Tag Archive | love

Thru depression into gratitude: my journey

(This entry was written a few days ago but due to certain challenges beyond my control, I could only post it late)

Fighting depression is difficult. Many a time you look to ppl who you love n who love you back to reach out to but they are not available. The devastation can be lethal n it often is. Depression isn’t really timed to come up when it is convenient. It just hits you and one minute you were this happy person looking forward to doing the next thing n the very next second you’re this weepy, teary person who can’t find anything worth holding on to. 

It is a mental battle, whose gravity I’m beginning to appreciate. Sometimes there are triggers so if you are aware of them, you steer clear but often times, it’s subconscious…. your mind is battling issues, blowing them out of proportion or telling you that you can’t resolve whatever issues, or convincing you that you are indeed alone, unwanted, unloved, worthless etc. You might have the most supportive of family/ friends/ partner/ colleagues but all those pale into the shadows of this strong mental battle that rages silently in your head. We live in this world where we got lots of struggles and are pressure to deliver, to keep time, to meet deadlines etc, and we often push these ahead of people. We often forget that we’re in this hustle for others (be it to provide certain things- a financially stable life for family; products and services for bosses; salaries for employees; clean and safe home for family; gifts for friends etc). In our bid to meet these targets n deadlines, we push away n ignore the very ppl we are doing this for.

I was moved to write this after reading Max Soutter ‘s Facebook post (When you’re late for a meeting and your son is finishing his “I love you, dad, drawing for you n it’s important to him that he gives it to you) Many a time, we’re caught in these scenarios- two equally important things need our attention. One of these things is important to you (the meeting, in this case) and the other is important to someone else (the drawing, in this case.) When was the last time you made someone who’s important to you KNOW and FEEL that they are important to you? When did you last pay attention to those who are important to you? Do you even know who is important to you? How do you show/ tell them?

It is often difficult for someone to reach out and tell you that they wd want your attention. Trust me, the feeling of guilt is huge. They already know that you have many demands on your time and attention as it is. Picture this- you have a deadline that’s already running late and you’re working from home. You’ve got kids and your spouse who also require your attention. You also have family n friends who know that you’ve clocked off n therefore assume that it is time to catch up etc. This deadline is a  make or break for the company/organisation and must be met. (I’m already feeling pressured by this scenario I’m creating as it is) Now, if your partner or relative wd want just a few minutes to offload/vent or to sound out something/seek your confirmation on something, they already know how under pressure they are (or they might not) 

How you handle their reaching out to you for your attention becomes critical. Most of us tend to speak from a position of pressure- irritated/angry. The tone and/ choice of words often speaks more to your spouse than what you’re actually saying. Of course, they shd know better than to try n reach out to you than when you’re under such pressure. BUT that doesn’t make snapping or ignoring them the right way of handling the situation. Maybe they have been struggling for weeks now to tell you that they are being retrenched and today was the day they finally gathered the courage to tell you because tomorrow you’d hv gone on to make that booking to some holiday that you’ll no longer be able to afford. Maybe today was the day they wanted to tell you that they have been struggling to tell you that they were diagnosed with some terminal illness three months back n time is running out on their life. Maybe today wd be the day they finally gathered the courage to tell you that your parent/sibling has been keeping away from you some devastating news. Maybe just maybe today wd be the day they WD open up about how they think that they are useless/worthless/problematic and it’s better off they die.

I don’t know what today cd mean for them or for you. But for me, as finally the words n encouragement I’ve been receiving from my dear friend n family behind to sink in, today means I take stock of what’s important in my life. I take stock of who’s important to me. I am important to me. I need me at my best before i can be of any hello to anyone else. Only when I’m in a better mental space can i make sure that I can love my family and friends and reach out to them, listen to them when they want my time and attention. After today, I can reaffirm them of my love for them. I am deliberately setting aside time to focus on PPL because I realise that it is ppl who have helped me stay sane,  who have held my hand when i had given up, who carried me when i didn’t see the need to walk on, who listened when I was overwhelmed by stress, grief and pain, it is ppl who validated me when I felt worthless, unloved and unwanted. It is ppl who have reminded me that being loved isn’t only about the feel good time but it is about the willingness to get into the mud of despair, hurt, pain, grief etc and do what it takes to bring me out. It is ppl who have prayed for me, shared scripture with me, encouraged me with songs, words and offered their ears n shoulders. 

