Couldnt sleep last night; today I fast Ashura

Aren’t we all just broken and alone? Grasping at things to fill the empty shells we embody with things like going out, hobbies, books and TV? I’ve been up all night reading an entire novel, not knowing why I can’t fall asleep.

It’s because I see everyone around me in pain, physical or emotional. I see everyone around me unhappy, and I see myself, as I look in the mirror and I hate myself. I hate who I am and I think everyone hates me too. I feel so insignificant, that if I were to fall off the face of the earth right now, nobody would even flinch. The only people who would be affected would be my husband and son, because they rely on my services. My absence would be more of an inconvenience to them than a pain.

Maybe my dad would feel deep sadness he wouldn’t even express, and everyone else? They would say: there goes the girl who never lived. I will have died and never lived a full life. I would have died without ever driving or holding down a real job. I feel my misery etching in every part of me, as I numb myself from addiction to addiction.

Otherwise, I couldn’t handle the simultaneous heaviness and hollowness in my chest. I wonder how other people feel. Do they hate themselves as much as I do? What does it feel like to look in the mirror and love yourself? I do look in the mirror on the days I feel pretty on the outside, when I don’t notice the bags under my eyes or the freckles on my face, and I pray that God beautifies me on the inside as well.

My sister in law told me a story yesterday. She said that they got this gigantic lemon, and she peeled it, only to find out it was rotten on the inside. Then she said: It was just like some human beings, beautiful on the outside but rotten on the inside. And for some reason, I thought, is she talking about me? Is she saying I’m rotten on the inside?

I don’t know why when people look at me, I imagine they are seeing me like I see myself, a horrible terrible good for nothing waste of space. And I wish I knew why I felt this way. I have some accomplishments. My parents do love me. My siblings love me, or at least half of them do, at least half of the time.

I believe I have some redeeming qualities. I am resourceful. That much is true. Some people call me smart. Some call me pure, or at least they used to. Can people see through me? I wonder. I wonder when I look at other people, am I seeing them or merely my reflection in them? When I look at someone, I either see their dark side or their vulnerable side, their broken side. I watched a video on YouTube recently that explained why I feel so lonely all the time. Most people aren’t interested in introspection. They may have many hobbies, but aren’t interested in finding out what makes them tick and if they are good or bad people.

As I lay in bed thinking of all the people not reaching out to me, I remember that I’m not reaching out to them either. I wonder about all the people who probably made groups on whatsapp without me, and are probably hanging out without me. I wonder what makes people have large groups of friends? What drives loyalty in some people? What must one do to have Squad Goals? And what did I do to land me in the life I live? Is this the love I deserve? And is it a blessing or a punishment? In so many ways, I’m living the good life, and I’m so grateful, or am I? Because in so many ways, I believe I deserve more, however, I cant seem to be able to believe with conviction that I will succeed in becoming financially independent. Maybe I’m afraid because I’ve never been independent before.

I’ve been up all night, and it’s already 5:35 am, and I’m not even a step closer to knowing the answers. I wish I could ask someone who I am and what do they see when they look at me, but I can’t afford therapy, so here I am, using my blog as my outlet, again, hoping I’m not alone in these feelings.

Today I will fast, as it is عاشوراء the day God saved Moses from the Pharoah, the day he split the Nile into two and crossed it safely, the day the Pharoah drowned. This day gives hope, and fasting it has tremendous benefits.

Ashura: It is the tenth day of the month of Muharram. This day has an advantage, and its fasting is a virtue, which God Almighty has singled out for it, and the Messenger of God, may God bless him and grant him peace, urged it.
On the authority of Ibn Abbas, may God be pleased with him, he said: The Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, came to Medina and saw the Jews fasting on Ashura. He said: “What is this?” They said: This is a righteous day, this is a day that God saved the children of Israel from their enemy, so his fasting is Moses, thanks to God, he said: “So I am, so I am.”

I hold on to hope today, that I will reach the inner peace I seek. I was feeling much worse 2 days ago. I lost interest in movies and TV shows, reading and writing, work, everything. I cried. My life felt too monotonous. But then my husband took me to the sea. He bought me iced lemonade and we ate it surrounded by beggars, and then he waited in the car while I got out for literally 2 minutes to take a video and some pictures of the sea. I was barely able to enjoy it, but I appreciated it deeply.

Do you know why? Because my husband hates going out. He would rather stay home and watch TV or sleep, and I had been complaining all afternoon of being bored, and my husband was literally falling asleep from exhaustion. Then I made a prayer to God that he would take us to the sea, and by a miracle, my husband asked me to get dressed. At 1st he said he was taking us grocery shopping, and he did, then I found him driving us to the sea. I know that my husband spent a lot of money on fuel to take us out, even if after all that driving, I got to see the sea for 2 minutes, while my son nagged in the car because he doesn’t enjoy nature and doesn’t find joy in just looking at the waves. I appreciated the effort, how my husband was tired, and yet pushed himself to take us in this heat, and left the comfort of the couch to do so.

I could argue that if my husband would let me drive, we wouldn’t have this issue, and he could stay at home while I took our son out, and I did make that argument, but I appreciated the effort nonetheless. Another video I watched on YouTube was how to be happy, and one of the ways was to practice gratitude.

I lost my train of thought because I’m really tired, and there’s no wifi anyway because the electricity doesn’t come back until 10 am (it’s 6 am now at the time of my writing this), which is probably when I’ll add the title, images, categories and tags. I should probably add a few links as well, so I’ll add the most recent posts.

It’s 9 am now and I can’t sleep. I slept from 6 to 8, 2 hours only. It’s funny how thoughts look different in the light of day, and suddenly my late night musings seem like lunacy. Why would I hate myself? God created me and designed me in the best image. I am a mother, which is no minor feat, and a wife, in a society where divorce is on the rise, I happen to get along with my husband half the time. My life seems to work in halves. Half the time I’m a good mom, the other half a bad mom. Half the time a good friend, the other half a lousy friend. Half the time I’m happy, the other half I’m unsatisfied. Half the time I love myself, the other half I hate myself.

Or maybe it’s the blessings of this day shining upon me. I don’t know if I’m going to make it all day fasting, with lack of sleep and no proper suhour, but I’ll try. It’s 2 pm now and I’m starving and tired. I still need to cook but I don’t have the energy. I have food for today but not for iftar tonight.

This post will be posted at 5 pm, during which I will probably be cooking. I’m going to make pasta with vegies and chicken, but without the cheese because my husband wont eat a meal with cheese in it, and coming out of covid, my stomach is very sensitive. Also, part of it will be without veggies because my son won’t eat cooked vegetables. He refuses to try the meal, even before I cook it, but I’m trying to get him used to the idea of eating anything other than the limited 5 meals he eats.

Do you struggle with self love? Do you ever feel broken and lonely? Do you have trouble sleeping? If you’re Muslim, are you fasting Ashura?

3 responses to “Couldnt sleep last night; today I fast Ashura”

  1. Sometimes I struggle with self love…it was worse when I was younger

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing, and for for making me feel less alone. I hope you come to love yourself effortlessly 💜

      Liked by 1 person

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