Late last week as my husband and I were taking our evening walk, we happened upon a heart wrenching scene. Right in the middle of the path lay a semi-conscious middle aged woman flanked by her two young children. The woman was on her way back home following an unsuccessful day of job hunting in a town center 40 kms away. According to the children the mother had not had anything to eat for two days and had not taken any water the whole of that day. She had collapsed from extreme dehydration.
It has been a while since my last post. This year has been quite the roller coaster and I was definitely in for the ride of my life. And what a ride it’s been! I have made some huge decisions in the last few months, but looking back at the last decade of my life, every single thing that happened was building up to this exact moment. Have you ever felt like you were on the edge of a cliff? Unsure whether to let go, fearing what lies beneath; yet knowing that you could not hold on forever? Well, that’s been me for the last two years. Petrified of change, but knowing that if I didn’t change something then I would go crazy.
I grew up knowing that all the people who live in Somalia are starving. If your household was anything like ours then you know of the “incentive” some mothers would use to ensure that their kids finish their carrots, pumpkins or other eeky veggies. (To this day I still cannot stomach cooked carrots, pumpkin or french beans)! When this incentive failed (which it inevitably did), she would threaten us with a severe beating and we would have to sit at the table till every single morsel was off the plate. Luckily we had cats and the felines quickly learnt whose feet to sit at under the table for discreet food drops when mum wasn’t watching. I always used to wonder though, what did eating my carrots have to do with starving Somali people? Like, if perhaps I didn’t finish my food, could it then be shipped off to feed one of them?
When did the rain start beating us? Yes I know. It’s one of those weird metaphors typically heard in our local corporate lingo. I heard one of my colleagues say it last week as we were trying to establish the root cause of yet another typical work complaint. Then for some strange reason, it popped back into my head a couple of days ago. I was pondering my current life situation which is one word. Overwhelmed. I’m basically waist deep in search of answers, which is more or less where I left things in my last post.
It’s OK to not be OK. Yes I said it. It’s OK to fall apart. To have no clue where you are going or what the heck you are doing. To not know whether you’re moving forward, backward or just oscillating around the same point for goodness knows how long. To constantly grasp at straws in the hope that one of them will be the one that saves you from drowning. Yes, all this is OK. Why you ask? Because at least then you are conscious and self-aware of just how far you fall short of your own expectations. Which probably means you will eventually do something about it.
“Addiction!” The second time I heard that word was while sitting in a chair in a little room as a therapist described my own life back to me. She followed it up with “Depression!” Another big word she used to describe my situation. I wanted to argue. But I was also the one who told her only minutes ago that I had been feeling tired with the whole “living” business. I did not get to argue. I did not want to actually die. But I knew I needed help. Positive thoughts were not going to keep me going for too long. I could feel it. So I reached out in secret and, as with all things secret, I paid for it myself. By this time I was very good at keeping secrets. And I had a part time job as a writer. So, I could afford it.