Many years ago I wrote a piece about Daniel, an attendant who worked at the petrol station close to the house we lived in at the time. Today I want to share a similar story, also about a petrol attendant – her name is Dalene. She works at the station I pass daily whether on my way to work, or on my way home. I refuel there most often because I earn loyalty points with the bank if I do.
Her job is not a difficult one, but in a sense it is hard. As the seasons change, the mornings are chillier, darkness sets in earlier, and for a great deal of her shift, she is on her feet. That’s how we got talking one day – she was limping.
I have been reading through some of my posts that kept me sane during the hard lockdown last year. If you want to take a gander at them, the first post is here.
Part of me can hardly believe it has already been as long as that, because those first three weeks feel like a distant memory. Sometimes I wonder if they indeed did happen, because looking back now, I realize that as tough as those first-three-weeks-now-more-than-three-hundred-and-sixty-five-days have been, I’ve adapted and grown.
There is some unwritten rule that says you’re not supposed to have favourites where family members are concerned. Well, if a former British Prime Minister could favour her one twin above the other, I can surely have a favourite aunt, and even though she traded her earthly shell for her angel wings this past Monday after a short battle with liver cancer, Aunty Cathy will always live on in my heart and memories.
It’s not been the best week, so I’m grateful that it is Friday. Monday is the start of a new week and a new month. Historically February isn’t a good month for me; it brings with it many reminders that trigger deep bouts of sadness within me, but at least I know to expect them, right?
Anyhow, the inspiration for today’s post, comes from one of the pages I follow on Facebook. It had a post up today posing the question: What’s the worst thing you can step on in the dark?
I am extremely humbled; a psychotherapist friend in Bristol in the UK asked me to be a contributor for her practice’s website. My first article is available to read here. I shall write for her as required, from my own perspective as someone with depression, on various topics. It is a tremendous privilege to be part of a project like this, knowing that my stories may help others who are struggling.
As I was writing the published article, it got me thinking about other aspects of lockdown and how they’ve affected me.
I said to Eliza the other day that I am starting to hoard stuff, and it is scary. I know that hoarding is linked to certain mental illnesses, including depression. To quote a short excerpt from an article I found online: “The term hoarding refers to a psychological disorder whereby an individual refuses to discard things that they own. The person holds a firm belief that they will eventually need these items for some reason.”
I have had a buggered back for ages, but for the last ten days, I had debilitating pain as I’ve never experienced before. I couldn’t walk – I shuffled; I couldn’t stand up from a seated position without crying in pain. It was dreadful.
I said to The Bean this morning, “It’s Monday”, and her response was, “No, it’s Thursday” to which I further stated, “It’s a Monday because there was a break in the week.”
Holy crap on sleet, snow and burnt toast! Just after seven this morning I got a heads-up that I may be walking into a shitstorm when I arrived at the office. Turns out that an attempt to aid a colleague confused her and had her here until after eight last night – on a public holiday. I apologised and she was understanding, but nevertheless, the day pretty much has gone downhill from there and I am over it. Seriously. Fucking. Over. It!
Thank goodness we are closing for our summer break tomorrow, because I don’t know how much more strain I can take. I am beyond exhausted, both mentally and physically. Aside from the pressure at work, I am gatvol of Covid-19. While I am not a big fan of the beach, I do enjoy a swim in the sea during my holiday; the beaches are now closed to swimmers, but open to surfers and fishermen. I wonder how the virus discerns between the different beachgoers.
I don’t have much planned for my holiday, other than spending some time with my folks and popping out to the farm to see Shayla-Rae, her mum, her hubby and my Goddaughter, Mouse. I will be able to spend some time in the pool there too, which is a win.
Anyway, I’m off to make myself a cup of Rooibos tea, because if I drink coffee and someone further pisses on my parade, I may just klap them.