I have been binge-watching a lot of shows on Netflix. I finally reached my quota and hit the breaks when I wrapped up all four seasons of Queer Eye and hit the halfway mark on season three of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
I knew I needed to stop and rejoin reality, my reality, a painful reality. It is fits and starts, some days I can’t fall asleep till 3 am, some days I cry myself to sleep, others I journal my anger and guilt down, some days I debate on which friend to call at an odd hour of the night. But I just can’t come to it, because it just feels selfish disturbing other people’s slumber with a nonsensical conversation. I know that’s what my friends are for but, I just feel like that’s abusing the friendship.
I have always adhered to the “DEAL WITH YOUR SHIT” policy. The policy generally stipulates people have problems in varying degrees, just because yours seems pressing doesn’t give you the right to make it someone else’s priority. I know running to my friends feels like an escape from my reality which is very bitter right now is easy. But at the same time, I really don’t want to get into the headspace of a victim, “Why is this happening to me?”
That line leads me down to the edges of the forest of fire and rage and the icy slopes of apathy and dismay. I try to think of the great memories I have of Mum, but it does anger me she is not here. I guess it’s just going through the stages of grief. Right now I am at anger and I have realized I manage not being angry and resentful by compartmentalising my feelings.
Some moments I let my mind think of Mum, there are others I just shut down the memory completely. Falling sick with malaria and anaemia also helped me shift my focus to the horrible fever, pounding headaches, nausea and bitter taste in my mouth. That was also a great way to sleep away every day not thinking, worrying, pondering or caring about anything. It’s easier being numb from caring. It hurts too much to care now.
I genuinely understand why people become addicts, its moments like this you need a vice. Nymphomania, alcoholism or just stuffing your face to oblivion seem to make sense. I have a gym membership I have paid for but what took me there in the first place is now a reason for me not to go.
I like people around when I am working out. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a class; it’s just a feel-good kind of pressure to exert myself more when I see others do so in the gym. Right now, I genuinely don’t want to interact with people in any shape or form. Getting back to work and calling people is such a fight for me. Having to respond to messages on email or WhatsApp is such a pill. But I know I need to push myself. It is so damn hard. Because whenever I felt this way before, I pushed myself because of Mum, or I just picked up my bags and enjoyed being fussed over and loved by her. Which I can’t do anymore.
I recall, a day after my Mum died this August, I was sharing with my sister that losing both parents made me feel like a legit adult. There was no shoulder to cry on or words of wisdom, it’s you, unshielded from the world. I feel bare, cold and unwanted. And I am trying to shake the feeling off, reminding myself I have siblings and friends who love me. But it’s not a mother’s love. Nothing comes close to the unconditional love of Mama.
As we’d say in Swahili, ‘Maisha haina ladha’; life surely has no flavour for me anymore. None whatsoever. Even ambition, what’s that? Everything I did was all about making Mum proud, now, who is there to make proud. Me? Nah! Right now, I have to recalibrate my entire life and find purpose without Mama being connected to it. And I have no idea how.
I keep telling myself to call up other pals who are orphans like me, but it just seems rude asking someone, ‘so how are you living life now that Mum and Dad are gone?’ I just can’t seem to shake off the feeling that my parents were robbed from me.
I find it unfair that other schmucks who were horrific creatures to their children enjoy life while my great parents (this is an extremely objective statement – ask all the relatives and friends who knew them) are gone. How is this life fair? How?
I don’t get it. I don’t get it at all. Thinking about this just makes the bile rise in my mouth. I should stop now and probably binge watch something else – Skin Wars: Fresh Paint. You can never get enough of RuPaul!