Wednesday, May 13, 2009

one year anniversary

Just over a year ago, my life changed. Pretty rash statement, sure, but it really fucking had to.

Just after a break-up that hurt me, a smash and grab, and losing my job all in the same week. Other shit kept on happening too, including my rat dying. Three huge things happened, and they all gutted me completely.

I had a rat. Chad. And he was actually very nice. So shuttup then.

It all became better the moment I started my job. This time last year.

So much great stuff has happened since I started this job that it's only right I toast to a one year anniversary, and to my place of work. It's been absolutely incredible so far.

Last night I pulled out the private diary I wrote during the period of Hell. Preceding the life-changing moment. Out of curiosity.

I banged away at a diary for two months in rage, fear and absolute sadness, that I stored on my PC.

Looking at it, it's filled with complete anguish, I'm astounded that I felt that shit, seriously.

I even seemed to retain some element of sanity throughout it all, I'm proud to declare. One does the best they can when they're too scared to drive, can't go anywhere because they have no job and therefore no petrol money anyway, and when you feel so alone and cut up, you can barely breathe.

I've pulled out a few excerpts. The more colourful stuff is on my other blog.***

I don't know anything. I'm finding it hard to breathe nevermind actually think or motivate myself to do anything, the sadness I feel feels terminal..

Jolly good thing it wasn't. Hell.

I'm feeling panicky about driving home through town. God, what to do, what to do. Find online Sudoku. Now. Or go mad with fear. How can a cellphone knife-toting thief take away my sense of security? I feel like I'm in prison.

Driving home from my old job after the mugging was hell. The mental preparation. I was ramping over pavements, going through red robots, doing anything that meant I didn't have to actually stop my car on the way home.

Because life can't get worse – surely – than this right now. OK so if I dont get a salary, then maybe it can get worse, but please God, Universe, anybody, may I get a salary. Please.

Oh but it did get worse. My boss announced our investors had suddenly pulled out and therefore I had no salary and no job. Didn't have to drive into town anymore, but had to drive to a therapist twice a week. I was a wreck.

I started making plans to either move to London and get the fuck out of here as quickly as possible, OR if I got through the long interviews with this company and they hire me, I'll stay.

Just had to take Lion with me to go around the block to draw money. I'm absolutely feeling crippled by fear. Fear of being mugged again, or having a disgusting thief in my space, fear of being alone, fear of depression so deep I'll never be the same again- and fear of my job and where it's going – or if it's even going – and fear of the fifth interview. I have to focus on the next interview tomorrow. This could change my life.

I won't even think of the writer's meeting tomorrow night IN TOWN - wait get home first without having a panic attack– that's going to be hard, I get scared, very scared.

Driving was such an issue. I still get antsy about people coming up to my car.

So now that I've sunk into a complete depression, what the fuck to do now. Had to drive through town last night - thought I was going to vomit – and came home to find that my flatmate had left the back gate open. Again.

The world found Vernon, and he saved my life for one day:

Thanks Vernon Koekemoer for making my morning so far. Jesus what a hilarious distraction. He's this dude from Boksburg raving it up in Buffalo's, polyshorts and a mullet. Thank fuck for vernon, he made me belly laugh today. And that's quite something.

I've been retrenched. I'm still aching, and sitting catatonic on the couch at home and have swallowed 2 caribbean twists. not able to think or do anything.

Then after some weeks of nothingness,

My feet aren't on the ground, my head is the clouds, I'm off to London and Dublin next week, why? The most exciting and amazing thing just happened! I cannot quite EXPRESS THE EXCITEMENT. What is happening, what is happening.
I got the job.

Overnight, I was propelled out of the funk, my attitude towards pretty much everything also changed, and I have my job to thank.

I look at these excerpts here and just have this to say,

'Chick, please never ever ever feel like that ever again.'

*** Juuuuuust kidding, jerkoffs.


Monkigirl said...

My current state of employment is in the kind of dire straits you went through with your previous one. I'm still waiting for my April paycheck. I'm trying very hard to be in blissful denial.

