I have a lot of people that I deal with on a daily basis. And one thing I have learnt about dealing with people is that they have all got their own stories. Just like I’ve got my own. And in each of their story, it’s them who’s the protagonist, not me or someone else. So when I interact with people, the best I can do is play the part of a good friend or a well wisher and keep myself from turning into their antagonist.

And this is something I really believe in. That while interacting with people, you are not the protagonist to them. It’s not about you. It’s about them.

And so if you live by this, you will often come across situations where you will have to choose between being the well wisher to their story or the protagonist of your own. ‘Cause you cannot be both at the same time. You cannot make their situation about you. And you cannot make your own situation about them. Sometimes, you’ll be forced to choose between their pain or your own. They might hurt you in being the protagonist of their story by ignoring you or your struggles in making it about themselves (which by the way is their right), and you will have to choose between letting it pass and forgiving them as their well wisher, or you will have to choose acknowledging your own pain as the protagonist of your own story. A lot of times you might be in the same troublesome situation, facing the same obstacle, but somehow it’ll be all about them because they chose to ignore that you sail in the same boat and that you’re in pain too. And when you choose to be their well wisher, you end up ignoring and neglecting yourself. You cheer them up and there’s no one really that will acknowledge that you need some cheering too. And this will happen multiple times with a bunch of people… You’ll always be their well wisher and only that.

And honestly, that’s the worst thing that can happen to you.

Because in being the well wisher of their story, I completely forgot that I had my own story to run. I got so busy being that well wisher to them that my pain and self neglect kept increasing until it came to a point where I no longer remained the protagonist of my own story. In fact, I became my own antagonist. My own personal villain. I was the one that suppressed my own self. My story didn’t remain about me anymore. It became more about others until it came to a point where I broke. ‘Cause I made horrible decisions. I kept putting others before my own needs. I kept choosing the role of the well wisher instead of choosing to be my own protagonist. And hence I was neglected by myself in my own story.

And that sucks.

And the damage I’ve done is huge.

Yes I’m supposed to be a well wisher to others, but not before I serve myself first. But me, I didn’t even serve myself last. I didn’t serve myself at all. And then finally, I broke. What about me? What about my pain? What about my feelings?

Because I went so long putting on a brave face for the sake of others that my shell began to crack and all that remained inside was a heart that was so deeply neglected that it bled.

And you know what hurt most? When the people I had been a well wisher to, accused me of being selfish when I finally decided to play my protagonist. And the damage done was of great magnitude. I ended up with untreated GAD and Bipolar. And I’m exhausted. ‘Cause living with mental illnesses is awful. Bipolar is the worst. ‘Cause I feel like I’ve ended up with a punishment. Before it was I who used to invalidate myself. Today it’s my own disorder that does. I swing between sadness and happiness cause my brain cannot decide how it wants to feel. It’s like all my feelings are faulty and unreal. Like they’re all a result of some glitch in my brain. And that automatically invalidates my feelings even to myself. It hurts.

And nobody wants to listen. All they care about is me being the well wisher. Not the protagonist.

And I don’t wish to get into personal details, but I’m stuck in a situation where I cannot get myself treated. I cannot play the protagonist… It’s not even a choice anymore. At least not for now. And that’s just damaging me more and more.

I feel like all my parts have fallen apart. Like my entire mechanism has fallen apart and I cannot figure out which part goes where. I cannot figure my self out. I don’t even know myself anymore… I don’t know what triggers me or pushes me towards sadness or anxiety. I don’t know what motivates me. I don’t understand my own motives when I choose to ignore people or when I choose to lay in bed all day. I don’t know why I feel exhausted for no reason. I don’t know why my head aches so much. I don’t know why I make excuses every time I get invited to social events. I don’t know why I avoid meeting or visiting my own best friends…

And honestly, I think that the only people that actually let me be the protagonist of my own story were these few friends. The ones that scolded me for trying to apologize for having needed a break so long and so serious that I ignored them for an entire year and a half. Because they understood. And I’ll be forever grateful to them for having given me my space without questioning it because they understood that I was the protagonist to my own story and actually had a life that didn’t revolve around them.

And so with these girls, I’m allowed to be the protagonist. But with others though, it’s not even a choice anymore. And frankly, I’m the one that brought it on to myself.

What I’ve realized now is that being a well wisher to people is important. But when your feelings and your own worth is at stake, always, always be the protagonist. Stand up for yourself right in that moment. Just as they begin to invalidate you. Never let them invalidate you. Not once. And more importantly, never let yourself invalidate you. ‘Cause you may not realize then, but the damage it will do will break you down for years to come.

‘Cause you’ll always look back. You’ll always turn the pages in reverse. You’ll always read those old chapters of your life. Those in which you damaged yourself the most. And that will always hurt. It will always hurt, because the damage can never be undone. The damage is the kind of damage that remains with you forever. I’ve developed fears that I never had before. I’ve developed thoughts that scare the hell out of me. And I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to let go of ’em.

Just remember to be good to yourself. That’s very important. Remember that this is your story and that you are the protagonist. And you have all the right in the world to cut those people out of your life story that constantly invalidate you and make everything about themselves.

