An insight into my hijab journey

Hey my loves! I want to discuss something that people online have been raising questions and issues about my hijab (scarf) and how I portray it on social media. This isn’t a hate post where I’ll complain, but its a chance for those who don’t wear the hijab or don’t understand to see where i’m coming from and as always i’ll be 100% honest. I also want to talk about my journey into wearing it full time out and about and some of the issues I face with modest clothing.

If you follow me on my Instagram you’ll notice that I have my hair out in some of the older posts and people have asked whether I’ve just started wearing it now and some have been really mean calling me all sorts of things from “hypocrite” to “whore” to “part time hijabi”. I’ve heard it all. Im not mad at these comments but I think it comes from frustration or confusion and the mentality that once you choose to wear a hijab that’s it. You cant ever show your hair. Sometimes when I look at someone’s feed and they inconsistently wear a hijab I feel a tiny bit uncomfortable too but never to the extent where I would call them such horrible names. That’s bullying. Therefore, to these comments both the hateful and curious one’s I say that im going to keep these pictures solely because  I think they showcase makeup at a time where i didn’t always wear a hijab and its a look that I just cant recreate, I got lucky, but unfortunately im not wearing a scarf and that’s that.

Looking back to when I was a teenager if I remember correctly I started to wear the hijab in year 7. For the wrong reasons unfortunately and not realising what a massive decision it is and what it means by wearing it. Embarrasingly i’ll admit that I only wore a hijab when I couldn’t figure out how to style my hair. So as soon as I found a new hairstyle I took it off and when I get bored I started to wear it. The cycle continued until year 9 when I was taught what is required of me as a young muslim woman. I also felt stupid and bad when I heard school kids calling me a part time hijabi and i’ll also admit that I wore the hijab again (this time for permanent) so I could feel better and not be made fun of. I wasn’t exactly pressured by my family, I don’t remember my mom telling me you need to wear the hijab. It was my peer pressured, “i need to do this because everyone else is and I want to be a good muslim” 14 year old decision that I thought was great at the time.

Moving onto teenagehood I struggled between wanting to wear loose off the shoulder tops and cute knee high boots and tousled hair and then wanting to wear an abaya and then wanting to wear cute Asian clothes. I was stuck between these different personalities and I didn’t know which one to choose and who I was really. On special occasions I always took my hijab off so it still wasn’t permanent. In a professional environment for example interviews, university presentations or assessment centre’s I feel like I stand out so much. I remember being at an assessment centre in the summer where I was the only hijabi there and I was constantly thinking, “i hope they take me seriously” again and again and again. It was all rubbish and in my head, yet I felt so different and sort of, “not fitting in”.

I realised that if I feel like this then it must mean im struggling and I need to have a reason to wear it and be happy choosing this. Before I started my blog, I made it my mission to be absolutely consistent and always wear a hijab in every selfie so im putting out a consistent image of myself. I also did some further research as to what a hijab would protect me from, why we’ve been asked to do this and imagined who i would be without a hijab. And i came to the conclusion that i would be someone else, i wouldnt be me. My behaviour would change, my dress sense, the way i carry myself, the way i speak even. I absolutely hated the idea of being someone else, my hijab is my identity, my personality and i wouldn’t change it for the world. Eventually I founded the right reason and was happy with it too!

The issues i have with modest clothing

Quite often i find myself struggling to find modest clothing that i love and i feel confident and glamorous in. Wearing a hijab isnt just restricted to covering your hair, its becoming modest in all aspects for example clothing. Sometimes i see a modest clothing brand on Instagram and i get so excited until i see the price and just get taken aback at how utterly ridiculous it is. I dont understand the thought process behind the pricing when modest, stylish clothing should be so easily accessible. So if there are any modest clothing brands out there or are reading this please do keep the customer in mind and make modest clothing just as easy to shop for like regular clothing!

Its still a struggle at times where im tempted to take a selfie with my hair out and I still have a long way to go. Its a learning process that so many hijabi’s can connect and bond over and its beautiful. Let me know if you have any further questions and be sure to follow my blog for instant email notifications whenever I post!

See you in my next post Queens!

Love from Sahibah x

 

 

Life with a single parent

Scratching the suface of an unfortunate journey, i wanted to share what life feels like growing up with a single parent. A reminder to those who are like me that we can get through it, we have and we will, and to shed some light to those who were fortunate having a normal childhood.