It is a difficult getting out of bed on some days. It has been difficult to eat even. It had been much easier to sleep and cry and complain n feel rejected, unwanted and unloved. It has been much easier to listen to the voice in my head telling me that I’m worthless. It has been much easier to pretend to hear what my friends n family have been saying about loving me, appreciating me, than it has to silence n drown that voice that speaks of darkness n worthlessness. 

I am a fighter and have this sunny disposition but there are demons I battle every once in a while. They are dark and powerful and I don’t take them for granted cz they can easily overpower me. I’m learning to reach out to friends n family when they come but it’s not easy. (I don’t want to hear the  disappointmentt n shock at how someone like me can be so despairing of life. I don’t want to hear the  judgement in those holy ones who see me as being blasphemous when I question my faith or God. I don’t want to take precious time away from my family n friends cz they have more than enough on their plate already- I don’t wanna be selfish. I fear that what I’m falling to cope with is going to be trivialised and ridiculed….. the reasons are many) 

Today, I am grateful for my very life. It might not be where I want it to be but its definitely not that bad. I might not be the person I thought I’d be by now, but I’ve surely come from far from where I started. I might not have what I wanted to have had by now but I surely have learnt a lot of lessons, achieved more than I can count or be grateful for, I have a whole lot more storms I’ve survived, there are more scars that show me that I’ve overcome that I’m stronger today than I was yesterday. I can accept this self comfort knowing that the clouds are blowing away and tomorrow I look forward to smiling for a longer time and crying for a lesser time. I might even dance but above all, I’m actually looking forward to a tomorrow! 

(The album Open Heaven by Hillsong is on repeat and has helped me to smile. Kari Jobe’s Holy Spirit helped me to recenter myself when the tears would not stop. Somehow, my friends, family n prayer circle have kept watering my faith thru this difficult time. I’m grateful)

The ideal woman

So a joke was shared in one of these group in which I find myself and it went something like this:

“Your boyfriend shows up at your place and you are down to your last dollar which you were going to use to buy relish to cook sadza with. You then opt to buy him a soft drink and some biscuits and you then pour some water into a bottle of sprite and drink this. Halfway down his bottle, he asks that you swop because he loves Sprite. What do you do?” I will not share some of the answers that were shared in that group but it’s suffice to say that they resulted in me taking this issue to a broader audience: my blog.

This may be funny, or even the responses but I see a lot of sadness. I see a lot of pretense that a lot of women are engaging in and it just breaks my heart. I heard of how young women would be willing to deceive the guy just so he does not realise that she is facing hard times. Some of the responses were so violent that had it not been social media and had been a social event,  I am almost sure that a physical fight or at least a screaming match of some sort would have erupted. It is sad. I mean, why go to all the lengths to hide from  boyfriend that things are not well? What is the matter if he was to eat sadza with just vegetables on the day? Why not even ask him to help you sort out supper? I mean, I would ask that of my dude if he came and I was in that situation. I mean, we would (and do) have an honest relationship that has that kind of honesty, maybe that is why I make that declaration.

this t an ideal woman looks like...legs, boobs n ass. KKKK (smithfamilycolorado.com)

this t an ideal woman looks like…legs, boobs n ass. KKKK (smithfamilycolorado.com)

 

