Thursday, 5 December 2019

Metanoia

Assalamu aleikum everyone :)

I like using Pinterest, and I came across a new word, metanoia. The word has Greek origin, and means the journey of changing one's mind, heart, self or way of life. I found it interesting, and it simultaniously  brought another similar word in my mind. Paranoia. Coming from Greek words para and noos, irregular and mind, to become the words paranoos, distracted.

I was diagnosed with paranoid schitzofrenia 12 years ago. It's been a long, long time and even harder than longer. I have had three hospital periods during that twelve years. Mostly I've been on medication, but there has also been longer and shorter periods without any medication. Generally I have been doing well, and I feel every year is better, and I am able to have a very normal life. This illness varies so much individually, so I wont talk for any other person than myself. There's plenty of information in the internet if you want to read more. :)

So what comes to me having this illness, and how it affects my life, is maybe a bit less/easier than for many others. The symptoms I have, are both negative and positive. The negative symptoms I have, are that I tend to spend most of my time home, I'm easily exhausted and tired, I get anxious around lot of people, and my memory is not that good. The positive ones (meaning, symptoms that add something in your normal life) are beeing suspicious, talking my thoughts out loud at home, getting upset easily, and if I have much stress or pressure for a longer period of time, I might end up having psychosis. I'm not having these symptoms all the time, and usually I can be very happy and just regular, alhamdulillah. I have had to learn to really keep my life very simple and nice, easy-going, so I can be in good health. That's also a major reason for my writings in this blog, I guess I have written alot about reducing stress, beeing minimalist and enjoying little things. It would be my life philosofy if I wouldn't be a muslimah. Becose islam includes all those things and so much more, giving me tranquility and peace I cant find nowhere else. Subhan Allah.

I have had this illness so long time, that I have become used to it now. Even these three psychosis episodes I have had, I feel like in them also I always reach some kind of 'next level' :D Seriously, they have been very good and teaching episodes also. Becose for me they have had always a religious characteristics in them, and I have been able to come really close to Allah swt and my spirituality has evolved. In all experiences there's good and bad, and I think that a harder time I've faced, the more beautiful the other side of the coin appears.

I want to clear up few things. Based on my own experience, people seem to really have no clue about mental illnesses. Or the ones who dont have one already :) It's difficult to be open about this illness, becose it's such a taboo, and people might have very different reactions. Some may feel sorry for you, some think you are some kind of a 'crazy' person, or 'slow'. Some do understand, and they see you yourself and not the illness, like alhamdulillah, my hubs, friends and family does. But when people dont have any idea of something, they might have questions you are not sure should you answer or feel insulted. Like "do they let you have children?" has been one of the worst. Firstly, there is no 'they'.. lol and me as a schitzofrenic have to tell you this? :) I am controlling my own life, as much as I'm able to do that (.. becose Allah swt is al Mutaqabbir, above us all). I am responsible person. I work, I study at home, I keep my finances together, I am able to travel and achieve my dreams.. I am strong, and I am an expert of myself. Treatments of mental illnesses are still developing, but subhan Allah, we are not living the times of lobotomy anymore. I sincerely believe that if a person really wants to feel better and achieve a better health, it is possible in sha Allah. There just has to be a way out of a 'career of illness' where a person sees that his/her life has ended as it used to be, because of the diagnosis. The illness may be part of us, but it doesn't define us. Just like a neck pain doesn't change our whole personality, right?

What comes to the topic, 'metanoia', I think it combines very well with mental illnesses. If you want to feel better, you have to take the step to a path of metamorphosis, path of self-caring and self-loving, path of deeper understanding of life. No matter how hard it seems at first, the change is really possible. You dont have to run that path, just take little baby steps, and in sha Allah you will see one day that you have climbed on top of a mountain. Write on paper all the things you want to be and want to achieve, realistically, and read that paper every day. Make a promise to yourself that you are gonna take good care of precious, beautiful you, and dedicate your life for love, peace and happiness. Read Qur'an and reflect on it. Have time with your close ones. Any day you fall, rise back again. And never lose hope. <3

Thank you for reading this,

Aisha







Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Long distance survival kit

Assalamu aleikum wa rahmatullahi each and every one :)

I promised to write about long distance marriage, and here's my advice based on my own experience. I have known my husband now almost two and half years, which we've spent married 1,5 years. There has been three trips for me to Jamaica. One disaster and two great ones. All in all, we are still in love alhamdulillah, and looking forward to reunite again, for to actually live together in sha Allah. So, this is what I've learned and am learning about living in different countries with my spouse, and I hope it can be helpful in sha Allah.

