Write to heal (2)

Write to heal (2)

​I woke up feeling some type of way this morning. For starters, I barely got any sleep last night. There’s a giant-sized situation going on in my life at present and even though I know it’s imperative that I do, I really don’t have the emotional energy to address it. Not yet. Lately I’ve been feeling like everything takes way too much energy; energy I don’t have at the moment but am working hard to restore. So i guess we can rightfully say I’m taking a much needed break from life. People can be so exhausting sometimes.
It’s not the easiest thing in the world to explain though; why you choose not to show up to engagements for no particular reason, or why you do show up sometimes but won’t have much interaction with anyone because for some reason or other, your vocabulary has taken a french leave and you’ve forgotten every word you know.

The thing is, sometimes we spend so much time worrying about what others think and how they feel that we forget to do all the things we have to do for our own wellbeing. I’m guilty of this. I find myself showing up even when I don’t want to, even when it’s taking everything to be there. But it’s taken tragedy to make me realise that sometimes, it’s alright to stay back and take care of yourself. It’s okay to be a little bit selfish sometimes. It’s okay to take a moment to find your bearings, and then face the world again when you’re ready.

I’m also learning that it’s okay to be jealous with your energy. It’s okay to protect it, especially when it’s taken you a long time to charge it with positivity. Some people radiate so much negative energy and if you’re an empath like me, it’s okay to stay away from these people. In fact, it’s important and oh-so-necessary.

Remember, your emotional and mental wellbeing is just as important as your physical. So take care of yourself.

Have a ridiculously amazing week, friends!

Love,
Zeri.xxx

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Write to heal (1).

Write to heal (1).

​As human beings, we have a habit of walking away when our loved ones need us most. We are afraid of pain and seeing other people express it openly often unsettles us. We find ourselves unsure of what to say or do. And a lot of the time, that uncertainty keeps us away. “I’ll give them some time,” we say, “they’ll be alright.” My question today is, does this help? And why on earth do we think it does?

If you know me, you know I’d never cry in public. Not if there’s something I can do about it. Now during my father’s funeral,  i kept excusing myself from the crowd and locking myself in the bedroom to weep.

And when I was done, I’d wipe my tears,  wash my face and come back out to play host; poker face and all. I noticed more than a few people staring at my face, looking for signs of tears or some sort of emotion but I showed none. Because where I come from, you don’t show your emotions in public. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I was accused of strength as if it were a medal of honor. Once or twice, I explained that someone had to make sure everything was going okay considering there were only three of us hosting and attending to the hundreds of co-mourners. If I lost it, my mother and two siblings would probably lose it too. Then what? Another time, I nearly bit someone’s head off. But I won’t get into the details. People can be so insensitive.

Anyway, all through the four days, we received an overwhelming amount of support from our friends. Some of them dropped everything and sat with us all day and all night for the entire week, even after the funeral had ended. It’s the kind of thing none of us will ever forget. Thank you. To the people who have kept visiting us every day, calling us, bringing us food (because we haven’t cooked at all since it happened. Junk food has been our life), praying with us, praying for us;  Thank you so so much. For those who let us talk about our loved one (because that’s what our hearts need right now), thank you so much. My baby, Jojo, who held my hand for most of it, and let me cry on her shoulder even though she hates crowds and the tears probably made her uncomfortable, I have no words. But know that my heart fills up with gratitude when I think of you. But like you said, I’d have done the same thing for you.

I know it’s hard to be around sad people, and it’s hard to listen to the painful details of how we feel right now, but thank you for listening anyway, and for the words of encouragement  (for those who offer them). Thank you for holding our hands and helping us whenever and wherever you were able to.

We really really appreciate it.

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 😦

Mental Health Day 2016

​Sometimes people ask you how you are and you really have nothing to tell them. I mean what do you say? That they should leave you alone? Not forever but for like a while? A while which could be days, weeks or even months? Would they understand that? Would you understand that? 