The only memory i have of my dad before he left when i was just a toddler, is us watching tv. Im not sure how i’ve clinged on to that to be honest, it might be a dream or a cluster of random memories sewn together, but i like to think of it as a memory. To summarise life after he left, it was as if my childhood was set on fire. It was a nightmare that im glad i was too young to fully understand, unlike my older siblings. I remember being put to bed and waking up in a random car. It was my dad trying to take me away with him after he left ( apparently he loved me the most). Waking up in random cars, being pulled between two parents every other night, the screaming, the fights, the chasing him around every weekend, knocking on door after door after door hoping he would come back. It stayed like that for years. Now as an adult i regret all the time we wasted chasing  a dead end when instead we should have let go and moved on.

I cant really blame my mom for chasing him. She was taught her duties as a wife and a mother and nothing else. She wasnt given a proper education and she depended entirely on her husband (as everyone else did at that time, it was the norm). So i cant imagine how devastated, lost and confused she must have felt waking up the morning after he left. Having to handle 3 kids and a house that came with a tonne of responsibilities and new things she had to learn. I cant imagine how scared she must have been. Thinking about it brings a tear to my eye. It was devastating.

So that was life for my mom. Learning how to be completely independent. Toughening herself up, thinking like a man to survive in a strange country with her 3 daughters she fought to protect every single day. Sometimes she tells me stories that are too painful to hear… She tells me how she used to move furniture against our bedroom door, she was paranoid thinking we would get robbed. She stayed awake the whole night, scared with one child in one arm and one in the other. Sleeping for just a couple of hours and waking up when it was time for school, and then a full day of chores and responsibilities ahead of her. Deemed unfit for work, she did her best to provide for us. Even if i didnt get that laptop i wanted for my birthday she always made sure i got something. The sacrifices shes made for us are countless, from carrying me on her shoulders in heavy rain to a doctor to waiting outside in the cold to collect me and my siblings from school and mosque every day. She had a choice that night when my dad left. She could have ditched us too and moved back to her country and lived her life. But she didnt. Such is the power of a mothers love. Through the cold and the wind and the snow she raised us and shes applauded for it.

“So what does it feel like?”. I used to get asked that quite a lot. Its living a life but with a deep emptiness.  Put simply its a hole in your heart that no one can fill, no hobby can distract you from it, no epic love of your life can take the place of. Its a scar that never fades. I actually do have a scar from a fight i was caught in between my parents. A splinter of glass hit my cheek and it formed a scar. A reminder of my hell. Its the little luxuries in life ive wanted but never had. Having two parents attend parents evening, a shopping trip with my dad, little family holidays, the comfort of knowing i have a protector. Those are the luxuries i would kill to have and luxuries no one should ever take granted. Phrases like “daddy’s little girl” were a mystery to me too. However, me and my sisters had to toughen up and fend for ourselves to survive.

I’ll never forget the sacrifices my mother has made. Even now when my dad has sort of come back and wants to be more involved, his efforts are nothing compared to what he put us through. At first when he made contact, i was furious, i didnt forgive him for years. How could anyone? Eventually i softened up (only because my mom told me to, otherwise im ruthless when it comes to forgiveness). I thought if my mom has the strength and courage to forgive him then i should too. However i dont think he’ll ever know the extent of the damage he caused. Psychological studies have proven children from broken familes, from single parents find it difficult to have healthy long lasting relationships. And its true. We’re paranoid in thinking we’ll get betrayed, having low levels of trust and just the eternal emptiness hovering around us.

Anyway thats enough dullness. We got through it and yes it was hell and i would kill in a heartbeat for the chance to have a normal childhood. But it was meant to be. I’ve seen things no child should see, pain no child should suffer through but as a result, its made us stronger, wiser, faster and appreciative of tiny blessings most people overlook. If one day i grow to be even half the woman my mom is, i would be pretty damn proud. Because even the brightest diamond could never repay and amount to the favours and sacrifices shes made. That any mother has made.

What we can do is be appreciative and let them know that. Let them know that we’re thankful, and we honour and love them before its too late. I hope i’ve shed some light on an unfortunate situation that some people have to face and accept as a part of life.

See you in my next post!

Love from Sahibah x

 

 

 

Self harm

Hey my loves, the topic of Self harm is a very personal sensitive one, and i pray who ever is going through this comes across this post and thinks again before doing it. I wont be an agony aunt telling you to stop, and think that your stupid for harming yourself, but instead i want to reassure and remind you that you’re not alone.

