To the FULL…

Sometimes, in fact, most of the time, God’s plan is not my plan… And, no matter what I might think “happiness” is, God’s version is a billion times more intense. 

Intense happiness. That’s what He has planned for my life. He knows better than anyone what happiness means to me, and what needs to go on inside my brain to make me feel happy. 

Over and over again, I am proved wrong about what I think should happen in my life. I find myself surprised every time at how amazing my life has become. At how my plans for my life have been magnified, and changed, and made into something so incredibly huge – so much more that I would have ever thought possible… And at how my prayers have been answered.

I haven’t written for a while… things get so busy, and life happens.  SO much has changed in my life! When I look back, I see God’s plan in every single thing… I see my prayers answered over and over again:

Firstly!! I have my daughters back in my life… My youngest spends 3 nights out of every 7 nights in my own home (I have my own home now, too – more of that a little later). My eldest spent the weekend at our home at the end of last month… for the first time in over a decade, I had BOTH my daughters sleeping under my roof. God is so good…

I have a man in my life. The father of my youngest daughter. He, too, has been through a lot, and has given up a lot to be with me, and to help me get my life back on track. He spent 11 years loving me from afar, while I went on the path I needed to go on to find clarity and direction, and to learn how to surrender… He has been understanding and supporting, and he will do anything to protect me and provide for me. I do not want to undermine my ex, but the lack of these two things are what killed that relationship in the end. I know the drugs played a role, and then flowing out from the drugs came the lying and the stealing… I understood that – that was part and parcel of the life we chose to live… But, to me, a man needs to protect and provide. I have always believed that – my father was a great example of that. And now I have that… along with love and support… Because he loved me all those years, and he now has me back, I am appreciated… his prayers were answered, too.   My youngest daughter’s prayers have also been answered – her mom and dad are back together. God is faithful… 

I have moved to a new little town. Away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Now, I know that I loved the city life. The vibes, the constant availability of everything, the friends I made, the fellowship that helped me to clean my life up and all else that makes a city life… But moving away from the places that I knew from my street days, the reminders of all the places that I had slept, and begged for money, the dealers down the road, the attempt on my life, the using… being in a new place, where I knew none of the “bad things”, was a blessing in disguise. I know that you cannot move away from addiction, and that you can find drugs anywhere and everywhere… But somehow, being in this town with my new man and my daughter, felt clean. A new start. I grew up in a small town, and small town life became familiar to me – it felt like home again. It was an unexpected part of the Plan. It happened so fast, too – what started as a weekend with my daughter, ended with a whole new beginning… God is mysterious!!

I have a new home. It’s our new home. My new man and I. It’s small. And neat. And I just LOVE living there! I think that only if you have lived on the street or been homeless, will you understand what I mean when I say I never had a “base”. A place where your stuff is. Always carrying everything on your back. Or, even when I had a temporary sleeping place, always worrying that your stuff is not going to be there when you get back because you’re kicked out, or its stolen. Not having a cupboard, a bath, your own dishes… Not having a place to just be still. Never really sleeping – in case something bad happens, or someone finds you. Not having a home feels like you’re always falling – and like you’ll never land on your feet. I have mentioned many times before on this blog how grateful I am for the smallest of things – hot, running water; a bath; clean clothes to wear every day; food to eat… now I have my own stove to cook my own food; a sink and soap to wash my own dishes; a washing machine to wash my dirty clothes – all the things other people complain about doing, I do with absolute joy in my heart because I know what it’s like to not be able to do all those things! Having my own home just gives me the base, the platform, on which to do them all. Not only do I have my own bedroom, but my daughter has her own bedroom, too.  She’s not there every single day, but every single day when I get home, I look into her bedroom, and I say THANK YOU to God for that space that she can call hers.  It isn’t the most kitted out room, but it has everything it needs for her to be at home, in her own space. We have a TV. A microwave. A fridge and freezer full of healthy food. A couch where we watch DVD’s on our DVD player together. A table where my daughter and I paint our nails together, and do her homework assignments together. We have absolutely everything that we need, more than I could ever have wished for! My home is where I am at peace. I am so grateful to have it. God is AMAZING!

On top of all these blessings, not only do I have a job, but my new man and I have our own little business! It’s by no means huge, and it’s by no means glamorous. We have a workshop where we repair and service cars. It’s ours. And we pour our heart and soul into our business to support our little family. It’s hard work, and it can be stressful. But it teaches me every day to lean on God, and to trust Him. No matter how bad things might look to me, at the end of the day, we make it – and we have so much to be thankful for! God always provides!

