Eight Years

While the nights are still chilly, the days are getting warmer here in Joburg.

The morning brings a scent of the approach of Spring, although Imbolc is still 2-3 weeks away.

I always seem to remember, at this time of year:

Eight years ago I was coming to the end of my life.

25 years of major tranquiliser abuse, 15 years of on-and-off alcohol abuse had driven my consciousness almost out of my body.

My Mum had died after a few years of Alzheimer’s Disease-a few years which had left the family-Dad and me and my son Shevek-fractured and on the very edge of sanity.

I couldn’t deal with that death, or the death-in-life which preceded it, at all.So I did the equivalent of run screaming in the opposite direction-which for me was to step up the tranquilisers and the alcohol.

I was mostly semi-conscious at Mum’s funeral, and from there I lost a little consciousness each day.
In the end, my son decided his mother was gone-probably for good-and my Dad just dropped all interest in his daughter other than finding a way to get her out of their lives.

I don’t blame either of them one bit.

The alcohol poisoning nearly ended this incarnation . It’s nothing I did that ensured I’d end up here, talking to you, nearly eight years on.

I slept on the streets of Hillbrow and came to know what a gun in your face feels like.

I had nothing but the clothes on my back, and I had no family, no friends, no one to care anymore what happened to me.

I don’t need a magic mirror to know that I did this to myself.

My father died two years later and I never saw him again in this world.

My son I will probably never see again.

I have gained many things- a house, a car, a very good job-which I didn’t have then.

My brain -surprise!- works better now than it did eight or even ten or twenty years ago. Don’t know what happened to those dead brain cells but I seem to have replaced them with processing power to spare.

I have developed an enthusiasm and joy in life which I never had before, either.
I have a materially and spiritually better standard of living now than I have ever had.

But I have lost my family.

This then, was one of the lessons I needed to learn this time around.

I’m still very busy learning it.

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17 responses to “Eight Years

  1. Your blog just keeps getting better and better — I found the link via Hecate and couldn’t believe there was somebody posting such inspiring and gut-wrenching stuff from my own country. Love it!

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  2. Wow. Gut-wrenching is the best term to describe this – as Mary I a said. Bravo to you for doing the work to get through your bad times and learn from them. You are a strong and amazing woman.

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  3. Wow Teri, you are such an amazing writer. It’s said that a good writer writes from experience, from what they know. Why is it that it’s the tragedies and sorrows of life that seem to bring out the muses? At least that’s my experience. Hugs.Kay

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  4. Well, I just watched a heart open up and expose itself to the whole damn world. Can I give you a hug? Not that I need your permission because I do what I damn well please, I’m going to anyway. (((((Terri))))”Eight years ago I was coming to the end of my life.”Nine years ago, unbeknown to me, after a dream, I was just beginning mine.”25 years of major tranquiliser abuse, 15 years of on-and-off alcohol abuse had driven my consciousness almost out of my body.”Well, I drink weak light beer, but never did get into drugs and tranquilizers. A lot of my friends smoke pot and I like the smell of it but I just don’t get it.”I was mostly semi-conscious at Mum’s funeral” I never went to my Mum’s funeral, but lets not go there right now. I’ve discussed it on past blog posts.”I slept on the streets of Hillbrow and came to know what a gun in your face feels like.”Um, I’ve never considered myself to be homeless even though I’ve lived out in open land. But not like you have, I’m very handy (maybe gifted) and always got by just fine and had a roof over my head even if I had to build it, and food in my gut.”my son decided his mother was gone-probably for good-and my Dad just dropped all interest in his daughter other than finding a way to get her out of their lives.”Hey, it’s okay, okay? I don’t speak to my children either, but for other reasons. Society has screwed them up too much.”I had nothing but the clothes on my back, and I had no family, no friends, no one to care anymore what happened to me.”Well, I didn’t know you then.”But I have lost my family.”Excuse me….. Who are we? Look hon, don’t put a lot of stock in who screwed who and who raised who in this screwed up society. We are all extended family in this intergalactic trailer park, seek those that you best relate to. I understand of course that because of your spiritual path that is very difficult, I have the same problem. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Hugs again.

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  5. Um, are you sure that death is a concept to you? Because it isn’t to me. Oh sure, this body will die, and I’m okay with that, but the omnipresence won’t. Know what I mean?

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  6. Okay, I just looked at your comment on my blog. “What fools we deities be.”Ah, Terri, have you seen the definition of fool in the devils dictionary by Ambrose Brice?Don’t worry about it hon, we will write the history of the demise of mankind if they do not wise up and it comes about. Hugs.

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  7. Thanks everyone for your comments.Mary, took a look at your blog-keep going girl, you’ll damn well get there!Lee, I’ve come to the conclusion that this is something I couldn’t not do the work on-not if I value my sanity.Posting my thoughts on yesterday is part of it.Kay,yes I think you’re right-difficult times are necessary to break us open, sometimes.Someone who’s never had to struggle doesn’t know how to really live.Billy, don’t worry. I keep the basic facts of my life so far out there in the public domain-everyone I know is aware of them-the bare bones that is, not the details.I’m not only coping, but celebrating my life as much as, or more than, most other people.Thanks for the hugs and support though.Love,Terri in Joburg

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  8. “I’m at the point where anyone actively ‘upgrading’ their ‘standard of living’ incurs my wrath.”Is that an echo? We speak as if we are one.

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  9. Thanks for sharing, Terri. I read your post last night, while I was feeling pretty negative and hopeless, and your words shifted my mood to a more positive and hopeful one.Bless you loads 🙂

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  10. Good morning hon,who is the man that left his wife because she was so needy and wanting? My mind is a bit cluttered right now, help me out here.He became a well known spiritualist and lives very simply. It’s not Mahatma Gandhi I’m thinking of, but another man.

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  11. This then, was one of the lessons I needed to learn this time around.Ah, life is about lessons, and you keep getting them over and over and over again until you get it, or not. And if you don’t get them they just keep piling up until you are buried under a big pile of crap. I know a lot of folks like that, interesting isn’t it? Hugs.

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  12. Hon, with all that is in your brain how can you miss a day posting? I mean, I just never shut up. The cosmos won’t let me. Know what I mean? Hugs.

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