In this counseling answer:
“A difficulty is a burden that does nothing but cause problems. It is something people try to endure rather than trying to change as it seems too hard to change it. It pulls people down into depression. However, a challenge is something that feels hard but not impossible to change. People endure it while trying to figure out how to overcome it. A challenge doesn’t pull down but motivates people. That’s how you should look at any difficulty you face. Do not despair but believe that there is a solution – you just need to find it. In this, a counselor or psychologist can help you a lot.”
As-Salamu ‘Aleikom sister,
Thank you for writing to us. It must be very hard to feel depressed for years and face difficulties such as a troubled family home, backbiting friends, miscarriage, and feeling lonely, as you mentioned.
I also understand your thoughts on committing suicide; at times of severe difficulties, such thoughts might come to people’s mind. They wish to get rid of their difficulties in the quickest way. However, we are stronger than to give up this easily on life. You, sister, you are a very strong and brave woman and you can overcome these life challenges, inshallah!
You are not alone and there is a help! I highly encourage you to please contact the suicide helpline in your country. I found for you the following: Lifeline, MuslimAid. Please call, chat, or write an email to them as they are trained professionals who can give you the adequate help you need, inshallah. The service is free of charge and is completely confidential, meaning the person you are going to talk to do not know your number, your location, or any of your personal details unless you tell them. Please, contact them as soon as possible; they can help much more than we do!
In addition, as you mentioned several issues that have been affecting your life since childhood, I encourage you to seek counseling as well. The therapist can be a Muslim or even a non-Muslim who is trained to help you overcome the effects of your troubled childhood and the loss of your unborn child and teach you coping skills, inshallah. “Self-counseling” at this point is not beneficial for you, sister.
Accept your humanness
Sister, as you know, we all go through various tests and trials throughout our life. None of us are exceptions. This is a promise from Allah (swt):
“And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient,” (2:155)
However, Allah says in the Quran that He does not burden anyone with more than he or she can bear.
“Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity.” (2:286)
To pass these tests, Allah (swt) says we need to turn to Him and remain patient. And then, in sha’ Allah, “with difficulties comes ease.” (94:6)
There are many duaas the Prophet taught us to say when one faces difficulty. For example, when feeling like falling into despair, say, “inna lillahi wa inna ila rajeoon”. Here are some others:
Changing negative thoughts into positive ones
One of the ways to deal with life difficulties is looking at them as challenges rather than difficulties.
A difficulty is a burden that does nothing but cause problems. It is something people try to endure rather than trying to change as it seems too hard to change it. It pulls people down into depression. However, a challenge is something that feels hard but not impossible to change. People endure it while trying to figure out how to overcome it. A challenge doesn’t pull down but motivates people.
That’s how you should look at any difficulty you face. Do not despair but believe that there is a solution – you just need to find it. In this, a counselor or psychologist can help you a lot.
The second thing I recommend is that you start a gratitude journal. Get a notebook or open a Word file and write down every day at least 3 things that made you feel grateful for Allah. It can be something as small as a sunny day, the smile of your children, some nice words from the neighbor, or a nice, hot shower at night. Look for 3 things that made you feel happy and record it. This will help you to notice the little things in your life that make you happy and that you can appreciate.
To appreciate even the little things and thus be content with our lives, the Prophet advised us to look at people who are in a worse situation than us.
“Look at the people beneath you (in wealth and worldly affairs) and do not gaze the ones above you (in this matter). By this, you will not underestimate the bounty of Allah bestowed upon you.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
The third thing I recommend you is that you make a list of your strengths and achievements. This will help you feel content, empowered, and confident, inshallah. What things have you achieved in life? What things are you proud of your life?
Let me help you start this list based on what you wrote: mashallah, you have two beautiful children. You bore the difficulties of pregnancy not once but twice; you bore the immense pain of childbirth not once but even twice! (If it was C-section, then the even worse pain after it). And mashallah now you see the fruit of your suffering; two children who love you unconditionally, who need your love and care to become strong, healthy, self-confident Muslim adults with high moral. May Allah bless you and your children and help you in your journey of raising your children!
The other thing you must be proud of is that despite the challenges and despite feeling desperate at times, you keep praying to Allah. May Allah reward you! So many people stop praying when they feel desperate, unfortunately. However, by abandoning Allah and their connection with Him (the 5 times daily prayer), they actually sink deeper into despair.
So sister, I really look up to you! You are amazing! Please, keep going on this path; pray to Allah, complain to Him, and make dua that He makes life easier for you! Read the Quran and gain motivation from the prophets’ stories who went through severe hardships despite being the most beloved to Allah!
The truth is that hardships might be hurtful, but they keep the believers conscious of Allah and the nature of this life – that this life is going to end soon while the Hereafter is eternal. This is the reason why the prophets, whom Allah loved so dearly, endured many hardships as well.
Allah loves you
Sister, the hadeeth you are referring to is so general. It cannot be applied to anyone personally. We cannot personally say to anyone that Allah loves or hates him or her. This hadeeth is rather a source of motivation for believers to do more good and stay away from things Allah dislikes.
Just because there are some people who, for some reason, dislike you does not at all mean Allah hates you! Remember the prophets again, how many people hated them? How was the Prophet cursed and called a magician, a liar, an insane person by many? How the people of Ta’if threw stones at him or the Jews of Medinah tried to kill him?
I am sure sister you can find many people who love you. Your children unconditionally love you. Although you did not mention anything about your husband, I am sure he loves you if he married you. Allah surely loves you.
You need to socialize more, sister. Social support for humans is essential for a happy life. Please go to your local mosque or somewhere where you can meet pious, like-minded sisters. Their sisterly love will help you a lot inshallah.
I hope you benefit from my answer.
Reviewed by Counselor Hannah Morris.
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.