Death, Mental Health

DARLING SHARIDA.

Listen baby girl, you are beyond STUNNING. Do you hear me?

You have always been the girl that lets life happen to her. The girl that rides the rollercoaster of Bipolar Disorder without a seatbelt on. The girl that fights back the sting in her eyes when least expected to pull herself together. The girl that is almost painstakingly adept at keeping her cool in the wake of the turbulence that is circular insanity.

Today, in retrospect, looking back on some of your blog posts and I am absolutely gobsmacked at some of your posts. Equally inspired and revamped because you found people on the same wavelength as you. (Underestimate the blogosphere at your own peril.). One thing is still vivid though: the skeleton that spooks you every time you open the closet. The black dog. The brain fog. The pain in the brain. OG depression. The slayer of beautiful souls. The throttling monster. The barbed arrow right through the heart.

You have hugged your knees, cried for hours until the tears dried and the throat hurt. Until you got a stuffy nose. You have sat on the floor of your room, sulking, yet in daze at the stormy situation that compounded you.

It is a pity that even as you write this, you keep glancing over your shoulder because you know the black dog might be back sooner than later, but you tread on because you feel compelled to get this out. Anxiety, the black dog’s significant other, is probably sitting in the corner watching you, anticipating their grand return. These two are the functional duo that still rob you of your functionality many years after their debut. The tricky, conniving and manipulative duo. The elephants in the room. The ticking time bombs.

But I’m glad that you are learning to dance in the torrential downpour. Like a phoenix, you are starting to learn how to emerge from the ashes to start a new life. I have seen you plummet to the state of despair and depress. I’m happy that you still have the key even when the black dog steals your self esteem, debilitates you (often to the point that you have no oomph and no motivation) and wraps it in chains.

You are larger than life. You stun me!

You have been through different phases like mazes but you are still the prime purveyor of utter grit, resilience, tenacity and strength and resolve of character. You are fully aware of the inherent beauty in the promise of the life ahead of you. You dare to pich your tent in the land of healing and destigmatization. You choose to be a prisoner of hope. You are bold, candid and uncensored on matters mental health. You tell the home truths about it. You adorn the fact that madness and genius go hand in hand. You understand that depression did not break you, it broke you OPEN. You know that you are not here inspite of the challenges, you are here BECAUSE of the challenges! You know that we must all meet our moment of truth in this thing called life. Nobody is invincible; no plan is foolproof. You are unstoppable, not because you have failures or insecurities or doubts but because you soldier on despite them. You still know, in the grand scheme of things, you are BLESSED despite the speed bumps along your journey. A journey that sometimes seems to be guided by a broken compass. A road to redemption that sometimes seems to have no GPS.

You are as clear as mud. You stun me!

You internalize how depression teaches you empathy, how anxiety gets you to be more organized and how suicidal ideations teach you to appreciate each moment you almost didn’t have. You are slaying a demon that can’t be seen —feels like you have been through a fight but you have no punches, kicks or head butts to show for it yet you feel painful aches.

You are a powerhouse. You stun me!

Four years after the death of your beautiful grandmothers and you still have conversations with them on the regular even though you have not heard their voices in years. You have learnt how terrible it is to love something that death can touch. You now know that when you watch the casket close on your loved one, it somersaults your mind forever. You have felt the paroxysm of pain. You have learnt that it doesn’t get better; you only get stronger. You know that you are in it for the long haul; it is a pill for an emotional ill. Until you find your yellow brick road to healing. You must keep feigning strength until it is inked in your bones. You must be psyched. You must be firmly rooted, built up and established in the faith. You must master resilient dynamism.

You are stout-hearted. You stun me!

You would rather be a burning passion than a perfectly put together coward. You are powered by the wilful disregard for convention. You ooze authenticity and razor-sharp wit. You still believe in the sound of space, the hope of time, the greatness of nothingness, the power of pain, the change of the unstoppable and the essence and beauty of the strange. The beauty that can only be seen when you align your mind with your spirit.

You still let your hair down and live your dash.

You are the oracle on mood disorders and mental illness. You stun me!

You know too well that these are not whimpered words but silent yet candid ruminations of a young woman seeking normality within bipolarity.

You are beyond STUNNING. Chase your calling, sis.

❤️

© Ida-Sharon

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Birthday, Death, Mental Health

59 YEARS AWESOME!

Okay. It’s right about that time of the year again where I bust out of my comfort zone and tackle something a bit different from my normal slop. It is my dad’s birthday. Happy birthday to my dad, Samuel! He turns something something years old today. Scratch that, he’s 59 today! I’m a sagittarius; I love precision.

A few weeks back my dad was rummaging through his backpack because he didn’t have his keys but they were right on the table and I laughed at him and told him he’s 58 and he went like, “What has that got to do with my keys missing?” You see, my dad doesn’t like to be reminded of his age. Neither do I. I mean I’m a chip off the old block. Lol.

