I’m kind of a big deal

Before the heading of this post makes you vomit, please keep on reading.

After various interventions, a change in my mindset has finally occurred.

You see, the thing is: I don’t really ever make myself off as being important, always raising others above me and making some people and their needs more important than mine. It’s not something intentional, but just the way I have been wired. Helping and supporting others makes me happy and I feel more on top of the world when I’m able to sit down and help a friend in need.

Having always had a superhero complex, this is the only reason why I do what I do. Not for seeking attention or making myself off to be a martyr or a philanthropist of sorts. I do it ’cause it’s what makes me happy and my life worth living.

Unfortunately, as human beings are, this has been taking advantage of countless times by many people. Sometimes, I willingly sat back out of intense love for this person, other times I didn’t know what was happening and I was being blindsided.

But, the thing is just, when you give too much to the world and everyone else, you seldom spare a thought to yourself.

After a recent discussion this weekend with my two of my best friends (Mienke & Ancomien) and my best friend’s mother, who is like a second mother to me, I have had the cogs and gears in my head grinding overtime and re-evaluating this. The first thing for them was that I needed to stop sparing thoughts for others while skipping myself, secondly I needed to stop defending people who were robbing me dry of my good warmheartedness and thirdly I needed to start valuing myself MUCH more.

With a shocked expression, I sat back and didn’t reply at first. I then continued to tell them that this is in my DNA and that I really don’t see myself changing it. I will always help people and never spare a second thought to myself. But, I was reprimanded that I could achieve a well enough balance between the two. Valuing myself enough and caring for others.

Recently, a lot of teen suicides and 20-somethings giving up on life have graced the front pages of our local newspapers here in South Africa. I suspect this is not just a local occurrence and that it’s like this throughout the world at the moment. Suicide, being a thing close to me, is something I have come to condone, judge and understand all at once.

Looking at the overall moral among youngsters, we have all seemingly succumbed to the demons of this world in some way or another. With their fingers lingering up our spines and whispering sweet nothings into our ears, there is a general stigma these days that we are worthless and at most nothing special. The world has broken most of us, while some survivors barely cling on and other just make the final decision that their lives aren’t something special at all.

Two weeks ago, I met with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while, for a drink or two. Halfway into the discussion I had to hear that he was recently in a clinic after trying to commit suicide. It was a shock to me. Anger welled up and I was soon interrogating him to try and find out what made him do and why he would try and hurt so much people around him.

It was soon clear that he believed he had no value here at all and that he felt like he couldn’t help anyone anymore, if he couldn’t even help himself.

Nonetheless, we continued talking about everything. As I divulged about how hectic my life was and that I also felt like I was letting a lot of people down, and maybe most importantly myself, he lost his cool. “Pot calling the kettle black, much? You preach to me that I need to value myself more, but you don’t even remotely do the same? Really now – you of all people who has so much going and a lot of people at your feet, and people who would give the world to you should raise you self worth a lot.”

All in all… After much deliberation and thinking, I’ve decided to sit back and up my own ante. It’s time that I need to take things up a notch and start knowing that I am kind of a big deal – without becoming egotistical and a douche bag.

And I think it’s time that this becomes a movement I can reciprocate to others out there who are in doubt about their worth.

Just know, that even if it doesn’t seem that way, you are worth a lot more than you’re making yourself off to be. Your value is what drives you and you just hanging in there makes you a superstar in your own way.

Serve as a waking inspiration and inspire others by being a big deal and never stop fighting against the world.

Just always remember: You’re kind of a big deal. So roll with it.

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The Beating of a (new) Heart

We were dancing in the club. It was a normal night out for me and my three dearest friend. Laughs were exchanged, smiles wide on our faces. Fun was the order of the night and for once I was offering to be designated driver. I didn’t mind – the company was excellent enough for me to have a good time without a drink.

Later the evening Mienke (my best friend and nothing short of a sibling to me), and I were dancing on the dance floor. It wasn’t particularly packed, but the drunk youngsters around me were in their own universes. In our universe, Mienke and I were dancing and letting go after a stressful week.

It was as if we both combusted into a thousand stars when one of our favourite, and probably meaningful songs came on.

This song, Pumping Blood, was originally done by NoNoNo and was covered by Lea Michele in Glee. [Side note: I prefer the Glee-version]. Mienke and I stumbled across this song during a time last year where R had just passed away and I was looking for some form of hope. We both agreed that this song would play again one day when I was okay and every lyric would make perfect sense.

