for all the bad things that have come out of my existence on this earth, there will always be 1 thing that is good about me and that is my name. when i was younger, my parents used to tell me that my name meant intelligence and kindness. so, i let those 2 characteristics be what defines me as a person. however, when i grew older i learnt that that was not the case. my name has absolutely no meaning in arabic, and i’m not gonna lie; i used to be sad about it. but then, i realized that it gave me the opportunity to give my name its own unique meaning.

so i’ve decided that afiqah means bravery. it means waking up and facing the day’s challenges eventhough you have flashbacks.  it means breathing eventhough every fiber of your being is screaming in pure agony. it means doing things that scare the crap out of you because you know they’re good for you.

afiqah means self-care. it means doing laundry that’s been sitting out for days. it means showering once a day no matter how hard things get. it means eating despite telling yourself you need to be punished by starving.

afiqah means compassion. it means accepting that you can never be perfect because perfection does not exist. it means allowing yourself to feel your emotions, but not allowing them to saturate your being. it means enforcing your boundaries even when others won’t respect them.

afiqah means patience. it means breaking down big tasks into smaller, more do-able things. it means forgiving yourself for the shortcomings that follow your illness. it means holding on even when there’s nothing left to hold onto.

my name is who i am; and no one can never take that away from me. i am not my trauma; nor am i my abuse, my illness, my parents or my mistakes. i am afiqah and i am here. i am real and i exist, i am whole, loved and wanted. i know i am because i said i am, i know i am because i said i am, i know i am because i said i am and i am afiqah