I seriously don’t know what I would do without my dad! This man has given me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believes in me! There are days when I’m over the edge ( like today) and I think I just can’t do this anymore. But he always instills grit, resilience and will power in me, with unfailing optimism that astounds me time and again. He is the finest example of loyalty, commitment and unconditional love in my life.

My dad exudes pride, even though I might not necessarily fit into the long desired ideal daughter mould sometimes. Mental illness is hell on wheels; more often than not you will lose your cool. During my teenage years before I got my bipolar type 2 diagnosis, I went from hospital bed to hospital bed, one or two of them for surviving suicide. I remember missing school for the whole of second term in senior five. Dad was not always there during all this turbulence and I was very spiteful about it. Today, I understand that he had his own struggles and I could not even see them because I was either too young or too preoccupied with this disorder that teaches my brain to have this nasty habit of overriding logic. I have since learnt that nobody is perfect. Dad has loved me to life. Dad has loved me in the best way he knows how to.

If I’m still here navigating life, it is not because of these “magic” pills I pop daily. It is certainly because of my dad too. I know psychotropics can be a godsend but anyone who has experienced mental illness first hand knows that psychotropics, psychotherapy and an astounding support system is pivotal to recovery.

My dad and I go a long way. We are best friends and kindred spirits. We are yin and yang. We are not very physically identical however, because I take after my mother. (But I swear he would swear I look like his grandma, the one he named me after). I have his complexion though. Both of us are very passionate word weavers and very established blubber mouths; we can talk till you get vexed. He is a better storyteller, however, and I’m better at snorting and laughing and cackling. My dad has got jokes for days. Our major pet peeve is bad grammar. So please do not “pet our peeves.” Lol.

Not to burst your bubble but my dad does not quite understand depression. And that’s okay. He religiously asks me to explain what exactly I feel when I cannot get out of bed or how it feels right after I pop the pills. I try to tell him that depression is like someone throttling you and tearing right through your heart with a knife all at once, because that is the best way I know how to. My trips to the psych hospital have made me understand that there are people who just can’t relate to depression or mood disorders. All they experience is sheer sadness. My dad is part of that lucky throng. He says his greatest heartbreak was when his mother, my grandma, died in September 2015. I saw him shriek as he viewed her casket. My grandma’s death and its effect on my dad remains the biggest formative and painful experience of my life. The other one is pain. The brain. Pain in the brain. Pain in my brain. Mental illness. OG Depression. The slayer of beautiful souls. The barbed arrow right through the heart. Dying on the inside while still alive. Constantly being sent to a tailspin of grief for no discernible reason.

But by virtue of me being my dad’s daughter, I will always come out ahead. My dad is tactfully skilled at survival skills and that’s a major life hack I’m slowly by slowly mastering.

Happy birthday dad!

I profoundly respect you and admire your disposition and your diplomacy to deal with conflicts and complicated situations. It is easy to you on a pedestal. My dream is to perfect oration like you someday so I can bail humanity out of botched speeches with impromptu genius like you sometimes do for it.

© Ida-Sharon

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Death, Mental Health

GOD BLESS THE DEAD.

Today.

In memory of our angel baby, my nephew, born sleeping today. He was the most ethereal of them all; perfect even in death. I will never be able to expound on how for the past several months I hoped and prayed he would not just be our rainbow baby but my birthday twin or at least my zodiac twin. I’m eternally grateful he actually turned out to be my zodiac twin. My little sag baby.

Also in memory of our other angel baby, my beautiful niece, born sleeping too, a year ago. She was the most dainty baby I ever laid eyes on. Born endowed with a headful of black curls and perfect caramel skin. So graceful in her deep sleep!

And also in memory of our yet another angel baby, also perfect on so many levels because God does not make mistakes. Our guardian angel, the baby we carried but never met.

These three are forever cradled in my heart and I like to think that they are now in great grandmas’ strong arms, basking in heaven’s glory until we get there. (I think I might need an extra pair of arms because too many of my loved ones are up there and when I get there I’m planning to hug all of them and never let go!) Until then, I’ll be here looking after this big brother, our now turned sunshine baby, keeping all the memories alive. The stark reality is that he is only six but he can already tell visitors that his baby siblings “went to be with Jesus.”

This pain feels insurmountable but hey I love these four in all seasons, and love is paramount, that is why we teach him to keep the memories alive. Plus he is the smartest six year old you will ever meet. So much style and grace in one little human. He radiates so much positive energy and his demure demeanour lights up a room. His toothless grins improve moods mood tenfold.

In memory of our angel babies. In memory of all the babies we carried but never met. In memory of all the babies we held but could not bring home. In memory of all the babies we brought home but did not stay. In memory of all the little angels too perfect for this tainted earth. ❣️

God bless the dead.

© Ida-Sharon

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