Music is an important element to my life. When the creative side of me is taking over a great span of my head, music calms me, quiets me, or silences me for a few minutes. When I need help, or a pick-me-up, music has always been the magical cure.

So, when this song came on, we danced like there was no end to the world.

In one part of this song, the lyrics go something like:

“‘Cause it’s your heart,
it’s alive, it’s pumping blood,
And the whole wide world is whistling.”

For some time now, these lyrics has signified the new chapter I’ve begun writing on in my life. After a depressing, troublesome and heartbreaking year, I’ve now come back to a point of familiarity. From here, I’ve now realised that my broken heart has been mended and that I’m standing taller than ever.

My blog over the past year has contained many entries about my struggle and continuous feelings regarding R’s suicide and how it’s hurt me in many ways. It’s been a journey that took me to where I am now and I’ve always tried to share the lighter side of every struggle with you all. I really hope I have.

Today, I want to tell you, that even in the darkest times, believe. In it’s purest form, belief keeps your broken heartstrings and pieces alive. When you heal and glue your heart back together and one day find yourself at the dawn of a new day, then you will pat yourself on the back for believing in yourself – even in the darkest of times.

There is nothing more rewarding than standing tall with your new beating heart after a punch that life threw your way. It’s satisfying and oddly cocky to stare at life and let it know you made it up that steep mountain.

I still remember putting my hand on my chest on 27 May 2014 and not feeling my heart beat. It was devastating and soul crushing at the least. But as I was dancing away in the club with Mienke, I felt my new heart beating faster than a speeding train.

The beating of my (new) heart has confirmed what I have suspected for some time now: I’m a survivor of Life’s dark side. And with that being said, I’m ready to start venturing into this new chapter of my life and share it with all of my fellow bloggers.

A huge thanks to each and every person who has commented on a post with kind words and encouraging messages. You all made me stronger and made me realise my full worth and potential.

Now.

Upwards, onwards and onto a new journey.

[My friend Mienke and I – It takes 23 years of friendship for someone to tell you: “I’m glad you’re finally smiling like the rays of the sun, my love.” ]

*365 days later*

Denial. Bargaining. Anger. Depression.

The four friends I have come to known in the span of year’s time. Sucking the life out of me at times, infuriating me beyond compare, driving me beyond the edge of sanity and letting me dwell in the darkness…

It was the four friends I have now come to say goodbye to. I no longer need their company. They have become strangers – isolated from my life.

These “friends” are also four of the five stages of Grief.

Elizabeth KĂĽbler-Ross created a model for grief years ago. We all know the story – she was surrounded by patients in a hospice who were terminally ill and she noticed how everyone had these four “friends” by their side. These stages were also noted in people touched by death.

Now, a few hours shy of the anniversary or my former boyfriend’s suicide, I have come to terms with four of the five stages of grief. After a troublesome, tumultuous and sorrow ridden year, I am now at a space in time where calamity seems to be surrounding me more and more.

If you ask me if I knew this day would arrive… I will blankly stare at you and say: Nope. I gave up on that hope the day I stood beside his casket.

Life has since passed and time has not stood still for me. Time seems to be the only constant that has moved on with me for now – other things are still to come. Change is on the horizon. Peace is knocking at my door. A new me is dawning and acceptance seems to be introducing himself to me.

Confession: I have been afraid of this day for some time now.

Would I be ready? Would I be equipped to face acceptance and feel strong enough to pursue it? Was it worth all the tears, pain and broken pieces of my heart to come to this point and not leave this chapter of my life satisfied?

Well. Guess what. Not ready. Far from ready.

I still hate him with a fiery passion. People seldom try to understand it all, but they rarely understand why I am so quick to hate him while all his other loved ones still scrape together love for him.

I hate him for calling quits on his life, friends, future, loved ones, family, soul mate and…me. No one ever expected anything from him, but only to live and share his sorrow with other’s. He never did. He kept it hidden, like many other secret lives he led. The secrets upon secrets that tore him apart has tore me apart. And not just me… Everyone else who gave a damn about him.

I’ve fallen out of love with him and this hatred has grown to become an overpowering emotion to help me through each day.

Where I thought it wouldn’t be possible to even remotely survive, hatred has powered me through a day with the constant reminded that I can’t give up hope or call it quits, even if I wanted to. I wanted to prove to him that it’s possible to go above and beyond pain, without giving up.

