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Young revert living the cutie life while trying to keep her heart as soft as possible, iA.

☪️♿ My Disabled Ramadan ☪️♿

Ramadan mubarak everyone!!! I know I've been quiet lately, but as previously mentioned, I've really been struggling with depression and am still not out of the woods yet. While it's discouraging, I know that all I can do is continue to give my all and not let this awful monster eat me whole. In all honesty, one of the things that's been making it harder to recover is the guilt I feel from being unable to fast. I know that Allah (swt) has left reasons to prohibit one from fasting, but it just seems like there's been an ever increasing amount of pressure to fast at all costs no matter what and if you can't for whatever reason? There's plenty of guilt to go around from everyone. But why is that?

I can't fast. And before you ask: no, I'm not "making excuses". I have a medical condition that causes me to faint and have seizures if my blood sugar gets too low. (Also: no, I can't just fast and hope for the best, that could literally kill me). However, right before my first Ramadan, I asked a popular tumblr blogger what to do since it would be dangerous for me to fast. Their response? They're sick, but they still fast. People make up all kinds of excuses to prevent fasting, not that they were saying I was doing that. As a new muslimah, it hurt worst that I'd like to admit and not even a month after joining the Ummah, I found myself overcome with guilt. I asked one of my revert friends and she told me that while she was diabetic and definitely shouldn't be fasting, her doctor told her she could so why couldn't I just fast too? I looked online and found article after article about muslims with chronic illnesses that were fasting despite it putting their health at risk. It felt like everywhete I turned, everyone was pointing a finger at me and shaming me for not being religious enough to fast when in actuality, I was physically unable to.

I honestly started to believe that if I really wanted to, I could somehow convince my body it didn't need blood sugar. So, despite knowing how foolish and dangerous it was: I woke up on the first day of Ramadan and tried my hardest to fast, but not even three hours later, I was having extremely strong and scary body tremors along with my mouth and throat being coated in excess saliva while I kept gagging non-stop. My head was so light-headed, I'm still not sure how I didn't faint and my fingers were twisting and twitching uncontrollably, the muscles in them crying out from pain and exhaustion. I went and sat down in the breakroom since I didn't know what else to do and one of my hindu friends found me and completely panicked and fed me her own lunch while praying that I would be ok. She told me, almost crying herself, that what I was doing was extremely dangerous and that I was basically ripping my body apart from the inside since I was denying it what it needed to survive. We both cried and she asked me to never fast again and told me Allah (swt) didn't want me to do this and that he would be heartbroken if I ended up killing myself by causing my blood sugar to drop too low. A little later, my Darling (then, just a friend) found me and asked me what had happened and was beyond horrified to find out I'd tried to fast. He, too, begged me not to do it ever again and then, looked me in the eyes and said, 'If you really feel bad, then I will fast for the two of us.' The words made tears come again and the memory still causes me to cry, but shows just what a wonderful and kind man he is.

Ever since, I've tried to work through the wave of guilt that always washes over me every year. Yet, I always find myself so overcome by guilt that I end up trying to fast the first day of Ramadan and end up making myself increasingly sick. One panicked phone call or text to my Darling and he immediately calls off the fasting and tells me once again, that he's fasting for the two of us so please, stop fasting ♡. This year, I got so sick that I was vomitting, but since I hadn't eaten anything, I was vomitting up stomach acid or bile (I'm not sure which). My body was burning up since I was outside at work and I had barely drinken my icee that I'd gotten just in case I got too sick. As ridiculous as it might sound, I stood there and stared at it trying to convince myself, like Spongebob when he saw the water, that 'I don't need it'. When I started having body tremors and my legs starting going weak and almost giving out on me, I called my Darling crying and in a panic. Of course, he was shocked and panicked to find out I'd gone behind his back and once again, tried to fast. He immediately shut down my fasting and told me to drink something and take my medicine and to call him if I got any worse.

The thing that always upsets him so much is that we both know what'll happen if I fast. It's dangerous and we both know it, so why do I keep putting my life at risk? To put it simply: the guilt and pressure I feel from the muslim community eats me alive until I feel like the only option I have is to fast. With every year, my reaction only gets worse and increasingly scary, the times between when I start fasting and when I call my Darling keeps shortening. I'm not stupid, I know that eventually, there won't be a panicked and scared call to him, but instead it will be someone he doesn't know calling to tell him his bride is dead. I know it's foolish and reckless and extremely dangerous, yet I just don't know how to stop this potentionally deadly tradition.

In all honesty: I get why people want to fast despite being ill. Really, I do. But, I think we all need to stop and think about why we're putting our bodies and lives at risk, when Allah (swt) has specifically listed reasons that make one exempt from fasting. Why is it so normalised for those of us with chronic illnesses to ignore the exemptions and just fast anyway? It's a potentionally deadly behaviour that will become fatal for at least one of us, if it hasn't already. We're supposed to be one Ummah, that loves and supports one another, yet we've gone so far off this path. Instead, we rush to point fingers at one another and try to out do each other. Ya Allah, this isn't some competition to see who will become America's Next Top Muslim! One of Allah's (swt) names is Al-Ghafoor (The Forgiving One), yet we struggle to forgive ourselves for something he has already told us is not even an issue. I make a sincere dua that this issue will disappear and we can all embrace ourselves the way we are and in sha Allah, I pray that next Ramadan, I won't try and fast and make myself extremely sick in doing so. May this Ramadan be a blessed month and may whatever time we have left to us be filled with love and happiness. I pray that we see the end of Ramadan as well as next Ramadan, in sha Allah ♡

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