The best thing that has ever happened to me while on vacation.
Please listen to this before reading. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1c251SagDUqpeQJdxFeSMiSu0VvS4sbzP/view?usp=sharing
My story is about the best thing that has happened to me on a holiday, however, I felt it would only properly suffice if I fed it with a bit of backstory on why it was so significant. As I said in an earlier prompt, 2018 was a heavy year for me: emotionally, physically, academically and mentally. For the most part, I’d like to think that what was going on was some form of pre-mid-life crisis? (Lol). Well, certainly a crisis. If I was to correctly articulate my feelings within those few months, I would say that my mind was in a state of panic. I was constantly uncomfortable with my surroundings, with myself and with my life for reasons by that time, unknown to me.
I took to, rather unorthodox methods, I’d have to say. (Now it is important to note that my school did not have any counselling or peer counselling facilities, and being a boarding school, we also had little to no contact with the outside world.) Acting very impulsive and due to emotional bias, I completely shut myself out of my surroundings and simply refused to acknowledge them. I made it a mission to remove myself from there. And I tried a lot! It started from a safe point where I was only looking for scholarships at the computer lab whenever we had the opportunity, but then became a danger to myself, once I started sabotaging my grades, not eating and now trying to look for any possible way to ‘escape’. Well, to cut this long set of events short, It raised the administration’s concern and my parents were called. Well, we agreed on some measures which did at least at face view improve the situation. But I was still in this constant state of unrest- my mind would take any opportunity it had to escape reality. What was worse, however, is that I now consistently had panic attacks and very strong pains (what felt like muscle contractions on steroids). My body was overwhelmed. I also had no idea what was going on, or what had triggered it, no outlets and no one to consult. I was in a severe state of sadness.
But the situation brightens. We went on a midterm break and after communicating with my parents, we opted for counselling. I had my first few daily sessions which were so significant because, after a long time, I felt a big breath of fresh air, just by finally being able to talk about what I was feeling. I continued with therapy for the rest of the year, whenever I was home I would maximize on the time: some days were better than others, but things generally improved. At least now I was aware of myself and was able to self regulate. She taught me a number of skills like always speaking kindly to and of myself, journaling and exercise. These are things that I still very actively participate in today and gradually became a lifestyle. It was only until later that I was diagnosed with an acute anxiety disorder, which, although frightening, gave me peace as it checked out a lot of boxes for me and alerted me to be more forgiving of myself. I received ample psychological and psychiatric support and I can confirm that everything now is better than it has ever been. I am my best self; in an upwards scale.
So yes. This holiday. A tropical experience in Dar es Salaam, which, besides being one of favorite aesthetics, was symbolic to show peace, rest and triumph. I love the water and I connect water to peace. ‘Par Kwe’ as we say in my native language, which means a place of peace. I remember walking through the shores and swimming in the pool and a voice in my head would whisper, “It is over now. All is well.” This was a beautiful end to a tedious year, although I was thankful for it, because of the following reasons: It started my passion for fitness and wellness in all dimensions; it alerted me to begin a journey of self-discovery and love, which has now matured beautifully; it was a period where I gained life-long friends. Very genuine and compassionate people who I started a system of accountability with and developed TRIPLE R (rescue, return and revolve) a project that functioned as a peer counselling group within the school, whose function was to ‘rescue’ students from whatever situation they were struggling, ‘return’ to a place where they could safely combat the problem with an actively supportive and loving environment, and revolve them around this support group with a range of activities, active dialogue and prayer. The final significance is that it tremendously strengthened my relationship with my family and God. So yes, there was a silver lining after all.