product. But there’s another side, especially for single parents. After I share some truths, I’d like to offer a little encouragement along with a few tips for you, your family and friends. Hopefully it helps ease the stress of caring for a sick child as a single parent.

The Truth.

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Guest Blog: Why I Self-Harmed And How I Quit

I am 8 years free from self-harm 🙂

Guest Post: Being a Muslim Parent With Mental Illness

Adult colouring books – a meditative practise?


For a long time colouring books have been associated with something that we do and grow out of some time during infancy. It has even been suggested that around “real school” age, we stop encouraging creative activities like coloring and drawing and instead encourage more structured academic activities. It is hard to deny that there is some elements of truth in this statement. This is regrettable, seeing as there has been much debate surrounding the usefulness of this exercise, from both sufferers and mental health professionals alike.

tardis-1 And so it begins with the blue box itself! If you look closely you will see that I used (or tried to use) different shades of blue for the exterior.

However, if you are anything like me, trying to see the appeal of  colouring in a dozen of tiny shapes of various contours can be a difficult concept to grasp. Indeed upon…

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Guest Blog: Black History & Mental Health

This really resonated with me as a Black Muslim woman living with mental health issues. I’m so glad I came across this post via slay girl society.

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