Depression

Sitting in his passenger seat
Enjoying chocolate ice cream in the scorching heat
I felt my heart pound
Like I was being drowned.

This feeling, so strong
Like everything was wrong
Taking my breath away
As though it was my last day.

Opened the window, gasping for air
Suddenly lost in regret and despair
He didn’t notice what I was going through
How could he? It came out of the blue.

I didn’t know what it was
I thought loneliness could be the cause
Ignoring the symptoms like nothing happened
I never knew depression could make me so saddened.

Now I stay awake for countless hours
Struggling to sleep under beautiful stars
I think of that day in his passenger seat
Enjoying chocolate ice cream in the scorching heat.

Read more of Fatima’s poetry

Not Today

This smile made you believe that everything was fine, but not today.
For today, my lips have learnt to rest the gentle curves of this fake smile.
These eyes made you believe that the hurt was momentary, but not today.
For today, my veiled eyes have learnt to feel relief for a while.

These hands held yours, ever so tightly to fix your broken pieces, but not today.
For today, my hands have learnt to liberate the pain.
These footsteps followed your path for a long time, but not today.
For today, my steps have learnt to find their way back home again.

This soul filled your deep, black void endlessly, but not today.
For today, my exhausted soul has learnt how to take it slow.
This heart has been your solace all this time, but not today.
For today, my lonely heart has learnt to love itself; also to let go.

These words lit up your darkest days, but not today.
For today, my whispers have learnt not to utter false accolades.
These thoughts craved your delight and safety always, but not today.
For today, my mind has learnt to paint my thoughts in happier shades.

This spirit carried your burdens during bleaker times, but not today.
For today, my kindred spirit has learnt to no longer be enslaved.
This strength in me, fought your battles through long nights, but not today.
For today, my inner strength has learnt that not everyone can be saved.

I gave my mind, body and soul to make you whole;
To complete your being, I gave you unconditional control.
At each mistake, I absolved you of all crimes;
So, today, I head my own way. Today, I let go of past times.

I lied, I made excuses, to justify why your actions don’t match what you say.
I now realize, at first slight I should have walked away.
And you took, and took, and never once thought to give back.
So, for today, I refuse to be my own setback.

This side of yours, my beloved, I did not foresee.
So, from this day on, I’m for me, and only me.

She Chose to Walk Away – #YoungWomenSay

This blog post was originally published by The Torchlight Collective and Say It Forward as part of the #YoungWomenSay campaign.

Being born into a Pakistani family, it’s not easy to stop listening to what people are saying about you: about the way you dress, you walk, you talk, or you smile. I had to choose between walking away or giving in to people’s expectations. I chose to walk away from the negative aspects of my life and find myself. I believe that taking a stand and leaving behind everything that’s hurting you is the only way to grow, so that’s what I did.

She knew she could struggle, but she had the choice to sparkle.

She knew she could beat herself up, but she had the choice to praise herself instead.

She knew she could hide the scar, but she had the choice to be the star.

She knew she could cry again, but she had the choice to try again.

She knew she could not avoid the existence of pain, but she had the choice to believe in the existence of gain.

She knew she could give up, but she had the choice to act up.

She knew she could lose hope, but she had the choice to cope.

She knew she could keep lingering on, but she had the choice to keep forging on.

She knew she could fade away, but she had the choice to run away.

She knew she could keep waiting, but she had the choice to keep walking.

She knew she had the choice;

And so, she chose to walk away.

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I’ll Show You My Pain

Show me your scars,
Show me what you’ve been through.
Show me your pain,
Don’t you think I understand?

Show me your anger,
Because I have it, too.
Show me your despair,
Because I’ve also been there.

Show me your darkness,
I’m familiar with its power.
Show me your regrets,
You know, I also have them.

You may think I do not know,
What it feels for the soul to bleed;
But I do, my dear, yes I do.

I’ll show you we all have pain,
No matter how much we try to hide.
Don’t dismiss others’ pain,
Just because they are not the same.

I’ll show you my scars,
They are on my arms and my heart.
I’ll show you what I’ve survived.
I’ll show you my darkness and how I’ve learned to shine.