Heal the world

Heal the world

A few days ago, someone told me a story about a woman they had met who was schizophrenic. They didn’t know what it was when they told the story though. They just told me how the woman said she had a cruel little man who lived inside her head and that said man didn’t give her a day of peace. For the longest time, she said, the people around her thought she was demon possessed. So naturally, she’s spent the last 20 or so years going from one pastor/church to another. I felt two things when I heard this story; extreme sympathy and pity –both for the woman and for the ignorant people she’s encountered over the years. Imagine going an entire lifetime not knowing what is wrong with you; living a nightmare all by yourself, and in the one place you can’t escape from –your head. The good news is, after 20 years of turmoil, said woman got help. Of the many people she has encountered over the years, she finally met someone who suspected what it might be and took her to see a psychiatrist who, after an extensive examination, diagnosed her with acute schizophrenia.

During the examination, she repeatedly told the doctor not to bother trying to treat her because the guy in her head was going to bribe the doctor into not treating her. She genuinely believed that said guy was so rich and powerful that he could bribe anyone. Apparently, she had thought about going to the hospital several times but said guy had talked her out of it saying that he would pay the doctors not to treat her. It sounds like a nightmare, doesn’t it? The cycle is unbelievably vicious. As she spoke, the other people in the room who weren’t doctors were moved to near-tears by the amount of fear in her voice.

Anyway, after an intense session, the doctor recommended some medicine to manage the situation and an injection that said patient was supposed to get every 2 months to manage the symptoms. He promised that in a few weeks, if she continued to take her medicine as instructed, said man would eventually go away. He beseeched her not to let the man talk her out of taking her medicine.

What was really sad about this was;

1) The medicine was quite pricey. I mean granted, this particular person was lucky enough to land on the angels that got her help and offered to take on the financial responsibility of making sure she gets better (bless their generous hearts), but how many people ever are? I’ve heard people say many times that these are rich people problems but I can assure you this person is everything but. And there are so many out there like her. I shudder to think how many people have been sent to traditional healers, abandoned or left to die because of the prevailing ignorance about mental health disorders. Yet what can we do about it? Can we do anything to make it better?

Yes, we can. I can and you can too. The first step is to educate ourselves. When we know, we can help. We can help those around us to understand, we can arm them with tools to help those around them cope. We can support, we can encourage, we can empathize and most importantly, we know how not to make it worse for people that are already suffering. These sound like such small things but you will not believe how far they will go to saving lives.

2) So she gets her medicine and then goes back to her normal life. Will there be anyone to help her ward of the voice inside her head that tells her to take her medicine and actually make sure she sees her treatment through? Getting the medicine is one thing, but does she have a support system?

Do you?

The importance of a support system cannot be stressed enough. We all need it. And so we must all endeavor to be it for someone else. Someone needs you. Be there.

What a difference a little love and a little empathy can make!download.jpg

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The Blue ticks side of life.

There was a time when texting was life in my world. I’d spend hours, days, months even having lengthy conversations over text messages. I could write books, bibles even on my phone and it just never got old.

And then one day I woke up and texting irritated me. It could be that I used up my text messaging quota for this lifetime in the decade and a half I spent abusing the function. Who knows?  Anyway, it’s so bad that I completely muted ALL my messaging apps. That way, I see text messages when I go out of my way to see them. Otherwise, they do not disrupt my life one bit. And I cannot properly explain the kind of peace and freedom the silence gives. What with WhatsApp group messages beeping all day long *rolls eyes* I really don’t know how you guys stand it.

The problem with this evolution, though, is that nearly everyone I’ve ever had a lengthy conversation (via text) with in the past has a hard time believing and/or understanding what changed. I keep getting the “why didn’t you reply” or “didn’t you see my text message” question. And it really is exhausting to have to explain every time that it’s not them, it’s me who hates texting. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading text messages. They’re definitely A LOT more pleasant than phone calls… I just don’t like to text back, particularly when the reply requires anything more than a single sentence.

There are exceptions to this rule, of course. There always are. But that’s a story for another day.

And no, I will not be turning my ‘last seen’and read receipts off anytime soon. At some point, we all have to learn, understand and deal with the fact that people can’t always get back to us immediately; and that’s okay (or it should be, anyway).

How I wish we all used voice notes and videos to communicate though. Now those, I love.

I hope you are all having a wonderful Thursday!

xoxo

Write to heal (4)

I got home this evening emotionally charged, with my tearducts swollen beyond maximum. Every now and then, they sneak and roll down my cheeks without my consent but today I heard myself wail. The only other time I heard that sound was when we were burying. I remember hearing a loud scream and then looking around for the origin of the noise. Only then did I realise that everyone’s head was looking at me, which had to mean that I was the one making the shocking sound. I had my head buried in Jojo’s chest and I was screaming like someone who was having their skin peeled off.

And so today I found myself screaming in a similar manner, except that I had to park my car a little distance from home and roll my Windows up. Because the last thing I would want would be to upset my mother. Because as much as I lost a father, she lost a best friend, spouse  and companion of more than 30 years. My loss doesn’t even begin to compare.