What about those times when you feel like five/ten years is too far away? Not in a sense that you’re excited for time to pass and don’t want to have to wait, but in the sense that the thought of living that long terrifies you. So much so that you sometimes wonder if there’s a painless way to sign out of life. But then you remember all the people that think they love you. Never mind that you’ve been screaming for help for as long as you remember but no one has heard you. Yes, you think of them and close the window where you had typed “how to end my life painlessly”.

And so you compose yourself. You put on your best “I’m better than ever, can’t you tell?” face, and say you’re fine, pushing aside the tinge of disappointment you feel at the realization that once again, they haven’t noticed.

So many people around us are struggling. Just because people seem fine, doesn’t always mean that they are. Pay attention. Be kind. Show affection. You’ll be surprised at how many lives you might be saving with simple acts of kindness.

Happy #mentalhealthday world!

Liebstar blog award.

Liebstar blog award.

So I was nominated for the Liebstar award by my former classmate Lindsay (Home, Hugs and Huskies). It’s taken me  while to actually get round to doing it but here goes. Thank you for the nomination Lindsay, and thank you to every single one of you to takes the time to read my blog every day. You keep me going.

Below are my answers to the questions Lindsay asked me, followed by my own nominees nd my questions to them.

  1. What do you think your best quality is?

My compassion/empathy, I think. I’m unable to turn away from someone who is hurting or needs help. It doesn’t matter who you re. And this applies just as much to my friends as it does to people I don’t like. 

 

  1. What did you want to be when you were a child?

For the longest time, I wanted to be a scientist. I was so fascinated by the science of life and how things worked. At first it was farming. I was fascinated by how lifeless seeds turned into plants which then turned into food. I planted EVERYTHING. I had a garden from when I was 4 right until my teens when we moved houses. Then I wanted to be a doctor. A neurosurgeon, to be precise (thank you Ben Carson for that dream). Along the way, I thought about pathology for a while before I settled on psychiatry. Understanding the human mind, human behavior and the reasons behind the reason behind the reason was and still is very fascinating to me.  I was very bad at biology, unfortunately (who wants to learn about plant cells? lol) so there went my dreams of being a psychiatrist. But one day, I hope I will qualify for an honorary degree in psychiatry, just for my interest and research.  There was a point in time when I just wanted to be famous…lol. But I got over that, thank goodness. You can’t put price tag on privacy.

 

  1. What do you like about blogging?

It’s a lovely way to express yourself and also connect with like-minded people. Blogging has opened and continues to open quite a number of exciting opportunities for me and so many others. And through it, I’ve met and discovered so many and so much. Writing has always been my first love so I welcome any opportunity to do so.

 

  1. What do you dislike about blogging?

I can’t decide on a theme!!! I like my theme for a moment and then I want to change it. There’s just so much to choose from which is a problem if you’re indecisive like me. Also, I do most of my writing on paper (I carry a pen and notebook round with me all the time) so a lot of the time, I have to type out my posts which is such a drag because it feels like repetition.

 

  1. What inspires you to write?

Experience. New experiences always inspire me to write.

 

  1. What do you do to snap out of writer’s block?

Watching movies or documentaries about creatives always helps. Sometimes reading my favorite blogs also helps. And in the event that neither works, I go out and do something outside my comfort zone. I’m a creature of habit so I often find myself going to the same places. But when I have writer’s block, I’ll eat somewhere new or try something I usually wouldn’t. It works like a charm!

 

  1. What is your favorite book? Why?

Gosh I’ve read so many beautiful books! It’s so hard to pick one. I have about five favorites that I would read again and again and again. But I’m not about to explain why so instead I’ll tell you about the most recent book I’ve read, americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.  I couldn’t put it down. It’s undoubtedly one of the most beautiful books I’ve read. The story just spoke to me (in more ways than one). If you haven’t already, get yourself a copy and thank me later.