You might stop me in my tracks and reprimand me that I’m far from acceptance. Right so. I won’t fight you on that.

I am however going to challenge you on the points that I am ready to step into the dawn of a new light.

As this sullen day passes, I’m no more the boy who’s boyfriend killed himself. I’m no more the widow. I’m no more the grieving son, the friend with a bag of sorrow on his shoulders. I am a new person to take on the world by storm. A new dawn is waiting for me and as far as I’m concerned, I’m ready to embrace that.

I might not have come to terms with most of R’s death, but I have come to terms that we are not longer an “us”. It’s only me now.

Me.

Only I can move on now and make my world a fantastic place to live in. In this lies the acceptance I speak of. I have accepted the pieces of my broken heart, the lies that tore me apart, the hole and huge gap left in my life with R’s passing and the sadness that has taught me how to live closer to my own fractured pieces of my heart.

Acceptance. It comes in different forms and as grief has different stages, I’m ready to close this chapter in my life.

Stepping into the light of this new dawn, I’m ready to say goodbye to him and hopefully, soon enough, drop the hatred and keep him in a special place within my heart.

Actually came out decent

12 Habits Every Youngest Child In The Family Carries Into Their 20s

Every thought here is ON POINT 🙂

Thought Catalog

Jill GJill G

1. They learn best by being mentored.

Youngest children learned everything they know through imitation and this is blatantly obvious when they enter the work force. Walk them through the steps of a process and you’ll only confuse them. Sit them next to the most successful person in the office and they’ll be miracle workers by next Wednesday.

2. They show love by showing up.

You know that friend who jumps on board with every crazy scheme and never misses one of your slam poetry readings? Probably a youngest child. We understood from a young age that love means going to every hockey game, dance recital, spelling bee and soccer practice…even if we only had to go because it was cheaper than hiring a babysitter.

3. But they have no problem doing things alone.

Nobody wants to travel to Africa with me? That’s okay, I’ll just go by…

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Most importantly, just find yourself

As I was sitting in the room, I stared over at the couples who were leaning in to on another, whispering sweet nothings and cradling their hands in each other’s. Like many times before me, I felt the familiar feeling in my gut: You are missing out big time on this feeling. A feeling called love.

Later, as the party was in full swing, I saw a couple outside the ballroom fighting. The passion in their eyes alight like the fire of a thousands suns. Words being flung around carelessly. Anger making way for what use to be love. As I was staring at this fight, I realised how there is always that one person who will be left with nothing. Have it be after the fight has subdued or if the fight leads to a breakup. One person is always left with nothing.

It’s sad.

In these modern times, I have found too many friends running to me with the same crisis after a breakup. They suddenly disembowel the entire relationship and breakup to try and find why they are an empty shell now. A full autopsy is performed to see where the core of their being as a person went lost and how they can try and revive it. It’s almost an impossible task at times, while others sometimes have to start from scratch, having lost everything they were.

I’m more than happy to help them. Not because they are my friends, but because I was once/ am now where they are and it’s easier to have someone plot a course and trajectory for you than having yourself stumbling around in the dark, blindly.

About 11 months ago, when my boyfriend passed away after a battle with depression, I was the one who was disemboweling the relationship, trying to find the point where it all went wrong. It’s more excruciating than it sounds. Trust me – relieving every moment in your head, trying to put the broken puzzle pieces together, is not for the faint of heart.

At one point, I remember waking up one morning. It was a normal morning, with me having slept nothing at all that night. I had been up, tossing and turning, trying to make sense of it all. Questions still remaining without any answers. As I was slouching to the bathroom, I looked at myself in the mirror. Something like this, is a normal action for many each morning. No second guessing it. Automated. But this morning, I caught a glimpse of my eyes. What followed terrified me.

They were dead. My eyes were lifeless and hollow. I could see it shine through. Like that couple who were fighting, passion shining through their eyes like burning suns, the lifelessness shone through mine. Like a fist to my chest, it hit the wind out of me. I can say, it’s safe to assume it was then that I knew I had lost me.

Like the person I am, a full postmortem followed after this. Soon, it was becoming clearer to me, that I was the one who had to be left with nothing. Being the nothing, rather.

I think most people’s sadness after a breakup these days, are because of this reason. That they become the nothing when their something is ripped away. I resent that this even has to be something you have to go through, upon losing the one you had/have loved. No one deserves this at the least.

