Good At It

Write because you are good at it.
Sing because you are good at it.
Study because you are good at it.

Bla Bla because you are good at it.

Nobody said Live because you are good at it.

 

In all these “GOOD AT IT” there was a guy who didn’t know what he was good in and actually he was good in Observation and Focus but he lived all his life in BEING NOT GOOD AT SOMETHING whereas he was Good At Everything.
Focus and Observation are the essential ingredients.
But you need flame to cook your dish.

Nobody is like you
This makes you special.
You are unique from the time you were made
then why to spend a life in imitation.

-Kashif Muhammad.
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Within The Confines of My Mind.

I

Inhale…
I creep down the stairs
Inhale…Exhale…
There isn’t anyone there

The people are in bed
The house sleeps on
There is no one to stop me
As I leave home

Rich hues so blinding
Sensory nerves in overdrive
I breathe in deeply
Feeling almost alive

Gone are the black rooms
The suffocating darkness
Instead appear the wild paths
The rolling hills endless

Inhale… Exhale…
I walk tentatively on
Inhale… Exhale…
Deep into the illuminating morn

 

 

 

sidd

 

II

He speaks of time
Days yet to come
Stories and moments
That haven’t yet been spun
Of humans, happy
And battles undone

Surpassed sweet harmony
Wretchedness cast aside
The deadened homo sapien
Brought back to life
Voids refilled
Responsibilities recognized

Prevalent: Empathy, Humanity, Consideration
Melodious laughter, smiles untaxed
Is such eccentricity possible?
Sans being asked?!
Mass malady cured?
Altruism atlast?!

The world seems not so bad
In his soft lilting tone
But just as I am about
To ask of more
Down slide his hat and eyebrows
As he melts into the floor

Colours swilling around,
The unrecognizable cascading individual
Whilst the puddle flows away from sight
I blink unperturbed
Gone is the old presence
Departed; not unheard

Instead appear the hedges
Sweet roses so red
Hospitable thorns
I am tempted
But inhaling…Exhaling…
I stroll on ahead

 

 

sidddddddddddddd

III

Shrill cries pierce my reverie
Vine-y fingers encircle my arm
Shoulders shaken, the cacophony-of worry- fills my ears
Mutely, not protesting in alarm
I am dragged back by The Distressed
Back to my life-as they see fit
I try to speak but am silenced
Not allowed out of home since birth
Atleast not without an escort
Eons have transpired in their pointless worry
Visionless by birth, voiceless by the protector
(I realise) I cannot tell anyone of the things I see
For in my condition, who
In this world would dare believe me

-Sidra Zahid.

 

 

Centripetal

 

The day I realized something was wrong with me was when I had a 2 hour breakdown over the fact that someone touched my water bottle because it wasn’t where I had kept it earlier, because the thought of someone touching or drinking from my water bottle alone was enough to send me into a full-blown panic attack.

For people who do not get what I am referring to, I am talking about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) A cocktail of consistent discomfort coupled with a brain that never really seems to quiet down because it is a never ending party up there because the intrusive thoughts just don’t really know how to quit.

The concept of neutrality does not exist when it comes to OCD because your obsessions drive you to do things that you know are not normal, and you cannot help but stick to them because these ‘rituals’ are important. These rituals are adhered to because of your irrational beliefs. In my case, it was someone dying or just the fear of being ‘filthy.’

This means not using the same plates or utensils as everyone else. It means wiping everything before you dare lay a finger on it because it is as though you can physically feel the contaminants travelling up from your fingers towards your body and just thinking and typing about this bit alone has me scratching at my hands.

It always starts out small, you don’t step on cracks, you walk on tip-toes when bare-footed and then it begins to escalate. Wearing gloves when handling dishes, using your shirt to open door knobs and car doors, not wanting to eat in restaurants and ultimately (in my case), not wanting to eat at all because everything just seems so filthy and you cannot trust anything to be truly ‘clean.’