 

  1. Who was a hero in your life? Why?

That would be my mother, definitely! There hasn’t been  time when she has filed to come through for me. I guess she’s supposed to do that… I hope that someday I’ll grow to be the kind of mother to my children that she is to me.

Then there’s my grandmother. Oh what a woman! She’s unbelievably successful. And she’s the sweetest, funniest, most loving woman you’ll ever meet.  A true woman of substance. No amount of tragedy can touch her character. She is GOLD!

And then there’s my god-given hero, my gorgeous sister Claire. God only knows how I would have survived this life without her.  My memories are filled with moment after moment where my sister sacrificed something for me or protected me from something. She never let me worry about anything when we were growing up. To this day, any worries I share with my sister are as good as sorted.

 

  1. If money was no object, what would you be doing?

Sipping on champagne in the South of France. I’d probably hop between Italy, Spain, Argentina, Chile, Australia, California and Cape Town. But the weekends would without a doubt find me in the south of France.

 

  1. If you were a dog, which breed would you be?

Lulu!!! Without  doubt. She’s my dog twin 🙂mADISON COUNTY DOGS 104

Thanks again for the nomination Lindsay!

Here are my ten nominees for the Liebster Blog Award (in no particular order). Don’t worry if you aren’t into awards, I still think you are awesome anyway and people should check out your blog. Feel free to check out the rules below for more information.

 

Questions:

  1. Why do you blog?
  2. What inspires you?
  3. What is the one thing most people don’t know about you?
  4. If you could go anywhere, where would you go?
  5. How do you get over writers block?
  6. If a movie were to be made about your life, what would it be called and who would play you in the movie?
  7. What did you write before you started blogging? (Journal, short stories, nothing…)
  8. Who do you hope reads your blog most or who do you hope doesn’t? (Be sure to specify which you answer!;) )
  9. What is the most thoughtful gift you’ve ever received?
  10. What do you think your best quality is?

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It begins with you.

It begins with you.

My native language has so many derogative terms for the display of ones feelings. When it’s not kyejjo, which when loosely translated means being a cry baby, it’s “kutijja” ( in the case of love or romance) which would mean an exaggerated display, I think. But it’s not really a good thing. If you pay attention, what everyone is trying to say in essence is put a lid on it. Whatever it is, no one else needs to know. Your feelings are your business. And so you have a whole lot of people walking about with no idea what it means to actually feel stuff.  A bunch of robots, if you ask me. How does anyone live like that?

Anyway, I think our cultural refusal to acknowledge emotions has a huge role to play in our people’s refusal to acknowledge things like depression, anxiety, bipolar, schizophrenia etc as real. We imagine that like emotions, that stuff can be locked away and forgotten about; that those who actually suffer from these things (read: those who fail to ‘deal’ with their emotions responsibly ) are cry babies and/or attention seekers, which are collectively termed ‘kyejjo’. Basically, what they are saying is you can get over it. You can forget it. You can choose not to let it affect you. What is it anyway? Those are white people problems/ diseases for the rich/stuff that only affects the current generation. It’s very sad; sad because so many are forced to live in silence and in shame (on top of the on going turmoil in their heads) and many still are being subjected to mental assylums, traditional healers etc in an effort to make them normal. Not to mention those who , unable to cope, resort to suicide as an end to it all.

The stories break my heart. Why would anyone consciously let themselves suffer if there was something they could do about it? Who in their right mind would want attention/sympathy so much that they would make up something like this? Does that make any sense to you? No, I didn’t think so. Anyone who can say something like that has clearly never woken up in the morning feeling internally paralysed and unable to function. You’re probably thinking “unable to function? Just get up and get moving”. I’m no doctor and so I will not get technical with this post. But these images speak volumes.

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Do not make someone’s life unbearable because you do not know. Do not directly or indirectly contribute to the growing rate of suicide (both attempted and successful). Ignorance is not an excuse.  Educate yourself. Today’s world is flowing with endless resources. Let’s educate ourselves and create a better world. It begins with you and me. And it begins right now.

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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.