How sacrificing your time can change a life
This Eid we’ll all be commemorating the sacrifice Abraham made thousands of years ago. While this is a joyous occasion for many, at Muslim Youth Helpline we hear the stories of those who cannot celebrate, or even find Eid more painful than other days. For our team on the Helpline, they sacrifice their time on Eid to support those in need. They take time away from their own celebrations with family and friends, and spend time at the office, taking calls, web chats and emails from our clients. Here is why they do it.
“Eid is the most difficult holiday. I always want it to be the best day, where everything changes and I have a fun day with people and I don’t cry. Nobody hears my pain. It’s so difficult and I can’t deal with it all. I wish I wasn’t here.”- Helpline Client, Anonymised
“Eid is a time to spend with your family. There are 30 or 40 of us, and a real community spirit. When I gave up a couple of hours of my Eid to be on the Helpline, I was thinking about people who don’t have that. I want them to feel they are not alone, so they have somewhere they can call.”- Helpline Officer, MYH
There are several reasons why Eid might be difficult.
It’s a really tough feeling when you’re around people, and still feel lonely. If you’re going through a low point in your life, its really difficult to pretend everything is ok. You might feel the pressure of ‘bringing the mood down’ while you’re not feeling bubbly and happy. It's difficult to interact with others, and act ‘celebratory’, when you don’t feel like fitting in to whatever norms people around you expect of you. You might not feel you can relate to those around you. Losing someone you love through estrangement or divorce brings particularly tough feelings. When someone close to you has passed away, it can be difficult not having them around for Eid, particularly if they were a central part of the celebrations. Being on your own through Eid while witnessing all the celebrations on social media can also be really tough.
If you’d like to help those in need over Eid, and through the year, we are recruiting volunteers. Please apply online at www.myh.org.uk/volunteer.