Jesus said that He came so that we could have life to the full. I suppose that that means different things to different people. To me, the life that I am living right now, is fuller than I could ever have imagined. I’m not talking about the material aspects of life – the physical things. I’m talking about the heart of things. About relationships, love and peace of mind. I’m talking about what life really is all about. Out there, when I was on the street, I lived in darkness. Always ducking and diving, hiding, looking over my shoulder. I was never at peace. Now, even though we still have to deal with life – we have difficult days too, we deal with unhappy clients, we have to cope in tough financial times, even handle death (my grandfather passed away), and all sorts of other things – I feel at peace.  I have my bad days, of course – I’m still human. I get angry, and sad. But at the end of every day, when I lay my head down on my own pillow, in my own home, surrounded by my family, and covered in grace, I am grateful for my full life!

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Rose Coloured Lenses

Last week I went to the optomistrist to get my eyes tested. Because I have been neglecting my health for so long, and abusing my body with toxins and stress, I can actualy feel it – not only in general pysicality, but my eyes seem to be showing a dimmer, duller view of my world. 

In general, I don’t like doctors, dentists, gynae’s or anyone that has to poke around in my space bubble to tell me what’s wrong with me. The optomitrist wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be though, she was very explanetory, and not intusive at all. 

Right at the end, after all the tests were done, she put a pair of lenses on my nose, and said: “How’s that?”

“WOWWW!!” I exclaimed. I couldn’t believe how perfectly clear the letters were in front of me.

And then it it me – my eyes were REALLY bad. I only realised how bad they were, when I had the new lenses on my eyes, and saw what things should actually look like. 

Isn’t that so true of life. You have no idea how bad things really are until you’re out of that situation, and experiencing things as they should be…

When I was out there, living on the streets in dirt and general chaos mixed with a dose of dysfunction, very quickly, things that other people would never even consider doing, became absolutely normal to me. It was normal to sit on the floor in the street and smoke crack – right there. It was normal to not eat, to not have a job, to hustle all day and night, and use in between. It was completely normal to have to find a safe place to sleep every night, and to carry every possession I owned in a single bag hanging over my shoulder, going with me wherever I went. It was normal to be ducking and diving from mall security, and shop managers. It was normal to walk kilometers and kilometres, to make money, and walk kilometres and kilometres back to buy and use, and then walk that same circle again – 4, 5 or even 6 times a day. 

When I think about how normal that was to me, I actually become exhausted! The stress. The late nights and early mornings. The lack of relationships, compassion for others, the self-centred behaviour that revolved around me and my drugs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, non stop for years and years. Each day was as mundane and unsuccessful as the next. I achieved nothing! I gained nothing! I lost everything. And everyone.  And this was all completely normal. I tried to plan how my day would go, I tried to plan to go and do something about getting clean, see a clinic, get some help… but drugs had to come first – after that, drugs is all there is…

How could that be? How is that even possible? It just becomes so normal to do what you need to do to survive. It’s all about making sure that you don’t go into withdrawal, and once you aren’t sick anymore, its about getting as much money as you can, as many times in a day as you can, to get as high as you can – to escape the reality of life and feelings that were too painful to acknowledge. Then, at the end of the day, it’s about making sure that you have enough drugs to find a place to sleep, enough drugs for the night to help you to sleep, plus money or drugs for the morning to help you to wake up. Nothing else crosses your mind after that first hit when you wake up. And you’re so sick by the time you do wake up, that you cannot do anything until you have that first hit. You don’t think about eating because using drugs takes away your appetite, so only when you start feeling dizzy or you look down and realise that you’re dissappearing, do you use whatever is left after you have your drugs, to buy some bread or juice or anything to just get you to the next destination, so that you can make more money to get more drugs and a little more to eat. Survival. From one hour to the next. I couldn’t go more than 3 hours without using, or my body would start going into withdrawal. Once you’re in bad enough withdrawal, you are too sick to even think about going anywhere and you just get worse and worse, until you go into fits, or land up on hospital, or even die. You cannot allow that to happen. I had my boyfriend at the time, who couldn’t last 2 hours without using, so he would make sure that we did what we needed to do, to get what we needed to get, as fast and as efficiently as possible. The days turn into weeks, the weeks turn into months, and before you know it, that is what your existence consists of. It’s normal.

After the last time I used in April, I have a new found freedom, a new ‘normal’. I had no idea how great life could actually be, how relaxed and calm, and loving I could be. Life has a whole new side to it, and all of a sudden I see how bad things really were, and what life should actually look like. Its completely different. I might not have the things other ‘normal’ people have, like a job, and Saturday shopping. But, I no longer am merely existing, surviving, living for one thing, and losing precious time on this earth. I appreciate so much more than ‘normal’ people do, because I know what its like to have nothing, inside and out. I know how cold it is to bath in a bucket of cold water late at night with no towel, or PJ’s. I know how long it takes to dry clothes, when there is only one pair of clothes, and you only have a few hours at night to wash them with whatever soapy substance you can find, and have them dry and ready to wear by early morning – before the security guards tell you to leave the bathroom you just slept in. I know what its like to have no food, no bed, no blankets. I know what its like to have nothing, and to believe that it’s completely normal. I wasn’t striving to get out, I wasn’t so uncomfortable that I couldn’t bare it, I didn’t feel anything – emotion, pain, hard concrete floors. Drugs numbed it all. Drugs made it ok. Drugs made everything normal. 