Live you own story before you live someone else’s.

– Hiba







39 thoughts on “2015

  1. I’m so sorry you had to go through that, Hiba. I live with GAD as well and I agree with you – you have to cut people out of your life who aren’t understanding or who treat you poorly. We just don’t have the emotional energy that other people do to put up with things like that. When you have a good day you need to spend it with people who make you feel better instead of tear you down. I try to make my life and my surroundings as peaceful as possible. There are some natural things you can do to help until you are able to get treatment. Let me know and I will send you any information you need. I’m here to help.

    1. Thank you so much, Jenn, it really means a lot.
      It’s just so funny that people think that GAD or any other illness is just a label that doesn’t affect people’s behavior. It’s like all people are okay with your disorders only as long as you pretend that you don’t have it.
      It’s very cruel.
      I’m glad you’ve cut those people out.
      Thanks a lot, Jenn ❤

  2. Hiba after reading it all, I feel sorry for the pain you have suffered alone . what I can say is you are a person with big heart of gold who put need and feelings of others first, isn’t it an act of selflessness ?? Only a strong person can do that. You are my Hero 🙂 I am glad you analyzed well and stood up for yourself, Insha’Allah all will be better now. I am here with you if you need any help or you feel too low, call me on skype or take my gmail , send me a msg and we can chat 🙂 If I called you my sister, it is not for namesake , I mean it and you know it. (sanakhan.siet@gmail.com) , I too have anxiety and sensitivities issues but alhamdolillah it is getting better like you I too decided to stand for myself and fight over.

  3. I am glad you poured your heart out! Genuinely these words and our mistakes resonate with same frequency. .though scenarios maybe different but I have seen standing up for myself and then getting gibes for callous attitude! ! It was hard khair I guess we all learn in all the tumult to never give up on our selves! ! Your message here is true and esa he karna chaiye!
    Paying no heed to filth in our brain is the remedy and forgiving one own self to move on is imp! Though sometimes looking in the past. .I want to slap myself for my absurdities but that was me and still it’s me enveloping to be better and so are you trying! ! So go gurl! You yourself are worth slot more and Allah k siwa no peace I know. 😊

  4. I am starstruck. Not because that this is so powerful. Not because this hits home. Not because it speaks to me. But because I saved an incomplete draft of the same topic just yesterday because I couldn’t knit it into right words. And here it is. My thoughts in your words. I am proud of you, seriously. This is a lesson one should learn quite early in life. Being your first priority matters. A whole lot. Yes life is like roses, but to hold on you HAVE to cut off the thorns.
    Lots of love. Take care.

    1. 🙂
      Are you complimenting me in some way?
      Haha, or are you belittling yourself?
      It’s good that you are the protagonist of most your stories.
      It’s something I’m working on…

  5. Wow this is just kind of causing schizophrenia in me.
    Who am I.
    I am me.
    You are you.
    and hurt, only if I can’t handle the truth.
    Be you the best way you can be.
    For me I rather see an honest person standing up for what she beliefs in than a coward hiding his heart.

    We all get hurt one way or another.
    Just be you in every story. Even if your not the one writing all you can be is you not the person they want to make you belief you are.

    Or so the crow likes to say.

    1. Your replies are usually a little hard to crack down but whenever I do, I find that they’re all very positive.
      Thank you!
      The crow says some very wise things 🙂

      1. I even drive myself crazy on times!
        Not sure if it is wise, They are thoughts that are written the moment they are thought up.

        Your welcome? Haha Glad I made sense.

  6. Awww Hiba that was so heart breaking 😥
    People ARE selfish generally, and girl do not forget that again! I really really hope things get awesome for you and if you ever need a friend, don’t hesitate to call around 🙂

  7. I don’t know anything about GAD. Nor do I know how difficult being bipolar can be for people. What I do know is, pretending to be something you are not is the worst feeling ever. Sometimes, circumstances or people force us to act just like that. You fake smiles, you fake enjoyment, you fake your life. What is left is a hollow feeling.
    You are a strong person to have expressed all this with so much honesty. Take care Hiba.

      1. It is! I have so much to say about this post but I don’t know how to. I know what it’s like. And I want to appreciate you so much for writing it out because. Just because. I really want to meet you inshaAllah.

      2. 🙂
        I guess I know how you feel. It’s okay to not have the words 🙂
        I hope so too Insha Allah 🙂
        Your support has always meant a lot.

    1. Thank you Soumya 🌷
      You’re so right.
      I’ll edit my own story now.
      That means cutting toxic people out.
      And finally being able to breathe 🙃

  8. Thank you so much for writing this.You know Hiba you really are Hiba.
    Hiba ( gift) for all of us. 🙂
    I need to remember this.Thanks for this post.
    I don’t know..how I feel about this or think..to be honest I feel a bit scared.

    Aaand..Oye don’t forget to smile. K?
    I pray that wonderful make their way to your doorstep.Ameen.

    1. Aameen. I pray likewise for you.
      Your support means a lot.
      May Allah always bless you.
      Also when am I gong to find out your name? 😛
      Also don’t be scared.
      Live your life like the protagonist, Kay? Kay.

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