I have come across so many people who self harm its crazy, i knew i wasnt alone but i just didnt realise so many people had this problem. Now i know for a fact, that if you self harm and you explain yourself to another person who doesnt self harm, they will 100% not understand where you’re coming from. I’ve been called stupid, a lowlife, attention seeker, weirdo, emo, the list goes on. But my family and friends who have tried to help me and i really appreciate their efforts,  they just dont get it. Only someone who self harms will understand someone else who does the same. It’s a fact.

I came across someone on Twitter who put up pictures of his scars, and there were some horrible comments that probably pushed him further and further. I messaged him asking if he was okay, and i have to say talking to someone else who self harms is so eye opening, its a strange feeling of coming together through pain.

If i was to describe the process of coming about self harm, it would be really difficult but im going to describe it as best as i can from what i feel. When im in a personal crisis that i cant deal with, i get angry really quickly, my anger is unbelievable. Through frustration, because i dont want to get violent or destroy anything, i take it upon myself by cutting. It releases all my anger and pain away from me and onto something else; my skin. Its not always anger, sometimes its a deep sadness, it used to come from feeling worthless and a form of punishing myself, so it happens because of these emotions or sometimes all at once.

So if im in a crisis, i have a lot of pent up anger in me and i reach for my weapon. In this moment in time, im overcome by this sort of inner demon, my dark side,  its a darkness and the person who i was lets say 3 days ago, is not there, she’s vanished. Im completely overcome by this deep dark shadow over me and it wont go unless i cut. I’ve tried resisting it by drawing on myself, going for a relaxing bath even, scratching myself, but the urges are so strong, so intense that its impossible to think of anything else other than the sensation of cutting and seeing blood on my skin. It sounds scary but i have checked for posession a couple of times so its safe to say it really is my dark side. Its an addiction. And like an addict, its really tough to get out of.

I’ve been self harming for about 7 years now, so its an addiction im struggling with. Everytime im in a crisis, i would rather take it out on me physically, rather than dealing with it emotionally. So i cut, cry and let it out of my system and then im back to normal Sahibah. After i cut, its a sigh of relief, its not exactly happiness but its a little joy knowing ive dealt with it and i’ll be okay soon. Its my inner demon smiling. I know it sounds a little deranged and creepy as hell but thats how it is for me. This is raw, real, self harm. A couple of hours later, the regret kicks in. The demonic, dark trance i was in is gone and normal Sahibah re appears again looking at herself in the mirror thinking, “man i really need to throw that knife away”. You cant shower for a while, you cant move whatever body part you cut, you always have to cover up and hide yourself and it hurts like a bitch. But you have to live and deal with the decision you made.

So thats the process for me, from thinking about cutting to covering up at the end. I have reached out for help and im so proud to say i’ve been self harm free for 6 months! The thing to remember is that you dont have to fall in a spriral of addiction like me, there are people willing to help.

  • Talk to your GP–  When you visit your GP you might discover that your self harm is a sign of a disorder that you need help with for example, depression or anxiety. Getting help as early as you can will help to minimise negative long term effects. You might also need injury treatment as everyone uses different ways to self harm, its not always a knife.
  • Reach out to Self harm organisations/charities– Please make use of these, if you feel like you need to talk to someone new about your issues, or you need urgent help. These organisations are dedicated to helping people who suffer from self harm so please reach out. I cant stress how important it is to let your anger/frustration/sadness whatever it is you feel out in ANOTHER WAY, so please have a read through these websites, read their blogs and give them a call and i 100% promise you, you will get the help you need.
  • http://www.selfharm.co.uk
  • http://www.youngminds.org.uk/self-harm
  • http://www.mind.org.uk
  • Distract yourself – What helped me was to channel my anger out in another way and to not reach for my knife. Believe it or not, i took up boxing for a short time and breaking small things like a pen or tearing up paper, anything to take my mind away from cutting.

This is a very difficult topic for me to talk about. Its something i really dont like sharing, its my dark little secret that i keep to myself. I’ve always kept my online image in control, and not really sharing much about my personal life. Once you start to reveal another side of you, i feel your online image starts to shred and people start to look at you in a different way. That is something i want to avoid. I dont want to be seen as THAT girl. Im human and i have an addiction that im dealing with and thats simply it. 

So thats why i feel that there isnt much awareness about Self harm online. If everyone else, like me keeps this dark side always hidden and never talking about it, then where and how will we ever get better?

I’ve met the most beautiful of beautiful people covered in scars and it breaks my heart thinking its such a hidden topic. More needs to be done to deal with it and a lot more conversations about self harm need to happen!

