This blog post was originally published on my old blog, Roses and Jannah, in 2017.
Countless times, I’ve had people tell me to reach out to them when I needed them.
And countless times, my heart cheered at their words, and at their sincerity–but my anxiety booed at them.
For the past few hours, I’ve been drowning in anxiety and my stomach’s been braiding several knots inside of my stomach. All my anxiousness-my doubts and my fears–some from sources known, others from sources unknown–gathered in my stomach, torturing me with the pressure with which my body begs for them to leave. The knots keep teasing me, spiraling around, acting as if they are too much for me to contain, yet cruelly refusing to leave me.
Throughout these past few hours, I’ve been struggling to complete my work–and then I was blessed with a friend reaching out to me regarding the need for help with her own anxiety.
I said to her with the words that I deserved to hear myself.
That my feelings are valid. That I am not a screw-up. That for every thing I’ve done wrong, I’ve done so many more things right.
That I’m not a burden.
That I deserve better than to be sitting here in isolation, trying to complete my work as feelings of fear consume my productivity. That I deserve to be able to reach out to a friend without the fear of them hating me for wasting their time. That I deserve to have a good support system, that I deserve to have moral support, that I deserve to feel worth it.
Because I am worth it.
That I am not a waste of space in someone’s daily life.
Personally, I try to be the friend to others that I’ve always wanted–however, in no means do I think that I am a perfect friend, but I try my best.
Like I was telling my friend, Jade*, you and I are not annoyances or nuisances to people for reaching out to them in times of need. You and I are human, and we are beings with feelings who deserve love and support. And others deserve the love and support we crave.
It is a privilege to have a friend confide in me.
It is a privilege for me to be part of the chemistry of intimacy that bonds people together through feelings and emotions. And anyone who takes that reaction for granted will one day realize the value of experiencing the intimacy that those who confide in them have to offer when they run out of opportunities for it.
It’s necessary to take the risk of reaching out so that you can discover and distinguish between the weakest bonds and the strongest bonds, and those in between. At times you’re going to get burned through the rejection of some reactions, and other times, the times that will make the initial hurt worth it, you will form connections through mutual vulnerability through affinities of all parties.
The ones who experience the most powerful reactions are those who take the highest risks.
When you try to form reactions, you aren’t always going to get the result you desire. Sometimes, you and the person you confide in will react quicker than others, and other times, it will take longer whiles to find the right bonds. But you won’t get any reaction, nevertheless the best reactions, if you never take the risk of reaching out and confiding.
Is it worth sitting in the safety of the darkness while aching for the light? Or is it more worthwhile to endure the pain of the fire to finally be able to bask in the light and be free of the emptiness of the darkness?
It depends on you.
At the moment, I’m still in the dark–however; I’m not sitting down. I’m standing up. I already took some of my first steps. I still have not reached the light–but that’s only because I haven’t risked getting burned by the hurt yet. I am still working up the courage to get there, and will get there insha Allah.
I stood up for the very first time in a long time when I confided in one of my friends, Aminah*, about what I never imagined confiding in about to anyone.
That was when I decided to force myself to take my first steps.
And since then, I’ve formed more bonds, some weaker and some stronger, as I confided more and more, taking more risks.
I am on my way to feeling the warmth of the light, known as intimacy.
06. 25. 2020
Two years after writing this, I am no longer friends with Aminah. Yet, the lessons I learned from her are valuable. I miss the light of her friendship and wish her well, and I’m grateful for the pushes she gave me when I needed it. I got hurt by her, and I had to give myself my own closure. This isn’t the first time I’ve gotten hurt, and it definitely won’t be the last. But without her, what I learned from her, the risks I learned to take, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I wouldn’t have grown the way I have. And for the friendships that continue to last where I am truly loved and validated mutually, I cherish even more as a result of those I’ve dismissed.