One of those moments

It’s 5.09pm and I got home from work over half an hour ago. I spent most of the time since I drove in the driveway sitting in my car and lying on my bed with my cat. That might not seem like anything particularly special, but for those who know Charlie the cat it’s a pretty big deal.

Charlie doesn’t sleep on beds. Ever. And he freaks out when I put him on them. But today, a day where I don’t particularly want to face the world, Charlie cat let me not only put him on the bed, but lie down and have a nap beside him. He’s currently still curled up in a bun like formation while I type away at my desk.

Some days are hard. Your guess is as good as mine as to why. But this week my new life has begun to really sink in. The kind of sink where you slowly slip into a lukewarm pool and can’t quite tell if you’re 100 per cent happy about it, but you’re still glad to be there.

I’ve gone from a very body confident, reliable decision maker to a constantly uncertain, emotionally reserved and body conscious individual. I’m not sure how I got from there to here. There’s plenty of good changes too. I think. I can’t list them right now, but they are there. I know how to stand my ground and to be confident in what I do for work. That’s something.

This might sound weird, but a year ago I was a ‘go to person’ one of those people you have in your life for when it gets tough. The person you turn to to talk about anything. The person you need at the end of a rough day…someone who just sort of fixes things.

Somewhere along the road I became allergic to drama, to emotions, to anything that even remotely resembles someone needing me.

And I have no idea why.

At some point I just kind of stopped giving a shit.

And people stopped needing, they stopped talking, and they too stopped caring.

I think when big changes occur in someones life and when they go through challenging times, it’s easy to forget healing takes a long time. A really, really long time.

And people who weren’t there through it don’t realise how patient they need to be. But the people who were there through it often aren’t there any longer.

Someone can look fine but in reality they’re still struggling, they’re still broken, and they’re still healing.

I think the number one relationship killer ,whether it be friendship or romantic, is complacency and lack of respect.

I don’t mean respect in the term you might be picturing it in. I mean it in the way of listening to ideas and advice, listening to that persons way of viewing the world…and caring about it. By complacency I mean people stop caring about the answer to ‘how was your day’ they stop wanting that person to be happy, they stop wanting that person to smile. People just start to go about their own lives forgetting to ask and care: “how are you really doing?”

It’s amazing how easily and how quickly it happens.

And I’m terrified of it.

I’m also exhausted.

Maybe because for me part of my healing process means it takes a lot of energy to be open, to love, to care, to let people in. I don’t know if that ever gets easier, but I keep on trying hoping it eventually will.

This week I’ve started to appreciate my city and the morning drive to work. I’ve tried hard to walk around town more at lunch time, to come up with new places to take my horse; to genuinely live here.

But man, it is not easy. I still miss Hamilton. I miss the people. But I am starting to live here and in all honesty, I’ve made some incredible friends here so far I’d be sad to leave if I ever moved back. This is home. And it’s starting to feel like that.

But it doesn’t mean it’s not hard. I think after any period, long or short, of hardship it takes years to adjust again. This is probably the most time I’ve spent alone or even wanted to spend alone in nearly a year.

I’ve spent a year hiding.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve slowly addressed things as I felt I was capable. I’ve tried my best to counsel and work my way through the hurt bits and the crappy bits and ‘fix’ myself. But up until this point I’ve needed people. I’ve needed to see and be around people to remind myself it’s ok.

And now, I think I’m slowly learning how to be ok alone again and how to cope with myself.

I have a thyroid scan in a weeks time. I’m both nervous and excited. I want to know where it’s at. Has the nodule grown? Will I have to have a life changing operation? Will I not? I play it down but it plays on my mind almost constantly. And that’s just the reality of it.

I think somedays, I just want to feel unconditionally loved, and I want to unconditionally love myself too. I want that love for myself. I want to be in that space again where I don’t question if I’m a hard person to love, where I don’t feel like I’m still a bit broken, where I just feel like a whole human. A few weeks back I wrote a post about how I finally felt like I was no longer recovering. And I feel like that most of the time now.

But with any recovery there are set backs.

And this is just one of those moments.

