If you have been following my posts on Instagram, then you may know that I am dealing with a sort of a relapse with the Hashimoto symptoms. Since the beginning of January, I have had more bad days than good ones. A bad day for me is a day in which my fatigue becomes paramount and my bed becomes my living room. Such days tend to also be filled with hunger, especially so when they are happening in succession during which I am unable to cook anything worthwhile. My husband works during most days and a bit of the night, so I am generally fending for myself. That can result in a physical and emotional burden. As of last week, I had quite a burdensome day which resulted in me making some changes. It also resulted in me creating this blog post.
Many of you, my friends, are also dealing with difficulties. Some of you have shared with me your personal stories of health struggles and some of you have shared your life struggles in regards to family situations. What I know for a fact: Every one is going through something. As for me, I have found some ways to navigate those days when not much else is on my mind except for how I am feeling. Here are three such ways:
1. Seek Help
This does not necessarily mean to seek medical help – although if that’s necessary, then do so. What I mean here is to seek a different kind of help. Some people have this understanding that sharing your burden is “complaining” and “being ungrateful.” I have a strong disagreement with this thought process. Sharing what you are feeling can help you cope with the situation. On the other hand, stewing on the bed by yourself can result in increased frustration and quite possibly, depression. A listening ear can offer you comfort and understanding. When I am feeling this way, all I want to hear is, “That sounds awful,” or “No doubt, you are going through some serious difficulty.” In short, I want to hear a confirmation of what I am feeling. Someone who is just there to feel sorry for me with me. And when I am done with that level of sharing aka feeling sorry for myself, then that person can offer some encouragement and a reassurance of continuous support. You may only require someone to encourage you, or someone to advise you. Such specifics is something only you know. Do not be afraid to ask for what you need emotionally. Seek it, plan it in advance, and use it.
Another way to seek help is to ask for physical help. Last week when I found myself vegetative on the bed, going in and out of sleep throughout the entire day, I told my husband: “I need help with the food.” I requested him to bring nutritious food when he comes home for work and to cook it for me. It is not easy for me to do that because I realize that my husband works many hours and when he comes home, the last thing he wants is to busy himself with work yet again. There is, however, one thing to remember: What he truly hates is not being able to help me when I am ill. Is it not something that you yearn to do for the people you love? So ask those who love you to help you. However guilty I felt, I understood that if I do not ask for this of my husband, then I am going to not be able to pick myself up.
2. Know The Day Will End
This is probably the most important way to get through difficult days: Knowing that just like every day, this day will also end. As for me, I am excited for the night to come during such days so when I sleep, I can wake up to sunshine in my room, with the will of Allah (swt). Understanding that life is a cycle, the good comes with the bad, and bad is overtaken by good, helps to see your struggle through a different perspective. What is required, then, is patience and gratitude, the two things which are a powerhouse for any believer.
Patience is referring to the fact of not losing hope in Allah (swt). Never feel that this is going to overtake your life. The only thing that can overtake your life is that which you allow to do so. Even the hottest days of summer find relief in fall. Just so, know that this is going to end and it starts from today. As today ends, so will tomorrow, and the next day, which will then bring relief. As Allah (swt) says multiple times in the Qur’an, “Verily, with every hardship, there is ease.” Is He (swt) not speaking directly to you?
Gratitude means to stay constant in understanding the Power and the Might of our Creator. All of this is happening when He (swt) is in charge, so praise Him (swt) when you are feeling absolutely wretched and thank Him (swt) when you feel the day is never-ending. Allow gratitude to take reign of your thoughts and let it dictate the way you feel. Do not give up on the basics of the deen, offer the prayers to the best of your ability. Sleep in between them if you must but find yourself comforted by the knowledge of who Allah (swt) is. This brings me to the next point…
3. Understand Divine Wisdom
If you truly understand who Allah (swt) is then you will also come to realize that everything He (swt) does is at a perfect time. You are chosen to go through this difficulty at this time in your life only because you and only you are capable of getting through it. No one else has the strength nor the willpower to take on this burden. That, to me, is empowering. Allah (swt) has chosen me to go through this because there is much good in it for me. It is important to clarify that It is not for you to know immediately the “why’s” of everything. It is happening through a timetable you can not see. Somewhere, your life was written from its beginning to the end, you are just a passenger on this ride with another driver. The only thing you have to be concerned with is that you are carrying the right map in your pocket to guide that driver. Carry the map of Tawheed, understand who Allah is and that will bring you courage in going through the complex twists and turns.
When all of this ends and you are standing in front of Allah (swt) on the only Day that truly counts, your patience, gratitude, steadfastness, and trust in Allah (swt) will insha’Allah be exactly what you need to reach the ultimate Peace in the Hereafter.