The year was … Haha! This isn’t history class!
This decade has been quite interesting if I had to put it in one word. It had it all; friendship, love, depression and anxiety, heartbreak, loss and grief, laughter, specks of joy, bad health, and a lot more. Let’s check it out, shall we?
End of 2011/Beginning of 2012:
Just like 2021, 2011 was exhausting but without the pandemic and pointless lockdown. So I was really looking forward to the end of that year/decade and to “new” beginnings. I’m not one for New Year’s Resolutions because frankly, how many of those do you actually see through? I had one plan; get through 2012 alive. New Year’s Day 2012 was remarkably uneventful. I did what I spend my Birthdays doing ever since I became an adult, cooking and chores! Family had come home for the holidays so after everyone had lunch and they were planning to go out, I just needed some peace and quiet (I hate people, gatherings, functions…), I needed to breathe! I left home and took a walk to the Tennis court. It was quiet like I had anticipated but a little cold. I sat on the bench hugging myself and whispered “Happy Birthday!” to myself. I stayed there for an hour or two and returned home. I had a brief conversation with Mum, did chores and went to bed. That’s how I begun this decade!
A pretty mundane start, right? It wouldn’t stay that way for long, unfortunately. I obviously don’t remember every detail of this last decade, so I’ll talk about what I do remember, the highlights. It was around September of 2012, a day like the others. I woke up, went for a jog, bathed and went out into the world to face the day (class). Something wasn’t quite right but I ignored the feeling. Something hadn’t been quite right for a few weeks in fact. That day was extremely slow, like the clock was moving backwards. I had a test in the afternoon but I was struggling to breathe going into the test which I choked up to nerves (no pun intended). I did the test and handed in my paper (before time was up) to the invigilator telling him; “I need to go outside.”. I’m sure he was planning to yell at me and tell me to go back to my seat and perhaps he did? Last thing I remember was saying “I need to go outside” and… lights out! I regained consciousness in hospital, on a hospital bed with a very concerned face staring at me. I tried to sit but was politely told to stay put. I had no idea what had happened or how much time had passed but I had one thought in my head; I want to go home! A doctor came in shortly after I awoke and told me I was hypertensive. Hyper-what?! He went on to explain to me that my blood pressure was too high which is why I’d passed out but that it was stabilizing. He added that I had to stay overnight for observation because I wasn’t out of the woods yet. Obviously, I thought that was a nightmare and I’d wake up from it. My mind was racing… I wanted to go home!
After some bargaining, I was discharged an hour later after promising I’d be at the hospital for review first thing the following day! I was prescribed some meds and told to avoid anything stressful or strainous. It was late evening (around 19:00 hours) by then and an acquaintance dropped me home after stopping over at a Pharmacy to pick the meds. I told Mum everything that happened and she couldn’t quite believe it. Even with the doctor’s notes, she couldn’t believe it. But she tried to comfort me… tried. I was restless and the more she asked me to stay calm, the more pissed off I got. So she spoke to me the only way she knew how, bluntly (god, I love that Woman!). “Sit down, breathe and take your medicine!” Before I could protest, she sweetly informed me; “That wasn’t a suggestion!”.
After a night’s ‘rest’ thanks to the meds, I went for review the following day. My blood pressure was taken and I was informed I had to make some “lifestyle changes”. Again, what?! I was to have a two week bedrest (nonnegotiable) and take meds daily for 3 months with weekly reviews after the bedrest. I was put on a diet as well. Ah, yes! Just what I needed! Dieting! I love how doctors nonchalantly throw around the word “dieting”. It’s not only Ugandan doctors that do it. So just like that, my life was… changed. I went from daily exercise to practically zero physical activity. What was going on inside my head? Good question! Let’s recap, shall we? In one week I’d collapsed, been hospitalized, been told I had a chronic illness and had to ‘step back’ from school because it was almost examination period and I don’t know about you but when I think of exams, I don’t think “calm and serene”. Yes, this is how this decade began.
