I am reading this amazing book. You know that feeling of every single word resonating with just about everything you have been through? This book speaks to me so deeply, I wish I found it sooner. I got to this chapter a couple of days ago that reminded me of one of the darkest moments I have ever been through in my entire life. I have mentioned severally on previous posts about postpartum depression. It is by far the darkest hole I have ever been in. Where you walk with no sense of direction, hands reaching out in the dark trying to look for a door and your heart calling for help, but you are all alone and no one can hear you. It goes on for days, weeks, months, years until it becomes your new normal.
When Kimberly was slightly over 1 year old, circumstances forced me to jump straight into the world and start living…alone, with her. No “mum buffering me” or “protecting me”. I earned a salary of Ksh 25,000 at the time and was fortunate to get a raise after I made this very bold leap. It was around October 2012, with a net salary of Ksh. 35,000, I moved into a Kshs 15,000 house in Kinoo ready to give it a go. It was a one bedroom house so my help would sleep in the living room at night. We made due with what we had. I managed to make ends meet with that little amount of money, from bills, meals, the help’s salary and baby shopping with occasional assistance from the baby daddy when he was in a good mood.
Things were tough. I was consistently looking for an escape from reality. I hang out with my friends and always wondered what it would be like if I had no kid. What would it be like if I had my whole salary to myself. I envied them for being so extravagant and free! It didn’t help that Kimmie was consistently sick. The fevers, sore throats and really late nights were a constant reminder that I could not get back my life. Truth be told, at 24 years of age, I wanted out! I wanted to be normal, but deep down, I really loved her! I always made the sacrifice and I knew that I was all she had. I had constant battles in my heart. I was not living, I was existing!
A few months after moving into my new apartment block, I met the most amazing man I have ever met in my entire life! My neighbor! He was a MAN! Not a BOY! He was super smart, had ambition, was cool, calm and collected, extremely easy on the eyes and…he wanted me genuinely! As in, guys! He was a dream come true, I swear. He didn’t mind that I had Kimmie. However, we spent a lot of time on our own. He literally got me to forget EVERYTHING! It was the best feeling ever, having a couple of days away from my harsh reality every week. We got super close with time and he helped me grow from a girl to a woman! I fed off his drive and worked towards investing more in my career, setting goals and achieving them and working towards dealing with my past. I literally got serious salary raises and bought my first car during this period.
He became the center of my world. At this point, I became the version of me that I wanted to be if I had no child. It was like freaking heroine! I wanted it, I needed it! I was high and wanted to stay high. Things kept getting better for about a year until we hit our first major bump. He opted to end things because, the guy was extremely rational. He deciphered our circumstances and saw red flags in our future. I, on the other hand was very drunk in love. The break up tore me into pieces. My chest hurt, sleep disappeared, I couldn’t eat…I felt like I had been pushed off a cliff and landed straight into my house with a baby going through major terrible two’s and driving me insane! At the time, I had a help who seldom went for her off days. So, I was rarely home! I was living the single life. Partying, hanging out with my man and working! The break up tossed me back into motherhood and responsibilities. I wanted out of that reality so bad! Mum’s never get a break from parenting. I was lucky to have had one, thanks to that help.
We finally made up and went through a series of break ups and make ups that really messed me up emotionally and threw me completely off balance, until it finally ended! Now that is where it all begun! The dark hole! This book has a chapter titled, “When the party is over, GO HOME!”. So, when he finally left me for good, I honestly could not deal with it. I went into severe depression that felt like I was going to die from sadness. I needed my drug! I had to find a drug so I could live! Kimmie needed me operational, at the very least. Better a zombie than a corpse! I started to party harder than I ever did in my entire life! I drunk every day. I even found a crowd that was willing to drink everyday. I would send my help and baby to my mum’s and spend days on my friend’s couch drinking! I couldn’t sleep so I chagged bottles of hard liquor to get me at least 2 or 3 hours of sleep. I was scared of being a lone in my house because that made me think. Thinking meant emailing my ex and begging him back because I wanted it to work. But him being rational, he knew that it just couldn’t. Well, not with me in that state of dependence and emotional damage from my past.
Michael Reid says in his book, Dear Woman; When the party is over, go home! In short, hiding behind the commotion only helps postpone the reality. I should have gone home! I should have immersed myself in that pain and gone through it until I got past it! Instead, at the end of 2015, I was hospitalized twice at Nairobi Women’s Hospital after almost drinking myself to the ground from depression. My friend Danny once came to hospital while I was getting admitted and offered to take Kimmie and my help home since they brought me in at around 6 a.m. While he walked them to the cab to drop them off, I suffered a panic attack and started planning my escape from the hospital because I was afraid of being alone. He came back and bribed the security guards to let him spend all day with me, every day for 3 days just so I could deal with things. Very humbling, I must say. I can go on and on but a lot happened. Story for another day.
The most positive thing that came out of all this is, I hit rock bottom HARD! The only way left was up! I had to deal with things. I had to quit the heroine, I had to leave the party and go home and the most important one that breaks my heart so bad to date is, I had to stop blaming Kimmie for my life not turning out the way I wanted it to be in the first place. I was seeing a therapist some months before I was admitted in 2015 and she got so pissed off one time and sternly told me, “Stop treating your situation as a mother as if your child sent you a memo requesting to be brought to earth. You made that choice for her. ACT LIKE IT!” These words hit me to date! All these things forced me to really dig deep and figure things out. I had to fix myself as an individual, as a mother, as a friend and as a future companion. I am not entirely there, but I finally understand how my ex was always rational and had the ability to decipher situations and identify his wrongs from my wrongs, fantasy from reality and look at the bigger picture and make extremely hard decisions and stand by them. Moral of the story, it can be hard to go home when the party is over, but it sure does shorten the healing process every single time. Trust me, I have become an expert at it! Lovely week.