Ruin

As a young boy I loved delving into our bookshelves at home. My parents didn’t love me rummaging through our prized set of encyclopedias, but I didn’t care for much of it.

I remember how one particular day, a typical Cape Town-storm brewing outside, I was hunched in a nest of blankets and pillows in my room pouring over the pyramids of Egypt. For hours I stared at the pictures, trying to imagine how these behemoth structures were erected and ’till this day stand tall, peering over Egypt’s deserts and cloaking the tourists in their shadows or bathing them in sunlight.

One piece from the caption an illustration still stays with me today: “These ruins stand preserved as beautiful structures, being one of the most enigmatic, yet breathtaking modern wonders of this world.”

So, my fellow bloggers, ruin… How can ruin be beautiful?

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The realisation

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You’ll remember a few posts ago how I was telling you about the new person I met. The person who was able to restore my broken heart after the superstorm of R who took his own life and left me to deal with the aftermath of it all.

J… The one to put a flicker in my dying heart.

As the story goes, J and I both had a huge falling out and things just continued to spiral out of control. It was something ugly – tearing our hearts apart. Neither one of us meant it, but neither one of us really knew how to really deal with this.

So, this past weekend, J came to Cape Town again. After I pleaded one last time for him to fight for me, he hopped onto a plane to come fight for me.

Seeing him again, felt good. It felt like I was back home, in a safe space. Like I was where I needed to be. Where I was meant to be.

This all didn’t last.

As later the evening, during a Halloween party, I got a little bit drunk and saw him talking to someone else. A jealous rage swept over me like a red mist and before my tongue could stop itself, I was lashing out towards him. Blaming him for the mistakes of R’s infidelity (a story I will get to another time). It was irrational. He saw it, sat me down and tried to break through the walls I had built around myself these past months. After telling me how hard it was being around me when I was closed off, shutting people out and hurting people by being a stone wall slowly crumbling under the pressure of everyone’s troubles on my shoulders and more importantly my own troubles that I reflect inwards… I realised how bad it really was.

It wasn’t ’till he told me how R’s cloud had followed us from Day 1 and that he couldn’t compete with a dead man anymore, that I lost it. A little something inside me died and I got up. Luckily, my two friends Ancomien and Mienke, were at hand to intervene. Mienke stayed behind to talk to J and Ancomien swept a frantic, panicked me away.

Guys, I don’t remember much. All I know is that I had what could best be described as a meltdown. Soon, my friends also started telling me how they were tired of me not relying on them and slowly fading away in front of their eyes… I on the other hand, kept crying hysterically, feeling every emotion in me slipping away.

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The next 24 hours was spent with loved ones intervening.

On Sunday evening, J and I made a mutual decision to not force anything now, and that it would be best if I went to heal myself and that I stay away from him, to stop hurting him on the jagged edges of my heart. This on its own hurt me beyond words and broke the last broken pieces of my heart into dust.

Ultimately, as I laid in bed that evening, I realised that I was never okay. I was not over everything. I had never accepted what had happened to me. And I was losing a lot more than my life… My friends were ready to call quits on me (even though they love me too much to say that me).


And now?

I’ve been on pretty strong tranquilizers since Sunday.

The emotions are all gone from me for now. I think they symbolically left with my tears and washed away. I really do feel empty, for the first time in a while, I really am scared of how empty I feel.

It was one huge mistake. Me, taking everything that happened, the unresolved issues, emotions, pain, hurt, sorrow and plastering them up behind the walls in my head. The biggest lie I have told myself to thus far hasn’t been that R might still be alive, but it was that I was okay with everything and over it all. I was so desperate to be okay again, to be someone who I once remember in passing or even remotely a version of something that I could be okay with. In plastering all those stuff up behind a wall in my head, I did the greatest injustice to myself.

After my friends and people who love me walked in with sledgehammers, looking for that one wall where everything was hidden behind, I’m literally left in ruin now. I needed to be saved from myself. Guys, the worst thing is having being saved from yourself by friends.

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Ruin

Hi everyone, I’m David. And my life is in ruin.

The first step to me getting better and healing is for me to admit this.

Right now, like those pyramids in Egypt, I’m in ruin, but still standing. I’m a beautiful mess. And the great thing about a beautiful mess is that you can either choose to gather your mistakes and carry on forward and be who you are now or you can wipe the entire slate clean and start a new.

As I mentioned, my blog is going to go onto a new course. And I still stick to that promise. From here on out, no more bars hold. I’m opening the doors of my life wide – it’s time for a major spring cleaning and I’d like to invite all of you to walk with me.

For the one thing that ties all of us together is that we all feel pain. We’ve all been through hardships, broken hearts, loss and grief. And we’ve all stood up from ruin to either rebuild our lives.

Let this serve as a reminder to us all – never, EVER, convince yourself you’re okay and then try to bury non-resolved feelings and emotions. Face your demons, fight them and move on to the next battle.