If a woman/ girl goes out her way to hide this and put up such a front, I wonder what else she is hiding. Anyway, the discussion soon turned to issues that touch my heart…women and their self-identity. It got me thinking just how women are under pressure to present this “ideal woman” whom none of us actually knows what she is like or how she even looks like. No wonder people be bleaching their skins rotten, because to them, the ideal woman is a “yellow bone”. No wonder some women are battling bulimia and anorexia because they want to look “sexy”…I am not yet convinced that “sexy” is a dress size. No wonder some are insecure and go snooping into phones trying to find out just who their man is chatting with. No wonder some women, scratch that, no wonder I, ME, used to ask my then boyfriend WHY he was with me! Sad. The truth is that I (and many other women) did not think that we were (are) good enough for this man who I was with (some still think that they are not good enough.) I know one too many women who are trying so hard to be superwoman…being super mom, super wife, super daughter in law, super employee…and I  wonder ho wit is all supposed to balance out…Seems every other woman I know is or has battled trying to aim to be this woman, this paragon of virtue, the virtuous woman aka the Proverbs 31 woman. Lord help us, she has to be the innocent, the virgin yet also be the sex goddess whose sexual prowess puts  a sex worker to shame…how she is supposed to be able to be this, I have no idea…but the pressure is still there.

 

she shall be called WOMAN and not anything else that is descriptive (gopixpic.com)

she shall be called WOMAN and not anything else that is descriptive (gopixpic.com)

 

I really think that my mind is insane to question the demons that hound my fellows but it does. I am not even apologetic because I finally discovered what and who this ideal woman is…move over Angelina and your full lips, move over all you Indian women with your long and silky hair, move over your Swedes with your unending limbs….models, move the bloody hell over with your size zero bodies..I have finally found her.

 

Yes! After many dismal failures, I have found her!  (sparkpeople.com)

Yes! After many dismal failures, I have found her!
(sparkpeople.com)

 

The ideal woman is the one staring back in the mirror when I look into it. She is that woman who stares back in the mirror when the next lady steps in front of the mirror, too. Yes, the ideal woman is YOU! Your personality is what is ideal. Your body, your race, your hair, your attitude to life is what raises this woman to shine gloriously when you do YOU!

yes, this very short me is the ideal woman that is me!

yes, this very short me is the ideal woman who is me!

I take my bra off (and it is not a big size, mind you. lol) to every ideal woman staring back in the mirror.

 

I seriously take off my bra to you  (buzzfeed)

I seriously take off my bra to you
(buzzfeed)

Broken hearts come out at night

Broken hearts got no where to go at night. That’s when they come out to be felt.
Beating insistently in that painful thud thud thuding
straining to pump blood thru a body wrecked in pain and anguish

Broken hearts murmur audibly thru the silent night
Bidding the night silent
Clamoring to be heard
Clamoring for the pain to be acknowledged and embraced

broken hearts beat ever slowly
Taking time to be felt- each be-at each be-at so slow and so sure
sure of the pain twisting the chest open
Sure of the anguish coursing the body

broken hearts are lonely creatures
They beat so loudly in the silent night
as if calling out in some painful ritual
like courting animals seeking a mate

imagine the sight-
one broken heart calling out thru the dead of the night
Thuding out to another broken heart somewhere across this huge expanse of false love fueled by exciting and enticing stories captured in romantic novels, scandalous soap story lines and heady movie scripts
do you hear that heart reaching out, straining past the chest cavity
Tryin to make itself be heard by a kindred spirit?

Broken hearts come out at night
To dance a dance so unfamiliar it’s embarrassingly awkward
A dance resembling one danced by two left feet, one in a wooden leg whilst the other wears one of those ridiculous fashion contraptions with no heel yet is made to look like a high heel

Listen to that thud thud thuding
and dare yourself to escape from its clutches
Feel the insides of your chest under the broken slimy grip of a heart barely hanging together
a muscle once powerful and capable of so much work within the body and mind
now reduced to a mere mortal organ threatening to give up on life itself
Your mind will not even attempt to say those Damning words, ‘I told you so’
Instead, it struggles to recall all it knows about playing nurse to this ailing yet vital organ
Lungs force the heart to beat on by demanding extra air from Nostrils
Every organ understands the dire straits presently being experienced
This too shall pass, one day at a time,
BREATH, relax and BREATH

(R Tendo 2014)

Pain: let me wallow in it, for now

There are times when I just wanna scream out that I am not as strong as I look and sound. That I am not as competent and I am failing to cope. There are times when I just wanna take my very heart out and give it a thorough beating for feeling so deeply…but then again it is already in unbearable pain at this time. There are times I just wanna beat my own brain to a pulp for being so led to lead my heart to love so deeply.

