“When I pass away,” says Mai Elsayed, NextGen MENA Committee member, clinical hypnotherapist with psychotherapy skills, “I want to be remembered as the person who eased people’s pain, the one who helped people turn their wounds into wisdom.”

“I want to be remembered as the person who finds the opportunity in every challenge,” says Mai, also an internationally published author and a public relations manager.

Mai, whose book, “Disappear,” tackles the heartbreaking issue of ghosting, said she wants to “change the world to become a better place and make a difference in people’s lives.

“It is my mission to eliminate mental health stigma and empower those who are struggling to face their demons by making them feel accepted, heard, and most importantly, understood,” she said.

“People will almost always remember how you made them feel and when I see that the work I am doing really makes a difference and impacts my clients’ lives and even the general public, I really feel motivated to go the extra mile and add value to my community,” said Mai, whose higher educational journey started with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication from the American University of Sharjah.

Ghosting

Dubai Vibes Magazine asked Mai what inspired her to write “Disappear,” and this was her reply: “The concept of grieving due to the death of a dear one is widely discussed in psychology. But people barely, if ever, talk about grieving because of being ghosted. 

“Imagine losing a person to void, you are unable to contact or reach them in any way. Yet somehow you know they are still alive. It can be detrimental especially in long-term distance relationships. It is one of those taboo topics that the world does not discuss because we don’t know how common it is.” 

Mai said victims of ghosting “fear expressing it and their friends and family often do not realize how painful it is for an individual to get ghosted and not be able to get the closure needed to move on.”

She said the novel “shows how our thoughts, feelings and behaviors are linked while walking the reader through the different stages of grief.”

Mai also stressed that “victims of ghosting should understand that the way a person chooses to exit the relationship is a reflection of who they are. 

“In no way does it necessarily define the value and worth of the ghosted individual.”

She said some people resort to ghosting because they fear confrontation. 

“They don’t have the courage to break up with their companion and find it easier to leave in silence with the assumption that their partner will eventually move on. This behavior could very much come from a good place and with good intention such as not wanting to hurt their partner’s feelings.

“In extreme cases, the ghosted can be dangerous, narcissistic and toxic and therefore the ghoster prefers to leave in silence to avoid the drama and pain,” Mai said.

Diagnosis

Mai, who has been in Dubai for the past 20 years, said she was, at a very young age, diagnosed with fibromyalgia and seronegative arthritis. 

“All my dreams of becoming a gymnast and a ballerina were shattered when the doctor told me that I am not allowed to engage in any intense physical activity as my body was fragile,” she recalls.     

But she just wouldn’t take it. 

“Something did not add up. How can a girl my age suffer with arthritis?” Mai said. And so she did a lot of research till she came up with a damning question: “‘If psychological distress leads to physical ailments, what would happen if I tried to shift my mindset and practice mindfulness?’ I thought to myself time and time again. 

“I decided to get off all medicines. I made my mind up to hold the steering wheel of my life. I decided to stop being a victim to the circumstances. I chose to stop living a life of reaction and start living a life of action. 

“All it took was for me to take initiative, hold the pen and change the narrative by writing my own storyline. The plot twist was that it worked…like magic. I found out how powerful the human mind was in reversing illness and, manifesting goals.

“I managed to cure my body by healing my mind and today I’m a gymnast, completely arthritis-free and not taking any medication!” says Mai.

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