I never thought I was afraid of change, I was always excited for change, anyone I spoke to knew how much I was looking forward to move to Saudi Arabia as I wasn’t thinking about change.
It took me more than 6 months to adapt. I love how this confuses everyone when I tell them. It is hard, harder than I thought.
I grew up in the same school, in the same area, with the same friends, seeing the same teachers and faces everyday. I got sick of it at the end. Imagine all your life going the same way to school! I grew up with the same neighbours, I had a close relationship with my sisters, I knew my way around London. Then one day I moved to Jeddah and didnt realise how drastically everything would change.
I knew no-one, as a hijabi I was the minority in my school yet I thought it would be easier in KSA. I went from speaking to the whole school to speaking to no one. I didnt fit in. I would go home, not speak about it, cry myself to sleep. Then avoid. I’d avoid going to school, I would take a day of every week because I was afraid of going in, afraid of being alone. My main problem was that I was scared everyone would judge me. As well as this I never told my family about my feelings. All these feelings were locked in my chest, waiting to come out.
When I left the country I was myself, well at least I acted like myself. I never thought about any of the things I thought about in KSA. The secret was I was distracted.
As lame as this sounds I found out more about the inner me from my trip to Jeddah. I realised the anxiety I had faced most of my life yet it was being concealed by all the distracions around me. When I went to Jeddah, when it was just me and my mind, I realised the battle my mind has been going through, I finally noticed the power behind the mind.
So… my anxiety was not just sitting inside of me, I could feel it in my chest bursting to come out. I didn’t realise it needed a huge event to push it out. I WISH I had spoken about it when it was minor. Please if you’re reading about this, just speak about your worries to the closest people to you, let it out, don’t let it force its way out of you!
So January 2017 I lost a very speacial person to me, its so hard to speak about her. I acted like it didn’t affect me, just went to my room and cried every time someone mentioned her. My body couldn’t handle it anymore, I went through a difficult time in hospital for months, I disappeared from school, missed my mocks, I was heartbroken, I just wanted my sisters around me. My first panic attack surprised me but did me a favour, it allowed me to speak my mind, my anxiety came out, my secret was revealed.
I am so grateful for understanding parents, as soon as this happened they didn’t look at me like I was crazy (which I expected any arab parents to do) instead the day after I had an appointment with the therapist.
Nope, that isnt a happy ending, it got worse but i’ll leave it for my next blogpost.
Thanks for reading.