Steps to be Brave

by Sumaiyah Mohamed

Do not weep. (Okay, you can cry, but not for more than five minutes.)
Do not hide under a nearby table.
Do not go to sleep because it’s easier.
You must make the decision to face this struggle.
You were created in the best of moulds.
You are your mother’s daughter, your grandmother’s descendent.
You are a soldier, a warrior, a gangster – tell yourself what you need to.

Clench your fists,
pull it upwards,
take a deep breath,
the kind from the diaphragm,
hold for a moment,
then let that rush of air
out of your mouth,
and unclench those fists as you do so.
Repeat as long as you need to.

Take a moment to make you happy.
Drink tea.
Listen to happy music. (Happy music, not sad music.)
Take a long walk.
Make someone else happy.
Or you could write a poem like this. (Hope it is better than this one.)

Work on the struggle.
Set goals.
Take small steps at junctions in time
and slowly work on things you need to.
Seek advice from the trustworthy to help you along.
Reward yourself when you have completed the task for the moment.
Note: this will take time.

Know that being brave
is not something you immediately are.
It is in these steps –
it is in the picking up of the pieces,
the holding together,
and then the push forward –
it is a process.
You need to be brave,
so one day you can teach me how when I need you to.

Sumaiyah Mohamed is a programme coordinator with Club HEAL. She aspires to be a mental health advocate. She loves reading and writing and walks and hot comforting beverages. She is a mother of a young child.

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