Dark Cloud Chronicles

I’ve been see-sawing between utter hopelessness and fierce resolve in the very recent past. Had days when I was a warrior ready to battle whatever life threw at me. But then there were those days when despair gnawed at me and I gave up on ever having a normal life. On such days, I’d be sick and tired of being sick; fed up with not being able to live up to expectations at work; disappointed that I wasn’t who people knew I was and done with hoping for a good life (whatever that means).
See it’s one thing to be knocked down by different things in life; it’s an entirely different thing when all the blows come but your greatest opponent is yourself. When your mind fights against you. When your heart is too wounded to beat one more time. When your body is weak because of assaults by one form of sickness after another. When your spirit feels lifeless.

Today I listened to a TED talk where they said that according to research done, by 2020, depression would be the 2nd highest form of disability… yes, disability.

On normal days, I’d scoff and say they were being overly dramatic. But then I woke up feeling all flu-ish and thinking, “Dear Lord, I can’t be sick again! Not again”. Then I recalled how I walked out of a work thing on Saturday because of unbearable pain. How I missed a staff meeting on Tuesday because my teeth decided aching ceaselessly for days would be fun. How a week or two ago I was on sick off for a couple of days because of something entirely different… this list is endless.

That’s when it all began crumbling. I started wondering why I was even bothering trying to live a normal life. Little by little, I sank and before I knew it I was completely drowning and unable to do anything; like completely couldn’t do a thing… then that TED talk made sense.

I think it would be tragic if their prediction came true because it would mean millions upon millions are battling with an enemy that lies within; a monster you wouldn’t wish even on your worst enemy.

My heart breaks for anyone caught up in this.
So if this is you today; hugs to you darling.

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Drop 26

Dear Mr 26,

That’s the exact number that represents the drop of percentage of her rating. You see, the first time someone ever attached a percentage to her name, they decided 76% would be the most suitable representative. And no, she didn’t complain because firstly, she found it befitting and secondly, simply due to the fact that it was by a school master who had chosen to bestow upon her the highest rank of leadership. He knew she had her imperfections but even at 76, he still found her perfect enough for that role.

13 years after that 13 year old got branded 76, she met you. Conversation after conversation, she found herself liking the person you were. In no time, she discovered those feelings were mutual. That’s when it all began.

26 was one of the reasons she was hesitant. When one has that number of twelve months in their lifetime, they’d normally not be considered. But evident maturity that kept revealing itself became the saving grace. So despite her initial hesitation, she went with the flow.

A rollercoaster ride ensued. Moments of pure ecstasy were in abundance but confusion and disappointment lurked close. Then you declared that you didn’t think your heart was in a position to love her as she deserved since it was recovering from the major blow it had been dealt with.

Separation happened, she moved on and her heart shut you out. Winter was back and she went back to her normal frozen state. That lasted about a week until you returned with a solemn pledge to do whatever it took to make it work. Promises were made, analogies given to better explain and she decided to give you a second chance against her better judgment. Her only condition was that you’d give her time to realign and time for her heart to thaw if the warmth of your love held.

Well, that also lasted about a week until you came back with more uncertainties and an idea to take time off to have all confirmations that this was it. The plan was to step back into the friendship realm while consulting God.

She, after some deliberations with herself, decided not to do anything. After all, if a man was truly interested, there’d be no hesitation. She had already deciphered that he wasn’t sure and therein had found her answer. So life moved on; it wasn’t always easy but she somehow managed.

Until a fortnight later when you came along. Misses were confessed on both sides and compromise followed. But that barely lasted because soon after, you brought up your percentage. So apparently, 50% was all your heart could allocate and that was simply when together (out of curiosity, was it a 10-20% while apart?).
From a 76 to 50… But that wasn’t even the highlight that day. The real confession was that there was someone who was at 80 (guessing the 80 was while away). She appreciated the honesty and told you to go after what your heart wanted. Regrets are a nasty thing to carry around so she gave you her blessing. Plus, there’s never any wisdom in trying to hold onto someone that wants to go. Most of all, it helped that her winter hadn’t been completely over so freezing wasn’t going to be a problem.

I guess this is her goodbye; not that you need it since that was already agreed upon… but maybe some catharsis was necessary and words had to be put down.
All in all, this is her farewell to you and anyone who comes with percentages. It’s all or nothing for her.

The Enemy Within

Self sabotage has a name. It has a shape as well. Beautiful feminine curves, smiling lips and long slender fingers. It has a charming personality that draws so easily. It also comes with a brilliant mind that can think up a storm.

