365 Days ago I was happy. I was engaged to a beautiful, smart and funny woman. I was on the verge of starting a life with her. Though for some reason I was sick. My sub conscious was terrified of all this change, of things I had never expected to happen in my life, of this absolute happiness. It had all happened so fast, but seemed so perfect. Almost too good to be true. And my body was trying to tell me that.
2010 Started horribly. I was sick, I was scared and I was completely and utterly confused. I ended up hurting the person who had loved me the most in my life, who made me feel like I deserved happiness. The most amazing time of my life ended with some of the hardest moments. In retrospect I know that it was what had to happen then, that I had built a fantasy on my flaws but I will always love that very special time of my life.
27th January my beautiful niece, Katherine Jane, was born. It was a beautiful day between a lot of sadness.
5 Months of 2010 passed in a bit of a daze, I didn’t see many people, I didn’t do much, I just was.
31 May I left for 2 months in the UK, to look after my little niece, spend some time with my brother and his wife and just try to get my head, my heart and my life back together again. I was deathly exhausted and running away was just the thing to do. I arrived at Heathrow after the long flight to meet Katherine for the first time. She was certainly the most beautiful baby I had met in my life, the friendliest, sweetest little thing. I knew that looking after her for 2 months wouldn’t be the hardest thing ever.
4 Days in Paris was a little gift to myself. I had seen somewhere that Lucian Freud was exhibiting in Paris and decided that I wanted to take the trip to see his work. And considering that I’d never set foot in Europe, I thought Paris would be a great way to start it. And it was. I fell in love with Paris instantly. It wasn’t a ‘homecoming’, of returning to my European roots, but it was like I understood Paris. The hideous and the beautiful are the same thing there. I walked for hours, many kilometers. I cried with the overwhelming beauty of the Sacre Coeur. I used my broken university french to order baguettes. A Parisian bus driver drove off his route to take me to where I needed to go when he understood that I was South African and not home for the World Cup – blasphemous! It was a place I could explore on my own, I had no connection to any other person there. Paris was mine.
I returned to London, exhausted – this time physically, and filled with the beauty of Paris. Katherine and I didn’t need to long to get used to each other. It was a bit tough working and looking after her, but I loved it. I loved spending time with my brother and his wife. Watching darts with them and eating the tonnes of meat my brother insists on braai-ing every few days.
A few months before I had started a slow friendship with a Scot. We talked a bit, laughed a bit and made a loose arrangement that should I get to Scotland I would come say hello. As Katherine was my only conversation during the day, the Scot and I started talking more and more. She turned out to be one of the smartest and funniest people I had met in my life. And on top of that we seemed to be so very similar. I spent a day on the west coast of Scotland with her, just driving and talking and going to the most absurd jail for a tour. And at the end of my 2 months in the UK, she offered me her house just north of Edinburgh to go stay in. I was exhausted! The initial plan was to spend a few more days in Europe, but I decided to rather just go stay in the country and recover. I spent most of the time in her big rambling house alone, but she also surprised me with the occasional trip to random places with the most amazing food thrown in.
The Scot started change in my life. She wanted me to be happy. She believed in me in a way few other people had. She initiated a chain of change in my life, that I will be forever grateful for.
The last few months of 2010 was a rough, tumble rush of emotion, change, tears and at the end, light. When I came back from the UK I asked my psychiatrist to change my medication to something that would make me less tired. And for 2 and a half months I spiraled downward. Not realising that the medication wasn’t doing what it should.
9 October 2010 I reached breaking point, and I broke. Writing this now, makes me feel sick. I was a dark, broken shell of myself. I saw no light, no way out, and no reason to live. A small part of me wanted the light. I wanted to live. To love. To be, and be better. I have written previous posts about this, and how that day changed me. I have someone in my life I’ve always referred to as ‘The Juggler’ in my head. I called her, and asked her to help me. And she did. She came to get me, and told me that I could be ok. And I was.
The Scot and the Juggler have never met, and I’m rather sure they never will, but together they changed a few things in my life, pointed me into some directions and got me going again.
I started seeing a psychologist. He made me remember some things from my past, made me understand why I say certain things, do and don’t do others. He also diagnosed me with ADHD. My psychiatrist had mentioned this before, but I didn’t see it then.
1 December 2010 I turned 30. I had an awesome party the weekend before, with so many of the people I love and who have been there for me in ways they never realised. My one friend said: “Look Cindy, you made it to 30.” And that’s exactly how I felt. That I’d made it.
3 Days after my 30th I started taking the ADHD medication. The change wasn’t instantaneous, but it’s been such a fun journey. To wake up every morning, refreshed! I can’t remember the last time I didn’t want to roll over and keep sleeping. I now wake up happy and ready for the day, about 2/3 hours earlier than I normally would be able to drag myself out of bed.
I’ve cut my hair, I resigned from my job. I threw out old clothes for the first time in probably 6 years. I’ve sorted out most of the crap around my house.
I woke up this morning and made my bed. Other people do this every day of their lives, without thinking about it. I could never see the point. I still don’t really see the point, but now I can take the 10 seconds it takes me shake out my duvet and drop it over my bed.
I’m not tired anymore.
The journey isn’t over. But for the first time in what feels like my life I feel that I have the energy to take this journey. And that going to sleep isn’t the best/only option.
2011 is going to be MY year. I’m going to live it.
So, with this, I want to thank my friends. The people who saved me, and those who didn’t run. *
I wish you all a very merry Xmas – I hope you get to spend the time with people you love.
I wish you a fantastic new year – I hope that this year will be one to remember for only the good things.
And I wish you love.
*After re-reading this I realised that I want to thank the people who did run. It opened my yes, slowly, but I now understand why.