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Now, I want to appeal to you: You can find yourself again.

Even at the point of losing your everything, your core, your being, the thing that makes you, you… At that point you can start finding yourself again.

It’s not easy, but it’s doable.

When all is lost, you have so much to use again to build yourself up from scratch. Go out, explore life, yourself and do something unexpected and new. Life, cry, laugh, smile and disappoint yourself ’till you reach a point where you have found yourself again.

Knowing who we are in life, is one of our greatest strengths. When challenges and potholes come our way, this is what we use and fall back on to get to the point of ultimate conquest or strength.

If you are reading this right now, thinking that I am speaking about you or to you, then you should probably sit down and start thinking about things. Just know, you are not the only one going through this.

Will you ever find yourself completely? No. You do however discover yourself across your life. Many facets reveal themselves and equip you even more in dealing with things.

Just for now, be proud of yourself for conquering that mishap, heartbreak or tear in your life and still being able to stand.

But most importantly: just find yourself.

Travel.

Put yourself in his shoes…

It was a week since I was back in South Africa, from my rather life changing trip to Namibia. My head was still reeling and I was in desperate need of finding some

familiar ground to just feel like I was back home. But my mind was in another place and it was not the best situation for me and hectic work situation.

Tracing the culprit as to my mind being on his own wondrous path, I realised it all started with me opening Pandora’s Box in Namibia. In this case, it was all the feelings on R I had closed the lid on to cope with his passing. A good idea at the time I did it, but whilst spending vast amounts of time on the wide stretches of the African Savannah, re-opening these feelings, I knew it was a bad idea. Rushing in, causing havoc and making a ruckus, my mind almost exploded and I knew that this would have to be dealt with. ‘Cause you never get to put a lid back on Pandora’s Box… Or so the myth goes.

For the first day or two, I just sat and let every small and possible feeling rush over me. Have it be a flicker of hope that he might still be alive, a inch of courage that I might finally be okay, sadness for the fact that he is not here anymore or depression for the timely death he chose to do unto himself… These feelings became my new best friends as I continued along the stretches of road ahead of me. As I discovered Namibia, I discovered new facets to my grief.

After the dust settled, I started dissecting everything. Okay… Maybe over-analyzing it. But I faced the cold hard fact that these emotions needed to be dealt with.

Some emotions lead to realisations of his death. Things, that at the time of his death, I was not able to see clearly. It hit me square in the gut, to be honest.
While thinking I could not be shocked even more by the situation surrounding his suicide, it hit hard to realise that he for instance dropped more than just once that he was thinking of suicide and that he was getting to a point where he was making sure we were looked after and equipped to remotely deal with him not being around anymore. I would say this worsened my guilt about him dying and I had to stop at the side of the road and get out at some point to breathe.

As I stood by the side of the road, I stared over the mountains and the sky. Trying to calm myself. It was a stretch of gravel roads between farms, in the middle of nowhere and I just stood soaking up the silence. Whilst standing like that, a wild fox came out the bushes on the side of the road and sniffed around. When he saw me panting at the car, he stood still. I stood still. We stood still. I caught his eyes and he caught mine. For a good minute we stared at each other. One stressing over the sight of a predator and survival, the other craving survival over a wave of grief.

What happened next might sound crazy. At the risk of sounding crazy, please don’t judge me.

It was as if the dark, storm clouds in my head disappeared and made space for one single thought. Stop wasting energy on trivial matters and put yourself in his shoes…

The thought reverberated through my head. Hard. I saw the fox still staring at me. Maybe it was some act of God or gods? Maybe it was just a force of nature. But I had a silent guide to show me what to do with these feelings and emotions. The fox, after a while, just swept his head to the side again and went on with his merry way.

As I got back into the car, I felt a lot more collected and calm. I started to think on all the energy I had wasted the past months fretting over the people and factors leading to his death, all the negatives that came out after he passed and the bad that was around while he was still alive. How I was clinging onto that and making sure I never forget that, was astounding to me…

It wasn’t till I got back to South Africa, that I was reminded about putting myself in his shoes. Driving home one afternoon, listening to one of R’s all time favourite artists, Tracy Chapman, a song of her came onto my Ipod. Fast Car. In that moment, I felt a lot of R through her lyrics and suddenly found me putting myself in his shoes.

