I am trying to practice being good to myself.

In the past when I struggled to find my way and felt down or discouraged I tried to form friendships and relationships with people so I wasn’t so isolated. All it took was becoming a part of NAMI Mercer NJ’s volunteer squad or peer volunteers. I enjoyed volunteering over the years. I felt so happy even around the holidays being a part of such a wonderful team of peer volunteers who were all trying to rebuild their own lives. Most of the organization’s volunteers make up the team that is NAMI. We have three parties every year in the social group for adults too. I recommend trying to get involved with NAMI to all my peers with mental health problems. You can do a little research online to see if there is a NAMI in your state and city or town.

I’ll pursue my goals but I need to never make excuses for my behavior. I never want to use my mental illness as an excuse for not working. I have done quite a bit of volunteer work over the years at NAMI. NAMI is such a wonderful organization to be a part of. I am proud to say I am just waiting to get an assignment back from my writing instructor. It made me feel so good when she said I had done really well on a difficult assignment.

I love to prove people wrong.

I think that positive cancels negative in most situations and I pray now. Prayer is a form of meditation. I do things I enjoy that’s my happiness. My life followed its own trajectory, life happens you can’t plan life it is just the nature of things. I try to not dwell on my past. I believe in God. God is making a way for me even now because I am sure and I can tell that God’s power has been in my life. God is diety not a person. I think sometimes it may be sad but regardless of what each person may believe I believe in God. I know God is a good God. We all have different stories each person has a story in life but the one universal thread is people regardless of background who may have had trauma in their lives or things happen to them at the hands of people who may have gotten hurt early on or had some trauma in their lives that still them as adults. I know here in America many of the adults that are really affected by trauma inflicted upon them by a teacher at school or a parent I notice even young kids doing things like committing suicide. It is really hard sometimes especially for some adults who have difficult mental illnesses and struggles that you may never know just how hard their illnesses are for them. I like that I am a part of NAMI. As a peer volunteer, I like to be able to at least renew my membership to NAMI every year. I did so yesterday. I know sometimes when I think of the divine intervention I had I say “Thank you, God for making this possoble”.

I want to be remembered as a person who was honest about all of the things that are hard, to be honest about. One day I just knew I had been given a gift and that gift was life. On hard days I have to encourage myself to keep pushing myself and not look back but in surveying my present I always tell myself “Ayesha don’t get discouraged sometimes you have to encourage yourself.” You have to keep on taking your days as they come. You never think about appreciating your life until you are older but once you can say “I’m okay. I want my life.” I don’t want to die or end my life. I will be taking more steps to independence. I am going to get a vehicle and try to get my driver’s license. This is possible and I know I can do this. I am confident in my ability to take this step.

Being teased about my color as a kid was really hard and stressful for me. The name calling and bullying started for me in third or fourth grade.

I had a conversation with my mom on how angry and sad it made me feel as a child to be singled out for bullying by other kids at school and in our neighborhood that was then Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. I feel happy to say I really like myself but I dealt with bad bullying as a kid. I thank God I didn’t internalize any self hatred or anything. I feel like it’s cool to be me now. I like being honest about my experiences. People appreciate honesty and I think it makes my story more relatable too.

Some of the best advice I have ever gotten was to pursue my own interests and not what my mom or my dad tell me what to do. I had loved art class since I was a child. I have an adult coloring set that I love to color a page or two every day. It is a great therapy for me art and writing is one of my favorite means of expressing my thoughts and feelings. This past February I had a poem I published called Poem for my grandfather and I have a newer poem I wrote that I wrote for my mother called You Inspire Me that is coming out in July 2020.

I have turned to spirituality and God because I know God is with me. I am trying to encouraged myself to think more positively. I start my morning off with a five to ten minute pray for myself and my friends and loved ones. I am happier. I have relatives that I friended on Facebook who I reached out to also. Any time I visit Brooklyn I see my grandmother and my aunt and my cousins. I have a large extended family and cousins in Canada too.

I’m happy that I had quite a few successes in my 30s. I look forward to turning forty. I’m finishing a course I took to write for children. I am excited that I did well on the revisions I did, for my course with The Institute for Writers. I entered a poem I wrote in the silver linings poetry contest for an adult audience called Happy Birthdays.

Whenever I have trouble sleeping it triggers me. I was able to take a class at NAMI called WRAP class. It stands for wellness, recovery, action, plan. I know WRAP class helped me. I found all four WRAP certificates in binders I got at NAMI over the years. I put all four certificates together that each have my name Ayesha Karim on them. I feel really blessed to have had insight into my difficult illness. I eat healthier now. I try to get fresh fruits and vegetables as much as I can. I don’t eat meat but I love chicken and seafood. I like fish too. I weighed myself today and I lost almost fifty pounds on my own following a regular eating plan but eating nothing other than fish and seafood for months. I’d love to lose another thirty or forty pounds but that’s it. I like my curves though. I don’t want to be thin or weigh under 177 lbs.