Self sabotage draws in ever so tenderly and effortlessly. It captivates and fascinates. Deeper and deeper it draws, then somewhere waist deep, panic claws.

That’s when the shift begins to occurr. Slow and unnoticeable at first. A little withdrawal here and there. A number of raging mental storms. Emotions are stirred, feelings of inadequacy reign. Insecurities arise. Past ghosts are resurrected.

Then planning begins. How to withdraw. How to run. How to ruin this. Withdrawal proves pointless because self sabotage is being beautifully pursued. There’s no place to run this time because all major spaces are covered. Only one option is left…

Enter hearty conversations. Emotional intimacy is built. Comfort rises, guards are lowered and boundaries fade. A little touch here. Strong arms open to hold. The safety in being held provides security.

Self sabotage is suddenly aware of how things would pan out. A misstep here and there, then everything will be instantly taken away. Self sabotage has some mercy; no need to ruin this one. But then storms rage soon after; mind becomes a battlefield where victory stands no chance.

Experience after experience; mercy is overshadowed. Self sabotage kicks in fully. Meeting of lips is allowed. Hands intertwined. Boundaries are pushed further and further away.

Self sabotage has a bittersweet moment and isn’t sure whether to enjoy this as the beginning of the end or mourn the loss that’s just started. Mixed reactions. Mixed emotions. Self sabotage stares into the pair of eyes that have no clue that this is goodbye.

Regrets flood: why did an innocent heart have to fall prey? Mourning over what could have been. Walls are quickly brought back up. Pushing away is now being done actively. Tears will be shed. Awkward moments might follow. Innumerable questions will be raised.

But all that matters in the end is that self sabotage succeeded… yet again.

With Love… Part 1

Dear Baby Sister, 

I’m not entirely sure where to begin with this one. You are such a precious soul! Maybe I should start by reminding you how priceless you are. 

Have I told you how beautiful you are? Goodness, you are very beautiful! And it’s not because the pimples are gone along with some weight. No, you’re beautiful just because you are. What adds to that some more is your heart and character. I’m sure countless people would want a daughter like you. 

Well, people wanting daughters are not the only ones who will notice you. You can be certain that enough boys and men have spotted you. Male attention is usually flattering; it makes you feel really nice. It can also dig up some insecurities and you find yourself wondering what on earth they’re seeing in you. 

Sweetheart, don’t let that get to your head; don’t get too carried away when they start flocking. It’s okay to feel good and smile when that happens but remember that your value is not attached to the amount of male attention you can draw. If you allow yourself to feel confident when guys come, you’ll be shattered when they go. Men come and go; your worth isn’t pegged on their ebbs and flows. 

Don’t ever be afraid to ask questions and get clarity. If a guy shows interest, give them time to make it clear. When they do, find out what their intentions are concerning you. He likes you, well and good, but why does he want you and for what? You don’t have to say yes just because they asked or simply because you like them. Crushes come and crushes go. Oh you will experience plenty of those ones! You don’t have to date every guy you like. 

Take time to discover exactly what you’re looking for. I’d advise you to go for a man who appreciates your beauty but also sees beyond that. A man who gets captivated by your character. One who sees what a wonderful heart you have. One who cares about your dreams. One who wants to know you more and more. One who not only gets your heart beating faster but also stimulates your mind. And with all those expectations you’ll hold, don’t ever stop making yourself all that and more. Such a man only has eyes for similar women. 

Enough about the male species for now… I know how critical this phase of your life is. There is so much pressure about what to do next that it’s easy to get really stressed. Baby girl, take a nice deep breath and slow it down. Don’t hesitate to take your time. The world is not going anywhere. Yes your friends might already be moving at a fast pace but your life is yours to live. Comparing your life to others robs you of the joy of the adventure that’s your own life. We all have different paths and we move at different paces. 

Don’t be afraid of dreaming big. Have goals and ambitions that scare you. Your life is a blank canvas and you’re free to paint it as you wish. You can choose to make it mediocre or amazing. God already set the blueprint for an incredible life; remain plugged and He’ll guide you in painting that wonderful picture. 

Amazing doesn’t mean perfect; on the contrary, you’ll have numerous ups and downs. You’ll cry several times and feel lost. You’ll experience failure and success; let both teach you but you must never allow them to define you. You are not great when you succeed or terrible when you fail; both are part of your journey but they don’t dictate your worth. 

Most of all, I absolutely love you! I may not be there every time but when you need me, please tell me and I’ll make time for you. However, my absence doesn’t mean you’re alone. We share a Heavenly Daddy who loves us insanely. I can write several books on how good and reliable He is! Please make use of Him. Ask Him to show you just how much He loves you, how good He is and how He’s constantly there; Oh He loves responding to that! 

