“A healthy self-love means we have no compulsion to justify to ourselves or others why we take vacations, why we sleep late, why we buy new shoes, why we spoil ourselves from time to time. We feel comfortable doing things which add quality and beauty to life.”
Trigger Warning: The following content maybe triggering for some readers. It includes personal experience, mention of food, restriction and other behaviors.
Please find below a real account of ED struggle from Emirates from a 16 year old. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us
Battling Eating Disorder as a Muslimah with Conviction
Author: AimHigh Emirates
If you are Muslim, Salam (Peace) but also if you are Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, or even Atheist, Salam. If you are Egyptian Salam, but even if you are American, French or even Malaysian; Peace, Paix, ketenteraman. In Islam we learn that Allah (God) dignified all human kind over all the other creatures, we are taught that there is always hope for a lost soul to find the straight path; and that, is exactly what I have experienced. What I will be sharing is not the whole story, but rather a glimpse of the life of a normal, human, Muslim girl living amongst other people but surrounded by not only her demons, but others’ too…
As homo sapiens, I discovered, we are all connected. I have felt a wide mixture of emotions throughout my 16 years, and as I looked into the world’s population and stories, I can say with confidence that I have never been truly suffering alone. Which is rather humorous as I had once had my username as “Slientsuffer”. A username that I hid behind all my faults and mistakes.
At this moment I can say that all I want to live for is pleasing God and that means that I get to have a life with less worries and more moral support and guidance. Have I always been this way? No, I haven’t. Actually I hung out with the worst company and did unlawful things. But what do you know! I was guided from The All Mighty in the weirdest ways possible. I am your cliché good girl with the high marks and quiet attitude. Under all that though, I was and still am an addict. An addict? You might ask, but the truth is we are all addicts the difference is what we are addicted to. Some people may be addicted to movies, some to food and some to gossip. I was addicted to love and when it was all gone I took a wrong turn and went for the metal blade, as an 11 year old Muslim girl, that did not go so well. I would go to school and by the end of the day my school trousers would be stained with blood in the place of my right ankle; no one cared and that’s how I got away with it. Trying to stop, I went to the kitchen cupboards and binged on cheese and cold meats alone, hiding from my family as I was the athletic, healthy daughter/ sister. Little did I know my demons and the devil where just starting their wicked game…
I grew up without a mother, and the only memories I have of her are of abuse. At ages 11-14 I have felt hopeless. I was called names and I had many house responsibilities upon me. Gratitude was never there and I felt oh so alone. You may be feeling unsupported, and may even have all you want but that void in your heart still needs to be filled either with hunger or food or the push of a vomit. Maybe your addiction is perfectionism, not in studies maybe, but in dieting like a pro. But trust me if any are making you lose your health, friends, grades or yourself; you are not alone and these demons aren’t your only company. I have reached the point of not drinking water for weeks and I wasn’t able to walk for more than a few minutes some days. I have reached the number of 12+ binges and purges in a simple 24 hours. I was lost and I still had that void. One day I was sitting on my desk studying. In the next few hours I was in shock, my sister had just been beaten for a fault, another simple addiction that even parents engage in. But here she was, beaten and bleeding and I knew I had to find my way back to God… before I die.
The next few weeks were hard, I was crying at school and going back home to seeing the scars on my sister. Did I feel anything towards her? Nope. Nothing… she was the reason for so many cuts outward and inward that I was unable to feel an emotion but anger towards her. Nonetheless I cared for her and tried to listen to her after I had calmed down. I prayed and prayed and educated myself about my faith. Slowly I was guided by Allah to good knowledge. I was able to study, clean, take care of my ill father (who works but is sick with diabetes and cancer) and listen to my sisters’ vents (I am not allowed to give advice or have any troubles of my own but I try to listen as I am going to be awarded for my patience by Allah’s will) and it is all thanks to educating myself from reliable sources about my faith. I am currently battling my bulimia of 4 years. It is hard, but I have learned so many lessons. I have learned that to be patient you have to be thankful and to be thankful I think about what bad would have happened if that thing did not happen at that time and what I was protected from. I learned that if we were to pray for strength we have to go through the process of getting stronger. I learned that we are people and if Allah says that we are worth more than His house (the kabbah) then who are we to believe a demon telling us that we are worthless? It’s a fact, we are worth more than we could imagine. We will fall but Allah told us to repent. We will see many things but Allah guided us to think about Him at all times. You failed your exam? Maybe your friend would’ve left you out of envy if you got a high mark. Your mother scolded you? Maybe her silence might’ve hurt you more. We are all just humans and we all have a chance to get better. We are all so strong and it is never too late to seek your inner peace, it will be hard and full of challenges but you are not alone, oh brother, oh sister, you are not alone.
Thank you for this video Aimhigh