This blog got a lot more real than I was anticipating. I think Sam ought to bring my red wine to me and I will lie on my bed with Charlie cat and watch crappy soaps.

Till next time x

 

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And the continuous turn of events continues

When 2015 began I certainly didn’t see myself finishing it broke, jobless, and single. I also found my first grey hair today and I really wish that was the worst thing that had happened in the day. But it wasn’t. As I found myself sitting in my room of my parents home, the same room I lived in from ages 9 till 17, I couldn’t help but laugh at my life. I left five years ago after a break up, I left to study journalism in Hamilton and I had roughly $2,000 to my name. I was single, I had no job, I had very little money…but I did not have a grey hair. Now, five years later, I’ve returned with the same amount of money, no job, and single. It’s like nothing has changed yet I know everything has changed.

Here’s the thing about breaking up after four years: the world is a different place to navigate than the one I went into the relationship in. For starters, I’m now at an age where it’s like, do I make the change in relationship status public or private? When do I change it because I’m not quite ready to make it ‘official’ no matter how official it is. How do you go about dating again, not that that’s really on my to do list for some time. But how do you suddenly navigate a world where you’re suddenly four years older and have grey hairs appearing? A world where there are now things like Tinder? How do you actually even start again after four years turned into “I don’t feel the same way anymore” when you’d only just been talking about engagement and spending forever together less than six months before. Exactly how is it you get up and get on with life? The first thing people ask is how am I. I’m good. I’ve just come back from an amazing round the world trip and I have my horse back, I’ve found the perfect grazing for her just down the road, I have a cat, I have opportunities. I have an entire world at my feet…so I’m good.

But at the same time I feel like a truck has run over me because when I left, what I pictured coming back to was a very different landscape. My brain is still struggling to get itself around the fact I was in France a week ago and now I’m in New Zealand now it has to adapt to a whole new world.

And how do you go from picturing green paddocks and orchards and planting a veggie garden with someone to having no idea what the next step is?

Since I’m being honest, it’s also very hard to not decide to be a crazy cat lady forever when four out of five relationships have ended with “I just don’t feel the same way anymore”. Cool as guys. Super cool.

The best part about breaking up after one of the best breakup songs to date has just dropped: you ain’t alone in those tears. Cheers Adele.

So, let me reintroduce myself because this atomic bomb that’s gone off in slow motion over the past year has left me with a ringing in my ears and an inability to breath properly. I’m Sacha. I’m going to be 22 in a week, not even that. I have no idea what I’m doing with my life. And I have two weddings to be the bridesmaid for. And I’ve got a broken tail bone. And I know at some stage my heart will heal from the pain of losing people, of the family dramas, of this break up. It will get better because I have a cat and I have a horse. I have a degree. And I’m still standing. Because I’m yet to find something in my 22 years that’s left me unable to get up again. That atomic bomb has sent me flying and I’ve probably cried more tears in the past 12 months than I’ve cried in my entire life. But it means I can still feel and the ringing in my ears is slowly easing and the dust is settling. And I’m going to be just fine.

Let’s do that again. I’m Sacha, I’ll be 22 shortly, I’ve travelled the world, I have a degree in communications (ironic at times), I have a diploma in journalism. I have a passion for helping people and I’m thinking about retraining and figuring out how to put all my skills to good use. I’m part of this cool organisation called YouthNet designed to help bridge gaps to see our youth suicide rate improve, actually I’d like us not to have one. I love to do yoga. I love God. I have an awesome horse called Ivy and a cat called Charlie, he’s a bit like me: he’s been through a bit of bullshit so he’s not too sure on the being too close to people thing, but he loves pats and he seems to love me. I’m not sure what’s going to happen in my life right now. I have a clean slate, I have a whole world ahead of me and I can do what I want with it. And I damn well will do just that. I can do that.

So to all the newly singles out there, cheers to you. And all those in great relationships: appreciate them.

Common, let’s do this.

Hello 21

I began my 21st birthday dreaming about being a stripper. The problem with the dream was I really sucked at it. I managed to get stuck in my raincoat, while wearing a very old sparkly white t-shirt and track-pants. Not quite sure what was going on there. I didn’t make much money. I’m choosing not to read into that dream too much…

Yep, I’m 21 now. I have been trying to think of clever things to say for this post, as I can’t really not post on my birthday…but apparently creativity has abandoned me today, as has the sun.

