Read in His Name

By Yohanna Abdullah

A friend and a counselor reminded me today that I have much to be thankful for.  First of all for  the gift of writing and public speaking which does not come easy to many people like her. Then, I have children and parents who understand my mood  swings and do not put unnecessary pressure for me to be on the ‘normal’ mood. And the fact that I could do these three things – get up, get dressed and get out of the house – to work and other appointments each day.

So, I do all these happily on good  days and drag my feet on days when my mood is low. That is the package of highs and lows which comes with bipolar disorder so I  have to accept and deal with the swings. It is amazing that I have been doing this for 20 years or so all these mood swings should be dealt with like a pro. But no, somehow this does not come easy.

So what have I done since morning? I had spoken  to my friend-counselor-colleague and she told me to go to Club HEAL’s Rehab and just take care of my feelings. I did not join the morning session of body-gym conducted by another friend-counselor-colleague (in that order) as did not have a suitable attire. I figured I can do some writing still as my down is still not too low. Anyway for me sharing through writing is a form of therapy. I hope you find joy and meaning in writing poems, thoughts, journals or diaries too. Do send us your writings and sharing to

After lunch I will have my Expressive Arts session at Rehab at Bukit Batok East (BBE) where we will do book reviews of the books we borrowed last week. We had a similar session at Marsiling centre last Thursday and it was an engaging and meaningful sharing of books we grew up with such as Cinderella and other favorite fairy tales. A few shared tales about our beloved Prophet Muhammad and on the 25 prophets of Islam. Earlier we had made nicely decorated book marks which said “Read in the name of Allah”  as a reminder that it was in fact the first command to Muhammad and us all. Reading does not just mean the physical act of reading but in fact means to seek knowledge.

In the internet age, reading may be easier as we have a  lot articles being sent our way through our smartphones and laptops all competing for our attention. We end up skimming quickly through them and do not fully comprehend them.  We also find it a hassle to carry physical books when e-books are available. Still, please do read and digest books or articles that come your way each day.  Even children’s books can be very captivating and interesting.

Some say that we are what we eat.  I think we are what we read.  So read. And do read in the name of God.

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