                                             Image

                                        (For being so stupid and wayward, imma get you and beat you to a pulp!)

There are days that I just wanna curl under my blankets and switch off my brain so that I do not think and feel. There are times when all I wanna do is to just release the floodgates, to open up the valve that is choking back my throat and to just let loose that scream of pain. To open the floodgates of tears and just weep  myself into an uncontrollable frenzy because that is exactly how i am feeling at that time…uncontrollable.

There are times when i just wanna turn away that friend who means so well, who is telling me that it is gonna be alright because:

“I already know that it is gonna be alright, I have gone through pain before but for now, I just wanna wrap myself into this particular pain and just feel the life out of it.”

Yes, there are times that i just wanna be intimate with my current pain. I wanna feel my heart constricting painfully, I want the tears to flow hotly out of my eyes, I want my nose to get all runny and my eyes to get all red and swollen, I want my face to puff up and to feel the mucus running back down my throat as my head begins to pound with that familiar headache of crying so hard. I want to cry so hard that my chest threatens to crash as it reminds me that I am flesh and bone.

There are times when all I wanna do is to shut out the sun, bury myself in to the darkest of nights and just sit right in its midst. The times that I feel and recognise the darkest nights as suitable company for my pain. At these times, i do not even any hint of light.

I am talking of such pain that is more painful than physical pain yet manifests itself as such. The pain that makes one clutch one’s chest as if you would rip it (the pain ) right out the chest with the clenched fist. The pain that makes you grin and grind down your teeth as if you are having an explosion of tooth ache that is just not stopping. I am referring to a pain that is so deep that it feels as if a red hot, thick serrated knife is blindly cutting down the middle of your soul through your body, via your chest, round your back and across the depths of your stomach.

There are times that I just want it to be all that defines my moments and identity. Times when someone says, ‘Pain’ and I raise my head, my hand and body and, “You called? i am here.”

   Image

                                                                           (My heart must be drunk and stoned at the same time, at times!)

Let me wallow in my pain, for now.

Fears in the heart

 

Opening my mouth and fearing to let go the words at the very tip of my tongue

How do I let them go when I am not sure of the fate that awaits me once I speak?

 

I want to tell you, to tell the world, to tell me in the presence of myself, you and someone else

I think twice, not because I am not sure of my words

I think twice because I am not sure of the reaction

I have said these words over and over and over again

I might say them many more times to myself

 

My blood grows warmer as my heart whispers to my head

My eyes dilate as my brain tells it what my heart means

My palms sweat in anticipation and

My throat constricts just s my voice releases

 

I feel my nostrils flaring, my breathing erratic

I feel my stomach churn as my thinking ceases

I feel all my senses numb

I suddenly come alive and y hands wrap themselves ‘round your throat,

My teeth sink into your neck as my tongue tastes your blood flowing onto it,

My mind fails to comprehend what is going on

The taste of blood is just as strong as the fresh smell of it,

Repulsed, I try to let go as I am suddenly aware that my ears have been deafened by the rage coursing through me

Disturbed, I am aware that I am weirdly satisfied at the sight of your blood,

I am oddly pleased that I am the cause of your pain and misery

 

I loved you, and maybe I will always

However, you have soured it for me and for anyone else to come

You have defiled my heart by desecrating my body and vandalising my mind

I am now an animal and as such, I relate to you

When in Rome… and now I have done as you, my Roman, do

 

I open my mouth and I fear that I may just let the words come out

I open my mouth and fear that which I have just dreamed of will occur

So, I open my mouth and take a deep breath and expel it on a shake of the head

                “Nothing, I think…Was I dreaming?” I ask you

It is time I left you, went back to the beginning, picked up my bags, my dignity and self-respect

I fear, my heart is now fraudulent and crooked

One day, I just might do what I dreamed I did to you

 

This is a deep fear in my heart, and I will not communicate it to you,

Lest you persuade me and this wickedly tempted body of mine will connive with this love-starved heart of mine

My attention-seeking arms will reach out to you and hold you close in a fatal embrace,

One that will seal my fate and these deaf ears of mine will not bother to listen to my dreams

 

And I just might