Depression can surely bring you down, but faith in God shared even with strangers can put things in perspective.
When depression strikes, some people just can’t cope and deal with it until they’ve tried programs with a therapist or counselor for help. This is what Haroon Moghul did, among many other things, to combat his extreme depression due to his Bipolar Disorder. He was far from recovering and unexpectedly, a very regular, but truly eye-opening event happened to him that made him rethink his life and choices.
Haroon, at 32 years of age, was suffering from Bipolar Disorder. His wife of 12 years can’t live with him anymore knowing his condition. She left Haroon and it caused him to spiral down some more. His depression was too much to handle and Haroon was hospitalized for a very long time. In Haroon’s area, they lacked health facilities that specifically catered for people who are mentally challenged. He really believed that his life and his world were over because his love didn’t want anything to do with him.
His Bipolar Disorder also somewhat made him “anorexic”. He wouldn’t eat because of his depression and it caused Haroon to lose 60 pounds. Haroon was also having suicidal thoughts. With that happening, friends and family intervened because Haroon was slowly “killing himself” with what he’s doing. He moved back to Dubai and was surrounded by supportive loved ones.
They encouraged him to explore and spread his wings. Every month or so, Haroon would get in his car and drive to international borders surrounding Dubai. In his own little way, Haroon was fighting a battle with his mind and kicking depression to the curb.
His only issue was his passport. It was valid, but the problem is that he has lost so much weight. The picture in his passport doesn’t resemble the present him. He feared that border patrol might deny him entry or worse, ban and deport him. Still, he tried to push through.
He went to Oman and passed by a police officer with an “I-don’t-really-care” attitude at the border. The officer looked at his passport and after a few seconds, he laughed out really loud. He then motioned Haroon to move on and so he did.
Shortly after that, Haroon noticed a police car following him and motioning him to stop. This was the Arabian Desert and it was not a good place to do a stopover. Haroon had a lot on his mind like the police might want to kidnap him, eat him or kill him. But he had no choice. Haroon moved to the side of the road and got out of his car to approach the police officer.
The reaction of the officer stunned Haroon. It would seem that he was afraid of Haroon and told him to stop in his tracks and to go back. Haroon didn’t want to cause a fuzz and so, he went back to his car and drove back to the border booth following the police officer.
When he arrived, the police officer who brought him back called his companion. He also told Haroon to show the other person his passport. Willingly, Haroon did it and it was one of the most unforgettable moments of his life.
The other officer told him that he was so fat before and in all sincerity, he asked Haroon how he lost all that weight. Haroon’s mind was racing with different reasons – divorce, wife was gone, career in shambles, home lost, savings depleted, everything just melted away and that he didn’t care about all of it.
Instead, Haroon just said, “Alhamdulillah!” This is a solemn Arabic word which means “Praise be to Allah!” Obviously, Haroon is a Muslim and an Islam believer. It’s like he was telling them that God made all of it possible – him losing 60 pounds.
Without reservations and doubts, the two officers answered back, “Alhamdulillah!” In that moment, Haroon realized that they may be miles away from their homes and pledged to different homelands, but because of their belief in their God, Allah, there were no wedges between them. Not even a border booth.
This particular event made Haroon rethink his life. It pushed him to want better things for himself and fight his mental disorders. Telling this story to people has motivated him to live. Haroon Moghul is now in New York and author of How to be a Muslim: An American Story.
There are so many people like Haroon who broke their hearts and got even more depressed on top of their disorders. They also have problems reaching out to specialists with their mental health issues because of their location. Good thing there is internet and online therapists are available to assist them anytime and anywhere worldwide.