Joyride

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

I just had this realisation that I need to write down.

Be it mental or physical, everything I have achieved in life, I have done with these contributing factors as part of me.

I did not get to leave my issues at home while I worked full time, raise a family and was successful. I lived a good life regardless.

Then, the plague came and gobbled me up. #fibromialgia – May 2011. Still there have been moments I have soared but also splashes of time I have crawled.

Seeing these two roads before me, the before and after the plague.

I have always got up again, and still I rise! It hasn’t been easy, but for whom is life a joyride daily – always? Nobody.

Absolutely nobody.

Our challenges may change, but who we are at the core remains the same. Perhaps it is about getting rid of the shackles. Not everything we think are true. Thankfully!

We can find our answers. We just have to ask ourselves the right questions.

I wish you enough,

Wenchy

#wenchytude

Trust your inner unicorn.

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

People prefer when they ask “How are you?” in passing to hear a frivolous “Fine!”, because they were not really interested in your response in the first place. If you can throw in a fake smile, all the better.

Don’t waste your truth on such individuals whose eyes are already scanning the room while waiting for “Fine” to escape your lips only so their insincere selves can move on.

One soon learns who actually cares about your response. It is usually the same people cheering when you achieve.

I wish you enough,

Wenchy

#wenchytude

Get help brave heart.

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

It is a well-known fact, and the punchline of many jokes and silly conversations behind my back, that I do have bipolar disorder. I feel pity for ignorance.

I was diagnosed at 14 years of age with manic depression and over the years the medical fraternity came up with a new word to scare people. Bipolar! Bring the holy water!

I want the stigma removed and by being open about it, I know from the emails I receive, that it helps others come to terms with mental health. Climbing and admitting there is a mountain obscuring your positive view, is brave and courageous, not mental asylum potential.

Nobody looks the least bit shocked or horrified when I say I am also diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia. It seems your bones fusing and your soft tissue cells attacking each other is just dandy…. Just please don’t add depression, then people fear what they don’t understand.

I’Il take my medication religiously, but it is no guarantee for a free ride. Oh hell no! That would be way too easy.

I have rapidly cycled. Quick ups and downs.

The ups are unbelievable. Your brain is 100% in overdrive and your thoughts are clear, quick to the point and you kick productivity in overdrive. You are bullet proof. It is my favourite stage as it is with most bipolar patients. Powerful. It is to be alive with all your senses firing on all cylinders.

The downs are dark and you get there fast. Stay in bed, head under duvet kind of dark. Not eating. Not talking. Silent. Sometimes tearful, other times howling at the moon crying or plainly feeling numb to the world at large. It is horrible. Yet to meet one of my kind who likes this phase, however if you channel that pain, by far the most creative. You write deeply. Real. You reach people. Those that draw produces unbelievable pieces of art. Music is raw. Acoustic. Deep. Breath-taking.

It is documented that many creative creatures have bipolar. I am drawn to the arts like the smell of fresh Kitka to a Jew on Fridays (that includes me). I become alive and the bravery, vulnerability and generous giving of a performer fills me like a sponge. I cry at many performances for it touches an open raw wound. It is a beautiful mind.

There are those that think you must simply decide to feel better and you are better. Positive thoughts I believe in… but good luck with curing cancer!

Bipolar, depression and anxiety is treatable and can be managed. Being suicidal is not like riding a unicorn at all. Get help brave heart*.

*Call the Cipla SADAG free helpline on 0800 456 789

I wish you enough,

Wenchy

  • #DONTLabelMe
  • #ItsOKtoTalk
  • #ItsOKtoAsk
  • #ItsOKNotToBeOK
  • #StopTheStigma
  • #mentalhealth
  • #depression
  • #hope
  • #whatif

 

It always seems impossible until it’s done.

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

I know people would love for me to just move on, but good luck with that. I miss my child.

Liam James, London, 2018

My therapist says to just feel it. The missing of my Liam James. Sit with it as long as I need. It feels so much like grief although Lee is very much alive, and *only* 10 000km away.

Six months. It’s a long time to sit… and feel. I’m tired.

Please stop asking when I’m going to visit. There is no money for such things. I know you mean well.

I wish you enough,

Wenchy

#wenchytude

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.

I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size

But when I start to tell them,

They think I’m telling lies.

I say,

It’s in the reach of my arms,

The span of my hips,

The stride of my step,

The curl of my lips.

I’m a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

I walk into a room

Just as cool as you please,

And to a man,

The fellows stand or

Fall down on their knees.

Then they swarm around me,

A hive of honey bees.

I say,

It’s the fire in my eyes,

And the flash of my teeth,

The swing in my waist,

And the joy in my feet.

I’m a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered

What they see in me.

They try so much

But they can’t touch

My inner mystery.

When I try to show them,

They say they still can’t see.

I say,

It’s in the arch of my back,

The sun of my smile,

The ride of my breasts,

The grace of my style.

I’m a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

Now you understand

Just why my head’s not bowed.

I don’t shout or jump about

Or have to talk real loud.

When you see me passing,

It ought to make you proud.

I say,

It’s in the click of my heels,

The bend of my hair,

the palm of my hand,

The need for my care.

’Cause I’m a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

– Maya Angelou, “Phenomenal Woman” from And Still I Rise.Copyright © 1978 by Maya Angelou.

I wish you enough,

Wenchy