1. TRUST

Trust is a major, major thing in a long distance marriage. Jealousy can easily linger in, and to a certain level it's very normal and healthy, because it's a natural feel to have when you truly love someone. But with all the distance between, the jealousy can also come between you and your spouse unless you have a good talk and really solve and settle all the issues according to it. Islam gives us certain obligations, as lowering our gaze etc, alhamdulillah. But part of jealousy's nature is that it is not always a rational emotion. So just make sure that you discuss with your spouse what you expect from each other, with time and peaceful setting. If it's possible, have the conversation when you can actually talk face to face.

Trust is also the basis of the relationship. In sha Allah you have chosen a spouse you can fully trust in other areas too. Meaning, you can be your absolute self with him/her. Trust is also about knowing that no matter what, you will stick together. To know that if your phone doesn't work, he/she will still be waiting you at the airport when you arrive. To know that through all the rough times, you are ready to walk together, holding hands in the storm.

2. VALUE TIME

Even through phone/internet, it's very important that you keep in touch daily, if possible. Give time for your spouse. Make time for your spouse. If you're busy, send a voice note. It's very important to stay in touch regularly and find different ways to stay in contact, in case of electricity or internet goes down, and so on. Send him/her a text first thing in the morning. Sleep together. Send memes and funny gif's to brighten up your significant other's day.

3. BE UNDERSTANDING

Line doesn't work. He/she was supposed to come home earlier. Time difference. Obstackles keep coming. "Always something". It can be nerve wracking, but it'll pass. Whatever the cause may be, be understanding. If there's a good reason for something, then there's a good reason and that's it, so it's only harmful to get angry. Life is unpredictable, and one enemy called uncertainty is of course stressful. But there's situations you can't help, and you need to accept that. Don't blame your spouse for something which is not his/her fault in the first place. Perfect your patience, and remember to be grateful because Allah swt has brought you together and in the end, everything is going how it's perfectly planned by our Creator.

4. DEVELOP COMMUNICATION

Communication is also the very basis of a relationship. More you develop your communication skills, the less there will be arguing. That's a major issue causing trouble in a relationship in general, the lack of right kind of communication. I'm definetly not an expert, but very willing to learn. Because arguing can be so draining, and it's usually useless and just creates more distance between. When you develop your communication skills, you are able to get your message through much easier, and also get a more honest response from your spouse. You can have so good conversations, and bring your hopes and feelings up in an deeper way, which will do the opposite than arguing: bring you closer together. I've found very helpful to remind myself during harder times, how is a good spouse supposed to be like, and what we can learn in a spiritual sense about our roles in marriage.

5. TALK ABOUT ISLAM

Keep on supporting each other. Listen the same lectures and have talks about them. Share notes, thoughts, tips. Recite Quran to each other in voice notes. Give reminders. One of my favourite things I love to do with my husband is to pray with him. But in a long distance situation, there's also plenty of other ways how you can practice islam together.

6. CHERISH MEMORIES

You have had so good, memorable days and moments. Cherish them when you feel lonely, and share your favourite memories with your spouse. For me and my husband, one of our most favourite memory is when we met the very first time, and we've had so many laughs and so much happiness remembering it. Tell your spouse even the smallest little things you remember about your time spent together. It's good to look in the future, but value also the history you share.

7. "I LOVE YOU"

Say it, every day. As often as you can, in as many ways as you can. Before you hang up the call. When you wake up. When you argue and when you make up.

8. FUTURE PLANS

Dream and make plans for the future. It keeps alive the feel that you are on a mission and going forward to something. It's not easy to relocate also, so ponder upon different opportunities and chances, and prepare yourselves as much as possible. Make arrangements, save money, stay positive.

9. SET UP A DATE

At one day then, in sha Allah soon, you will be able to set the date. Maybe first a certain month, and later on an exact date of your reunion. That will give some much ease! For me and my husband, the countdown starts on the day there's the plane tickets. Alhamdulillah. I'm looking forward to that day again, in sha Allah. Having the date makes it all real again. It's an ecstatic feel, to know it's finally happening. :)

+ 10. SET UP A DATE

Yes. :) You can be playful and do all kind of things together. You can for example have a date night, and have a dinner together. Anything what makes you happy. You can continue your married life still, and keep the spark alive and knot tight. :)


- Aisha





Tuesday, 26 November 2019

A little supm

Assalamu aleikum wa rahmatullahi everyone :) how has your week started?