There is so much in life to be grateful for. The things I have been through, I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy (if I had such a thing). I can sit and mope and feel sorry for myself for the things I put myself through while using drugs, for the things and people I lost and for the pain I suffered. Or, I can look back in gratitude, learn lessons, appreciate what I have right now, and be excited to see what the future holds – knowing now what ‘normal’ should look like, and what life should consist of. 

I choose to be happy every morning. I know things aren’t always going to be pink and fuzzy and great – I will have my bad days, as well as my good ones. That’s NORMAL. That’s life. And I am so grateful for life. To be alive. 

And soon, I will be able to see life a little clearer, in all its glory and splendour, with my new glasses. I can live in my new level of ‘normal’ – which now seems to reflect rose colour lenses, happiness and contentment. I will bask in that while it lasts!

Tomorrow

Bubble of Fun-Loving Positivity!

Since my last post, I have learnt so much! 

I have learnt that there is nothing I can do to force people to do, or think, or be, or change. The only things that I have control over, are my thoughts and my actions. 

I haven’t been present for many years – as a mom, a daughter, a sister, a grand-daughter, niece, cousin or a friend. I have been living in the shadows, hidden away from all things good. Believe me, I regret that. What I regret most is that I will never get back the time that I have lost with my girls. All the special milestones, all the happy memories… the homework I never got to do, the sports I never got to support. So many moments are lost forever. I cannot change that. I believe that, that in itself is torture and punnisment enough. BUT! My eldest daughter has every right not to involve me. She has been hurt deeply by my self-centred behaviour, and I know that I still hold resentments towards my mother for leaving my sister, my brother and I when we were so young. Though I desperately tried to gain her acceptance for many years much later in life, she hurt me and abused my trust over and over again. I had to make the decision to cut her out of my life, because she tortured my soul. All that I can do for my daughters, is to be here, present, available, loving, caring, kind and supportive.

 When, one day, Rebecca is ready, she will know that I am here. I will make sure that she knows that my love for her has only grown, and that my love for her is unconditional. Larah is under age, she is under the influence of others, who don’t understand addiction, and who do their best to interfere with our relationship. Luckily, though, I have had the fortune of seeing her much more often than Rebecca’s condescending and unforgiving father allowed, so I know that Larah and I have a special bond that will never be broken. She is my sunshine – she makes me happy when skies are grey. She makes me happy when I’m happy, too. She is just the most amazing little bubble of fun and positive energy. She understands that I love her. Nothing will ever change that. I am ever so grateful for our memories – few as they are, they are so special.

Rebecca barely knows the real me. Her father has always drilled into her what a useless human being I was and he continued to tell her that I didn’t care for or love her. She was brain washed for years. And he is as manipulating and controlling as could be. He always saw life as this ‘competition’, and he did everything he possibly could to ensure that I ‘lost’. Physically, emotionally, mentally and even spiritually. If there’s anyone that I blame for my time lost with Rebecca, it would be him. What an angry, nasty person he turned out to be. My ‘high school sweetheart’ from hell. BUT! I cannot change him either….

I have to stay positive, choose to be happy. By doing the right thing, and growing, staying kind and full of mercy, by trying to be a better person than I was yesterday, I am moving forward. I am building a life that will make up for the years that I have made mistakes, and learned lessons from, all the mistakes that I made taught me how to be a better person. I am bulding my foundation. A solid, strong foundation. A foundation based in love, grace, strength, courage, kindness and positivity. Because this time I am leaning not on my own understanding, but on God’s unfailing promises, I know that things will only get better. And they will get better in His perfect timing. Not when I want things to be done, my will has only led me into dark and unhappy places. It is His will, and His love that will keep me going. In His strength, I am strong. 

Yes! I miss my girls! My heart aches to be with them, to hold them, to have them in my life. Of course! It hurts like hell! But these things take time. Trust takes time. My words mean so little to everyone at the moment. It is my actions that count, my response to life, and all it’s little surprises. 

In the words of ‘Dory’, Nemo’s little forgetful friend: ‘Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming’. Just keep going forward, and have faith! As long as I am doing my best, I trust that God will do the rest!

