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Photo: Mai Nguyen

Many things have changed this year: friends get married, friends have babies, friend move to another city/country/continent. But for me, things don’t change much, and that’s probably why I feel like I have been left behind.

“Who should I call?” I ask myself when staring at the contact lists on my phone. I realise that everybody around me is busy and occupied with their life. Unfortunately I might not be a part of it.

A few days ago I saw the sunset. As the sunlight receded into the distance and left me in darkness, I burst into tears, wondering if I die, how long it would take for people to discover my body. A stream of negative thoughts attacked me: my friends have moved away, have forgotten about me, or at least put me at the last of their priority lists.  I can’t blame anyone; it is just a part of life that people move on with life; it is just a part of life we are occupied with new things. Yet, even when my brain understands this fact, my heart finds it hard to accept it.

In that vulnerable stage, I remember the story of prophet Ibrahim gazing at the sun setting and claiming: ‘I love not those that set‘ (The Qu’ran, Surah Al An’am). I decided to do the same thing, and it soothed my heart gradually. Instead of seeing people, bad memories and my solitude, I see myself as a tiny human who is connected to God’s majesty and mercy through prayers.

Even though there’s really nobody with me, I am not alone, because my Creator is still there.

Even though the strings I have to the world are loosened, the rope of faith is still there, and I feel the need to hold on it more tightly.

Loneliness is a medicine. It’s bitter so much that it makes me cry nonstop. But through that bitterness, I can understand my utter impotence and poverty as well as my desire to attach to something lasting and stable.

Loneliness is a test, too. It attacks you constantly: just because I feel better one time, it doesn’t mean it will disappear. It comes back to you, depresses you, isolates you and makes you want to stop trying. Thus, I always feel like I’m on borderline of depression these days. I’m struggling against the dark/negative thoughts coming from my nafs (instintual soul) and Satan who try to persuade me that I’m worthless and forgotten. I’m struggling through supplication and prayers. I want my ego and Satan to know that although they are charismatic and powerful,  my base of support is God, the Most Powerful to whom everything is subjugated. And I know God is pleased when I strive against them to become better.

Mai N