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Musings of a mum: Noise of loneliness

18th Jun 2021
Musings of a mum: Noise of loneliness

Life – I find – is like a gigantic dot-to-dot puzzle. I am a mere dot, and I need lines to another human being to feel part of a bigger picture. You go from one point to the next never quite fathoming, seeing or understanding the complete picture. It is only when you look back at your trail that it starts making a little bit more sense.

I have always imagined myself a lover of solitude. In a house full of noisy (but wonderful) children, beloved grandparents and extended family in and out of the door, the quiet that comes with the night or the early morning is wonderful, and I find peace in it. I have never fathomed that the quiet had noises of its own.

Around Ramadan time – due to a change in diet and routine – I started feeling lonely, which is absurd because I’m in a house full of people. I, shockingly, discovered that having people around does not necessarily stave off loneliness.

My saving grace was working on a community venture and having late-night conversations with one of my best friends talking through (and about) greasy hair, pedicures and mundane life things before getting into the planning side of things served as a perfect antidote to my downward mental spiral.

Towards the end of Ramadan, I was invited to an Iftar, which felt wonderful. Although I felt like an oddball in that gathering, the aftermath made me understand how much I needed to get out, interact with others – outside of my immediate bubble – even if I did not agree or ‘fit’ in with them.

The mere act of being in the presence of others lifted me. Perhaps it is the lockdowns of Covid-19 that have finally gotten to me and the realisation that I am not a self-sustaining island has been a humbling lesson.

Covid has changed a lot of things, including the way we live our lives, crumbling support systems I did not know I had until it was gone. I have always relished the conversations that I had with my fellow mothers on the way back from school but separated pick up times has changed that, and I lost valuable sources of conversation.

I needed to pursue spaces that recreated this exchange of thoughts and ideas. I started making more of an effort to get out and/or meeting up with friends; reached out to my siblings more often, arranging coffee dates and catching up on phone calls. A bike ride with a group of women followed by hilarious conversations over Mcflurrys and fries was simple but so life-affirming. It took me forcing myself to do something that I did not necessarily feel like doing but was so essential to my wellbeing.

Going forward, I intend to look back often, to examine what my picture looks like, charting my way forward and making sure I’m clocking those conversations in, the same way I clock in my exercise and prayer times. Good health – it seems- is a three-pronged affair, your physical, spiritual and mental health. Make sure you get good doses of all three!

Aasiya I Versi

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