You've come through a lot in the last year, and you've survived and grown I'm sure. It's been our pleasure to be witness to it. (not your suffering, but your "rebirth", for lack of a better word).

You are truly resilient and you should do some motivational speaking ;-)

Peas on Toast said...

Monkigirl - ah no babe, you going through the same thing salary-wise?? I'm so sorry :( I know how it feels to be completely broke with nothing lined up, so am holding thumbs for you that it damn well comes through.Let me know if it does, seriously, it's not a nice place to be in, so I'm so sorry!

And thank you so much for your kind comments. I really feel like a completely different person a year down the line.

tyrone said...

Heeeeectic Peas. Seriously, those are some bad vibes. It's funny how the mind is like a rollercoaster - you get taken along for the ride and there is nothing you can do about it. Even if you know you should be more positive or less morose. It's almost like mental quicksand.

Been through similar stuff before so I know how tough it is. Must rank up there as one of the hardest fights I've had to fight.

It's so awesome you've gotten through it and you're so happy now. And monkigirl is right - we have been fortunate in being able witness the journey.

If you could sum up the most important lesson you have learned out of it, what would it be?

Peas on Toast said...

Tyrone - so you've had a similar scenario hey guy? Eissssh not cool. I suppose we learn valuable lessons and become rather hard as a result, I'd say the one lesson I've learnt is to not take ANYTHING for granted. Cos anything can change and it does, so darn quickly. Live for what I'v got today. I guess.

You're right about one thing: 'The hardest fight I've had to fight!'
I'd rate this the hardest time in my life for sure!

tyrone said...

Yup... Death, career change and a break-up.

The first one fucked me up so bad that the others almost pale in comparison but made the situation so much worse. They were also far apart - 8 months apart over 2 years but seemed to happen just when I thought I could get through the previous one! :)

It's only now that I can see the cloud beginning to lift but now that I do, I realise what a journey of self-discovery I've been on. Apart from the death, I do believe that I'm a better person and will be a happier person.

Anyway, enough about my cookedness! :) You might have to change this blog to Dr Peas. You never know, could be on Operah soon! Move on over Dr Phil.

Question: Do you think you're totally better now? Or do you have moments when you go back there? Albeit at a lesser intensity.

Max said...

AHH my baby girl!! You forgot to mention you nearly burnt down table mountain drinking wine with me... can you remember what i said!??
I said "Peas its all going to be fine... YOU WILL DEFFO GET THE JOB"

it was all, wine, whining,fires and Cecil John Rhones....magic cure!

Peas on Toast said...

tyrone - hectic dude! Wow, and a death is obviously a seriously worst-case scenario, so I have no doubt you felt even more intensity towards you situations. Heavy indeed.

And you're so right, it's a complete journey of self-discovery, and all other situations that have occurred before this period and afterwards have certainly paled in comparison. Another lesson I took from it is to NEVER take myself too seriously. If you can find something that can make you laugh, no matter how stupid and shallow it is - also to laugh at yourself - then you can survive.

I sat and watched every single Seinfeld episode there was to watch at home, over and over again.

I think now that it's been a year, and I thank my job and the opportunities that have arisen from it, I feel as though I'm pretty much 'fixed' now. Or as fixed as I can ever be. When I looked at this diary last night, I was like, 'Fucken hell. I was completely fucked up. What a mess!'

The only thing that really stays with me is my driving issue. I still get scared, especially at night. But the other things - the break-up and the job - I've definitely moved on to much better things.
It takes its time though Ty, like everything - so I hope you come out of it all betteer than ever!

Max - aniother lifesaving day with you, burning down Rhodes Mem and drinking wine. That was a great moment, in that well of despair! xx

icepick said...

Thats hectic!
I love how time heals this shit. One can look back, and like you, think "wtf.. was I seriously like that?".

And I know what full blown panic attacks are like - not kif..leaves a nice scar in the memory.
And u went through that every day?

Feeling of dread and angst is the worst. It as if it becomes an obsession - constantly distorting reality.