And, in the mean time, while I am busy doing my best, I will do it with a positive attitude. I will remain kind, and happy. Why would I want to spend my life any other way? 

Perfect Timing

 

This is MY Journey!

Today’s lesson was hard. I didn’t expect it to come when it did and I had no idea it was gonna be so hurtfull…

Being in touch electronically with my eldest daughter has been a real blessing – not that we say much to each other, but there’s communication. And I am really careful about “pushing the boundaries” because I do not want to lose her all over again. Its never more than a 3 or 4 sentence conversation, sometimes it’s just me telling her I love her or miss her, or when she’s sick, asking her how she feels. Its not a lot, but it’s more than I had before, and I am super grateful! Even when she doesn’t reply – at least now I get to tell her how I feel!

Then…

I get into my dads car, and as I put my seat belt on, he says to me: “Your brother called.” I could hear hesitation in his voice – he already knew that I was a little upset by the fact that my (non existent) mother had my daughter (the eldest one, that I haven’t seen in 4 years, but who I have been texting so carefully) for the school holidays, and that she had taken my daughter to see my brother. It wasn’t that all of this had happened that was upsetting me, as much as the fact that I found out about this via a profile picture on Whatsapp – my ENTIRE family says nothing to me about this whole reunion. So anyway I got over that, and I brushed it off as my brother not wanting to ‘upset’ his wife (who cannot stand me, and relates more to my narcissistic mother than I do)… My dad keeps quiet for like 5 seconds, so I say: “And??” and glare in his direction. After a brief sigh, he says to me that my daughter told my brother that she cannot handle the long messages I send to her and that she doesn’t know what to say to me. 

SAY WHAT?

Well, of course I exploded – I just couldn’t believe that. Why would she say that? It hurt so bad! It felt like she had stabbed me through my heart. Here I am doing my best to keep this simple and to just express my love for her, and she’s saying things like that? I wanted to cry, but my dad could see I was hurting and he said to me:

“My girl, she is a teenager (she’s 16). Teenagers think they know everything, and they just want to do their own things. They really aren’t worried about building relationships with their parents – they are looking at boys and concentrating on their friends. You cannot let things like this affect your life and your decisions. Just keep your eye on the prize, keep moving forward. In the end, that’s what she will see.”

How does he remain so calm?? Just like that I realised that, in life, a lot of people are going to upset me, and a lot of the time it’s gonna be family (isn’t that so sad?). I can’t let other people’s behavior steal my joy. 

He then proceeded to tell me that my brother asked how I am. In my mind I’m thinking, you know, he has my number too. I guess I should be grateful that he is asking about me. But I feel like my entire family don’t support me. I get it. I stuffed up. Many times. But family is supposed to be there through the good and the bad. No matter what. He’s my brother. He was also using drugs at one stage. I don’t understand that. Especially him. My sister carries on with her own life overseas. My mother proceeds to hurt me in whichever way she possibly can, through manipulating and bad mouthing – nothing new there. My eldest daughter is saying the craziest things for some unknown reason. My youngest daughter is manipulated by her father and ouma – my dad who has always ALWAYS been there for me is the only real family I have (except for my youngest – she wants to be there, but is held back – soon, Angel, soon!).

And as sad and true as that is, my dad is right: I cannot let their behaviour affect my life today. I am doing the right thing – for the first time ever, I am taking control of my disease, I am learning how to deal with life on life’s terms. I am working hard and focussing like never before. I am doing the right thing!! And I have done all of this without their support this far. I can’t let all of their issues and lack of support affect what I am doing for my life. I am lucky enough to have a God that teaches GRACE, FORGIVENESS AND LOVE. I will do my best to live that way. No matter who, or what, or when, or how! He is my Guide to living a GREAT life. He is who really matters!

I have found a new way to live. I don’t need other people to accept that. I don’t need anyone else’s support, when I have my fellowship, my youngest daughter in heart, my dad and my Creator. I will be the better person, and tomorrow I will be even better. Because, no matter how other people behave, I am on a journey, a journey of compassion and enlightenment! Nothing and no-one will stand in my way. Family or not!

A Normal Saturday

Sitting at the laundromat on a Saturday afternoon. Watching life go by, watching other people doing the things they do on a weekend. Some of them off to a family braai. Some of them off to watch a movie. Some of them buying new outfits for their dinner date tonight. Some of them buying what they need for a trip away. All sorts of people walking out of the shops with bags full of goodies! Most have a smile on their faces, probably excited for whatever comes next. To them it seems so normal. To me, it is everything but normal…

Not so long ago, Saturday to me meant an easier day – a day where more people were out shopping, more people were out spending money. It just meant that the chances of me finding a friendly face, someone to help me get through the next few hours of pain and humiliation, were greater than any other day of the week.

