After revealing the truth behind my smile, my therapy sessions started to become less superficial. I was in such a dark place, lost faith in Islam, lost belief in Allah(SWT) and lost the value of my own life. My mind gave me no rest, a constant haunting of pain.
I was putting myself in dangerous situations and perfected self-sabotaging. Each week I would go sit and tell my therapist the new wild adventure I got myself into. For the most part, he would just listen and give me a safety lesson but gave me space to fully express all of my shenanigans.
One day he asked,” What do you love about yourself?” and my mind went blank. I could think of a billion things I hated and, even more, I wanted to improve. During that time, it was a struggle to think of anything I genuinely loved about myself. So, as a result, my answer was silence and a smile.
At that moment, it was clear that I lost love for myself, and I desperately needed to gain it back; if I stood a chance of getting out of that dark place. My therapist would often give weekly assignments, and that week was to sit down and make a list of five things I loved about myself.
My first attempt was heartbreaking in hindsight. I stared in the mirror and planned to write some physical characteristics, but instead burst into tears. I hated the woman staring back at me and felt unworthy of any positive words. Showing myself compassion and love was a difficult concept for me to comprehend. I eliminated the mirror and just focused on my character. I knew to achieve true self-love, I had to work from the inside out. It took me a while, and initially barely believed it, but I finally wrote a list.
Being compassionate to myself and practicing self-care is truly a lifelong journey, and each day I gain the confidence of knowing my life is priceless and, I’m more than worthy as I am at this very moment.