Ouch Peas. Glad u kept ya chin up :P

Peas on Toast said...

Thanks icepick :)

Yeah the panic attacks were the worst. Like not knowing where you were going to be the next day, and you can feel it escalating into a full-blown 'I can't breathe, god help me, I can't breathe!' scenario. I had to learn how to deal with my breathing and relaxing myself.

I still panic if a guy crosses the road and starts walking towards my car. I freeze and my heart goes ballistic. Crazy eh?

icepick said...

Yoga helps :)

Death to FEAR! Gawd, i f**king hate it.

tyrone said...

Peas - yup, time heals all. And yup, I'm much, much better now, thank you! :) Through the worst and having FUN! YEAH BABY!

To your fear issue... I'm glad you're still in SA and loving the country. Some people in your position would have either left by now, be planning to leave or sprouting anti-SA nonsense.

Peas on Toast said...

icepick - death to fear indeed! I think fear is what gets us into shit in the first place :(

tyrone - am glad you're out of it now dude. It's awful to see someone go through shit, especially when you can't help.

As for SA - well I nearly left. I was close. Had I not got this job, I'd be living in London now. But it wasn't so much because I was subject to crime, it was more everything I'd just had enough of. And that I desperately just needed a change.

Nessers said...

You survived it all and I bet you are much stronger for it and next time you get involved will notice it going bad sooner or maybe you won't give your heart so readily this time, your book is in its 2nd print - More money to save *yay* and you moved to a nice new place and through it all you kept us all updated which is great cos we all do worry about you

Happy anniversary young Peas :-)

Peas on Toast said...

Thanks Nessers! :)

Yip I can safely say I don't give my heart to anyone since then who doesn't deserve it. And if I do, I realise pretty early on that I need to protect myself and rapidly exit the situation!!

tyrone said...

You need to risk being hurt to reap the rewards... The question is when? I think sometimes the hurt validates the effort you put into the relationship.

I'm glad you stayed! :) The blog wouldn't have been the same all the way from Chavland...

PS! I had to google Dionne Warwick. What's with that?

Peas on Toast said...

Ty - don't worry, everyone except my Dad has to Google Dionne Warwick :)

Risk. Yeah it's a tough one. Done too much of that. Now I'm just being sensible. Is the risk worth it, etc etc.

All that 'just throw yoruself into something without thinking first and ignoring alarm bells from the beginning' is over for me.

Miss T said...

Yopu know what?...a truely inspiring post lass! It so amazing to see how you came through it all, sane nogal. Really happy for you *hug*

getaway said...

Happy Anniversary and Congratulations to all who's suffered personal growth.

I find it all so insightful and rich, despite the difficulty its lesson brought - much like anything worth acquiring.

Im also bordering on the exit of a similar challenge. Still get the panic attacks, although on less occasions and with less intensity as the weeks progress.

And the further i move from it, the more i realize. Its as though one needs the rude awakening of having ones reality shaken.

Better still - it's awesome knowing there are others' out there who are also trying to out-run the mental quiksand (Good one Ty).

Thanx Peas - You're our Vernon!!

tyrone said...

I see another book in the making here... :) Motivational, mind-power, dealing with life, etc.

Peas, a lot of people here want you to be our Vernon. That's polys, buffalos and a shirt tied in the middle for you hey!

I hear you on the throw yourself into something vibe. First time I've been properly single for almost 13 years - the relationships I've had throughout have been amazing, fun and filled with so much learning. The thing is, I never thought too much about what I was heading into before I was in it, kinda just went with the flow.

Now though, I'm taking time out often. Putting some thinking into each new relationship I make (friend or potentially-romantic), trying to figure out how it makes sense for me and whether or not I see a future (not necessarily forever, just a future). I'm also much more aware of what I want ideally and what I'll settle for realistically...

Makes it a LOT harder to move along with someone I guess but it avoids a lot of wasted time and nasty situations. Makes it easier to make friends though...

tyrone said...

