Sunday, 31 August 2014

Broken relationships

How is it that friendships can so easily slip through our fingers? How is it that someone can just suddenly withdraw all contact and distance themselves without any explanation?? How was I to know whether or not I had done something wrong? I really thought that our friendship was deeper, and that I actually meant something to him. That is what he told me. Maybe it was all just bullshit.

I am so tired of writing about this, but I am hurt and angry. Maybe also a little disappointed. I really care(d) about him.

I know that I have been a mess lately and sometimes I can be difficult to be around/speak to. I don’t always say the right things and maybe I can be a little strong minded and stubborn. But I will not apologise for that. And I will not apologise for loving him or coming across too strongly.

I didn't need anything from him; I just thought that friendship was about being there for one another. He barely let me know what was going on with him, but whenever he did open up, I was there for him. 

A relationship is a two player game. If you decide to give up, there is nothing I can do. The decision is yours.

I wish I could say that this was the first time that this sort of thing has happened to me. But it’s not. Friends come and go from my life. And I probably have a lot to do with that. The thing that really gets me down, though, is that all these supposedly good friends of mine have never been honest with me and told me upfront what was wrong. I am not an unreasonable person! I will listen to you and try to understand where you are coming from. If you need space or time, or whatever, I will give that to you. But just don’t tell me that you care, when it is so easy for you not to.

I can feel all my walls going up again. Honestly, I thought he’d be the last person to destroy them. But maybe my heart was being a little too hopeful.  Why did I think that he would be different? 

Monday, 18 August 2014

Quote: Be kind to yourself

"Be kind to yourself. Stop telling yourself that whatever you are struggling with "should" be easy. If something is hard for you, it is hard for you. There are probably Reasons, though those may just be how you are wired. Acknowledge these things. When you finish something hard, be proud! Celebrate a little.

And really, just stop saying "should" to yourself about your thoughts and feelings in any context. You feel how you feel. The things in your head are the things in your head. You can't change either directly through sheer force of will. You can only change what you do. Stop beating yourself up for who and what you are right now–it isn't productive. Focus on moving forward."

-Keely Chaisson

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Lifeline Session 4: Collage

This week we had to prepare a collage to be discussed in our small group. The objective of the collage was to be a representation of my life and of who I am. This could have been interpreted in any way. 

I found it to be a little bit of a challenge trying to organise the pictures I had gathered. I was determined to do it perfectly. Only afterwards did I realise how my collage came out very structured. One of the facilitators also noticed this and suggested that it might be because I don’t have much structure in my life at the moment. And I think she was right. I was so focused on trying to get the perfect layout and have it all aligned. My pictures were also small, so there were a lot of different things going on, which made it quite a mouthful to explain.

On the first page of the poster, I included some of the things I enjoy doing, such as reading, writing, cooking and baking, dancing, spending time with friends. 

The bottom half represents the way I had been feeling for the past few years especially, and all that I had been going through. The masks I wear, feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, constantly fighting against time, lonely and stressed. I was hesitant to include all these images because I think I didn't want to face it all again, and have to share it with the group. But in the end, I was glad that I did. This section actually depicts the real me - behind the smile that I wear to hide all that is really going on.

This section on the middle page shows all the relationships I hope to  have. I want to have a family of my own. I want to have that fairy tail wedding with the white dress. I want to marry a good and honest man that will love me unconditionally. I want to be a mother, spending lots of time with my family.

On the bottom of this page I included pictures of my past. Happy memories with friends and things that make me smile when I think back on those times. I also have a picture of the campus that had been my home for so many years. It left me feeling nostalgic, but also reminded me that my time at medical school was not all bad.

The last page included my aspirations, hopes and dreams. As you can see, this was quite a mouthful. But I am glad that I had the chance to share this with the group.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Every time you desperately wish for something

Every time you desperately wish for something 
you think you want or need, 
and you do not receive it, 
I believe it is God’s way of telling us 
that it is not good enough. 
I think it is a lesson of patience 
and a sign telling us to wait 
for something better. 
There is a reason you are not 
with that person and 
there is a reason why 
you missed that train on the day 
you were already late. 
There is a purpose
in all these heartaches 
and blessings hiding 
in all this pain and these closed doors.
Today you will question why 
but tomorrow, 
you will begin to understand.
A Story A Day #219 by M.D.L
(via mingdliu)

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Music: The Sun is Rising by Britt Nicole

When life has cut too deep and left you hurting
The future you had hoped for is now burning
And the dreams you held so tight  have lost their meaning
And you don't know if you'll ever find the healing

You're gonna make it
You're gonna make it
And the night can only last for so long

Whatever you're facing
If your heart is breaking
There's a promise for the ones who just hold on
Lift up your eyes and see
The sun is rising

Every high and every low you're gonna go through
You don't have to be afraid, I am with you
In the moments you're so weak you feel like stopping
Let the hope you have light the road you're walking

You're gonna make it
You're gonna make it
The night can only last for so long

Whatever you're facing
If your heart is breaking
There's a promise for the ones who just hold on
Lift up your eyes and see
The sun is rising

Even when you can't imagine how
How you're ever gonna find your way out
Even when you're drowning in your doubt
Just look beyond the clouds

Just look beyond the clouds

Friday, 8 August 2014

There are over a billion people in this world...

