by Sumaiyah Mohamed
The ‘A’ in Club HEAL stands for Acceptance – an Arabic and also Malay term for it is having Redha. I always assumed that it meant others need to accept the person with mental illness, be it the family members, friends, employers and fellow colleagues, the community… Never did I realise that the person with mental illness, herself, well, she has to accept that she has a mental illness.
I had a psychotic episode at 19 years of age, thereafter being diagnosed with schizophrenia and depression. I always felt good after having recovered MashaAllah, that I was better, cured already. SubhanaAllah! I did not have a relapse after 9 years – mainly because I regained faith and started practising my religion which gave me inner strength alhamdulillah, because I was regularly taking my medicine, saw my doctor, never missed an appointment, and was always communicating with my loved ones about my struggles and triumphs. Surely, after 9 years, I am fully recovered. I stopped my medication.
Soon, I started to spiral again, and I was slowly, gradually showing symptoms of my mood swings, even being rather delusional. MashaAllah, loved ones who knew me and knew mental illness encouraged me and advised me to restart my medication again. Alhamdulillah for my loved ones. Allah is Great. Allah is All-Loving. I feel better again, but it will take some time to be grounded. May Allah ease my affairs and those who are touched by mental illness.
I have reached a state of Redha or acceptance – I have mental illness and I must do my best to manage my symptoms so that I can get better and feel better and be a beloved contributing member of my family, my workplace and my community.
Allah is Kind. I have to be kind to myself too. Sometimes being kind means taking care of myself, InshaAllah.
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.