By the way, good blog today... :)

Peas on Toast said...

Miss T - thank you so much! I just thought it high time to acknowledge the growth from then to here. Thank you! :) xx

I would./...but his wradrobe just isn't ME somehow. So I'm gonna suggest you for the same role. Keen? ;)

I hear you on being single for the first time in years. I've been single now for just over a year now (not including the brief stint in December/January - I don't even count that), but I have to say I absolutely love it. I've discovered a whole new world for myself. My job has become my boyfriend :)

So I hear you about not rushing into anything, and I absolutely agree! We've all made our mistakes in the past, and finally FINALLY I think I'm learning from them :)

getaway - I'm sorry to hear you're dealing with a similar scenario involving panic attacks! Lots of hugs to you and hopefully see you on the other side - a new person who is happy and confident. Good luck with it all, and remember it gets better with each day! xx

getaway said...

True that - excellent blog today.

And also: Your wealth of experienced is clearly displayed in our everyday encounters.

Imagine we didn't have those knowledge of that experiences.

Those who've reached your goals probably owe half of it to those struggles!! So thank God, or the universe etc etc

Peas - you never did say how we could get our hands on that best seller of yours?

Thanx for the vote of confidence. Im already half way there love!!

P.S. Friends like Max are the best!

Peas on Toast said...

Getaway - she is isn't she?? :)

Thanks Getaway and best of luck to you too! Haha you can buy my book at any Exclusive Books or :)

tyrone said...

Vernon? Me? HA HA HA HA HA HA!


You'd need to pay a lot of money to get that right.

Although I might consider it for our Benoni-breeker.

getaway said...

She most definately is. I have one - she lead me here.

Crazy, outspoken, eccentric and absolutely irreplaceble!

Have a fab evening!

Peace xxx

Peas on Toast said...

Tyrone - Go on, I know you wanna! :)

getaway - Crazy, outspoken, eccentric and absolutely irreplaceble! - couldn't have said it better :)

expateek said...

Hey, thanks for writing this post. I was held up, and locked up, by an armed gang in early 2006, and I was a mess for ages. I thought it was just me, being a big baby. So reading your thoughts on the matter is kind of reassuring. Thanks for being brave and writing it all down! And glad your life is taking turns for the better.

Peas on Toast said...

expateek - oh my god, that is HECTIC. OK, being locked up by an armed-gang isn't child's play like ym mugging - that's serious stuff! When did this happen, and how are you dealing? Am sorry to hear that - mine really is child's play!

tyrone said...

Tell you what. Find the props and the costume and I'll do it! :)

kyknoord said...

A year ago I was younger.

expateek said...

Peas -- yes, I go back and forth between thinking "it was nothing" and "it was crazy". I wrote about it here, and then the few following posts. It took about a year and a half to get over the panic attacks, and 3 years later I still jump if someone comes up quietly behind me. Really embarrassing, because I leap a mile, but oh well! So glad you're doing better. Sometimes I think that you just hold the fear in your body forever. Like the back of my head, where the gun was touching, felt creepy for ages. I don't think about it so often anymore, but it certainly made me a different person!

Glad you're okay... keep enjoying life!

Peas on Toast said...

expateek - wow thanks for the l;ink, I'll definitely check it out - I can only IMAGINE you'd be jumpy for years afterwards. It's only natural, you poor thing! And yes there must be days where you think you'll never be 'fully repaired' and that the batsards have taken something from you that you can never get back. I'm hoping that's not the case and that eventually, however long it takes, you heal. Probably never forget it, but heal all the same. Well done on coming this far, you must be one helluva strong woman. xxx

Kyk - oh yes, and that too. Thanks for reminding us! ;)

Anonymous said...

I remember reading all those posts of yours and feeling awful for you! It was just one thing after the next! I am so glad you have had such a thrilling year! I suppose it all has to go heavily downhill before you start sky rocketing up!

Peas on Toast said...

Thanks so much dancefloor - it was pitiful hey?
Like 'come on, not ANOTHER thing.' :)
But thanks so much.