Living in a world between normality and insanity

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There is Kindness still out there!

There are still amazing and kind people out there. 

When I left work today (unknowingly on a sabotaged bike) it was jerking and wouldn’t go over 50km. I rode down the M3 with my left flicker on (bikes don’t have hazards) in the yellow line. I had to pick something up for a friend so turned off at Tokai, picked it up and hoped I would be able to get home safely but now the bike wouldn’t even start. 

Overhearing my phone call, a young man came up to me and apologized for overhearing but asked if he could help. We checked there was oil, we checked that the petrol I put in yesterday was the right one. Finally we thought, ‘maybe it’s the battery’. 

So I phoned my insurance and luckily am covered for roadside assistance. It was getting late now and the place were my bike was standing had to lock up. I pushed it out and thought that my arse would get kicked if I stayed in this dark road by myself. So I flexed my muscles, put my helmet on and pushed the bike 200m up the road to the garage. One of the attendants rushed to help me and pushed it to the front by the Pick n Pay. Right, so now I was safe at least. With nothing to do but wait I went inside and got some coffee and let my parents know what was happening. Then the friend I was supposed to visit messaged and said they would come through and sit with me. #amazingfriends , First for Women was awesome and stayed in contact phoning me multiple times to let me know what was happening. Then the battery guy came and while he was trying to get it started another stranger (Ross) walked past toward the shop but stopped and asked what was wrong. We explained everything to him, and being a biker himself he had some ideas. My bike has a kickstart (I didn’t know) but still nothing worked so the battery man phoned to give an update and FFW contacted me again and went about organizing a tow truck. 

It’s getting late now, I’m thinking I’m going to spend my off day organizing to get my bike fixed and spending lots of money. Ross, the stranger, and the battery man (I didn’t catch his name) were fantastic and wouldn’t leave until my friend arrived and they knew I had a lift home. Then my friend arrived, so we put all my stuff in her car, said goodbye to the battery man and Ross and decided we might as well eat supper while we waited. FFW phoned again said they had found someone and would let me know when they were told how long it would take. They also checked that I was okay and safe. 

Having just finished our dinner we headed back outside and our tow truck guy was pulling in. We said hi and explained the problem. He advised that he was told that it was a motorbike not a scooter and it would damage the scooter to tow it but he knew a bit about bikes and checked it out. Michael, that was his name, got it to start and showed me the clutch (another thing I didn’t know, I was feeling very ignorant at this point) and we made plans that both him and my friend would drive behind me while I slowly made my way home. Michael asked though if he could quickly ride it and feel the jerking I was talking about. 

He got back from a spin around the garage and immediately said, ‘it’s dirt or your spark plug’. We revved the bike a bit and he put his ear by the motor and said, ‘listen, can you hear that rattling?’ We activated the torches on our phones (’cause that’s how we roll these days) and he lay on his back and looked under the bike. I figured as long as we took nothing apart the warranty would stay in place. He straight away spotted the problem, reconnected the spark plug and it was a go. Deadpool, that’s the name of my bike, drove perfectly. He quickly took it for a test run and no problems. It started and rode like a dream. We thanked Michael profusely and with huge amounts of gratitude in my heart I drove away into the night (with my friend following of course). 

I haven’t posted in awhile but I was blown away by the kindness that is still out there. From the young man at Tokai Medicross, the petrol attendants, security guard, FFW, my friend, the battery guy, Ross and Michael, they all kept me level headed throughout the entire experience. I got home just after 10pm and got another call from FFW checking that everything got sorted and I was home safe. We hear so much bad news and negativity everyday, horror stories of violence, pain and misfortune, reminded that we are rarely safe even in our own homes let alone out on the street. 

Well I wanted to let you all know that there is still kindness in our country, people who care and are willing to help for no reward. There are still amazing people out there and it sparks in me a hope for humanity in what can sometimes be a dark place. Thank you God for this experience, your hand of safety looking after me through the night and showing me that hope is not lost for us. It brought up in me a desire to pay the kindness forward. 


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The War

The deepest parts of my mind have come out to play. The segment that rarely get airtime raises its voice. The dangerous darkness begins to sing its song once again. But I am not the same person anymore and the Blackness cannot just engulf me without a war. The armies gather on either side. On the right is Recovery, tools I’ve gained armed with suggestions and good intentions, love and serenity. On the left is the Blackness, buried inside of me, wearing the known, the comfortable, spears of negative thoughts and beliefs of shame and unworthiness. The Blackness is putrid, rotten to the core. Old belief systems that are no longer true yet remain just as believable come back to the surface. I struggle to push them back and remind myself that I am loved, I am valued, I am cherished. I have won but the battle still remains. 