I think one important point to take away is not to put yourself really down afterwards. I have permanent scars but i look at them and i feel proud. It reminds me of the struggle i went through and i treat them as if they’re battle scars. One day in the future, if i hopefully get rid of this addiction i’ll look at my scars and remember the person i used to be.

If you suspect anyone who may be struggling with this, then please share this post with them. It would mean the world to me knowing ive helped someone❤. As always, if you need someone to talk to im always free for a chat and will do my best to help

See you in my next post!

Love from Sahibah x

     

    Smiling again

    Hey my loves, today i want to talk about smiling and emotional numbness. Losing the ability to feel happy as far as im aware and from my experience can come from feeling numb/empty inside

    Growing up, ive seen countless people including myself expressionless, as if they’re in a trance, daydreaming and staring at a wall. We’ve all experienced this emptiness somehow. As far as my knowledge goes,  numbness can be caused by depression or anxiety and even stress. Some antidepressents can cause you to feel emotionally numb as a side effect. Its a difficult emotion to explain, but its a terrible sinking feeling. Even if your in a room full of people, you feel empty and isolated from inside. You dont feel sad, irritated or angry it really is just emptiness. It really is inexplainable but its temporary, so if you relate to what i’ve said above, hang in there and handle it in a healthy way by reading these tips…

    When i think of numbness, i think of depression, and when i think of depression, i think of talking to someone ASAP. The first step in treating this is to discover the underlying cause as to why you feel this way and then figure out a treatment. In my opinion, a therapist would be best. I can say, from my experience spending time with a  therapist, getting a new opinion/perspective has been SO refreshing, a one hour session made me feel unburdened and reassured that i will get better.

    Now, in my culture visiting a therapist/psychiatrist is looked down upon and its “embarrasing”, if word gets out. People will gossip, and they’ll say so and so’s daughter/son is crazy, i wonder whats wrong, did he/she do something wrong blah blah blah… To that i say FUCK what anyone says ( i dont normally swear but i just had to!) I’m so against this mentality i wish i could somehow pull it out of their heads. Your mental health, your happiness and your well being comes before anyone and everyone. Going to a therapist is not embarrasing and its nothing to be ashamed of remember that. It was the best decision i ever made. The first session was a little awkward, you are talking to a stranger of course, and i remember sitting there thinking where do i even begin from, but it started to get easier when i got asked questions about my feelings and why do i think so negatively. We also took a trip to the past, talked about my childhood and my time growing up and how its influenced me. I gained a new perspective every session and became a bit more confident about expressing myself. Its not easy talking about your feelings, discovering your unconcious and the motivation behind what you say or do. Its a journey that takes time, patience and understanding but it is so worth it.

    You dont need to spend thousands on a private therapist, you can appproach your doctor, explain your situation and he/she will refer you, or you can even talk to a member of staff at school, college, university or even work and there will 100% be a guidance counsellor or a therapist. If you need further support, you will be referred to a specialist, but dont let this get you down. It just means you can get better treatment that you deserve.

    Exercise is also great for stress relief, something to take your mind off things, to flood your mind and body with “good” endorphines. Im not a great exerciser, i never work out but when i feel like i cant smile, or when i feel emotionless i tend to go for walks with my nephew, or sometimes i dance ( im actually forced to do this when i feel this way but it makes me feel better super quick). Just a little physical activity makes me feel better so its important to keep that in mind. Getting plenty of sleep is helpful too, but not more than you need to. If you can get at least 8 hours of quality sleep every night, it could help to improve your mood. Making an effort to do these little things makes a huge difference and it shows that you want to get out of this rough patch.

    If you are experiencing emotional numbness, remember that you are not alone and this is just temporary. Connect and reach out to your loved ones and try speaking to a counsellor/therapist to discover the underlying cause of this problem, create a treatment plan together whether its medicine, talking it out or some sort of therapy you need, to prevent this happening again in the future. I am so passionate about mental health and i try my best to help so if you need someone to talk to/ talk about my experience with my therapist im always available.

    See you in my next post and God bless!

    Love from Sahibah x

    How to deal with heartbreak 

    Hey my loves! I decided to talk about heartbreak and share some suggestions in how to deal with such a difficult situation. Now, this was the most requested topic as i try to help as many as i can with this issue so my apologies in advance if this turns into a 5000 word essay. A short disclaimer before i start, this post is aimed at any sort of romantic relationship married or unmarried, im not encouraging “haram” relationships. I support those with good intentions and those who are prepared to make it work.  In this day and age, who hasnt been in one, but the purpose of this is to just to help and become a better person and hopefully to see the right way for themselves.

