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…

🍃

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It’s not fair.

[R* 19 weeks – Tamzin* 8 days]

It’s not fair.

This sentence has been on repeat in my head for the past week. Like a stubborn mule, I’ve not moved past these words and I’ve been muttering them silently during the day and screaming them in my sleep.

It’s not fair.

Last week, a dear friend passed away in a car accident.

Tamzin was truly one of the people on this earth you could point to and say: There goes a beautiful soul. And so this beautiful soul was ripped away from us by a tragic course of circumstances that has left everyone asking why it had to happen to her.

To me, it was not fair. Tamzin was such a vibrant soul. She wanted to celebrate her life on this planet and experience as much of it as she could. For her not having this opportunity, shakes the pieces of my already broken heart.

What breaks my heart even further is the loss her parents, closest friends and loved ones have to endure right now. Seeing them all pouring their hearts out on Facebook rips at me.

It’s really not fair.

During her funeral today, I was reminded of how Tamzin lit up a room with her smile and presence, what an example she set to many and the love she carried with her being a moral compass to all who shared in her life. For Earth to lose someone like this was indeed a tragic loss and one that could understandably not be comprehended.

A while ago, I blogged about a tale from my childhood in which my mother use to tell me that people who pass away are recruited as guardian angels. This tale had been a saving grace for me after my boyfriend passed away four months ago, and with Tamzin passing, it rolled around again to remind me that we are all on borrowed time on this planet.

For one moment you could be laughing with someone and the next they might not be here… It’s a scary realisation when you’ve had to say goodbye to a few people in the last couple of years…

After a while, you fear the next phone call or message coming through on your phone, as you wonder who is gone now. I know I’ve certainly come to stop breathing when my phone rings or a message comes through on my phone…

I know all of my blog posts usually have a silver lining at the end. It’s what makes my posts unique. But, this post won’t have a silver lining.

Instead, I’ll just say again: It’s not fair.

Cause we all know it is not fair that this planet is a bit more dull now that we’ve lost another beautiful soul.

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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~

Guardians of my Galaxy

When I was a young boy, my mom use to comfort me with the tall tale of guardian angels when someone in the family had passed away. In this tale, she would tell me how these people were needed by God to build a workforce that was to protect us back here on earth from anything bad or evil…

As a 6 year old, I was more fascinated at how this concept worked. It seemed nothing more than amazing to me that these  people were called upon a higher power to protect us here on earth.

Every time something bad almost happened to me and it seemed like a miraculous stroke of fate had intervened, I thought back to how my grandparents I’ve lost were behind me, saving my ass around every nook and bend.

As I grew older, I questioned the theory more and more. There were flaws in my mom’s story and I soon started ripping at the seams of this fabricated lie she had spun my way. In true style, she still stuck with her story, but told me that I’d understand later in life and not ask these insulting questions.

So ladies and gentlemen. Here we are, later in life, and I’m back to square one. Having to believe a loved one was taken away from me to be apart of a calling to protect those here on earth.

When R passed away in May, I had loads of sleepless nights. On one of these sleepless nights, I was laying awake and staring at the ceiling. A thousand thoughts were crawling around in my mind like a nest of ants. It was almost like I could feel these thoughts burrowing their way through my skull or downwards into my spinal cord. Having the power to cultivate my thoughts is something I’ve not mastered yet, but I don’t really want to move off point now…

One of these ants, found his way into the centre of my brain. It seemingly got stuck there, because in a freak moment of clarity, that childhood story was with me again.

I won’t say it became the lifeline I clung to in the days that passed, but it really helped me a lot to deal with this immense and tragic loss I’d suffered. In that moment, you really don’t debate any thoughts or choices you make.

See it as a burning building. As you’re running out, you’re grabbing that which you want to hold close and dear to you, before it burns out and perishes forever. Just as I knew my brain would soon be defunct, I knew I was to grab hold of any lifeline I could to help me along.

My mom’s story of guardians also became the thing I thought about obsessively. I wanted so badly to believe that R had become one the newest guardians in my galaxy, it became a bit of a crazed delusion. Soon I forgot he died, and saw him more alive and by my side than dead.

But, this didn’t last.

Reality knew it had to caught up with me. When the bad came nipping me in the butt, this delusion soon came into question and I was back to asking why R had to die and once again I was poking holes in my mother’s story.