And this time – I won’t lie to anyone again. I refuse to be the Boy Who Cried Wolf. I’m not okay and I’m okay with that. Because I know I have amazing people in my life and supportive readers who will see me through this hardship.

Upwards and onward.

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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.

I miss him…

[23 weeks]

I’ll never be able to feel his arms around me. Hugging me so hard that it almost felt like he was trying to put all of the broken pieces together again.

I’ll never hear him laugh again. Never hear him jokingly calling my name or sucker punching me if I made a lame remark.

I’ll never see him again.

It may be five months late, but the pain still hasn’t lessened and it hasn’t lessened as much as when I come to realisations like these.

And to make matters worse: As much as I hated R for leaving me behind, I still love him so much. I’ve watched countless Disney movies, but none of them have ever had a curse as powerful as this: one where you could hate someone with everything in you, but at the same time be able to love them with every last shred of light in you.

Of course, the second I heard he had passed, I started missing him. It was like all the cells in my body were inching to be with his and started aching when it couldn’t find his. And about 23 weeks later, it’s still not much less of a challenge to control the surmountable pain I experience when I accidentally think of him.

What isn’t much of a challenge though, is making the words: “I miss him”, become background noise in my head. Even when I think of him and the longing to be with him flares up, it’s not as bad as when I realise that he’s not here and won’t be returning anytime soon.

23 weeks later it’s becoming more of an occurrence where I started feeling him drift into the nothingness inside of my mind. In clinging onto him and his memory for dear life, my own mind had begun fooling me by shrouding some of the memories of him into becoming vague pieces and fragments my mind couldn’t conjure up anymore.

This in it’s own was a longing I couldn’t explain. A longing to just have one good memory that wasn’t cloudy or vague.

Even though I keep building sandcastles in my mind, imagining him to be alive and living his life, there are times Life has a funny way of reminding me that he had passed away and then I was stuck with this new, all too familiar feeling, of missing him.

After 5 months, I don’t know what else to do but miss him.

Crying won’t bring him back. Being angry wouldn’t bring him back. Hating him wouldn’t help. Would missing him help me?

All I know is, I’ve never longed to touch his hand or hug him one last time more than in these last few days. And I hope he knows how much I miss him.

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Choices are like dog poop…

[20 weeks]

Today, a memory from my childhood came up to me again as I was walking home from the train station.

A fond memory I’ll always have of my dad is that he loves reading. As a child, I would creep up behind his back and peer over the pages of the book he was reading, just to share in the wonderful wonderland he was constantly escaping to.

One school holiday, my dad had this book laying on his stack. It was thick and I knew I would never be able to finish it in time before he’d have to return it to the library. Nonetheless, I picked it up, perched myself against the wall of his study and started reading.

The tale was of a young Russian prince who was out exploring the kingdom on his horse. In the intro, he describes this bird made of fire and ice. When it was winter, it would heat up and burst into flames, protecting their land. In the summer, it would cool down and give shelter to the crops.

One sentence I’ll never forget from this prologue, was a phrase the kingdom had adopted to suit the behavior of this bird: Adapt to survive and stand tall.

So, for the last three hours this phrase has been stuck with me. Not being able to escape the maze that is my head. It made a lot of sense. After all, we as humans have been blessed with the curse of choice. Everything in life is a series of choices. Choices we get to control and make.

Whilst everything in these past 20 weeks has been the most worst experiences of my life so far, I’ve come to learn that we all have a choice when it comes to dealing with grief. We can either have it destroy us, or we can survive, adapt and stand tall.

Something that still baffles me is that we as humans have the ability of free choice.

We get to decide our paths, our futures and our circumstances.

I know my previous post was not a very positive one… Here I have to hang my head in shame to my followers and readers.

But, I’ve since had some time to be quiet, reflect and realise some things.

Sometimes, we are not left to deal with our own choices, but others as well. And it’s not sometimes a choice we necessarily wanted to deal with or agreed with.

As the quote said: Survive and adapt.

Just as the ever changing landscape of life with it’s intricate choices doesn’t allow much space for us to sit down and throw and hissy fit, we just have to buck up and adapt to survive.

I guess what I’m trying to say is: Never forget that the right of choice is a privilege is a gift life has extended to you. Although you might be roped into others choices, you still have the right to control what you decide after that.

Also: Choices come in various forms which ranges from Easy as Pie to Slaying the Basalisk-difficult. Life has not extended a manual to us which helps these choices to be made with ease. Some choices are made with good or bad intentions and can go either way. Yes. Life’s an asshole for not extending a manual, right?

Still, in this masterclass, learning a lesson through a bad or good choice, you’ll always get to carry a lesson with you. A lesson you again get to share with the rest of the world.

Remember: Survive and adapt. Stand tall and change your circumstances – you have the choice to lead your life where you need to be. But never sit back and exclaim you didn’t have a choice. You’re just screwing yourself over. Big time.

In this case, the choice is simple: Choose to be in control of your decisions.