    Im no stranger to relationships and over time ive developed ways to get over “it” and make the situation less damaging than it already is. Even though these suggestions are personal, i feel like they can be applied to whatever reason the relationship ended.

    1) Acceptance

    The most basic step to move forward is when you feel as if your drowning, when you feel lifeless. when everything around you feels so dark and so bleak, accepting that your in this situation and you may be like this for a while, is the first step to recovery. Coming to terms with whats happened takes time but accepting it is so so important. Dont be in denial. For example, if you’ve been cheated on, dont carry on as if everythings normal and as if your partner hasnt done anything wrong. Acceptance is recovery. Also, accepting your feelings, the fact that your in pain is equally important. YOU ARE ALLOWED TO CRY. I cant emphasise that enough. Cry in your bed, cry at the park, cry when your eating but dont hold it in thinking your strong and you dont need to cry over someone. Thinking that bottles up your anger and pain and trust me on this, its gonna come out one day and it will be nasty.

    2) Dont think all is lost

    This is me saying this from a very personal experience. So when you lose someone i can agree that you feel as if your life has ended, everything loses its purpose and nothing matters anymore. When you lie on your bed, catatonic, and the pillow is drenched with tears i fully understand how we think all is lost. There is no easy way to get out of this. Personally, i sleep a lot by taking a bunch of painkillers waking up and doing the same and it carries on until staying awake doesnt hurt anymore (I completely dont recommend this btw). However sleeping it out used to help me, by sleeping i didnt have to face reality. In this situation you have to find something that works for you, but for the love of God, please think of your health when finding a solution. All is not lost. Remember, before your partner you were someone, you had a family, a life and you can still be that same person. It all however depends on how strong you are to go back to being that person.

    3) Talk to someone

    You might have heard of this a million times but talking is the best cure. But it doesnt have to be the same person. I used to feel that i was annoying my friends by letting out my feelings ( it was all in my head of course) I used to turn to my family. Of course it depends on the situation, some situations are as such that you cant tell your family. But saying something like, “i feel so lost” or ” i cant ever be happy” will obviously get a concerned reaction and you’lll be surprised at how your parents/siblings can help you. The one person not to talk to is your ex. Especially straightaway. If after some time seeing him out in public doesnt want to make you emotional then thats probably a good time to forgive and forget. Talking it out may make you realise things you didnt understand before, because sometimes its not only your partner’s fault it ended but it might have been yours too.

    4) Prayer

    So after you’ve accepted the situation and let your feelings out you need to pray. In this type of situation, its easier said than done but nevertheless you have to! A bit ironic coming from me as after a breakup, i lose hope in everything and i dont see the point in praying anymore. I once stopped praying for about 6/7 months (teenagehood😩 ), but if i had just moved my butt over to the prayer mat every now and then i couldve recovered so much quicker. Breakups/ divorces happen for a reason and i cant say much except for God knows best. Maybe your getting saved from something terrible, maybe you deserve someone better or maybe its just not your time to get married yet. Turning to your Lord when you’ve hit rock bottom may just change the entire course of your life so seize this opportunity.

    5) Treat yo’self

    After praying, (of course you followed my advice above🤗). It is time to treat yourself. I treat myself a little too much so it feels pretty normal to me but you are allowed to 100% spoil yourself. I normally turn to makeup and buy a product i wouldnt normally do. However, UNLIKE ME DONT SPEND YOUR ENTIRE SAVINGS. Little warning there. Remember, you do have an entire life after this. Spoil yourself but dont think that hey i dont have a wedding to save up for anymore, hello christian louboutin. I mean sure buy a pair if you want or go get yourself a waffle with an extra scoop of ice cream, but please dont over do it. Overdraft is a dark place to be in and you wanna be happy (emotionally, spiritually and financially🙌)

    So thats pretty much all i wanted to ramble on about. Making sure that you do all these things will make the getting over “it” process quicker and slightly easier to deal with. It is tough but theres light at the end of the tunnel. There always is. And when you make a fabulous entrance into singlehood its gonnna be great i promise. When you are single, stay single. For a while at least to be happy and enjoy life and give yourself time to keep recovering, because it wont happen overnight.

    If you need further personalised help/advice and need someone to talk to im happy to help. You can contact me by using any of the links in the Contact page

    See you in my next post!

    Love from Sahibah x