lifestyle

Windows into my soul - Part 1

Tuesday, May 03, 2016




I've always wanted to give beauty blogging a shot, but when I look at it I sometimes realise how shallow this world can be. I decided to bring some depth into my new blog and share my journey with Ptosis, which is a fancy medical term for a Droopy Eye or Lazy Eye. I'm a very open person on social media, I don't lead an extravagant life but I'm very much a girly girl and yes I'm into selfies and makeup, but those who know me personally know this is a topic I have never shied away from, I've never let it hold me back, I've never closed off from sharing and I think it's time I share it with everyone so those who know me will learn something new about me, and those who don't will see there's more to someone than meets the eye...see what I did there :)

Let's start where it all began...birth...

Ptosis/lazy eye/droopy eye is a condition where the eyelid is weak, depending on how weak it is that is how 'closed' the eyelid will always be. It usually happens due to the mother having a tough labour, putting the baby in distress and weakening the muscle. Well that is how mine came about, it can happen to both eyes, left or right and also it can happen way after birth either from medication or trauma to the face, there are much more underlying causes which one should always research for their children or themselves to pinpoint the origin of this condition.

When I was born my left eye was completely shut, it did not open at all, this sent my parents and family into a panic. They began praying, putting zam zam (Muslim Holy water) and honey in my eye, continuing to do so till my eye began to slowly open. When it did open, they began to notice the left eyelid 'weighed' a bit heavier than the right, meaning my eye basically looked half closed all the time.

I went for countless eye check ups when I was small to the top specialists in South Africa, this condition was not life threatening, but it turned out that even with this condition between both eyes my left has the strongest power. My condition was not as severe as some people in the world, it was also more than some, there was some people who you wouldn't even tell had a lazy eye unless you really focused on their eyes and there were some people who's eye opened so slightly that to the opposite person it looked closed. From the cases I have seen even though mine is classified 'mild' I still feel Allah put me in the middle, I got to see the world from both sides of the spectrum so to say and I will say it over and over again, if I had a choice to go through this journey again I wouldn't change anything for the world.

As I began to grow up my eyes were never the focus in my family, yes the doctor's said there was a procedure to fix it but the doctor's said I should wait till I am older, usually the muscle strengthens over time so it begins to look less like a lazy eye and sometimes it remains the same, however recently I found out even a few days old baby had the procedure so it was possible. The doctor also suggested it's best to wait till the child's body has reached it's developmental peak - so by 18. In a way this strengthened my faith in Allah and myself as a person, because I grew up with this condition, and as I grew the choice to fix it became all mine.

So anyway I had a pretty normal childhood, when I look back I realise how innocent children are, not a care in the world. That is comparing myself to other children from back in the 90s and early 2000s, we did not live in the tech world, children were not so highly influenced by looks in my days...I miss those days, now it's all glamourfied and superficial I remember being a child that messed, and wore weird outfits with not a care in the world to how my hair was or how my eyes were, I bet if I wasn't told I had an eye problem I'd never realise till later if at all. Young children don't care unless it's made an issue, and once it's pointed out it becomes the base of their focus when they look at themselves, i'm glad my parents and my family never made it an issue, they never pointed it out constantly, or from pictures, they never made comments, nothing, let's be honest my focus was always my chipmunk cheeks lol sometimes still is.



Being from an Indian family a lot of focus is put on one's looks, its the sad truth, you're instantly judged by how fair you are, how your teeth look, how thin you are, and than your personality and intelligence comes 2nd to all the looks. Allah forbid one thing is not up to 'par' and the million dollar question gets asked or thought "who's going to marry you?" It's not just how my Indian family thinks a lot if not all do, it goes back way to a traditional way of thinking, though I feel times have changed and I would think each new generation progresses in the way they think, look at the world and at other people, they may evolve to be more kinder to others. In no way am I angry at this because it did push me not to care, not to have those feelings and be so judgmental. Having likes and dislikes is okay and normal, it's what makes us different, but being vicious and attacking is always wrong. We are all at fault for doing that every now and than, but I'm slowly being aware of what I say, because words do hurt even if the person cannot hear it.

My family never did that though, yes they had their worries, in a way they are a bit traditional in that way of thinking. Every parent has a worry; not only marriage but if their child's condition whatever it may be may become worse, will it hold them back, will it make life harder than it should be, but my parents and family never made me feel like there was something wrong with me, that I was ugly or that my condition was a big deal, which if they did I wouldn't be as strong as I am today. It was the way I was born so it was normal, it wasn't a big issue.

