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Confessions of a Hijabi part 3



 

Burn-out and I

 

With the pressure of finishing high school at a certain level, I still was dreaming for a way that I could be ‘normal’ and do this in the expected time. School and my parents tried so hard to help me graduate, even though I looked like an ungrateful brad. They made me go to school from 8 to 5, to that I would do all me home work at school, and had the evenings to myself. It was a great idea, if I was functioning normally. Their efforts didn’t pan out and I had to do some classes over. Eventually I did graduate. But I couldn’t be happy about it. I wasn’t feeling it. It didn’t feel like an accomplishment. The amount of time that it took to graduate, made it feel this way. It was just something normal, everybody graduates eventually, but I took it as a flaw that I did it in more than 5 years. Again, I blamed myself for not graduating in the ‘standard’ time it should’ve taken me. I did not measure up to the standards, so I still felt like a failure. So, I went on to university with this feeling and attitude.

In every stage in my life, I tried to understand myself. Now I could finally choose a study that could help me with this: psychology. Not only did I wanted to understand myself, but I wanted to help others in a very personal way. I really loved what I was studying, but the university system didn’t work for me at all. Sure, I was finally doing something I loved and was more motived for. But the university systems are not made for everyone. So, I was still running after everyone, trying to keep up. The first year, I still was failing. But luckily our system gives a student 2 chances for every exam. I would pass the second try of every exam. Imagine to fail every single exam at the first year of university. I kept on failing in life, I was failing at everything, I felt. So,I pushed myself to do better. I tried to sleep better and to be healthier. I hoped that this would help me feel better, and I did do better the next year. So, I kept it up, while still trying to please everyone around me. But I was doing too much, which my body and mind couldn’t handle. Some weeks I would go to school from 9 till 6 or 7 o’clock, just to finish everything I had to do, because I was behind on a lot of schoolwork. Some weeks, I’d go to the gym 5 sometimes 6 days a week, just to have that ‘Instagram perfect body’. With the hopes of feeling better about myself in any way that I could. I was asking too much of myself, because the world was asking too much of me. Or did I pressured myself to be better? Still, I felt I was never good enough for myself, I didn’t live up to the everyone’s expectations, and certainly not my own. It broke my spirit. It caused me to make some really bad choices in life, just to feel alive again. Which had a strain on the relationship with my parents, few of my friends and the relationship with myself. Yes, myself. I didn’t like me. I wanted to be someone else. Someone who would be able to live up to all these expectations. When I burned myself out like that, my friends at that time really helped me get through this. They told me to get help, because this wasn’t going well. So, I decided to listen to their advice and I went to see my family doctor. I needed to know what’s wrong with me. They say what you don't know, can’t hurt you, right? No, WRONG. It did. Not knowing what was ‘wrong’ with me, meant that I couldn’t ‘fix’ it. If I knew, I could, and I would. People say that labelling someone is not good. Well I will tell these people that I wanted nothing more than to be labelled. I was like, “Please label me, for God sakes!” Because then I understand why I am the way that I am. If I can’t understand myself, how could I move forward? How could I grow? How could I change what’s needed to feel happy, to feel alive?

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