Trust me when I say that asking pure strangers for anything is the most difficult thing in the world. Especially when its a lie you’re telling. And even more so when the lie you’re telling involves non existant babies, and in that, a small truth that hurts more than the lie itself: I might not have the baby that I am claiming not to be able to feed or provide nappies for, but I do have 2 daughters that I have completely neglected. Everytime I told that lie I felt the truth stab me in my heart… the tears that would roll down my cheaks were very real, and more genuine than these strangers would ever know.

I have no idea how many people I asked to help me on a daily basis. On Saturdays it was twice that amount. After a while the lies I told became my truths. I was living this fantasy life in front of the world, and behind closed bathroom doors I was drowning the emotional pain that I felt the second I was alone. My weekends were in no way ‘normal’.

Even though I am not in any way living that life anymore, my weekends are not like those of the people that I am watching today. I am still without a job, in a country that has a massive unemployment rate. I live with my dad, and he has his parents (my grandparents) to look after, too. We have to watch what we spend. Once a month, the Saturday after pay day, we go shopping – to get whats needed, and maybe one or two small things that we see as ‘luxury’. But its nothing like these people that come walking out of the mall with a massive grin on their faces, and with huge packets filled with new and exciting things from all the shops my dad and I don’t even bother to go into. I have made things tough for him. I have a lot of ‘paying forward’ to catch up on. I know that my dad is only too happy to see me alive and healthy. And he gives me much more than I deserve.

My weekends are relaxing. I get to spend quality time with my dad. We watch DVDs together and every now and then we will go to the laundromat or shopping, or even to the flea market. Just being able to sleep in, not having to worry about getting enough money to numb the pain every 3 hours, being able to eat when I’m hungry, or drink coffee in the morning – all these small little things are luxuries to me, something I would wish for in the past. Having a chilled day with my dad, building on that relationship which has become my lifeline to something as close to a “normal” life as I have seen in over 10 years, that is what’s important to me.

Will my Saturday’s ever look like these people’s? Who knows… for now, I’m grateful to have a home to chill in, DVDs to watch, a couch to chill on, coffee or juice or tea or hot chocolate even to drink, and food to eat when I am hungry. A hot bubble bath on the cold nights. A cupboard full of clothes to select from. I have what I need, and my weekends might not be “normal” but they are just perfect the way they are!

The Fire Within

Sitting around the bonfire tonight, looking at all the different people around me, all of us just watching the flame dance before us, listening intently to a true story being told. I was once again reminded how cunning our disease really is. There is absolutely no discrimination, addiction can happen to anyone. Everyone. I see a circle filled with glowing faces, all there because they, too, want to do better at life, they also want yet another chance at getting this thing called life, right…

These people have been through the worst kind of experiences. They have really had it tough. I heard a psychiatrist say the other day that 99% of all addicts have endured some form of child abuse or trauma. I know that I used to numb the pain, to escape this cruel world. And the more I numbed the pain, the more the people in my life tried to hurt me. The day they took my daughters, was the day I stopped caring about my life. I remember when I was living on the street, struggling to survive, how ‘normal’ people would treat me. Like I was the lowest form of life. Like I was worth nothing, less than nothing. Of course, I already knew that. I felt exactly like what they were telling me I was. Not understanding why I did the things I did, why, no matter how hard I tried, I could not stop using.

I look up and I see these sparkled eyes looking intensely into the fire, listening to one person telling the painful truths that led him to get help. The truth is, that we all only want to get help when the pain of change becomes less than the pain of staying the same.

All this pain, all the struggles that these human beings, these people, had to go through in a life that was already so difficult to understand. Yet, here they are, doing whatever it takes to try and Read the rest of this entry

Back to the Front

All of a sudden I’m excited about life again!

My blog has been negleted because my soul has been neglected. I remember being so incrediby happy to have found my true love. My true love and I were ravished by addiction all over again – AGAIN! I managed to climb my way out of the darkness, but he is trapped in his own version of hell. I am once again free. I so wish that I can promise the world that I will never go back to that living hell again. But I have to be honest. It is a promise I cannot, in good conscience, make.

Anyone who has been there knows this to be true. It takes a miracle to stay clean forever, and this is why we addicts know that only today is promised to us. We only have control over right now.

So in order to make light work of controling my ‘right now’ I once again attempt to write my thoughts down. I know that I have to regain my confidence. I have a lot of work to do, and I am attempting to do this knowing that there is a very good chance that I might never see my true love again. It breaks my heart to leave him behind, I had but two choices: stay with him in the knowledge that death was but one hit away, or leave him there, where he chose to stay, try to live my life clean and sober, and pray that he finds the courage needed to catch up. I had looked death in the eyes one time too many. I had to choose life, before it was too late, and my dad would lose his daughter, my daughters would lose their mom forever, and my brother would lose his sister, never to be seen again… I knew that I was not present as a daughter, mom and sister for a very long time, but I was alive – I might not have been living, but I did exist! There was still hope for me. There is still hope for me.