Monday I turned 31 and I had a really good day overall, alhamdulillah. Today I was working in my regular shift and alhamdulillah for that too. The lady who I work for is so sweet and kind, and the work itself is light and easy so I feel I'm not even really working, just helping a friend. Alhamdulillah. Those who don't know, I work as a caretaker/personal assistent. I work part time, because I'm also on pension (because of my illness). So, part of this job is that it can easily come hard emotionally or mentally, because I happen to be very sensitive and the customers sometimes have confused me instead of an assistant to an servant..

.. but anyway, I'm happy to be doing a bit better now. To be honest, everything has been going smoothly since I came back to Finland, but there's one big big minus. My hubs and I have seven hour time difference, so as we are both working, we have very little time to spend together. Long distance marriage is one topic I do want to write more about later in sha Allah. I have found helpful to read/watch/hear other couple's stories and how they are coping with it.. That is dunya, it's not about beeing perfect or have constantly perfect circumstances, but more of perfecting one's patience through the test and path we have.

Actually now when I write this, my hubs texted that he is now finally available so I wrap this up quicky :)  But this is what's been going on and I will come back to the long distance marriage and it's ups and downs in my next post in sha Allah.

I treated myself today with chocolate and received my little package from Ecco Verde:


The lipstick on top is so good I had to get another exact same. And now when I finally got the lipstick brush, it looks really nice on. I will never ever apply lipstick straight on lips again. With a brush, can get better shape and use much less of the product also. Maybe you all know this already :) I've used another Avril mascara for at least a year now, but the original one was out of stock so I'll try the volume version now. I'm very pale, so I rather use dark brown for lashes because black can look too harsh on me. Also I was happy to get some samples, I have used aloe gel before and it is really moisturizing, and I'm also excited to try the blueberry moisturizer because I'm looking for a good day cream.



I can't say anything less that this is the best chocolate I've ever tasted (!)


- Aisha




Saturday, 23 November 2019

Accessories needed

Assalamu aleikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh everyone :)

Now the weather starts to get where I want it to be :D alhamdulillah. Cold, and sunny, fresh. Really nice. I got a new winter coat, again, but I hope this coat finally will last for years because I can't do this winter coat thing every year.. The one I got is nice and very oversize and cosy so I am very happy with it. I have also ordered two new dresses/abayas from Eastessence, and they should arrive on my birthday in sha Allah. :) I do like shopping, but ideally my clothes would last long time, so I wouldn't need to replace everything so often.

I follow fashion for fun, but then again I don't dress very fashionably, or trendy. But I have some kind of sense of trends, because so many times I have been wanting some item and then after a while it comes a trend. It started when I was a kid and I wanted 'basketball shoes'. I had a pair some years earlier, and I wanted a new one but those weren't really at any shop that time. And what happened? A while later everyone had Converses! I was so angry because they were expensive and I didn't even dare to ask a pair from my parents. :D And I won't get them anymore! Keep your cool shoes man :(

So now, when we are stepping to winter, I want to make a small list of accessories I'd really like to have:

1. Earmuffs

These would be great! Especially if you don't have a hood in your jacket/coat. Would go nicely with hijab and just give that extra warmth when the temperature gets really low. Im definetly gonna look for these, because my ears are sensitive to wind. And they would look nice. Yes.

2. Gloves

Not mittens, gloves. Im soon officially thirty-something, so I think this year is my time to become finally an adult who wears gloves and not mittens. Even though Im still more of a mittens person. But I'll keep my eyes open if I find nice, preferably greyish leopard print gloves.

3. Sheer socks

This dont make any sense. Not any sense, in this season. But I'll just dream on these.. I've seen so pretty ones in Pinterest, with flower embroidery, and they just look so delicate and beautiful. Not practical at all. But I could wear them at home? :)

4. Turtle pattern earrings

I think these will come more of a trend in the springtime. The original, brown-yellowish pattern or a colourful one, combined with gold colour. Turtle pattern is a classic sunglasses style but I'm positive it's gonna be seen soon in different types of earrings (hoops, studs, statement..). I would go with small, thicker hoops.

5. Greens

Dark green, emerald green, pistachio, mint.. Green is a reminder of summer in the cold and dark. And it was our beloved Prophet's (saws) favourite colour. :) Alhamdulillah. I never got that light blue bag I wrote earlier about, but I've changed my craving for a dark green crossbody. For me, green is a bit difficult to wear somehow, but in accessories it'd work great. So in my mind I see a black coat, mint green neckscarf and a dark green bag.


I hope you're having a good weekend! Next time then,

Aisha


Thursday, 21 November 2019

Veggie bowling

Assalamu aleikum wa rahmatullah dears :) how's your week been?

I had yesterday such a nice time with my two best friends and the cutest baby. We cooked together and used some soy sauce and sweet chili sauce in the dish. I wanted to try them at home too, because I havent used much Asian flavours in my cookings for a long time.

