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Amazing Grace

T'was grace that brought us safe thus far

And grace will lead us home

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound


I am sitting at my usual spot on the dining table, looking out the window at the clear blue sky and still green trees, sipping my coffee and listening to music. I gently close my eyes, take in a deep breath, and revel in the realization that I am finally having a normal moment. At this exact moment, I am feeling totally okay—alhamdulila. I am okay. I can hardly believe it. It feels better than winning a gold medal. Alhamdulila.


My emotions are not exaggerated; my anxiety is currently napping; I do not have mountains weighing on my chest. I am able to take full and slow breaths. My facial muscles do not ache when I smile at myself as I realize all of this. I suspect you’d have the same two questions I do: How did I get here; and will it last?

Through my journey this year, I have gained a more nuanced understanding of life, and, in a nutshell, it is all about grace.


I got here through the support I received: through the people who have been patient with me, who chose to love me despite my edgy and sullen self; those who offered me their experiences and perspectives; the strangers who helped me out of kindness. I got here through my unwavering persistence to get some inner peace; my realization that if I am this shaken by traumas at my age, there must be room for personal growth and improvement; and my gut knowledge that in order to lead a better life, I must have a simpler and wiser worldview. I got here through my aspirations to change, and my willingness to try new things. I got here through being 100% honest and clear with myself, my therapist(s), and support system(s). And, most importantly, I got here through the Amazing Grace of God. Throughout this battle with depression, never in my wildest dreams have I imagined living another normal moment in life. Alhamdulila. It feels like a miracle, like I have been given a new life and new hope.


Now, will this moment last? Of course not. Nothing in life is constant. And through life, I go through the cycle of accepting yet hating this truth, and then of loving and enjoying it. Right now, I love it. I am excited to see what more life would offer me. I am looking forward to living life with my new worldviews, priorities, and skillsets. I am looking forward to becoming a better and healthier person still.


The question of whether this experience of health will last is in fact the wrong question to ask. Through therapy, I learned to set realistic expectations of myself and life. I am a person with a history of trauma, so the question is not about whether my step would falter again, but about how I will deal with it. More simply, I am a human being walking this Earth, so I can only expect to face challenges. And, when faced with challenges, it is normal to be affected by them. So, once again, it is about how we handle the challenges.


This new realization gave a more nuanced understanding of the quote “its not about the cards you’re dealt, but how you play the hand”. My past self took this as a synonym to “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. In other words, always make the most of what you’re going through and find a silver lining. But, during recent life events, I spent a year searching for silver linings and could not find any. I did not see that the events around me were cards in my hand. They were out of my control, out of hand. So, I was not able to make the most of it, because it was entirely out of my hand. Now, I see how that in and of itself could be a card. And its about how I sail through the storm. It is a nuanced realization. And through the past several months of therapy, I have learned to identify and internalize many new nuances about life that I am grateful for.


So, will this last? No. But nor will my depression—inshallah. Will I do better next time? I hope so, and I believe so. Could I have done this alone? Most certainly not. I am overwhelmed with gratitude towards humanity. People are kind. And loving. And helpful.


Thank you for your grace with me. I hope I can be more gracious in life and spread more love.

 

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