It’s about 3 months later now, and this past weekend was suppose to have been R’s 30th birthday.

I do not want to dwell on what a horrible day it was.

However, I do want to dwell on the realisation I came to over the weekend.

His friends and loved ones, who’d all lost someone as well, had become the guardians to my galaxy. It was something I’d not been fully aware of and took me some time to realise.

From his best friend Marisa and her girlfriend Cheryl, who’ve been there to help the healing begin to his dearest friend Anette who always amazingly knows what kind words to spread over my wretched heart.

To Wendi (who might of well have been R’s sibling) who still constantly checks up on me, bathes me in light and love, makes sure I laugh at least once a day and acts as my biggest motivator and fan, to Mike, who I’ve built quite a connection with…

Mike spent 9 years as R’s partner and let me into his heart and life without hesitation after R’s passing. Mike’s been a superman in his own way, by showing me the most kindness and humanity anyone’s ever shown me. He also continues to inspire me with his strength and I admire him for his outlook on life, even in the worst of times.

Each, with their own lessons and caring actions, have formed an allegiance in my life as the guardians of my galaxy.

This made a lot more sense to me and I couldn’t even poke holes in this story.

Of course, as much as they act as guardians in my life, I have also vowed to myself to be the most willing participant to their lives and also play my part to be a guardian in their universes.

The most important thing is to remember that life may be as bad as it comes, but somewhere, someone has planned for protectors to look over you and add to your life story.

I’m glad I’ve got a lot of Guardians to my Galaxy. It gives me hope and a little more compassion towards life, sharpening its claws for the next round.

Gotg

Everybody get down! We’re doing the Emotional Limbo!

Psychologists who have studied people in grief and mourning have found that they all have this one period in common, where they seemingly get caught in a purgatory between emotions: have it be an Emotional Limbo.

It can’t be traced as to when this happens or why it actually happens, but one theory suggests that this happens when the person is faced with a sudden existential crisis of pending emotions that are smashing into each other like cars on the freeway – and they don’t know how to go forward, or move backwards.

Well. As it seems, I was caught in my own emotional limbo of sorts.

92 days later and a huge pile-up was forming on my highway and as I was turning around to maybe just take a few steps back, I rammed myself into some other emotions I was running away from. I was truly caught in an emotional limbo and this not a blessing in disguise.

In front of me was a deep, dark brewing storm of anger, whilst the path behind me had so much denial and sadness on it, that it looked like a battlefield of landmines. This sight scares the hell out of me every time I think of it, and makes me want to rather choose the emotional limbo above all than to move forward or two steps backwards.

This weekend would’ve been R’s 30’th birthday celebration.

For this too, I’ve been stuck in limbo.

Would I dare to attempt to celebrate it or would I just hide under the covers, staying angry at him for abandoning me in this cruel and ugly world?

Even staring at my desk, memories of him that I’ve kept up on my cubicle wall, I’ve been debating whether or not to tear it down or keep it up. Staring at a note he left me or a little poem he scribbled down, either made me so sad or had be spewing with anger.

This limbo was not what I envisioned, but again, I didn’t envision him dying. Whilst I’ve been trying to deal with that, I should maybe be trying to deal with the limbo as well.

As I just typed this sentence, I wanted to burst out in tears again. Sadness. My friend, person and confidant wasn’t here anymore.

I knew anger would be around in a few hours when I realised he’s gone and won’t be here tot celebrate his birthday with us.

As if stuck in a mean storm brewing on the Atlantic ocean, I was being tossed between the waves of anger and sadness and I was getting fed up with this monotonous happening that seemed to play itself out every single second of every single day.

Although I can’t force my feelings or emotions, I really wish I could force myself out of this limbo…

But, in a few weeks time I might be blogging about the next feeling and it’s pro’s and con’s. And this idea sort of makes the storm around me seem a lot more like a daunting rainfall.

As long as I was caught in this terrible game of emotional limbo, I might as well try to rack up the world record or a spot in the Olympic team for 2016.

.* Side note: I should stop being a sarcastic ass…

Limbo

Denial: It’s not just a river in Egypt…

[9 weeks]

All aboard the Denial Express. Last call for you to board under the huge banner of avoidance that is clouding your life. Thrust all baggage down onto the docks and bring along only your best running shoes and amnesic tendencies.