And then it hit me that I’ve spent the last few months trying to make everyone around me comfortable with my grief and havent really taken any time off for me. If I’m not trying not to upset my mother, I’m trying not to upset my siblings, or to make sure my friends aren’t walking on eggshells around me just because I’m grieving. I’ve bent over backwards to appear okay, and in the process haven’t given myself much time to deal with the situation and begin to recover. If I had, I wouldn’t be wailing in the street. At least I don’t think I would.

So I’ve decided to take some time off and process my feelings. Call it the activation of ‘Hermit Mode’. I probably won’t be taking calls or responding to texts for the next few days. Please bear with me.

Hugs and kisses…

Zeri

Insomnia Diaries

Insomnia Diaries

There’s so much I wish to say and do but I do not know where to start. It’s weird because I actually know which steps I need to take. But knowing and actually doing are two completely different things.

On most days, I can’t get myself to do much. Besides eat, of course, because even on my worst day, I can still eat enough for two grown men, at least. How I wish I were one of those people who get stressed or sick or sad and lose their appetite!

Anyway, I’ve received A LOT of support from my friends over the past two months, something I cannot take lightly. If it weren’t for them, I’d probably be fully depressed right now. Thank God for the endless distractions and the unawkward silences. I really don’t know where I’d be otherwise.

I’m off work for the rest of the week. And as you can imagine, my to-do list is sky high. I’ve resolved to try and reduce that list in the coming weeks, because my lack of productivity is actually starting to bother me. A lot of people say recovery is a choice. And while I, for the most part, don’t really agree with the statement as I feel like it invalidates our daily struggles to reach recovery even while it might take some time, I feel like I might need to be a little bit harder on myself, push some more lest this state of hopelessness and just being becomes a way of life. We really wouldn’t want that.

I guess it’s in times like this that being an empath comes in handy. I channel people’s energy and then mirror it. And I spent this evening around hopeful, inspired, hardworking ladies and their energy is bubbling forth in me. Hopefully I’ll be able to preserve enough of it to get me through the days ahead.

But for now, let me try to get some sleep. Tomorrow is another day.

Good thoughts and good wishes to you all…

❤ Zeri ❤

Since you’ve been gone.

​Out of all the days of the week, Sunday reminds me of my father the most. We always woke up to the sound of him noisily making something in the kitchen, using every single surface in the room while at it. Daddy was such a messy cook, but we wouldn’t dare complain lest he stopped cooking up his Sunday storm altogether. His cooking style was minimal; as little spices as he could get away with. And don’t get me started on those roasts that took the whole day to get ready. He was always so proud of his finished work. And I loved how my opinion was so valued considering I am the resident foodie and the pickiest eater you’ll ever meet.
So today, being a Sunday,  was really hard on all of us. We keep looking at the gate whenever we hear a sound , hoping he’ll have come back.  My brain has completely refused to accept the fact that we left him in a garden somewhere far away, and that we will never see him again. It all happened so fast. And I for one haven’t had the time to process it. I can’t even stand to look at a picture of him, as it has me going back to the moment I heard the words, “He’s gone. Daddy is gone,” and then slowly going through everything else that happened since then. Death is such a strange and unnatural thing. Do people sometimes get used to it? Do you move on?

I feel like my heart breaks a little more every day. And I don’t even know how to express that. Life seems to have moved on. The sun is still rising and setting as usual; birds chirping, music playing… Yet I’m still crying, whenever no one can see me.  I want my daddy back 😦

Midnight musings.

About a day or two ago, Liz shared a little note about directness and the role it plays in our lives, our relationships and our daily interactions and it got me thinking quite a bit.  Call it a virtual slap in the face, if you may. I used to be the most direct person on the planet.  Okay, maybe not, but really really direct anyway. Many of my friends can attest to that. But somewhere along the way, conversations got shorter, time more limited and life more complicated.

 As we go along, it becomes increasingly hard to say what we mean in 5 minutes or in 140 characters  (damn you, Twitter!) And so I’ve found myself postponing one too many conversations that I really should have, mentally promising to remember to have them if a chance of lengthy conversation ever presents itself. And I feel like a lot of my friendships are now a bunch of conversations that haven’t yet happened.

Why is so much demanding for our time these days? You do not realise how important quality time is until you sit down with your friends and instead of catching up (and I mean minute-by-minute since you last saw each other kind of catching up), you both type away at your phones while occasionally  taking a sip of your drinks or taking a bite of your meal. 

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Why do we feel like we’ll die if we don’t get retweeted or if 200 more people do not follow us on social media ?  Why are we living our lives for the approval of others; strangers to whom we’re only as good as the next hot gossip? Why do we strive for their acceptance, all the while unintentionally rendering the ones who actually know and love us for what we really are when the internet is off the opportunity cost?  Why are we like this?

We are a suffering generation, you and I, and the sooner we realise this, the better. We’ve been infected by the illusions of the internet, which will  sooner or later morph into disillusionment because let’s face it, how much of that is real? Sure, we have many many virtual likes but how is that helping our lives?  How does it make me better? How does it make you better?

We need to think long and hard about this trend we’re developing and whether it’s really worth it.  Because one day, we’re all going to wake up and we’ll be all alone. You are more than what you tweet/snap/gram etc. Never forget that. Go out there and BE more.