Instead, I’ll just do a little update.

I’m moving house this weekend. I have five days to pack and clean what I can. I also need to set up the power and internet. Mainly so we have lights, and food, and music. One can live without these things (not so much food), but I’d also like to avoid having to do that if possible.
I have pulled my horse of the sales site, mainly because I don’t have enough time to sell him. The irony being I’m selling him because I don’t have enough time to ride him. But he looks pretty in a paddock.

Now my mare has foaled, I have three horses who all look pretty in the paddock. I mean, why have a cat as a pet when you could have a horse? Crazy horse lady right here.
I went out for a lovely dinner the other night with my family, my mother did a super job at making the night very special and gave me a cool book of my life. I would love to post all the pictures here but it might take me a while to scan them!

Things are changing. I don’t really do too well with change. I shut down into this strange person.

I don’t really talk much when things are changing, I think it’s my way of controlling what I feel like is spinning rapidly out of my control. It’s not really that I want to avoid people or shut down, but I no longer possess the ability to talk about anything, I simply have no idea how I feel. Because of this I prefer solitude, and I actually enjoy it sometimes.

I spent my 21st birthday evening washing all the windows in the house. It took me about an hour and I was out till dark.

I was spoilt by my friends and family and workmates, so I feel pretty blessed to have had an incredible few days with so many gifts and food. Though, to many people spending my birthday evening alone, washing windows, might seem pretty sad.

It was one of the best things for me. It is my way of coping with life, it is my way of coming to terms with things that have been biting my ankles. It doesn’t matter what day your birthday is, life continues to happen.

I am moving house, and granddad is dying, and the paper is going twice weekly. It doesn’t really matter if I like what’s happening, it is happening and I am coming to terms with more work, a new place to call home, and losing my grandfather.

This year has been a roller coaster of great highs and great lows, not because I’m emotionally unstable (though, that is also a possibility), but because I’ve just reached that point in my life. While I may get motion sick, I am good at holding on. You’ve just got to buckle in and hope there is a scenic stretch coming up shortly.

Life is a blessing, and I’ve certainly had my fair share of blessings. So while my 20th year was certainly one which hit me with a large sack full of bricks, and I have a strong feeling my 21st year is going to be about the same, if not even more of a whirl wind, I’m prepared.

I’ve found ways to cope, even if mucking out stables, walking up hills, and washing windows on my birthday seem like strange ways of coping, I am coping.

One step after another.

When death comes knocking

I’m not quite sure how to start this blog, but I wanted to give people an insight into something not often discussed, but often mentioned: cancer and death. People read about it, people go through it, people talk about it. But it’s actually really hard to discus it and not many people talk about the journey, just about the ending.

So this is my open and honest view of how my journey through losing someone so far.

I have never really had to deal with death before. It’s a strange topic in New Zealand; we don’t really talk about it. When someone says something about death it’s almost immediately after the ‘oh no, I’m sorry to hear that’ that you change topic and continue on with a conversation where no one will have to deal with emotions.

Perhaps that’s why whenever I bring up the fact granddad has cancer, I follow it with a shrug. I mean, I don’t even want to deal with those emotions.

But it’s been a year since he was diagnosed and I feel it’s time I wrote about my experience so far with someone dying.

It’s a matter of life. It happens. We can all count on that fact. Death itself doesn’t concern me, nor is it hard for me to comprehend. When my nana died she was 100, and had been in a home for a year. One day she was awake, the next she was not. There was nothing painful about the death, she just left. We knew it was coming and I felt sad, but not really anything else. Just like one less wonderful person was on earth, but sure she was off doing great things in heaven.

But with granddad it took us all by surprise. He had prostate cancer which has now spread to his bones and doctors say it could be months. I don’t really think it matters what sort of cancer it is. Cancer is a bitch.