The above might easily be how my life is advertising itself at this moment in time.
Denial has become the number one element to my survival after R’s death, and in a way it’s not working for me anymore.

You see, I really love hiding under the banner of avoidance when things become to hard in life.

When I was younger, I hid under the bed if things got bad at home. When I was a teenager, I hid myself in loud music and the magical universe of books if turmoil was brewing. And as a young adult, the banner of avoidance involves psychological warfare, countless nights out on the town, chasing down ideas and thoughts that take me nowhere and a bottle or two of red wine.

Denying to myself that R had passed away, was probably normal. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross defined the six stages of grief during her years of working with terminally ill patients, and listed “denial” as one of the stages. As far as Elizabeth was concerned, my life was dotting the I’s and crossing the t’s. But to me, it felt like pure insanity and madness that I was denying the one fact that was more black and white than a 1940’s television set.

Whilst aboard the SS Denial, it was way better to cope with life and the bystanders who still treated me like a fragile porcelain doll who already had a few nicks and cracks away. It was far easier to believe that R was alive and that the looks I were getting from people were due to a questionable fashion sense of the day. Just facing the nasty truth was too much admin and heaviness to bear…

But, we all know that in life you don’t get to avoid and deny things that easy. Nope. In a cruel twist of fate, there is always something around every corner to remind you that pretend-time was over and reality was looming.

Still, I had the audacity to take the shot gun and shoot reality in between the eyes every time it came in and dared rip me away from my safe zone. Why was I wasting so much time and energy denying that R’s not here anymore? Honestly? I’m too afraid of what hurt might come as soon as I let that reality creep in through the front door.

Although I’m already numb after the events, I know that this could easily be changed by a new set of feelings. Let it be known: grief is not a pretty thing. It’s a one way train speeding on, wrecking your life in every worst way possible. Luckily, what can be wrecked easily, can also be built up again. But, I’m not close to having all the needed materials to build my life up again.

Grief was still having his way with me and was sneering at me from a distance, letting me know he was not done breaking down barriers. This round belongs to grief and denial. May their love affair not last that long and their divorce be bittersweet…

xx001xx

The Void

[7 weeks]

Sundays use to be our days.

Had it be a simple drink out in town or just something a bit more fun, R and I use to spend most Sundays together. It made Mondays more bearable for me and distracted me from the fact that it was the end of the weekend.

So, it’s pretty unavoidable now after R passed away that Sundays was the worst day imaginable. And let me just state this: it sucks losing a loved one.

As soon as I open my eyes on a Sunday morning, I am immediately reminded that it’s Sunday. Most Sundays I’ll find myself reaching for my phone to make plans with him – just to realise he’s not here anymore. Sometimes I’ll wake up and know what day it is, pull the covers over my head and just groan for an hour or three.

Mondays are also not so bearable anymore. It’s a day already hated by the populous, and to make matters worse, my Sundays didn’t seem to soften to blow of what this day had to offer.

But, it’s just not Sundays that have become so bad. In the span of a week, I find most days challenging to combat. All due to one reason: the void.

After having had R in my life for almost 9 months, his whole existence was ripped away from me in a blink of any eye. All the laughs, bonds, wisdom, smiles, tears, hugs and support we shared was just gone. Gone… This word seems so much more real now, even more after 7 weeks.

This once great presence in my life has not resulted in a small crater, let it be a void, being formed. The Void sucked balls. It reminded me constantly of what I wanted to forget: that R was gone and he wasn’t coming back.

The Void also kept reminding me of how much I had in him and that I didn’t have now. How much I relied on him and shared with him – that too not being here anymore.

It’s not that I built my life around R. I never did. I built a life WITH him. And the thing about construction is: once it comes tumbling down, you’re stuck with huge voids in your project.

While this void has captured my attention and keeps on showing me what I’m missing, I’ve also learned to embrace it rather than hate it.

It may be vast, empty and suck the life out of everything like a Dementor, but it’s taught me to value memories and treasure what time R and I spent together. It seemingly bridges the void and helps me get through the day.

Here’s to embracing the void. It sucks, but I’ll power on through this.

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