Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Muslims Get Depressed

'True Muslims don't get depressed' he thundered off the mimbar. "If you really believe in Allah you will not get sad. Ever."
With that the imam sealed Her a weak Muslim, or worse, a disbeliever. The voices in Her head laugh gleefully. 'You never belonged'. One cackles and says 'You are insane.' and another one, most solemn of all, announces 'Maybe it's time to put an end to this.' 'Maybe you don't deserve to live. 
As though reading Her mind the imam screams into the mike "Suicide is haraaam. It's a grave sin. Lost are those who take their lives."
And now He, sitting in the first row, is shaken. Is He hell-bound too? What can He do when the only thought that comes to mind when crushed under crippling anxiety is to Escape? To Leave. To End. 
What must He do when everything else is dimmed out by the screaming inside, like a soundtrack made just of finger-nails scratching chalk boards. And all He can think of is that grating and the nails cracking and the fingers bleeding. What must He do when the only people He trusts tell him it's all just in His head. That He just needs to cheer up and smile and it will get better. What must He do to make them see that He smiles so much that His cheeks hurt, that the sides of Hjs lips crack and bleed. But it doesn't lift the heavy darkness that colours all of His days. 
What must She do when the one She loves tells Her to stop making excuses and just 'move on' with life like a responsible adult? What must She do when they ask Her where it hurts and She can't rip Her insides to show the scars.
What must They do when Their pain is not seen. And when seen not acknowledged. What must They do with a community that recognises only physical ailments and condemns those whose symptoms don't manifest as bruises or tumours. What must They do with a society that labels Them cowards when living is the bravest thing They have done.
What must Those souls do, pushed to hang from ceilings or bleed out from the wrists, because no one would pause, not even for a second, to say 'I see you. I see your pain. I hear you. I hear your cries for help. I am with you. And you are not broken. Together we will seek help. And we will make it okay.'
Maybe, just maybe, if They had not been shamed, there would have been fewer premature graves.

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