Coming back home to my weary dad, who had been searching the streets looking for his daugther, praying that I did, in fact, still exist, it dawned on me once again the pain that I had causd to, not only everyone that remained behind, everyone that cared for and loved me, but also the emotional sufferring and pain that I had done to myself, I now had to face all over again. Numbing your pain, your fears, your emotions, your conscience, it doesn’t make it all go away. It just buries everything somewhere deep within. The second your body has run out of drugs, is the second where ALL the emotions, pains, fears and the full force of your conscience comes flooding back. All at once. It hits you. And oh my word! Does it hurt! Add to this the fact that I am now not only letting go of the one thing in my life that remained consistent, that I knew I could turn to, that was reliable, and that had been in my life for years: I am letting go of my drug. Then, at that very same time, I am letting go of my one true love. Not because I don’t love him anymore. Not because we fought. Not for any other reason than the fact that he doesn’t know how to let go of his drug. The pain of using is not worse than the pain of change.  I had hit my rock bottom. He still has further down to go…

When I say that I feel like my body is literally being torn apart, and my heart is being ripped to pieces, it doesn’t come close to what I have been trying to deal with. For the first week, I could hardly get out of bed. I didn’t want to eat. I was just lying in my bed trying to compartmentalise all these feelings and emotions mixed with the heartache and the loneliness. I was just trying to sort out what was going on in my heart and my mind. Trying to understand what had happened to me, and what was happening to me. The day I came home from the streets the last time, was the 21st of April 2015. It is now the 2nd ofJuly 2015. Only now am I feeling comfortable enough to start writing about my feelings. I am still hurting, of course. There is a lot of remorse and guilt going on inside me, too. I know that I have so much to deal with still, and so much to learn too. And of course, I miss that someone special very often. BUT! What is different this time is that I have tools. I have been fortunate enough to have been introduced to a program – a step by step guide – on how to work on my issues on a daily basis, with the help of other recovering addicts, the guidance of my God, and the experience of years of lessons learnt put into literature so that I too can learn from others mistakes and experiences.

There are plenty of us. Addiction does not discriminate. Old, young, black, white, pink, yellow, men, woman, gay, straight – every single type of person you could ever imagine, and their families, has been affected by addiction. People die all the time. And it saddens me when I compare the amount of junkies there are out there on the street – just like I was, just like my love of my life still is – to the amount of people who are willingly fellowshipping, doing whatever they can to stay clean. Its a hundred to one. If not more.  What makes it even worse is the lack of resources for the junkie that wants to get clean. Rehabs cost in excess of R20k per month, what junkie can afford that?  What junkie has medical aid. It is such a mission and rigmorale to get into a state rehab, the junkies just don’t have the time or the inclination to risk time spent on something that might not work, when they need to spend all their time on getting their next fix before they go into withdrawal. Its a sad state of affairs. I am really blessed to have my dad in my life, to help me get through the worst of it, to have a bed I can just colapse into and sleep off the absolute exhaustion from walking, hustling, using and getting more in fast forward mode. Stopping only to sleep a few odd hours at night. Its not an existence I would wish on my worst enemy.

So that leads me back to the front of my blog where I now have some new and fresh insight to the world of death and and learning to fill my life with appreciation for the tiniest of things that I just didn’t have only a few months ago. Here we go again…

A New Day – My Own Day – Just for Today

I had to start all over again. And I had to do it on my own, without ‘him’. I couldn’t believe what he had become. I couldn’t believe I had to lose everyting all over again. I tried. I did everything I could to save him. But he wouldn’t listen, and so after 11 years and 2 months, I had to end my ‘happily ever after’. And now I will start a new and different life. With friends. I might not fall asleep in the arms of my soul mate, but I will have a life! And I will have a relationship with my daughters. And I have only my dad to thank for being there for me no matter how bad things got….

15 - 1

Repitition

And I’ll Say It ‘Til The Day I Die!