Until next time… 

With love, 

Me.

My Five Stages

They say there are 5 stages of grief; well I’ve lived through each with you. Bliss didn’t stay because you chose to walk away. All I was left with were these 5 steps which I have finally found a way to express adequately… good old music. I guess it’s true what they say: there’s a song for everything you feel. 

1. Denial
Now and then I think of when we were together. Like when you said you felt so happy you could die. Told myself that you were right for me…


(Somebody that I used to know- Gotye)

I had terribly enjoyed each moment with you. Spending time with you made me happy and I’d be in awe of the person I kept discovering.  Maybe all that glitters truly isn’t gold because that happiness would fade soon after you left. I always came up with reasons and excuses as to why your silence kept growing. Eventually, I ran out of them. I still tried to justify everything because I didn’t want to believe the alternative.

2. Anger

I know I can’t take one more step towards you, ’cause all that’s waiting is regret. And it took so long just to feel alright, remember how to put back the light in my eyes. I wish I had missed the first time that we kissed, ‘Cause you broke all your promises… You don’t get to get me back

(Jar of hearts- Christina Perry)

Oh I was pissed when I realised that there was no reasonable explanation for your silence. No, you don’t get to treat me like that, is what I said. I even wrote a quote for it: 

“You don’t just get to discard me when you please and pick me again at your convenience.”

And like Christina sings, yes, you don’t get to get me back.

3. Bargaining

Say something, I’m giving up on you. I’ll be the one if you want me to. Anywhere I would’ve followed you. Say something, I’m giving up on you

(A Great Big World – Say Something Lyrics)

Then I’d remember why I really liked you and I’d want to try salvage the situation. I’d decide to be the better person and reach out. Basically, anything to get back to conversations like we used to have and to take things back to those beautiful moments.

4. Depression
 
Don’t leave me in all this pain. Don’t leave me out in the rain. Come back and bring back my smile. Come and take these tears away. I need your arms to hold me now. The nights are so unkind. Bring back those nights when I held you beside me. Un-break my heart, Say you’ll love me again. Undo this hurt you caused, When you walked out the door, And walked out of my life. Un-cry these tears, I cried so many nights. Un-break my heart

(Toni Braxton- Unbreak My heart)

Oh the pain! The number of times I’d reminisce and want to cry. Tears were elusive but that pain was tangible. I began asking myself if you changed your mind or maybe you lied right from the start. I couldn’t reconcile the promises you made and affections you showed, with how you were acting. It would hurt if you changed your mind but it would break me more if I discovered you were lying all along because that’s not the kind of person you’d be. Maybe I’m just not as good a judge of character as I assume.

5. Acceptance

But you didn’t have to cut me off, Make out like it never happened and that we were nothing… But you treat me like a stranger and that feels so rough, but I don’t wanna live that way, reading into every word you say…

(Somebody that I used to know- Gotye)

You made me want you You made me leave you. You made me tumble and fall. But if I Can’t have you the way I want you, I don’t want you at all. Baby, I can take a lot Cause I love Everything you got… so if you got Someone else I gotta go. Oh, that you know. Yeah that’s it honey I quit I’m movin’ on…

(Adele – That’s it, I quit, I’m movin’ on (Sam Cooke) )

Yes I wish things were different. I wished that you wouldn’t have cut me off. But I can’t keep putting up with frequent silence. Yes I still think you are amazing and that you’re one person who I’d do forever after with. But despite the fact that you hold probably 80% of what I desire, that 20% missing includes communication, which for me is practically everything. 
So yes, if I can’t have you the way I want you then I don’t want you at all. Yeah that’s it honey, I quit I’m movin’ on. 


PS: I know we have plenty of Christian love songs; but y’all don’t do break up songs?? I need options people 😉 

All… Most… Almost

It’s amazing how easy it is to know these days. One or two interactions and it’s easy to know if someone is what I’d want or not. Two or three interactions and my eyes opened to the fact that you were all I’d been searching for. 

I’m yet to understand how one person can be the culmination of everything I dreamt of. How similar thought patterns can be. How things that made me peculiar were perfectly normal with you. How experiences I went through shaped me to be a person who easily blends with the person you are. How every bit of what I saw as imperfection were the very strokes the Master used to create a masterpiece you loved. 

Well, loved, is my assumption based on your words and actions. In actual sense, you uttered those 3 magical words that hearts worldwide dance to. My own heart fluttered when I heard them. I think it even stopped for a moment. I was scared at that moment. Maybe scared blows up the magnitude of what I truly felt. But yes, I didn’t know what to say; afraid I wouldn’t fully mean it if I said those words to you. 

