Day 26: (Apocalyptic) Acceptance

Today has not been a good day 😦

The alarm clocked sounded this morning and upon opening my eyes, my head pounded. Migraine! I’m partly to blame for the headache, what with binge-watching series and movies to not have to think about how lockdown truly is impacting me, the people I love, and those I don’t even know. My head is still sore, my stomach is churning like a top-of-the-range cement mixer, and my heart is heavy.

In an attempt to get some work done, I closed all the blinds in The Cave. Darkness! A slight reprieve from the sandpaper that still scratches my eyeballs every time I blink. Thankfully I can type with my eyes closed. My ninth grade typing teacher would be so proud.

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Frightfully Awful Friday

I was at work today, but I may as well not have been. I woke up to news from Charlie that the ship on which he works has been exposed to COVID-19. Isolation and quarantine are imminent. I am sad, anxious, and unable to concentrate. He was so close to returning home (albeit it to self-isolation here).  

I can only hope that he isn’t infected and that once the mandatory quarantine has passed, the airlines will have resumed their international and regional flights that he can get home.

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See-Saw Happy-Sad…Am I Mad?

If jam equals sunshine as it does in my vocabulary, then this past weekend qualifies as jam-packed.

Friday night Melody and I went out for what was supposed to be dinner, but it ended up being a scallop starter each, a shared bowl of sorbet and countless Virgin Strawberry Daquiris.  As is almost always the case when we see each other, the restaurant started closing around us, but we just couldn’t stop talking.  It was so great to see her; she is tonic for the soul.  We’ll likely catch up again during the week, this time with her husband, Leonard.  I dropped her off shortly after eleven and headed home, only to be pulled off by the cops.  I’m never fazed because I don’t drink anymore, but it is a schlep, even more so when their handheld scanners are on the fritz.  A regular two-minute-routine-license-check took almost fifteen minutes and by then the Sandman had entered already.  It was too late to drink my meds, so I skipped them.  Not. A. Good. Idea.  I had the most awful nightmares, vividly memorable and upsetting as I woke up crying and covered in perspiration.

I had to be up early too on Saturday as Carla and I decided that we’d take a drive through to George as she was looking to buy some ‘not-blue-because-that-is-all-I-have-in-my-cupboard’ tops.  On the way, we picked up a friend of hers, Arissa, who was house-sitting for friends.  The house is stunning and the view left me breathless.  Shopping went rather quickly and I found myself two cashmere-like sweaters at Queenspark for R99 (about $6.50) a piece on sale.  I also bought a snakeskin-look belt.  So I now have a dress, a bodysuit, shoes, a handbag and a belt in the look, but they’re all different colours.  The irony is I don’t own a single full-quill ostrich leather item, and I’ve been in the industry for almost nine years.  I do have a leg-skin purse, so I’m not a completely bad example.

After shopping we spent the afternoon with Arissa, at the place she’s housesitting, chatting over snacks and freshly-brewed Java.  I immediately comfortable with Arissa – she is an open person, with an extremely warm and welcoming personality.  We walked round the grounds and I got to see adult miniature horses and a foal that is not much higher than the resident border collie.  I also got to see a majestic Waterbuck, some springbuck and teeny-tiny little ducklings.  It was such a lovely experience.

Headed off to spend the night with The Toppie and The Bean.  We had chicken, butternut and The Bean’s roast potatoes – as if my Saturday couldn’t get any better! By something to eight I was pulling amps because of the lack of sleep the night before.  My folks went to bed round nine and when I got couch all kitted out for sleep, I discovered I’d left my meds at home.  Skip night number two.  I tossed and turned and again woke up in a glistening film of sweat.  Aside from that, I didn’t feel off, until Sunday night, but I’ll get to that in a bit.  We decided on a whim to take a Sunday drive to Still Bay and Jongensfontein, which is about an hour away.

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The sky was a cloudless blue and the sun was warm despite the wind.  We stopped at the well-known Lappiesbaai restaurant for a light bite to eat before driving to Jongensfontein.  Seeing the tidal pool brought back memories of a weekend I took away with Carmen, Ewan, Elena and Nick many moons again when Elena was still pregnant with her first-born who is now almost seven.

Sunday night after all the excitement wore off, the lack of medication and restless sleep hit me like a ton of bricks and I sat on the couch, in the eerie quietness of The Cave, with not a single light on.  I was overwhelmed by a feeling of immense loneliness and self-doubt.  I cried.  For how long I don’t know, but at some stage I got into bed and prayed for sleep so that the feelings of no companionship and being the girl that’s always everyone’s friend but no-one’s person could end, even if only temporarily.

What many people don’t realize is that a depressive ‘episode’ isn’t always a case of ‘going ballistic’, or ‘losing one’s shit’ requiring hardcore antidepressants or a stint in a psych facility.  In my case, it is sometimes just an immense moment of immeasurable sadness that has me wondering what my purpose on earth is, and if anyone aside from my parents would really miss me if I wasn’t here anymore.  The smile on my face in the photo is genuine, but in a moment, that smile can be erased as Sunday night is testimony of.