You see obsessive compulsive disorder is more than just wanting to rearrange something so that it looks symmetrical, or wanting to keep your room clean or organized;

Obsessive compulsive disorder is telling yourself that if you do not clean your plate or someone else’s plate before handing it to them, they will die.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is telling yourself that if you have too much fun, something will go wrong at your house.  

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is telling yourself that if someone touches you (including your own mother), you are covered in filth and that you need to wash the ‘affected’ area till you can feel your skin burning.

However, that is not what breaks you. What breaks you is watching the people around you distance themselves from you because your ‘rituals’ are getting out of hand and you cannot do anything about it. What breaks you is the embarrassment. You want to cry while explaining to your friend that no, they cannot use your bathroom, or, taking the fork they offer you and then asking them to wash it again while you watch. OCD is watching your mother ask what went wrong and all the while, you have no answers to give. OCD is being called a freak or an abnormal and you want to tell them otherwise but in the end, you know they are not wrong so you just come to accept it.

I am not going to sugarcoat, use any jargon or beautiful metaphors here, this is me using a platform to talk about what went on in my head for the longest time. It took 8 months’ worth of sessions coupled with exposure and eidetic therapy and the only reason I am talking about this today is because I was fortunate enough to be a ‘mild case.’ Fortunate enough to seek therapy and fortunate enough to have the support I needed.

There are still days where I relapse and this struggle will always be there, but I am my mother’s daughter after all, forever stubborn and unyielding. So, come, shake hands with me the next time you see me around the university, and this time, I promise I will return it.

 

-Aasma Adnan.

Can you hear me? Where did I go?

Let us endure.

Let us fall.

Bring back that version of me that penetrates through my entire being.

Bring me back those eyes that lost themselves in the many realms that you had created.

Bring me back the heart that once understood what it meant to feel different no matter how diminutive it was.

Look.

And listen.

Try to find me in the cracks of my skin.

Search for me in the words my quivering lips fail to say.

Maybe I’d be humming in the dim halls, alone and astray.

The lights are fading now.

I’m slowly blending into the inky skies above me.

You’re losing me, and you’re still begging me to stay.

Can’t you understand?

My existence is not necessary for you, and neither are you for me.

Let’s be real, just this once.

I have lost you.

My beloved existence, my beloved self.

I have lost you.

-Gul Butt.

One Day.

One day

I will be

as brilliant as

I can be.

One day

I will rise from this slump

And shed this skin,

My flesh will be tender and pink

but it will be new.

The selfish aura lining my limbs

Will burn up in itself and leave

Only the ashes of empathy

I will rise like a Phoenix

Shining red and gold,

I will be confident, I will be bold

My light so bright, I will illuminate

My entire being will jubilate.

I will be courageous and just

The universe will witness,

One day is all I need

To start the rest of my life, as a brilliant new me.

-Aqsa Baiq.

Anxiety is the friend who stays past dinner and doesn’t want to go home.

sara

 I thought she wasn’t going to stay for long

I met her at a park when I was 10 years old

She said she was lonely, that she needed a friend

So I held her hand.

My mother took us to the beach one day

She told us how the sea had strange powers,

that it reminded you how to breathe just by watching it.

She explained to us, in the way she told stories,

How the waves touched the rocks with gentle caresses

and landed kisses on the white sand.

When my mother turned away, my friend whispered to me

“It’s violent.

It’s violent like a monster.

It has so much rage. Like it’s angry at us.

At you.”

One time, when a teacher called me to her office

to discuss my work, my friend kept telling me

“You must have done something wrong.

You must have gotten a bad grade.

You must have spelled that word wrong.”

And so like that she counted the ways I might have screwed up

on her fingers.

I let out a small laugh

though my palms were starting to clam up and my knees felt weak.

Some years passed

I made other friends

Friends who gave me their phone numbers

But every time I would send them a text and waited for their response

My friend made me check my phone

3 times

Then 7

Then a few times more

All in the span of five minutes

And if there was still no response, we’d argue

“They’re probably busy,” I’d say

“They don’t want to talk to you,” she’d say.

