(Shay) Bel Sokkar

By: Reem Al Sharif

Welcome to Bel Sokkar, grab a warm cup of tea and snuggle close, afterall that’s what the title says. (Shay) bel sokkar, which directly translates to (tea) with sugar, from Arabic, asks you to put away the bitterness of everyday, and come have a little sweetness of knowing you’re not doing it alone. Here, is where I’m releasing all the overwhelmingness of the real world, or trying to, and hope you can put the weights down with me.


Sometimes there’s an unbearable heaviness in trudging through everyday things and not-so-everyday things, what happens then? Do we berate ourselves? Feel a type of way? Burn out? Yes, to all of those probably, but it’s really not going to help much, is it. Will I still fall into the trap? Probably. And I don’t always know what will help, but maybe one word on paper at a time might. That might is enough to push forward. 


To be honest with you,  for the last six years I’ve been in and out of hospitals, medical tests, and appointments. Everywhere and anywhere with many, many doctors. I even started the first part of the semester back home, in the Intensive Care Unit. Though I’ve been used to the back and forth, medication trial and errors, and life impacting changes, this was the worst of it. And I know that sounds really scary, but it’s not to me as much anymore. About a year ago, I was diagnosed with Epilepsy, and had been having fits for five years before that. At this point, I’m grateful I know what’s wrong, but that may be a story for another blog post. 


I’m saying this because I want to be honest. Everyone goes through things, we go through things in our day to day, and life-altering things that take up phases in our lives. And that’s okay. I was, and still get, angry and upset and feel cheated by the cards I’ve been dealt. That’s how I know I need to sit with those feelings when they come up, otherwise nothing will go anywhere. But the same goes for the good things. I don’t mean to be cliche or cheesy, but it’s the truth, and sometimes it’s as simple as that. 


The ICU was a heavy experience, though I’ll often brush it off because what else am I supposed to do? But a lot of good was in it too. I won’t tell you I came out stronger or better, and maybe I have, but that’s not the point. I left and carried anger and worry. But I also carried the gentleness and love that the people around me treated me with. My family, friends, doctors, nurses, and people who took time out for me consistently, let me lean on them (both metaphorically and literally). They let me cry, and gave me patience even when I maybe didn’t deserve it. Those are the things that propelled me to get back up once I was done feeling sorry for myself. And I had to be. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be writing this now. 

  I didn’t know what I was going to do with this blog, but as I started writing, the blog decided what it would be on its own. I’m writing what comes to mind, and I’ll probably keep doing that. Because that’s the point here. To be confused, to be sad, to be weird and alive, and to be delightfully human. Just, to be. The gentleness the people around me gave me, gifted me with a safety net. Because I want to do things, I have ambitions. But I need a place to rest sometimes. And so do you. A place of ramblings, inner monologues, how I’ve gotten through, no, going through things. How we all are. The good and the bad. And on the days where it’s some other combination of things, I will simply write; for you and for me. 


I invite you to put the bitter things down, and pour a little sugar, and get cozied up. I’m not always sure what I’m doing, I’m not always sure what word to put down after the next, and yet here we are on opposite sides of a screen, where I did put a word down after another, and you’re reading it. Pretty cool, right? If I didn’t know any better I’d say it was magic. Not like pixie dust, but real world magic. A moment shared. 


Come share a cup with me. 

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