Love is sacred and it’s a huge responsibility; it’s not something I take lightly. It felt like a beautiful privilege to be the object of your affections in that manner… but I didn’t want to make cheap promises. I’d want to give you everything that love comes with.

Love is a choice and commitment. You said it yourself. And yes I recall that too clearly because those words captivated me as you expressed them. See a girl like me, strongly believes in the same. I wouldn’t hesitate even the slightest bit, to utter those three magical words if I was certain of commitment. 

But my all, turned out to be my most. I came alive to the fact that like most of us, you aren’t perfect (and shouldn’t be). You ticked most of the boxes, just not all. I am okay with that. I had no problem dealing with any shortcomings. I get how cocoons are easy to get used to. 

Well, that was until I grew tired of having to come up with excuses. Unreplied messages were simply because of endless meetings. Missed calls that were never returned was because you’d get home exhausted. Those “seen” messages on social media must have come when you were distracted… I’d keep seeing you active/online and ran out of excuses to explain away the reason my messages and calls remained ignored. 

My heart became black and blue; taking too many hits because I cared too much. Anxiety became a companion that kept showing up since I wasn’t sure if you were safe or okay. 

However, these wounds became too many. I couldn’t take anymore pain. Yes the choice to shut that door equally hurt, but I had to choose me this time. Maybe because I’ve been there a few times and this started looking a little familiar. My heart was afraid I couldn’t survive such pain; I can’t go through that again.

Magical words devoid of matching actions are simply ashes. They are evidence of a fire that once blazed but now they’re nothing. Just empty words… particles being blown away and scattered by this wind blowing; the wind of change. 

You were the one I almost had.

Her In Hindsight

Let me begin by saying how I’m truly proud of the person I am currently. You wouldn’t understand what big a deal this is unless you knew the lady I used to be. 

I cannot pin an exact point when it happened but all I know is that I slowly became someone I didn’t like too much. The peak of it all was last year when I finally came face to face with her, and boy did I hate her! Hate seems too mild a description… I loathed the woman I used to see. 

I don’t know who or what robbed me of the joy I used to have. I grew up a very happy-go-lucky kinda girl. Somewhere along the way I realised the world didn’t like me as much as I loved it and that slowly killed me. I didn’t know what to do with dislike for no particular reason and rejection. So I took it all in and it broke me. 

I always assumed that I took more of my mum’s introverted nature the more I grew up. I picked that as the perfect scapegoat. The depression that started coming in from my third year in campus sealed the deal. I’d do a lot more of my retreats and I’d avoid even friends I loved dearly. Locking myself up in the room became a habit. Solitude and I began our relationship. 

Along the way, the health issues became worse. Looking back, I now understand how issues with my digestive system triggered the depression that would recur. Up till now, a day without my body acting up is as rare as those blood moons. I allowed myself to be overwhelmed by everything. My life became paralyzed and I slowly started losing hope of ever having a normal productive life.

Oh and I have to mention my emotional drama! The number of times people broke my heart because of what they said, did or failed to do… goodness, I even lost count. I tend to give people all of myself as I keep believing the best of them. Of course they’d shatter my beliefs and leave me feeling disappointed. I love hard but I’ve met people who didn’t get why I would not mind going out of my way for them. I’d easily do it even for strangers because, oh well, my heart just likes doing stuff like that.

The highlight last year was my contempt for my body. I was at the highest digits I’ve ever seen on a weighing scale and I hated it. Hated how I looked, hated everything about my body. Like most of us, I assumed losing weight would be the magical cure. Now imagine my frustration when the health issues ensured that wasn’t happening (Lol, you’ve got to love life’s sense of humour).

I also remember feeling very unworthy of love. I was convinced that the type of man I wanted would never want me. It didn’t help that during that period, I ended up crushing on a friend who of course had no mutual feelings. Looking back, I am so glad he didn’t like me! I know it sounds confusing but I now really know what I’m after and things definitely wouldn’t have worked.

That being said, I love that person I was because she led me to who I am currently. To the me that prioritizes happiness. This lady that oozes joy much more than ever. To this girl who now knows how to pick better. The one who understands that perceived rejection should not be allowed to hurt her. This one who is beginning to truly believe that she’s beautiful. 

The lady that gets out of bed each day even when she doesn’t think she’d last a few minutes before crumbling. The one who keeps moving in spite of pain. She who chooses to love even when people don’t seem deserving because He who is in her models unconditional love. She who now sees when it’s her expectations placed on people that hurt her and not the people themselves. 

She lives, loves and laughs.