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It is difficult being an ExMuslim in some Somali communities in Kenya and distressful because sometimes people can try to lynch you or get you killed

Before I started the sessions I was in a really dark place. I was thinking about ending my life altogether and I used to feel like dying in my sleep every night. I was in a haze and could not think clearly. I used to feel tense and burning in my stomach all the time because of the stress. I used to smoke all the time.

Now after the sessions, I have a very positive view of life. My mind is clear. I have specific goals that I want to achieve. I think straight now. My body and mind are relaxed. I wake up everyday hopeful and optimistic. I have also quit smoking now and don't get suicidal thoughts anymore. I try to keep myself focused on what's important.

I have found the strength to look for a new house in a new neighborhood and I live there currently. I also have the strength to cook for myself and look after myself. These sessions have really awakened my senses to my innate ability to cope with stress and push forward with life, my endurance and perseverance. I feel rejuvenated now.

I have quit smoking. I am looking for a way of getting out of here to somewhere safe and peaceful. I have managed to move to a new house. Before I was just trying to live for the day. But now I plan what I want to do.

The future is bright and if I were to visualize it , I would say it is like a clear night filled to the brim with trillions of stars all shining and beckoning me to grasp them. It is like they are inviting me to have the peace and tranquility I have not hard for the last 25 years. I really hope my situation changes and I can get out of here and live the rest of my life in peace and tranquility.

They sessions were interactive which provided me the chance to explore what I wanted to do during my sessions. Also Jimmy was very kind, very professional and really cared about his clients including me. I loved talking to him. He had a way of calming you down and making you feel at peace with yourself.

Thanks so much for helping me

I am very very very grateful to both Jimmy and Yasmin Mohamed . They are 2 wonderful human beings.

Thank you also to everyone who donated to this program.

Hassan Ahmed

Kenya

I am Saudi woman, mother and Ex-Muslim who is fighting for her simple rights. To be born a female in Saudi is to become practically a prisoner. All your moves are controlled. You don’t have the final say in your personal decisions. Women in Islamic community are treated worse than slaves. As a Saudi Woman, depression and anxiety are a part of my life. I recognise now that it has been for the majority of my life. I am a victim of emotional and physical abuse. Me and my kids.


It would take me close to hours to coax myself out of bed. The only reason I would even get up was because I have kids and they need my care. I felt like all my energy was being sucked up in dealing with adverse circumstances, leaving me no resources to do the things I really wanted to do in life. I lost all interest in the hobbies I would have enjoyed in the past. And this was because of that internal tug of war that I was having to go through every day. I believed that something was seriously wrong  when I started to have passive suicidal thoughts.


I was so lucky to have sessions with Jimmy when I sunk into this deep depression. Jimmy helped me to think about my life in different ways. Before starting the sessions, I was focusing on the bad thoughts that were stopping me from feeling happy,  my energy was limited, and the whole situation was negatively affecting me and my kids. The sessions guided me in the right direction to find myself again and experience  happiness. I become more positive and started to create a picture in my head of how life should be and when I see myself with my beautiful kids in future it leaves me hopeful. I believe that I still have a long way of fighting, but all the training I have done has been worth it and  I'm starting to feel the benefit. I am in better health than I have been for years.  Plus, I am not alone anymore, I have a brilliant support group of atheist friends at telegram and Twitter who I was able to find through the support of Free Hearts Free Minds.


Thank you Jimmy, Yasmine and everyone who helps towards this scheme for giving me the most incredible advices and supporting me during this hard time In my life.


Best regards,

Fatmah, Saudia Arabia

Going into the sessions in the beginning, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I found out about the website from a friend of mine who recommended it after knowing my struggles. I sent an email immediately just because it sounded like such a good concept.

Being an Ex Muslim in Oman has always felt very lonely. I’ve never met anyone whose beliefs were like mine and it felt very unfair for me to be the only one with this kind of mentality. The worst part for me was feeling like I didn’t belong and that there was nothing I could do to make my life bearable here. I was very hopeless and felt like there was no way for me to possibly live a happy life.

My main struggles were about every day tasks like going to school and seeing my friends. Because everything around me, from my hijab to the prayers I have to do every day reminded me of Islam and that’s why I felt depressed and anxious often.

Now looking back, after finishing my sessions, I am a much calmer person. The main thing I learned is to be able to control my thoughts or the route they’re going in; therefore, control my reactions. I’m generally happier and more outgoing, and definitely not nearly as hopeless as I was before. The every day tasks that I still do aren’t as troubling to me anymore, I’m much better at controlling how I feel.

I have learned many valuable things from my sessions, but what I have found to be most helpful to me is the cognitive exercises I did with Jimmy. I still am quite consistent with those because they help so much with my mental state; I feel calmer and happier after. Another major thing that has helped me are the visualization exercises, and I do that occasionally which seems to get me in a better mood in the morning.

Jimmy is so understanding and really helpful. For me I wouldn’t change anything about my experience.

I am very grateful for all the efforts done by the people working so hard to make this happen. The sessions have made my life here much easier. Hopefully they continue to make the lives of Ex Muslims living in Muslim majority countries a tiny bit easier.


Think outside the