Why is it that I am holding on to someone that is so far outside my reach? Wouldn't it be so much easier and more sensible to just go out and find someone closer, more available? Why do we cling to the old, when we know that it only hurts more the tighter we hold on? There are over a billion people in this world; surely there must be someone around here that would make a good new friend. Instead I fight with my past for something that may not be in my future.

But I guess that it’s not that simple. Relationships are connected to emotions and feeling, so sometimes it’s just not that easy to let go. The heart reaches out and makes connections with people on a deeper level and it takes our brains some time to figure out why that is. 

Yes, I believe that people cross our paths for a reason, but I struggle with knowing when our paths are no longer aligned, and when it’s time to move on.

Sometimes the heart is ready to let go, but we are not brave enough to let that happen. We are creatures of habit, and are usually afraid of change. So naturally, we find making new relationships a little daunting. We are afraid to start all over because there is fear in the unknown.

But it is far more important to surround yourself with people that you can trust, and that you feel comfortable opening up to; someone that can be there for you when times are tough. 

Friendships are not always going to be a walk in the park, but they do require effort from all parties involved. Only fight for someone who is willing to fight for you too. I need to realise that I can't keep holding on to relationships that only hurt me more and more every day. 

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Lifeline Session 3: Learning and growing

Today’s session explored our self-concept, self-disclosure, acceptance of feelings, and self-acceptance.  We also spoke a little bit about the meaning of life and tragic optimism.

Tragic optimism is the principle that life can be potentially meaningful under any condition, even for the miserable and despite of the pain or guilt that we are going through. It allows for us to turn suffering into achievement; move from guilt to improve ourselves for the better; and the ability to take action.

The search for meaning involves taking responsibility for our feelings, thoughts and actions. This can be better explained in Viktor Frankl’s book “Man’s Search For Meaning”. 

I haven’t quite thought about life like this. I've just been wallowing in self-pity. But this is not something I want to do for the rest of my life. I need to read that book!

Self-disclosure means to communicate to others some personal information about ourselves in order to build relationships with them and become meaningfully involved. This also helps us learn more about ourselves.

“Personal growth requires not only that you acknowledge and accept weakness, but also that you recognise and develop your strengths.”

Acceptance of feelings is an important part of communicating with others. It shows them that you understand what they are feeling and essentially, lets them know that it is all right for them to feel that way. It means that you don't need to do something about the feeling - such as giving advice, giving assurance or even saying that you think the feeling is justified, but that you are comfortable with the person expressing that feeling.

This puts things into perspective about meaningful relationships. It’s so easy to try and reassure someone when they are going through something, but that may not be what they are looking for. Sometimes I just need someone to hear me and understand without trying to fix things, or feeling sorry for me. 

Self-acceptance is the ability to know our strengths, but also accept our weaknesses.

“When you value the different aspects of yourself, you feel accepted by others and you accept yourself, then you can actualise your own potential.”

Displaying IMG-20140823-03259.jpg
In group we spoke about our feelings in response to certain situations, using a list of feeling words. And we also drew our “secret place” – real or imaginary, where we go to escape life or take some time out. 

My secret place is a combination of real and imaginary. I've always loved gardens - colourful flowers and big strong trees. The mountains remind me of the distant Stellenbosch mountains I could see from the fields on campus. I like the way a flock of birds fly in unison at sunset or in the mornings. I love the sound of water flowing, and the way the clouds drift across the sky.  

I imagine myself alone in this place, free from distractions, and any worries. It is peaceful and comforting. 

Things are changing in my life. I can feel it. It's a slow process but I need to be patient and trust that in time things will start to work out. 

Friday, 1 August 2014

"Nobody knows the trouble I've seen"

I feel completely alone, with no one to turn to. I’m wracking my brain trying to think of a friend to open up to, but no one comes to mind. I’ve kept everyone at arm’s length for so long that I don’t know how to be any other way. Everyone has their own stuff to deal with, without me falling apart in front of them. Nobody needs to see that.

True. No one knows my struggle, how I have built myself back up from the ashes to be stronger. No one knows but me, like no one knows you, but you. @AnnieK3ll3rPart of me wants to reach out to *F again, but the other half is stubborn and keeps reminding me that he really hasn’t been there for me lately. He doesn’t message or call anymore, and barely responds when I do. I’m tired of going through those same motions with him.

It has been a really difficult couple of months. I'm having another one of those sleepless nights crying into my pillow, feeling completely hopeless. 

The topic of tonight is time, once again, and how quickly it is running out. Also, I’ve realised that I have no clue who I really am behind this happy mask I’ve been wearing for most of my life. 
For most of my life, I have been described as a happy child, always with a smile on my face. Someone who is warm and inviting. And although this is true about me, I just doubt whether I really know what it means to be happy with this life. Yes, I have felt happiness, but it's always fleeting - here one moment, gone the next. 

How would people see me if I wasn’t pretending to be OK? What would they think of me if they knew I was falling apart? How do you react to that? I must admit that I don't know how to respond to this either because my close friends don’t talk to me about their personal issues/ feelings. Boys are an easy issue to discuss and complain about, but it's the true feelings that are harder to put in to words. 

I'm supposed to be figuring everything out during this year off, but I don't even know where to start looking for the right answers. I feel as though I have been searching in all the wrong places, and coming up short at every turn. 

This is making me feel a little panicked, as though I need to start making those decisions now. It's already August! Applications close in September and I just can't see how to get from here to there in one piece. It's really difficult to be patient. 

I'm just so tired. Thursday can't come soon enough.