Now, my left eye sold me out the minute I was tired, during the day it would be opened as much as possible, but as the night drew close and I got tired it would slowly begin to close - now I wouldn't notice it but everyone who knew me personally knew I was tired....you can imagine how I was never allowed to stay pass my bedtime, I couldn't even pretend to not be tired! It would also close a bit more in the sun especially if it was shining on my face. Along having a lazy eye I had a whole separate condition, that can be caused by Pitosis, some people with a lazy eye have it and some don't, I had it. This is where the nerve from my left side jaw was connected to my eye, this resulted in my eyelid moving up and down every-time I chewed, so basically the weak eyelid got a workout every-time I ate lol

You can imagine some of the questions and statements I got when I was younger;

"What's wrong with your eye?"
"Can you see?"
"Does it hurt?"
"Why does it move when you chew?"
"You look funny"
"Are you being punished?"
"Why don't you fix it?"
"Do you know there's something wrong with your eye?"
"You're ugly"

Not to mention all the lovely stares!

There were much more, not only did children question me but adults did to, some were phrased badly and some were just curious. I never hated questions, especially as I got older and people addressed me and not my parents or family, I didn't mind. Humans are curious beings, they want to know what they don't, some may say things hurtfully but some honestly just want to know and that's okay. You can imagine the 'big eyes' the smaller kids got from their parents when they asked! I do think this condition matured me pretty fast in the sense of being content with what I was blessed with, such feelings and acceptance I would have probably learn't in my 30s or 40s in this day an age I learn't in my late teens and early 20s, it didn't happen over night and it was a hard journey...still is. As I grew and began to face kids and adults I never told my parent's everything because it was my battle so to say, yes they would support me but it was something I had to learn to deal with and be okay with but without them, plus in all all honestly I didn't want to upset them by saying so & so said this or I overheard this or they treated me like this.

Even though this condition is as small compared to the more physical and mental conditions out there in this world, it shows even the smallest things can affect ones emotional state. I want to share my journey because I've never had anything to hide, I want to share pictures and stories, and open a part of me I haven't before, so even if I can turn one person's life around for the positive I will be happy. As small as my journey and condition may seem, it was mine so it was the biggest thing I had to over come and still deal with every day. This series is to empower those who feel powerless on what they were blessed with, each part discussing a part of my life. I want to share, my entire journey from start to finish, feelings, procedures, bullying, friends, family, self-esteem, my emo stage as cliché as it may seem, achieving inner peace and much more.




to be continued 
Insha-Allah (If Allah Wills)...


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26 comments

  1. Mashallah sis! You are very brave and a lovely young woman with a great mind and a wonderful soul! I am looking forward the new posts on this blog too. :-)

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    1. Aww jazakallah, that's so sweet and really means a lot to me :)

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  2. You are so maashallah! Well done on pressing publish! I'm sure it wasn't easy..We all have our own things we go through..awesome that you would share with us..looking forward to future posts Inshaa-Allah

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    1. Aww jazakallah so much :) I really appreciate your sweet comment. It was not easy at all! Writing it flowed, but re-reading and adjusting and clicking publish was hard. Insha-Allah I will continue to post more parts as the weeks go on :)

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  3. Stay strong always ��

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    1. Everyday brings a test, small or big we have to be strong to be happy.

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  4. I have been looking forward to this post and look forward to the continued part of it. Thank you for sharing- this insight is definitely helpful as a parent going through a similar journey with a little one.

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    1. Aww jazakallah so much :) I do hope these posts do help, and if you ever have any questions just send me a mesaage :) Insha-Allah Allah will make it easy :)

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  5. Thanks for your sharing your story, Zainab! I can resonate with you, although I don't have lazy eye. I used to be overweight and that was something I was reminded of, especially being Indian, every single day - classmates, adults, family members. People think that difference means wrong, but what they don't realize is that we are all different from one another. Some more outwardly obvious than others. I am glad to know you've made peace with you lazy eye and ptosis. Masha'Allah. Stay strong, girl! :)

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    1. That's exactly why I decided to share my story because I know how hard it is to be accepted and just treated normally or nicely! Everything comes from Allah and yes you're right difference does not mean wrong. It took many years to find peace, and at times it's still hard but I know Allah knows what's best, maybe when I feel sad it's way to bring my heart back to remembering Allah. Jazakallah for reading and writing a lovely comment :)

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  6. Salam Zainab! You are beautiful! And I'm sure you don't need anybody to tell you that because it's obvious. I feel sorry for us Desi people --- I'm Pakistani - because we judge the attributes that come straight from Allah SWT's Divine Hand! How can somebody judge that to be imperfect? The cosmetic and entertainment industry has created these "terms" --- "thigh gap" "wide eyed" "size zero" "fair and lovely". I believe that imperfections can only be in things that are man made - not the one sent by Allah SWT. You're an exceptionally beautiful woman and I love that you are carrying it so strong and bold. Every unique bit - that appears freaky or peculiar to others - is a person's very own signature.

    Do visit Abbie's Adventure Diaries for my a "Mad Journey Of A Limited Edition Kinda Woman" http://abbiesadventurediaries.blogspot.com/

    And, Sisterly Yours for the "Heartfelt Writings Of A Chai-Crazy Sister" http://sisterly-yours.blogspot.com/

    Find me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Abbies-Adventure-Diaries-1717309378551051/

    I found two of your Pages on Facebook! Shall be Liking and following!