I know this melancholy feeling is something momentary; that it will pass.  I have so much to look forward to, and be grateful for.  I’m just in a dip at the moment.

I have since filled my prescription, and I have back-up meds in my handbag with me at all times now.  What’s that thing we learned as Girl Scouts?  Be prepared!

 

 

This Star is Being Swallowed by a Black Hole

I’ve had a foreboding for quite some time that something is amiss, but I have yet to pinpoint exactly what it is. I’m so out of sorts – a chameleon on a Smartie box doesn’t even come close to me.

I’ve had ridiculous migraines the past few weeks, and insomnia for ages again.  But for the first time in almost two years I had a panic attack on Thursday night during my mandatory sleep over at Erica and Nathan.  It was one of the worst I’ve ever had, but I didn’t want to disturb them or their two boys aged 2 and 5, so I dealt with it as best I could.  The attacks exhaust me physically and mess with my brain chemistry, which may also explain why I am feeling like the world should just end and be over with it.

As a result of the physical tiredness, I spent virtually the whole weekend sleeping as I was able to.  My body and my brain are taking strain and I’m doing the best I can, under the circumstances not to be the proverbial camel.

February is one of the worst months of the year for me.  It has been ever since I can remember.  It brings with it the Hearts & Roses Hallmark Holiday (excuse me a second while I go an vomit in the nearest trashcan, will you?) and with that reminders of how I’m always good enough to be with until someone younger, prettier and less intellectual comes along.  Every year it gets worse, and as the big four-oh looms later this year, I am feeling it extra hard this year.  This month also brings with it memories of loss that make my heart ache with melancholy.

Yesterday Malcolm would have been 48. I wanted to send Aunty Lynn and Uncle Derick a message to say I was thinking of them (I was!), but I was too afraid they’d call and want to talk about him.  June he will be gone four years; his death hit me harder than I care to admit. What I’d give to have one more conversation with him.  I miss him so much. For an entire lifetime he was my cousin, but for a few years he was my best friend.  He’d totally get what I’m going through now.  He’d probably crack some corny joke to get me to smile, but more than that, he’d open his arms and let me cry on his shoulders until my eyes were swollen enough to resemble those of a boxer on the wrong side of a tight left hook.  In this screwed up world, he was one of the few people that ‘got’ me and he loved me with no judgement.

I had been very reflective as a result of the pending date, and already feeling a downer on the prowl during the work-week, I made arrangements to take a walk with Carla yesterday.  We walked for almost an hour and I measured it with the car – 3.2 Km, because the stupid GPS froze and according to the fitness app I was using to map our walk, we did less than a mile.  Argh!  The walk didn’t have the desired effect of physically exhausting me to the point I’d have liked, so I lay on the couch reading The Book of Joy, which I borrowed from Erica.

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I’m enjoying it, although I will concede whatever I read yesterday, I’ll have to reread, because I wasn’t in the right mindset.  The book deals with the very feelings I am having now, and how to still have joy despite them.  I definitely want to get myself a copy because it will be a book I will definitely reread in the years to come.

The heavy cloud that has been following me for the last few days was also darkened by the fact that the guy who I was good enough to see through his divorce four years ago before leaving me for a blond 10 years my junior (17 years his) and getting engaged to her on Valentine’s Day (a mere two weeks after meeting her) decided it would be a good time to try and catch up by following my (very seldomly used) Instagram.  The first thought that went through my head, was Fuck you, Jack and the second one was block.  I had heard rumours from a quite trustworthy source that there is trouble in paradise and shortly after he pulls a (dick) move, thinking I won’t notice.  It angers me immensely when people insult my intelligence and my intuition.  I’m probably one of the most compassionate people you will ever meet, but I can cut you off like a dead branch and toss you into the fire without looking back.

The heaviness I feel is because of many small things all rolling towards me at the same time.  Think scourge of mosquitoes and you’ll have an idea of what I mean.  The only difference is that I could be sleeping with the G.O.D fan on and they’d still get to me.  I have to keep reminding myself that this too shall pass and that everything happens for a reason, but right now those mantras are not grounding me enough to focus.  I’m a mess -Shattered, hopeless and resentful and I hate it!  I’m a strong person, but sometimes I just need someone to take my hand and tell me Everything’s going to be alright.

So, I’m going to do what I must, to look after myself first, because I’ve been too strong for too long and it’s catching up to me.  The best thing I can do for myself is to rest, even if that means sleeping for two days straight and saying NO! when I can’t take on more straw.  I try to get away once a quarter, but I have a goal I’m saving for (the silver lining is already out in The Universe :)), so the rest will have to be at my flat, where I’ll have to fight the distractions that are all over the show.  Another thing I should do is write more, I know, but right now, that in its own is undue pressure.  I’ll get there. Eventually.

I will also remind myself of this every day until I feel better:

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I promise my next post will be more positive.  Who knows, maybe I’ll do something I haven’t done since school and review a book – The Book of Joy