Also I used to admire those 'hit' food bowls in Insta, and never really tried to make one myself, so today I combined these tries together.

I went to market and bought

- Romaine lettuce
- marinated tofu (garlic-basil)
- champignons
- zucchini
- red cabbage
- soy sauce
- sweet chili sauce

and I had some baby carrots in the freezer to add in the bowl too.




I started with shredding a small piece of cabbage, and marinating it. I used in the marinade

- fresh ginger root
- lemon juice
- apple cider vinegar
- soy sauce
- sweet chili sauce

and it turned out to be delicious! Just put everything a liiittle bit, especially soy sauce. Mine came strong but it works well with other vegetable's freshness in this bowl.



Then I boiled the carrots for two-three minutes, and cut the lettuce and zucchini. Also I cut the champignon and fried it in the pan very lightly with oil and grinded some black pepper on it. When the mushrooms were ready, I cut the tofu into chunks and fried it in oil to get it nicely crispy. And then I was ready to build the bowl.



This was a salad bowl, so I kinda just put everything on the sides and mushrooms on the top. If I would use rice, couscous and so on, I would add it on the bottom and then put the veggies on top of it.



Ready to eat! It was tasty and filling. I tend to use alot of spices in cooking, but sometimes I really need to just taste the vegetables as they are. The carrots were so sweet! Also the marinated cabbage gives a good zing to this bowl and all in all it was in a good balance. And so easy and quick to make! I will definetly start to make these regularly and try different ingredient combinations. I love cooking so much, and it can be so creative and fun. :)



- Aisha







Saturday, 16 November 2019

Favours and favourites

Assalamu aleikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh everyone :)

Today I want to give a fav list. When I started to write this post, I realized that the english word is favour-ite, as it's something what gives you a favour. Interesting. :) In finnish we would say preferable, or lovable in stead of favourite.. I'd love to know more languages, because I love words and their meanings and it is interesting to compare, how the actual talking goes. I mean, we can translate the words but it's nice to understand the actual, literal meaning of phrases.

Here's my, let's say November favourites, which have given me the favours:

1. Nettle shampoo

Yes! It has intensified my hair colour and has healed my scalp. Really nice. My hair also feels stronger and a bit thicker. And, it foams so well that you can use just one pump for one wash, so this shampoo will last long too.


2. Lumene face cleansing milk

I am very pleased with this. It is gentle and good cleanser. Im definetly gonna keep using this. I'm also planning now to get a Lumene moisturizer because I was so convinced my this cleansing gel.


3. N.A.E. deodorant

Naturale Antica Erboristeria was a newbie to me. I found a fig&hibiscus deo at our local market. I love the scent! They have also other products, as shower gels and body balms. Their products also have the eco certification and are vegan (and halal).


4. Red

I need red! I bought a bright red scarf for myself, and I love it. The colour gives me so much energy.


5. Treat break

I decided to leave all treats now for awhile. Or at least bisquits, chocolate, candy, everything very sugary, and see how it affects on me. I do drink fruit juices with added sugar, eat mints and honey etc, so it's not a complete sugar free break. I have continued this now about one week and I see my skin already more clearer, and I dont feel so tired after meals (and desserts). Also I dont get so much candy cravings or so. I have replaced the treats to dates, nuts and fruits. I recommend :)




- Aisha


Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Sorting out

Assalamu aleikum :)

Another week has started again. Weather here is so rainy and grey.. the snow melted almost right away. In sha Allah we get more soon.

So, I had my one week garbage experiment. I can tell you straight away that there's actually nothing to tell! Like I expected, mostly I had bio waste, then a little bit of unrecyclable waste, no glass, few tin cans, some cardboard and some recyclable plastic. I thought I'd come to some bigger conclusions after this experiment, but I didn't really :( :) . But as tips, I'd say its good to cook from scratch, use a canvas bag for groceries, and recycle all you can. In cities (in Finland) recycling is so easy and it doesn't take that much effort but the impact is huge.

I have been also sorting out myself. A long distance relationship takes so much patience, and lately I haven't been able to endure the waiting that well. Me and my hubs have 7-8 hour time difference and we both are working, so our time together has been quite limited. I want to be a good wife for him, and he means everything to me, so I try to be still more understanding and patient. Becose the fact is, we have still many months to go again until we reunite, in sha Allah. 

Next time I'm gonna post a fav list again, it's been a long time since last one. Until then, have a nice week!









- Aisha

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Finnish revert muslimah, married to a Jamaican revert muslim. Loves tea, nature and good vibes. Writes about daily life, food, beauty, travel, islam, mental health and relationships. Welcome to follow this blog!