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.