So I’m sitting in church… I always feel kinda uncomfortable around “church people”. Especially the ones that are up there in the front row, the ones that have been around for a while. It’s almost as if I feel threatened or intimidated by them – even though, deep down I know that they are probably the kindest, least judgmental of them all. And that, if I only let go, I’ll probably feel a lot more at home.
I find myself standing on the edge of the crowd – the outskirts. Trying so hard not to look into the happy people’s faces. So hard not to attract too much attention. I realise all of a sudden that this is the only place that I do that. Normally I’m the happy go lucky one, chatting to everyone I see and laughing out loud. But I’m not usually myself in Church. I’m not sure why either. When I think about it, the only place I truly feel at home, the only comfortable place I know, is in the arms of the man that I love. It doesn’t matter where I am, as long as he’s by my side, I feel like everything is going to be ok. I don’t care what others are saying or even if they stare! I feel like I can just be me – and isn’t that how it should always be?
The whole time I’m sitting in church, trying hard to concentrate on what the pastor has to say tonight, all I can think about is how amazing my weekend was. How much I love waking up in the arms of the man I love. Having his companionship all day long, never running out of things to say to each other, not once having anything like an “uncomfortable” silence, or even the slightest hint of a fight. It’s peaceful there. It’s where I find my centre. My balance.
How blessed I am to have found love. True love. A love that resembles all that I am, all that I dreamed of. When I take account and realise what I have found, I all of a sudden see what “love” really is. Finding out that love is unconditional is only the beginning. Love is always unconditional. If it’s not unconditional, then it’s not love. Once you’ve grasped that concept, you have to apply it to your life. To every single person. To your friends (that’s easy). To your enemies (now, here’s where things get a little tricky). Love is not love if it has conditions. We are told to love everyone. And, unless you have actually experienced true, unconditional love, you will never know how to love others. So I count myself blessed. Really blessed. I love love! I love the way I feel when I’m surrounded in love. I love the peace I feel in my heart in the presence of love. It is so easy to love. Especially when it comes to loving my man. It’s so easy to forgive him. It’s so easy to find perfection in everything he is. Because I love him. I see beauty from inside him. I love to look at him, listen to him, talk with him, laugh with him. Even sitting next to him in silence is time spent well. He has taught me how to love. Unconditionally. I believe that heaven is your dream come true. I believe that heaven is finding true happiness on earth. Heaven is being in love with life – and how could you not love being alive, when every day is spent with someone who really understands who you are, and what makes you smile.
Now for one minute, imagine loving everyone! I mean REALLY loving everyone! Looking past what they look like, where they have been, the mistakes that they have made. Imagine we could love everyone UNCONDITIONALLY! If I believe that I have found heaven on earth just because I have found someone that I love so much, we could all have our little piece of heaven on earth, by loving everyone simply because God told us to. Simply because it’s the right thing to do. Because WE ALL make mistakes. And because we all deserve a second chance!
I’m not going to change over night, but I can change one small thing at a time. And, over time with persistence, it will get easier and easier to love everyone – including our enemies.
So I might not have learnt (or even heard) much from church tonight. But just by being there, and realising certain things, I have a deeper understanding of what it means to love. And why love is so important.
Oh! Just another thing I noticed… there was a lady sitting next to me – a newcomer by the sounds of things. I almost got the feeling that she was going through some sort of a difficult time in her life, and had come to church out of desperation – to find answers. I remember when I thought that other people could help me out of the desperate situations I used to find myself in. It was only after going through so many different difficult and nasty situations, that I realised that I was the only person who could make things better. I was the one who had to choose the right path. Find the right way. I have just as much access to God as any pastor. I can talk to Jesus and ask him anything I want to. Although seeking wise council is a great idea, and asking questions to those that seem to have it all together won’t harm anyone. But for actual spiritual growth, nothing beats experience. Nothing beats overcoming the hard times, getting through to the other side, making the right choices, and living in victory. Just a side note…
My boyfriend read my blog for the first time. He said it’s pretty “repetitive”. I guess that’s because I have to learn my lessons three or four times before I get it! But when I do get it, I like to tell the world about it. I need repetition. I need to hear a hundred times a day how much he loves me – I never get tired of hearing it. And I need to tell the world that victory comes by making the right choices, by giving just as much grace as you have received, and by finding and living in love! I’ll say it over and over again. Just like I’ll tell him over and over again – I love you Boo! No matter what!! 😉

Its Been A While

Its Been A While:

 
A while? It’s been almost a year… did I lose myself for a second or two? Where did I go to? Well, truth be told, I have learnt a whole lot of new lessons – great lessons, and, again, I wouldn’t change a single thing… 
 
Since the last time I wrote, I have set a captive free, I have made a great best friend, I have seen a new perspective – in a city, my home, as opposed to the small, dusty town that I started my new beginnings in.  
 
It seems that staying above water is much easier in a little town, where you’re basically under a person’s control, where rules are not your own, and where decisions are not made based upon your own information, but upon rules that others have made… that was easy. That was not living.
 
Now I am back in the big city. Back at home.  
 