Seemingly, choices are like stepping in dog poop. You either step in it pretty deep and you’re screwed, and you complain all the way, whilst stinking up everywhere you step once you get out of it. Or you face the fact that you’ve stepped in it, get out of it, scrape it off your shoes and avoid the next puddle of crap in your way…

🍃

Autopilot

[17 weeks]

I kept slamming at the dashboard. The light that indicated my plane was on autopilot had gone out and it was freaking the living crap out of me. Slamming the dashboard didn’t help and it sure as hell didn’t calm me down. It’s when the thought struck me: This is all on me now.

Using the metaphor of a plane on autopilot has been the best way to describe my life after R passed away in May. It was like a force of some kind had taken over my body and mind and had been directing me in the right way and making sane decisions that I wouldn’t ordinarily make under these circumstances.

Now, 17 weeks into this stint, my body had decided to leave the autopilot function behind. And it was becoming a torment and hell of its own.

Whilst on autopilot everything seemed more calm and collected than it was right now. Which to me and maybe to you could seem weird. Right after someone passes away, you shouldn’t be in the calm of the storm. The storm should be ripping you to shreds and tearing every inch of you apart.

Now, after I’ve been left to pilot my own plane, it seems to me like I’ve been thrown smack dab into the middle of another storm.

Whilst R’s death has its own set of crisis and issues I’ve had to deal with, my life crept on forward. And that creeping action brought along more and more layers of crisis’ and issues to deal with upon everything else. In this storm, I was swerving from left to right just to avoid hitting something or causing damage.

Let me not lie: this was tiring. Exhausting. Straining.

At this moment in time, I felt really defeated. It was not like me to just sit down and claim that I’ve been beaten to the side, but it was growing more harsher to get by every single day, fearing at the same time that something might happen to add to the growing pile of bulltwang.

My plane, with damage to its exterior, hull, engines and fuel line was still miraculously in the air. Despite all my problems and the storm raging on around me.

While I was claiming “defeat”, I’d not noticed my plane still powering ahead. Why was I so hung up over a stupid “autopilot” phase?

Fine, It might have been less painful back then and I was wrapped in layers of wool and cotton to be protected from the world. But, why would I wanted to hung up over a phase where I didn’t really register what was going on around me and act like a robot. This was not what life is about. Life is about living, through all the bumps and nicks.

Although I’m no expert pilot, I’ve managed to keep powering ahead in the storms heading my way and I have a sinking feeling that I will continue powering my way through these storms, till I’m back in the sunlight and ready to face the world.

Lesser to the fact that Indiana Jones has nothing on me, I know this chapter in my life will just be one I’ll look back at in a few years and realise what lessons I need to take out of this.

For now, I’ll get up on my feet and not admit defeat.

As for Life’s punches: She hits like a little bitch. I’m ready to hit back. Or even, while I’m on the ground, I’ll tie his shoelaces together and watch him fall flat on his face.

I won’t go down that easy.

fangirl me~

2014: Page 8 of 365

A very happy new year to all my fellow bloggers. We survived another year and we saw the dawn of a new one – and it’s not an unlucky number.

Today, we stand on Page 8 of this this new year’s clean slate. Thinking about it, it seems like a long road we have ahead of us. But, it’s already 8 days down the drain and 8 days where one should have embraced the new year for what it is and could be.

In a new outlook, I decided not to look towards the future anymore and take everything for the here and now. Living in the present, one might also call it.

In December, it worked for me. Living in the here and now provided me with some space to deal with everything that was happening now and not jump my thoughts towards the unknown abyss (or the future as one might call it). It was also loads of less stress I had to deal with. It also gave me some hope for 2014 – maybe things will actually be better…

But, my words were barely spoken and the first crisis’ of 2014 popped up.

And this within the first 3 days of the new year. I mean, seriously? Really?

I thought back to last year where at the same time I was surrounded by drama with friends and I made the best decision to just simply cut it out and ignore it as such and take it for what it is and might be.

After the crisis’ dissipated and I got all the advice I needed, I sat down and made another decision: Stop stressing over that what you can’t control.

It is a trait that I’ve inherited from my mother: being a total control freak. And watching her going overboard and sometimes wrecking situations and people with that behaviour, I decided it would be better to let that part of me go.

And boy. After deciding to that, it was like an immense weight was lifted off my shoulders.

The proverbial saying goes: Worrying is like a rocking chair. It will get you know where, but it will keep you busy by wasting your own time. 

For 2014, I need to invest my time more wisely into situations and people that deserve it more. Forgotten are the days where I would try to control everything and stress over every small detail in my life. A needed reinvested into my life was needed and 2014 would be providing the perfect platform for me to change this.

People love making new years resolutions, but I don’t easily fall into that bad habit. Just like rules, resolutions are meant to be broken. And why do you have to have everything figured out a year in advance when we all know things won’t end up like you imagine to end up. Truth.

Already 8 pages are done and dusted. But, let it be know: 2014 is going to be my year and I plan on making it happen. Watch this space…

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