I have hope yet death intrigues me. I know reality yet believe the lies. I am torn between the darkness and recovery. On the one side I have everything to live for and on the other there is only suffering. But the darkness pulls, it lies but it comforts. It is known, it is safe. Lies, lies, lies but I believe even when everything and everyone screams otherwise. I fear that one day the darkness will overwhelm me, that I will give in to the nothingness and be surrounded, but not today. Today I fight with everything I have learnt. Today I let the light shine a little brighter. Today I live, even just for a moment longer. Today recovery has won. Tomorrow will be tomorrow and in that day I will fight another battle. In that day hopefully the war will not be lost. For now I relish in the victory that today has brought. I lay my head down and surrender to God that tomorrow another victory will be won and that one day the war will be over for good. 

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Fine but not fine?

maxresdefaultSpent lots of time up in my head today, both spacing out and thinking about what was said in my session and later with my sponsor. Wondering why I was craving so much last night, not just craving but the vivid images that filled my head. Feeling the blade press through the skin and watching the blood seep through the gap. Playing with it as it spirals and leaves tracks of red down my arm. Even now in the late afternoon the image is so real and tangible. I find myself leaving reality and fantasizing about it. Fantasy is all I have though, I can never go back down that road but oh how I want to right now.
This morning I spoke of being disconnected, out of sorts. I realize as I look through the day that yes, I could say disconnected which is a truth in a way, it is more dissociated than anything else. I sit in conversations and feel unreal as though everything is happening around me but not to me. I spend moments just staring off into the distance when I should be focusing on the conversations around me but I don’t feel a part of it. I don’t feel a part of anything at the moment. I think back to the images in my head and wonder why they remain more real than the life around me. Release stands out, pain stands out but denial stands out above everything. Avoidance of what might really be going on, fear of what I maybe don’t want to face. I can’t touch it though and through the day it feels like reality is slipping further and further away.
I don’t feel negative and thoughts like being unworthy or not good enough nip at the edges of consciousness but haven’t seemed to have broken through yet. I still feel generally satisfied with my life and where I am placed in it but I can’t seem to merge the emptiness with being satisfied and I am left confused. I do all the right things, work a solid program but still I am reaching for something and I can’t seem to grasp what it is. As I write this all I have eaten is a small cinnabon which is not nearly enough for the day. I realise that I have not been taking care of myself, not nurturing myself and if I’m honest I don’t care. So at the end of the day I can no longer deny that I am not in a low space but where does it come from.
I immediately want to blame a circumstance but off the top of my head, I tell myself that I am happy, that there is nothing wrong with my life. Is it true, I want it to be but I have just stepped out of financial security, leaving a job. Can this affect so much though? It sounds weird but I don’t want it to be my mood, that means looking at medication and puts me out of control but the more I think about all the symptoms the more I come to think that it might just be my mood. Living with BiPolar sucks, being Borderline sucks even more. I call myself stupid because by now I should know healthy coping mechanisms yet still I slip into melancholy and dreams of slicing my arms up.
The dreams have expanded now. I sit and have a smoke and hold the cigarette as close to my hand as I can without burning it. Playing with temptation but I can’t seem to stop myself. What if I go to far, what would happen if I let the cigarette touch the skin, kept it there until a blister forms? I can’t though, I would shatter so much, I can’t. Is it sad that the thing stopping me is not that it’s unhealthy but rather what others would say, what I would lose. It’s insane and once again I find myself not caring.
Writing this rambling is the first thing that I’ve connected to all day, the first thing I have felt involved in. I don’t want to stop in case I start to feel empty inside again, in case I slip off into the nothingness that has been hovering all day.

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Touch of the country

The rain runs down dust streaked windows as I sit in the bus, eyes closed, classic rock songs blaring through my headphones. I open my eyes briefly to watch the countryside pass as the bus slowly moves along.

My friend sits beside me head in a book. See we are connected enough to not even have to talk, companionship more than enough to keep us happy. We have just enjoyed a few days away. As I close my eyes again and drift into my conscious I reflect back on the past week. The laughs we had with each other, the trips down memory lane and the stories told I have never heard from my past.

Spending time with my grandparents is always a blessing. I don’t visit often, maybe twice a year but growing up they were one of the stable settings of love I had. I sit for a moment and draw on that love once again and feel warmth spread through my body.

While I am writing the bus takes a detour and my friend makes conversation with the people behind us and I think back to a different time when this was normal and people were happy to talk to strangers. This bus coming from the country, a place were you are greeted on the streets and every day waves to you with a smile on their face. It has been nice getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city. I have a silent laugh to myself as I remember sitting with our cups of coffee telling stories to one another across the generations.

I feel calm and content. Happy with my place in the world, a place my grandparents helped raise me to be in. Again the word blessed flits into my mind. Blessed to have friends that provide companionship, connection that is made with more than just words but actions and feelings. Blessed to have been raised by 3 sets of grandparents filling my childhood with memories of love. Blessed to have God on my side, to have stood by me as I’ve walked through each of my challenges in life. Blessed indeed, blessed to truly be alive.

My journey draws to a close now as the bus pulls onto the N1 highway, water streaming down the window next to me. Soon we will be in the city again and the quietness of the country will be overturned with noises from the city. That’s okay though because the contentedness stays with me. So thanks gran and gramps for that wonderful break and we’ll be back soon for another touch of the country.