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    1. Wasalam! Aww jazakallah soo much :) I don't know that's just how desi people are, when I compare desi people to other races or cultures we tend to very harsh, but I pray for guidance for myself and everyone because it's behavior that really needs to be changed. People need to realise Allah doesn't create us to the fashion/cosmetic trends of the world, He creates us to be perfect with the genetics we are blessed with and that is beautiful on it's own because Allah created us. I love being unique and everyone should because no one wants to be a robot or exactly as another person, even identical twins sometimes have differences either physically or personality wise so everyone is different, we just have no right to decide what is a perfect difference and what isn't. Jazakallah so much for reading and writing a lovely comment, I really do appreciate it.

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  7. Firstly, congrats on this new blog! And more importantly, well done on sharing such a personal and brave account. It is quite telling that the society we live in puts so much focus on outward beauty. Kudos to your parents on shielding you from most of it, and more importantly for raising a young lady who is using her voice to bring more awareness. Well done Zainy

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    1. Thank you!! Insha-Allah I pray it continues to grow and work out. No one tells you how to raise your child to be emotionally strong or how to deal with all this, they winged it but alhamdulillah it worked out. I'm not saying the way my parents raised me about my condition would work for someone else, it depends all about the environment the child lives in to. I'm not popular or famous in anyway, not sure how far my voice will go, insha-Allah I do wish that it reaches all the hearts that are in pain for any condition they may be dealing with. It really means a lot, thank you so much for your encouraging words :)

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  8. I knew it took courage to share such a personal story, and I love that you did. You look beautiful and I hope to read more about you on your blog.

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    1. Aww jazakallah so much :) I really appreciate your sweet words!

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  9. This is such an inspirational and informative post.

    Thanks for sharing, for opening up a window into your soul so we can feel your inner battles. You have emerged a warrior. Masha Allah.

    I didn't know much about ptosis as a condition and didn't realise there was such stigma attached to having lazy eye, subhanAllah... Guess it's same with other blessings that people are ignorant of, as you mentioned.

    Well done for being brave enough to share your story with us all. It will surely empower all those who read it with a heart of gratitude and contentment. It is important to always remember that there is beauty beyond what meets the eye.

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    1. Jazakallah so much for taking the time to read my post and leave such a nice comment :) I really do appreciate all your kind words, it was hard especially when people online don't know and if I didn't say anything they wouldn't. I do wish my post brings peace and contentment to whatever their condition may be also I pray for me to keep my peace.

      Beauty is beyond what people first sees, and if they open their hearts as wide as their eyes open to see the outside beauty they will see the good in peoples hearts, personalities and what amazing people are out there in the world.

      May Allah guide us all, to be kind to others going through something and also those who are mean to us, anger is the one emotion that will hold a person back.

      Shukran again sister :)

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  10. I really admire your story - one of closest friends also has a droopy eye. Honestly, it was something that I never even noticed until she mentioned it. You look beautiful in all your pictures - I hope you never feel down because of it - we all have things that we're insecure about and as you said, even though it can be minor, it has such an effect on our self-esteem.

    It takes a lot of courage to speak about issues as such, well done for being so brave :)

    Much love,
    Umme Hafsa

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    1. Jazakallah so much! I know it's weird a lot of people don't notice it and being a person who has it we always wonder are they being nice, why haven't they asked all those sort of things. Aww that's very sweet, a picture is a still moment which is picked by the person, it's the moving moments that make us feel insecure especially when it comes to certain things which I will share in future posts insha-Allah.
      May Allah guide us all and keep us happy :)

      I love that I have been receiving so much support alhamdulillah, it makes me happy that I'm finding people who can relate or who even take the time to read and comment.

      Love Zainab

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  11. This is such a lovely post Zainab! Like Amina, I had no idea ptosis was a condition, I just assumed a lazy eye was something some people had. I love how you have recounted your experience here - I think a lot of people, particularly young people can benefit from how you reflect on your experience and your positive attitude while dealing with your condition. I'm looking forward to part 2 inshaAllah!

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    1. It's weird how something only becomes an issue when people become aware of it. I'm trying hard to bring light to the feelings behind having a condition, coming out on top and being happy. Insha-Allah I hope so too :) It will be out next week by the way.

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  12. Wow, subhanAllah! You have taken a huge step in addressing not just your own issues, but a whole plethora of body image issues that a vast majority of young women suffer. I hope this series continues to give you self-peace and confidence, as well as teach others to accept themselves the way Allah has blessed them!

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    1. Insha-Allah that is the aim, I hope to continue with the series as the weeks pass and inspire others and to love themselves. Jazakallah so much for reading and leaving a comment, I really appreciate it :)

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