At first I was in a bit of shock, my reaction was pretty cold to the news and I thought, ‘oh well that’s life’. What an awful thing to think when you’re told your grandparent is dying. But that was how I processed it. Matter of fact and with no emotion. After a few months I moved onto feeling awkward about it. Because it is my grandparent, at times I feel like I can’t be as sad as someone who is loosing a parent or a sibling or a partner. So I battled with my sad I tried very hard to be strong about it.

Strength like that is sometimes the biggest weakness. And that’s how I ended up crying in a bar in front of my ex, who very unfortunately happened to start talking about grandparents. It hadn’t bothered me before, but that particular conversation lead me to actually feeling the emotion of loss.

He is dying. And in that moment I had to accept that.

But now I’m just onto denial. I don’t want to hear about how he can hardly walk, or the fact his muscles have wasted away. It’s not that I don’t care, it’s that I am terrified I will forget how he used to be. I pretend I’m going up north this long weekend for a holiday. ‘Oh I might be going up north’ I said to someone today. What the hell? I said to myself. You are going up North, and you’re going to see your grandfather who is sick. But processing that fact is difficult. I am aware as to why I am going up, but it was not until I was standing in the shower thinking about this blog post that it sunk in.

I’m going to see my very sick grandfather who is dying, and this could be the last time I see him.

I battle with my sad because I want to save it for when he is gone. It seems silly to be sad when someone is still around. But it’s the waiting for what you know will happen, and trying to make every moment left count. And cling onto every memory I have.

It is through tears I finish this post, but it is not so much sadness anymore, as it is acceptance.

I have always thought I would be ‘good’ with death. But I’d never had to experience losing someone like this, and that makes it easy to think you’ll be ok. I don’t think anyone is ever ok with losing someone in any capacity. I always looked at death like ‘one moment you are alive, the next you are not’ it was something that happened to people, it was a statement, an ending.

In fact death is a series of things. It is the roller coster of emotion, it is watching other people you love hurt because they too are losing someone, it is watching someone you love suffer, it is trying so hard to remember the good times, it is wanting to make the best of what you can, it is a long process, even if sudden, death never just ‘happens’ it is a long road which every person must walk.

Death hurts even the people who aren’t dying.

And that’s really hard to learn to understand.

But I know now, it’s ok to just be sad.

Monkey toes

I think I just broke my toe. This is probably not surprising, with a likeness to our jungle buddies – the monkeys they stick out, part of the reason I was a good tree climber as a kid. I’ve broken one or two of them before. It’s the only bone I’ve ever broken. Horses just seem to like to stand on them. Equally as frustrating they seem to like reaching out and grabbing onto solid objects. They just sort of get in the way. This time I kicked my draw really, really hard, now I can’t feel it… or move it. To make it matters worse I don’t even have a plaster to stop the bleeding. 

And to make it even worse… the first thing that came to my mind was ‘I should blog about this’. I have become one of those people. Why would I even think that! I mean who actually wants to know about the fact my toe hurts an unbelievable amount. Perhaps it is because I have no one here to hear me scream really loudly so I just mouth the words *@&#$^%&#^@&*!* or something along those lines in the mirror that stands above the draws I hit my toe on. There is something really sad about having no one around to hear you scream when you kick your toe. 

This is what solitude does to me. It makes me crazy. Seriously crazy. I think I need help… and not because of the toe I still can’t feel.

 

In a flood of laughter

Exhaustion has set in once again. Made it’s bed and decided it’s going to lie in my head. It’s a great feeling you must know. Of course this makes way for a rather gloggy, stuffy, ‘hit my head on the window sill’ kind of feeling and comes a immense lack of concentration. Due to this whole feeling like a bucket of wet sand thing, I thought I’d run a bath. Oh the gloriousness of a wonderful great bath with bubbles and salts. The works. Happiness. As exhaustion made itself even more at home in my head I went back to cooking dinner for myself and my flatmate. The bath ran on. The bubbles got bigger and the water got higher. 

It was a sinking ship from the start.

‘SACHA!’ my flatmate shrieked – in a tone I had not yet heard before. 

I ignored it as I finished making dinner thinking it was more of an excited shriek and she would just come out to the kitchen to tell me about what ever was so thrilling. 

‘SAACHAA!’ The shriek was louder. 