“They must have not checked their phone.”

“Maybe you said something wrong.”

My friend started sticking around a lot more.

One time, when I was waiting to meet a colleague from work at a café,

she insisted that I had left the stove on at home,

even when I reassured her I hadn’t.

She said something about the house erupting in flames

if I didn’t go home right then.

I eventually had to leave

It was the fourth time I had cancelled the meeting.

I didn’t understand why nobody else could see my friend

I wondered if anyone else had a friend like that

Who kept them up at night so they could either rewind past conversations

in their head countless of times

or play out scenarios perfectly so they wouldn’t

have to face reality.

I wondered if they also had someone who

made them change their outfits 5 times before leaving the house

only to constantly remind them to check their bag in case

they had left the keys at home

even if they hadn’t.

Who pushed a hand inside their chest and

grabbed their heart in their fist and made it beat faster and faster

until they felt it would burst from the seams.

Who made them stay home with a tempting offer to be wrapped in a blanket.

and read a book

instead of to face the world

because they just want to make them feel safe.

To protect them.

“This world is too much for you,” they’d say.

“You’re not ready.”

My friend doesn’t want to leave

She has no luggage she can pack up and move out

She says she is the safest person I’ll ever know

And maybe she’s right.

 

-Sarah Jafrani.

bro

Words Are Insufficient.

Natsume Takashi,

Truth be told, I avoided you for a long time. You seemed like an average teenager to me and I have been disappointed spending time getting to know people I have never been able to relate to. So, I want to start off by thanking you. Thank you for voicing all the feelings I have never been able to explain. Your calm, soothing presence helped me find a place where my sadness made sense.

We start molding our personality as children while our teenage years help cement them. Losing your parents and being forced to move from house-to-house because you were considered ‘unusual’ must have been hard. You were always by yourself, no place or people to call your own, always feeling like an outsider.

It was pretty sad wasn’t it? To watch all the other kids around you play and laugh while you sat in a corner and watched? Never being able to share your emotions or a lunchbox for that matter. Maybe in an alternative universe, we could have been friends. It would have been nice.

Our loneliness was never towering, for us, loneliness has always been like a drifting cloud, coming and going at its own whim, yet, never quite leaving us.

Things changed for you later though, you were taken in by a loving foster family who showed you kindness and, you said it yourself, didn’t you? That the more people try to be kind to you, the more terrified you become. Now that you have gotten a taste of what love actually feels like, you are terrified of losing it.

Our mutual anxiety is what makes you so relatable. I know what it feels like to be conscious of your every movement down to every single breath you draw from your lungs. To double-check every move because you are so scared that a single miscalculated step might shatter everything because that’s how fragile it all seems to you.

You never shared these anxieties with anyone because that would only serve to burden them and that’s the last thing you’d ever want to do. So, you stay quiet. You do not voice your feelings because you never know what could prompt them to leave you. So, you silently suffer and tell yourself that it’s all for the best.

Throughout the series you never gave any thought to your future because it was scary to imagine, wasn’t it? To imagine a future where you’re happy, loved, content; because deep down you cannot help but think that you are undeserving of it.

But Natsume, we are both beginning to change, aren’t we? We have found people we can fall back on, we are learning that it is okay to voice our feelings, to give them a name. We are both slowly beginning to heal. It is a long, painful process and the only reason we brave on is because of those fleeting moments of happiness. Moments where you are surrounded and bathed in love, days where you laugh till your insides cannot take anymore; treasured moments that make us want to stick around for a little while longer.

There will be a lot of sad days in the future as well and they might outnumber the happy ones but that’s all part of life’s unpredictability. Some days you will be able to ride out the waves, other days you might be left with salt-water lungs, gasping for air and that’s okay. You’re doing okay. We’re doing okay.

 

Regards,

Aasma Adnan.