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Irritable and Restless

It is that time in my journey where my medication is having to be changed again. This means detoxing of old medication, starting new medication, blood tests, liver functioning tests and new side effects. The reason, well sometimes new side effects pop up or the medication stops working. This time I have a new side effect (we think), irritability and restlessness.

293280-stress-and-angerEverything, and I mean everything, is suddenly irritating me. It is so frustrating and makes me feel so self-centered. Things that I normally enjoy and people I normally love are irritating me. I can’t show it, especially at work, but it is coming up with everything I do. My doctor thinks it is a side effect of the one medication I was on. So now we just stop that medication and try something else. I am running out of options here and it is really frustrating and I just want to cry sometimes.

The other effect, which has been around for a while, is restlessness. I have intermittent restless leg syndrome, whichrestlesslegsyndrome means my legs shake, tap, jiggle, all sorts of things. The worst is at night while I am trying to fall asleep. It gets so bad it keeps me awake. During the day it stops me from concentrating and I have to take regular breaks. Very hard to do when you are studying and have 3 hour classes. Friends who know me laugh at my jiggling legs but sometimes are worse than others. I know they are moving about and I can’t do anything to stop them. It makes me feel so helpless.

The new medication I am on now is supposed to help me get to sleep but I am not so sure because again last night I was still awake after 12 am. So why write about it? Well just giving myself some venting space, helping others know that they aren’t alone and keeping friends and family updated. This is my life and it gets frustrating. Aside from that though I have learnt to mostly deal with all these things and remind myself that it all helps me cope with life better in the long run.

The thing that helps me the most is remembering to hand it over to God. He is the only one who really knows what is going on and I believe and trust that he has a higher purpose for me. Well that’s what life is like for this Borderline, Bipolar, Addict at the moment. Signing out for today.

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Milestones Jitters

On Sunday I celebrated 9 years in recovery. Over 3000 days of 24 hours at a time. The strange thing is that even after all these years I still struggle around my milestone time. Saturday night was one of the hardest nights for me. Everything seemed to trigger a craving and I felt lonely and abandoned inside. The reality was that I have many friends and those that could kept me company via whatsapp messages, facetime and facebook.

So what have I learnt? Well one is to never take this time in the year for granted and to put things in place when my milestone comes around so that I am not alone and in a safe space. Second is to remember that this is a hard time for me. The week before my milestone was confusing and frustrating. My anxiety was so high and everything felt lost and empty. I couldn’t figure it out until the actual day. I need to be kind and gentle with myself and remind myself that this is normal for many addicts. We all seem to struggle in the surrounding times.IMG_0703

My sponsor has suggested that I write a journal. Something to catalog what happens and what I can do to ease the pain of the moment. So things to put in the journal are the fact that my mood is affected. Not because something has happened but simply because it is that time of the year. To set up safe spaces and make sure I have friends around me so the emptiness and loneliness are so present. To be kind and gentle to myself and take it easy.

All in all it was a great milestone. I shared at a meeting on Monday night and celebrated with a bunch of friends. I was reminded of how my recovery inspires others and that even though it doesn’t always feel like it, I am working a good program and people look up to me and love me. Hard to accept sometimes but that is the reality.

Here’s to another year of work on myself and change for the better.

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Caught napping

Hello again everyone, sorry it has been so long since the last post. Life has been truly hectic here on my side and things just got away from me. So in essence I have been caught napping. Wanted to kick things off again. Not really because anyone might read these meaningless posts but simply because it helps get things off my chest and clears my head. Hopefully they might help someone else feel not so alone at the same time.

So the end of the year came and went and I can’t believe that we are already almost 5 months into the new year. Time really seems to move faster as you get older. We have been learning a lot about getting older in one of my classes this year. Anyways, I am glad to say that I have finished my Diploma in Counselling and Communication and graduated about 2 weeks ago.


That was a fun time. Now I am busy with my Bachelor’s in Applied Social Sciences and things are definitely tougher. For one I have to write exams now and those totally freak me out and my failure schema rears it’s ugly head. The subjects are cool though, my favorite one at the moment is Sociology, I am finding it really fascinating and enjoying the objective view on the world and what is going on in it.

Business cardOther things, well I have been working hard at a rehab facility but it is not a full time job and so have been desperately looking for something that pays more and is a bit more permanent but not really finding anything. Got a little disheartened as wasn’t getting any replies to my CV. I have realized though that I think God is telling me to focus on counselling and work in that industry. So I quieten my heart and try to hear God clearly but it is hard and trying to control things comes too naturally. The other hard thing is to continue trusting God when I don’t know how I am going to pay the bills at the end of the month but I have to and I continue to despite the difficulties. I have designed my business card now and am attempting to hand it out wherever I can and hope that God brings me business. So just putting it out there, if you know anyone who needs counselling please send them along. (Also I know I probably misspelt counselor but it’s all about where you live, and I stand by that LOL)

Well I think that is all for now. Will definitely try to write more regularly and keep the thoughts coming. Remember this blog is all about living life between the normal and the insane. So some posts might be normal and some might be bizarre. Love to you all.