The first thing I did was bail the love of my life out of prison. I went to visit him in that cold, cement building filled with criminals, murderers, hijackers, people that you could not even imagine associating yourself with. There he was, behind the glass, with those innocent eyes, and soft, smooth skin. He looked so out of place. He didn’t belong there. I couldn’t take seeing him in that place. I know that we had done wrong things, and made some mistakes, but prison? No! I could not leave him there. So, in a matter of 6 days, I had arranged the bail money and went to go and collect my man from prison. It took almost 6 hours of paper work, queues and just standing around waiting… and then, there he was… 
 
It had been 15 months since the last time I saw him. The last time I saw him was when I left him on the street so that I could go to rehab and try and make something out of my life. The last time I saw him, I thought he was coming with me, but the plot thickened as I was locked in a car, and driven 8 hours away from him. I was not allowed to speak to him for the first 4 months. Then I spoke to him as often as I could. Until I heard via the grapevine that he had been arrested, in Hillbrow, and was in Sun City prison. His mom refused to pay the bail. He was stuck in a hell that I had not known… 
 
As he walked around the corner, I ran towards him. I jumped into his arms, and held onto him as tight as I could. I didn’t want to let go. And for the first time, in a very, very long time, I felt like I was at home again. Comfortable. Safe. He even smelt good!! I couldn’t stop staring at him. His skin. His face. His eyes. His hands… Everything that I had longed for. Everything that I had wanted. Everything that I could ever need. He has it all. I can’t imagine my life without him in it. I took him to his moms house, and I left him there – because I had to go and visit my little Lilo.  
 
That’s another thing that I have been blessed with since I last blogged. I have been spending precious moments with my daughters. My youngest especially. She is so much like her mom. She is so cute. So beautiful. So clever. So funny. Every moment with her is cherished – I absolutely love being in her presence. She makes my life seem insignificant – her life is so much more important than mine could ever be! And my eldest… she’s an angel… She is a blessing to all that know her. She contributes to LIFE… She brings meaning to an imperfect world. I love her. More than she could ever imagine.  
 
And so my man was back in my life. I remembered again how incredible our relationship is. How special our bond is. He knows me better than even I do, I know him just the same. We were MADE for each other – he is my perfect match… and (in the words of a very special friend of mine) he has ALL the keys that fit ALL my locks… perfection.  
 
Of course this led to many other feelings rushing back to our memories… and, the one that beats you every single time, that depiction of evil – heroin. Yes, we fell. Together. We fell. We fell so hard that we landed right back where we were. Except this time we were in Hillbrow – the middle of hell. That was our home – for many nights we slept in the dodgy, dirty hotels that line the streets in that dark, dirty belly of Jozi’s city. We fell hard. We landed hard. We learnt a lot of HARD lessons too. But! I can say this. It bought us closer together. We didn’t just make it through every day. We always had food, we always slept in a bed, I always had his arms wrapped around me at night, and he always had all of me – always.  
 
And so, when we had both realised that we were so over heroin, and that life, and that this was definitely the last time we would have to learn this lesson together, we decided, together, to come clean. And we did. And we still are.  
Now I am at peace again. This is why I am ready to blog again. So I have this to say:
 
My God was with me even in the darkest of places. I am still alive, and healthy, and very much in love. My daughters are both the centre of my universe, and one day I will be able to tell them my story – which is unlike any other story. I have my soul mate – I am one of the lucky few who managed to find their perfect match. For these reasons, I believe that I am truly blessed. I have more than I could have ever wished for. I have learnt lessons that many people could not imagine learning. I appreciate every single thing in my life – from my bed, to hot water, to the clothes in my cupboard, to the precious moments spent with my angels, to every single night I am lucky enough to spend in the arms of the man that I love.  
 
I may not have the perfect life. I may not have a job. Or even a car. But this I know: I have an AMAZING life! I do not see the work I do as a “job”, but as something I love to do – whether its keeping my home clean, washing my clothes, waitressing on a Friday night until all hours of Saturday morning so that I have a little bit of cash to spend on the one’s I love, or even just standing in a queue at the licensing department for my dad (who has given me more than I could ever ask for from a parent), I love to do these things, because they are things that I did not do before, because they are things I do for the people that I love, because they are things that I do that show me the real meaning of life. I may not have a job – but I love to work! I do not have a car – but I have 2 legs, and 2 feet, and running shoes! I can use public transport too! Having a car, means nothing! Having people that you love to go and visit – that’s what counts! Being healthy enough to be able to walk, or run – that’s a miracle (especially after the life I have lived). And so I appreciate these things, the small things, the things everyone else seems to take for granted, and the things that are so unique – like finding your soul mate, and spending precious moments with your children – that only you know how really special they are, and that you only realise how special they actually are, when you come so close to loosing them.  
 
It’s been a while. But it’s been good. It’s been really special. And I can‘t wait to see what lies around the next corner!