Tag Archives: depression

Iron sunlight and quick-moving clouds and me.

I’m currently sitting in the library of my old highschool, about to help my mother teach Macbeth to a bunch of kids from the rural schools in the area.

For now I’m trying to finish some marking for the assistant lecturing job I worked hard to get, at the table where I used to study for my matric exams, and where I wrote a bad poem about using sunlight to warm my soul when my highschool boyfriend broke up with me. I’m staring out the same window I used to stare out whenever I was stuck on a Math problem, or wondering why the dude whose locker was next to mine didn’t like me back (he’s gay, Harriet).

I just took a trip to the prayer garden round the back of the building that looks out onto the river. I sat there dramatically in a cloud of gnats, and reflected on how many times I’ve stared out into my life-shaped abyss only have it stare back at me and say “baby girl, you’ll be grand.”

“I know you think everything demands to be felt so loudly, but you always bounce back from adversity with this insane tenacity and defiance. You’ll be fine, you’ll be fine, you’ll be fine.”

I’m sitting back where I first started. And I’d like to think that the inner-me who is still sitting in her school uniform, staring out onto the river and writing bad poetry about quick-moving clouds and her sunlight-coloured soul, would be pretty proud of how we’ve turned out.

Because we were fine. We are fine. We will be fine.



Filed under Brain Poetry

My god, please stay.


My head’s a little fuzzy from all the positive reassurances I’ve been feeding myself since 11 last night. They’ve managed to fill my cranium with white noise, bumping into each other every few seconds, trying to squeeze themselves into tight spaces to make room for the demons who are hosting them.

Hello. It’s been a while. I’ve been busy, trying to fill my days with as much thought-numbing joy as possible before all the monstrous thoughts come back. I’ve been happy, so happy. I’ve shaken my fists at gremlins and run down stormy avenues in rain boots – shaking poetry out of my hair and out-sprinting every anxious pang I’ve ever held captive in my chest.

But happiness has a nasty bite. It roars and shakes it’s dreadful mane, daring me to beg it to stay.

My god, please stay.

I don’t want to be left alone with this terrible wave inside me, let me cling to you for a little longer.

I’ve had this pounding ache since 11 pm, a precariously explosive bubble of emotions that I’ve weighed down with an iron anchor.

Don’t you dare escape, do you want to expose us? Stay still and quiet, don’t erupt, don’t scream, don’t show him or anyone else how much you’re hurting. Shut up.

“I am spectacular, I am smart, I have worth, I am not falling apart, I am going to tackle this with the tenacity and stubbornness of a mother-freaking grizzly bear.”

No matter how this turns out, whether the raging winds and torrential rain tear me apart or leave me just a little battered- there is still life within my veins. I will rise, I will eventually thrive, I will guard my heart with an iron casket next time something like this happens because I can not afford to let hurricane emotions whisk me away again.

If you’re going to go, then go. But if you want to stay then please, please do.


Filed under Brain Poetry

At Some Point…You Will Be Body Slammed

Sometimes I think that when I was born, the universe looked at me, laughed, and said “look at her, she’s done nothing wrong…but we’re still going to give her a hard time.”.

Some people would change that, some people would make the universe eat its words. I have a friend who roundhouse kicks the universe, I have a mother who crushes whatever is thrown at her with a single thought.

I am not Kathryn or my mother.I am me. I’m irrational, quick to defend people and slow to defend myself, I see the good in people I want to see the good in; even if there is no good to be seen, alone: I’m fragile and crushable, in public: I’m a firecracker, I pretend to have confidence but I doubt myself everyday, and right now it feels like when I came out of my mother 17 years and 11 months ago I was doomed…

But half way through writing that long and revealing description of Harriet, something hit me on my little noggin. It wasn’t life punching me in the face, it was two little phrases:

“Everything happens for a reason. You will survive this.”

I’m not Anne Frank, Malala Yousafzai or even Mpheto Bidli. I am not running from a creepy, short dictator with an inferiority complex, I have never, nor will ever, provoke the Taliban by speaking out about my beliefs and I haven’t been struck by lightning.

In retrospect, my life is pretty okay.

I may see the good in people too much, I may be incredibly crushable, I may even doubt myself at times, but as my very wise art teacher once said:

“Shit happens.”

Thank you Mrs Smit, you’re a visionary, shit really does happen, and the only way to deal with such a predicament is to take that shit and drop kick it into a nearby field or, alternatively, stick that shit right back where it came from because you…yes you, the one who over thinks and feels alone and can’t find the light at the top of this pitch black, unnecessary hole that life has dug for you, YOU. WILL. SURVIVE. THIS.

I don’t have a PHD in fortune telling, I’m no clairvoyant, I haven’t even lived 2 decades yet and right now I’m just a kid who’s sick of reality not meeting my expectations, but I’ve gone through enough bad days and unhappy endings to know that everyone, even you in the deepest shadowy abyss, can pull yourself out.

Because there’s nothing more powerful than the human spirit, and there’s more than enough to go around.

Yet, despite the dull pain in my chest, the intensity of my frustration and my lack of a shovel, my spirit has not been crushed yet. Don’t let yours.


Filed under Average Advice