Society tends to label people. It tends to label people by color, skin, race, sexual orientation, sickness, status… I can go on for days on what society can label people as. Today my fiance and I had a talk- she said something really intelligent. What’s the point of overworking yourself to a point of sickness, go to a doctor, who now has the ability to label you. For example, when I would vent to my doctor about cancer, my chart now gained a new label: anxiety, suicidal. Lymphoma, cancer, anxiety – all labels on my chart. All my personal information on a sheet of paper. I was no longer Mouhamad. I was RN#*** at Mount Sinai, where everything from my hair color to my height was recorded.

Rewind 6 months back- it was my girl’s birthday night. I remember that day very vividly – I made a promise I couldn’t keep to myself. I first promised her that I could take her into the city for her birthday- then broke two promises that same day. I promised her I wouldn’t gamble, which I did, and I promised her I would take her into the city, which I didn’t. This ended in her going and not getting to enjoy her time with me. Any great woman would tell you this: never leave a woman alone on her birthday and on New Year’s. That day, I really didn’t care what day it was because of the labels that were put upon me day in and day out. I was no longer Mouhamad Beydoun. I was a cancer patient, on the 11th floor of Mount Sinai.

I remember a day where I was sitting on the 11th floor in the visiting room, viewing the train that runs on the FDR side of Manhattan 2:00 in the morning, where people had no sense of time. They were going places to fulfill their needs. In the meantime, an IV was stuck to my hand making me a prisoner to cancer as if I committed a crime against society. In reality, this was my body trying to wake me up and hold me prisoner so that I could reconnect with my soul. I would feel like every Wednesday – the day I would finally start feeling better from the week before – started to be so repetitive. I would start getting better just to get worse the following worse. Where worse would get even worse. Picture this- imagine looking out of a window and seeing everyone walking, talking, running, doing everything you couldn’t do at the moment- not because you’re not physically able to, but because you’re labeled. You’re labeled as a sick patient to a hospital where you’re getting treated which is reasonably fine but then again, you do become what you see everyday. I now look back at images of myself and forget who that person was. I look at myself in the mirror and see a stranger. A person that’s stronger than me. Because me? – I would have never had the balls to voice my opinion to voice my opinion to anyone or anything unless I had strong beliefs about it.

I understood one thing- we tend not to succeed in life for one reason: we allow other people to label us as failures. This might sound cliche AF but if you start labeling yourself as someone successful and worthy of happiness, you will find it. Stop allowing fear to be your enemy. Allow it to be the encouragement you need to push through life. Tomorrow’s a new start to a new day.

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