Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Getting off the Roly Poly of life

My last post talked about depression - a beast that has stalked me for some time now. For me this has been stress-based from outside interventions, rather than anything more sinister in the chemical workings of my brain. Working through a lot of new interventions this year has been really difficult. My father passed away in January (you can read about him here )- that reminded me of the obligations one has to support one's family. My girlfriend elected to take a new job in Thailand. The house I was renting was sold and I had to make plans to move. A friend of mine described this as the "roly poly" of life. Somehow I had to find a way to get off the "roly poly". Well there seemed to be so many options:
  • Find a new place in Sydney so that I could be near my children and continue my Australian dream
  • Go back to my home country (South Africa) and support my family there and reconnect with all the friends that have stood by me all these years - 23 years since I left
  • Go back to Europe where I had 13 very fruitful years of life and travel
  • Get on my bicycle and ride away into the sunset
  • Follow my heart to Bangkok
  • End it

I was not going to end it - though I came close a few times. I understand that the probability of suicide of children of a suicide victim jumps to 50%. Not a burden that I wanted my 3 lovely children to bear. They are all in their teens and twenties now and quite able to take care of themselves - my influence on their lives is dropping each day. They supported my thoughts of moving. I could not go back to South Africa. Whilst I left in a different time (1987) and I am pretty positive about the place, I have bitter personal experience about crime levels - my mother-in-law was murdered in her home on June 21, 2001 - not something one wants to happen to anyone let alone to a 93 year old lady living on her own and what a lovely lady she was.

I finally settled on a different way of viewing things. Things happen for a reason. I could be free to travel and to follow my heart as I no longer had a property obligation back in Sydney. And that is what I have chosen to do. The furniture is in storage. The papers are in my girlfriend's house in Sydney and I am going to do a bike ride too. You find me in Bangkok, Thailand. On June 21, I will embark on a two month cycle tour of Europe - revisiting places familiar and exploring places new.

And now on day 2, it feels like the right decision. My body had been rebelling with all the stress of the last few weeks. Was I doing the right thing? Would I get all the tasks on a very long list done? They talk about the big stress drivers in life - divorce (mine is still not finalised); death of a parent (2010); moving house (moving country is a bigger one - the third time for me) - sure have stacked up for me in 2010. As each hour passes the pressures seem to be easing off and my body responds.

So the lesson in all of this is "Take Charge" and make your own choices based on your own abilities and stick with the people who continue to support you.

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