Uhoh I thought. I’m in trouble. There she was. There the water was. The hallway. The carpet. The bath. I quickly turned the bath off. In ankle deep water I began to laugh. I do this when exhaustion has set in. Laughter seems to be the only thing that saves me from total insanity and collapse. 

It was so deep I had to bucket it out of the bathroom. This hilarity in itself was pure joy. After all the towels in the house were soaked and the first lot were in the washing machine I decided I wanted another bath.

It was not my night.

This time it was only close to overflowing. Though this time… there was no more hot water. No bath for me. 

I decided an early night was medicine enough. 

 

Must… sleep… forever.

Writing someone else’s pain.

It’s sad, writing a story that really does not have any chance of a happy ending. Or more so, the fact that you are the only chance they will have at a small justification for them. To tiny ity-bitty right in all the wrongs. 

I think that’s the hard part in being a journalist, is when you have a duty, a specific agenda but you have to remain unbais. When you have to be impartial to something you want to have a strong opinion on. 

I love it but at the same time it makes me sad to see other people suffer, and to know they’ve suffered for so long and you can’t really do much to cushion that pain.

I am of course referring to the article I have sort of told you all about lately, I have reached my word count but I still have so much more to tell! The story is not a small one. It is not really one you can square up and stick in a box. It’s someone’s suffering, pain and desperation. You are writing that on a page for them. That’s pretty crazy. I love it. But it is pure madness that we as journalists have that power. The power to pick apart how someone feels and the chuck it- throw it onto a page and hope it is interpreted in the way we interpreted it. 

So, due to my devotion to this story I have seriously over worked my brain. It’s going to sleep right here. Brain off button, happening, now. AH! 

On that note, an in absolute dire need of a good night sleep before I head to Horse Of the Year. I am off to bed! Goodnight and farewell, I shall be back again tomorrow.

Exhausted.

Sober driving and IV drips

Finally clean! It’s not often that I don’t shower every day, wash my face twice and day and brush my teeth along with that so you know somethings not quite right when I don’t. The problem with me is when I get sick I faint whenever I shower or bath- providing a severe drowning risk and seeing as I value my life more than my cleanliness, these last 48 hours have meant feeling less than clean. After my bath this morning I am feeling rather refreshed and some what better than I did yesterday (though I don’t think the morphine has quite worn off).

Being the wonderful girlfriend I am, I offered to sober drive my boyfriend to his friends 21st, spend the night then with people who I don’t really and never have seen eye to eye with and watch everyone else act similar to monkeys high on some interesting substance stronger than bananas. The situation wasn’t exactly what I would call relaxing, even with alcohol pumping through my veins so being sober… well it just made the whole situation feel more like something I should be watching, not living. So any way, after fighting off a bug for the last few weeks I thought being sober was the best option anyway and I was trying very hard to act like I was genuinely enjoying watching everyone else slowly become less apprehensive and join in in the game of chinese whispers as well as enjoy the over-the-top bullpooy that seems to flow like a river for some people mouths.

After 4 hours of the same thing I was feeling more drunk than sober- seeing as I was drinking alcohol free ginger beer the feeling was a tad disconcerting. Never the less I insisted I would be fine after a glass or two of water and I did not want to ruin my boyfriends evening with the ‘friends’. I quickly realized ok I was not. The night continued with my driving home at 30km under the speed limit, crawling into bed, throwing anything I had eaten in the last 24 hours back up, curling up into a very small ball and refusing to be taken to the hospital- expecting to be fine by the morning.

Normally when you’re the sober driver, you’re meant to wake up feeling 10 times better than the people you drove home so I had to laugh a little at the serious irony of it all. Feeling worse than I had the night before and unable to move, open my eyes or string a sentence together I was bundled off to the hospital, and after and IV drip a bundle of drugs and morphine I was feeling much happier.

Bringing me now to today, back in my home town with my mummy looking after me and feeling much more with the sunny weather than under it. My conclusion from the evening is simply it is not my destiny to be a sober driver, or to entertain the likes of people I do not particularly enjoy the company of. And of course that I wish I was a doctor so I could carry one of those IV bags around- they are wonderful, pure bliss I say.

Oh the joy of life at times.