Thinking how the depression must have crept onto him and how it must have remotely felt to start thinking suicide would hurt less than living on this earth.

What it might mean to lose sight of who you are, what you are doing on Earth and the ridiculous standards people hold you to at certain times.

When making a small mistake snowballs into one huge escalated spiral of mishaps and wrongdoings, and when you have a moment of sanity and clarity you realise what you were doing and the guilt wracks you.

Then deciding that rather cutting out your heart metaphorically would be better, rather to be tortured every waking moment with feelings you can’t deal with.

I suddenly understood him a bit better. The questions I still had, seemed to be irrelevant now. The anger and hatred for him, slipping through cracks of light. More understanding and compassion making its way into the dusky room.

So, 11 months down the path of grief, I have somehow come to a point where I can sit down at a poker table with death, depression, loss, understanding as well as the almighty zen and face the three of them all at once, knowing I have enough strength to do this. If you asked me 11 months ago if I EVER saw myself at this point, a teary eyed shell of a man would have said the chance of dying of a broken heart would’ve been more of a reality than this. Yet, here I am.

At some point, unloading baggage from your shoulders to clear space is not such a bad thing. It should be a time in a moment where you can reflect on life for a tiny bit, and grow from what it is trying to teach you.

3J6A1993

Curate those words carefully

It’s one of those lessons in life that I had to learn the hard way. You know, those lessons that leave you so drained and wrecked that you literally question every moral fiber of your existence. A lesson that I certainly would never forget.

Words are the building blocks of history, society, people, relationships and evolution. So much as words and actions go hand in hand, words are still those powerful weapons in your arsenal that you have to look after carefully. While your mind is filled with thoughts, it’s words that make up these thoughts and hold more than enough power to devastate a small country at most… (Ed note: maybe I was being a bit too dramatic there… At least maybe a small community?!)

I had to steadily learn that in life you can’t drop words like hot potatoes and expect people not to run and hide for cover or hold out their hands to scoop them up like ice cream. First problem being that you shouldn’t drop them like hot potatoes, second problem being that you should always carefully think what you want to achieve with words.

It was the night before R committed suicide that I came to realise what purpose words really play in our lives.

We were out for dinner with someone he knew. (ed note: I refrain from calling her a friend, as the lesson of this tale is that you should curate your words properly and she is not worthy of being called a friend.) At some point during the evening he asked us both what method of suicide do we think would be faster: carbon monoxide poising via a hosepipe through a car window in a shut garage or a makeshift barbecue an enclosed space. I really didn’t think much of this, but didn’t answer his question. Our companion at dinner went on to elaborate her theory. I just sat there.

I waited till she left for the bathroom before I turned to him. He rubbed his face in the familiar way he use to when he was stressed. I was half dreading to hear what was eating at him, as I had been expecting for a few weeks now that he was ready to end our relationship. But, the comment he made seconds ago was picking at me and I dropped the words like hot potatoes.

“What’s up? Are you okay? One does not simply ask that sort of stuff and there’s not something going on. If you need to talk to me, then you should do it. I’m listening and I’ll help, but I refuse to entertain such talk.”

My words weren’t really that carefully curated. They just fell straight from my brain and I was left to just sit there and receive the backlash he was about to give me.

“Stop being such a freakin’ drama queen. Just keep quiet and stop worrying about things that aren’t really there.”

The words dropped on me like bombshells and pounded me. ‘Till this day I still don’t know if it was the icy stare or his tone of voice that hurt me, but all I do know is that both our words weren’t carefully curated at all.

So, the night went on and I was still left disturbed by the conversation.

The Monday afternoon was the last physical written talk we ever had. Our last texts were me joking about him still being alive and him joking back saying “it’s just as luck would have it”.

It’s only today that I am left to realise what importance words hold in our lives. When we do not attempt to curate them carefully, we drop hot potatoes to the floor and at the worst throw bombshells towards people we care about the most.

Words hold a powerful, significant and subconscious impact on our brains even long after they have been spoken. Not a lot of us realise this and as a result people have been left broken, hurt and shattered due to the wrongs words having been spoken.

In this day and age where hatred, sadness, hurt and pain are precursors to every day we roam this planet, we need to start finding a balance in curating the words we speak a bit more carefully. Maybe this is just me thinking wishfully, but I’d love to see us a human race curate the crap that comes out of our mouths at times…

*sigh* In a perfect world hey…