Fasting and Ramadan is a difficult time for everyone. Yeah I said it. People will disagree. Even those who agree will disagree. It’s tough to try and keep up with your own expectations of your Emaan. Trying to keep up with your work, school and your expectations of who you want to be this month becomes hard. As you are motivated in the start, with time that motivation dwindles because you are more tired. Demands get’s higher.
I may sound like I’m not being super positive. I may sound like I’m not being accurate either because a lot of people are able to manage the demands and handle it. They are able to bring up their faith and get better at whatever they are trying to work on in their lives.
Good for them.
Let me tell you how it goes for me. It’s the worst time of year. Yep, I said it again. I know it’s not something we as Muslims are supposed to say out loud, right? Well, I have good reason. Those reasons are super valid. Let me explain. I love Ramadan. It used to be my favorite time of the year. Still is. I love being in the middle of it. I love being able to pray and take benefit of it. Just until a few years agogo I used to be able to fast. It was tough. I found it to challenging but I felt a part of something. I felt like I was doing something bigger than myself that made me stronger and proved that I was closer to my creator.
Than this invisible illness started to hit harder and harder. I couldn’t fight it as much as I could before. My fasts were spent lying in bed not being able to move because I couldn’t take medicine. Eventually I had to make the decision to not fast on most days. I still fast but it’s very rare. Now with kids its next to impossible because who is going to take care of them if Im not able to move around? If I’m not getting treated properly or not getting pain meds than the whole house is suffering, and I can be okay with my own suffering or even my husband’s but I cant let my kid’s suffer.
With not fasting comes the judgment, with judgment comes loneliness because no matter how much you explain to people what your reasons are they WILL judge you and cast you as less than…
Automatically you feel that your own self worth is falling. You feel you are not as close to Allah as you once were. Even though you perform all of the other Ibadahs (worship) with just as much vigor, if not more, because you’re trying to make up for not fasting. What follows is anger…because you want someone to be able to see, someone to understand that this is not a matter of choice. Just because you don’t “look” sick and in pain doesn’t mean that you are not. It is not about convincing people; it’s about stopping people from constantly giving you suggestions and advice on what you should do to “make” yourself better to be able to fast. “Just power through because they have a backache too”. Or “read extra Quran because that heals everything”. Chronic Illnesses don’t just disappear.
I have given up on all of it. I don’t talk to people about it. We just don’t discuss it. But inside me is this loneliness. Not because I an’t talk to anyone, because there’s a hush. I feel like even people who know and claim that they understand don’t really understand because they see me walking around and going about my day, and that makes them wonder. How can someone who looks normal and “not sick” on the outside be so sick that they cant fast? I get that I guess. If I wasn’t going through it myself I would pass judgment myself maybe? I don’t know.
What makes it difficult is the constant “lets try to solve your fake problems so you can go back to being a good Muslim.
With that comes the anger. One can’t deal with the physical pain along with the emotional hurt.
Since I have been dealing with this for years upon years I have found a solution for this.
One: no one needs to know. I mean not lie to people because close family and friends are going to know but this is not information that you need to volunteer to people. Fasting is a very personal act. It’s between you and your Lord. If your God has given you certain breaks why should you feel guilty for it, and why should you allow others to make you feel bad for it.
You have to fulfill all your responsibilities, or at least you have tried and you are constantly trying. You will keep trying whatever Allah asks of all his creatures in the Month of Ramadan. Keep that in mind and ignore everything else.
Easier said that done right? Right.
You hear all these people talking about how great everything is going to be in Ramadan and you are over here dreading it. Not because it will be terrible and you don’t want to celebrate it. But because you somehow feel like you cannot be good enough. That is because you feel like you are not allowed to feel your feelings openly. You are not allowed to talk about your feelings openly. We are suppressing our own emotions deep down because we are afraid to feel okay.
Im okay. I’m a proud Muslim who loves Ramadan even though I cannot fast.
No, you cannot help me fix my problem so I can fast. When you do this it makes me feel bad. I don’t want to feel bad. I want to feel good about this month because its just as much my month as it is yours.
Rant over. Im off to have a pleasant and fulfilled Ramadan.