2013 – 2018:
There isn’t much to talk about during this period of time. Fundamental events, yes. But nothing I’d like to remember anyway. So let’s do the “highlights” and get it over with, shall we?
2013 went by in a haze and so did 2014. All thanks to the antidepressants I was taking because I’d been diagnosed with severe clinical depression and anxiety and was suicidal. By the end of 2014, I had deleted my Facebook account and other accounts on social media platforms I was on at the time.
In 2015, therapy was doing alright but I was still mostly operating in “zombie mode” thanks to the antidepressants and other meds I was on. Most days went by in a blur and I’d lost interest in practically everything… even watching Movies (I know!). 2016! 2016 was loooong! I was back on some social media platforms (NOT Facebook), still undergoing therapy, still on medication, got diagnosed with Angina…
I ended most if not all “friendships” I was holding onto for the better part of the previous decade. I also ended whatever was going on with my “forever partner”. Haha! Forever? Stupid! I limited my number of friends to a maximum of three (Tifa, Doc and Edly) and that’s a decision I haven’t regretted! Even though we grew old and all started living our own separate lives (they’re all married with kids, I’m not), we never grew apart! 2017 marked the end of my therapy (not because I was “cured” but because this is Uganda and my Psychiatrist had way too much on their plate to continue seeing me). I was still taking antidepressants but stopped by the end of that year. This year was also the last year my precious Mum was able to walk around unaided.
January 1st 2018; Once again, Family was present for the Christmas Holidays. I was used to all this (people and chaos) by now but something different happened that day. My Mum forgot it was my Birthday! Maybe it’s because there were people around pissing me off left and right or perhaps it was because I’m hypersensitive on my Birthdays but the fact that she forgot to wish me a “Happy Birthday” hurt a lot. All those other Birthdays when I was always in the Kitchen cooking for people who didn’t care that it was my Birthday, I didn’t mind because they didn’t matter to me. And Mum previously never once forgot it was my Birthday regardless of all the chaos happening around us. A fact she reminded me of when she realized past midnight (2nd January) that she hadn’t wished me a “Happy Birthday“. “I’ve remembered the past 25 BIRTHDAYS!” She said to a crying me. Now you may think that I was being dramatic for no reason and maybe I was. But the only thing that always kept me grounded on my Birthdays ever since I turned 20 was that little greeting from Mum every morning; “Happy Birthday *******!” No matter how much the people present provoked and tested my patience on every January 1st, that short yet significant phrase kept me from losing it all day. So yes, that day I was heartbroken that she forgot. Even with full knowledge that Mum had A LOT on her plate and she was stressed, it still hurt. But that day I decided I would not go to the Kitchen on my Birthday to cook for anyone who wasn’t Mum anymore! I always did it for her anyway. And I have to say, life has become much easier since I stopped breaking my back on every New Year’s Day so ingrates could have a decent meal they absolutely didn’t deserve!
Moving on… I traveled more than usual in 2018 and it was nice. I still had hypertension, angina, migraines, chronic backache, depression and anxiety, duodenal ulcers and other fun things.
2019 – Present:
The beginning of 2019 was most definitely memorable! For the first time since I could remember, I fell asleep before midnight on December 31st 2018. I’d previously, even as a child, insisted on staying up till midnight for my Birthday and the New Year of course. About 2 or so minutes past midnight on January 1st 2019, I was awakened by a phone call from Mum to wish me a “Happy Birthday” and a Happy New Year! She’s usually the first to wish me a “Happy Birthday” followed by Boub, my older brother and 2 others.
2019 was so so which considering the years that have since come after it makes it seem like a very good year! Mum’s health got worse and she was bed bound. The medication prescribed for her wasn’t helping her, not really. They’d provide temporary relief but without a proper diagnosis and the doctors going with “old age” as the cause of her illness, what could I do?
Tifa had a Church Wedding while pregnant with her first born, Doc was being Doc and Edly was being secretive about things happening in his life. Not much had changed over the years. Heh!
I won’t talk much about 2020 and 2021 because I believe they’re already chronicled rather thoroughly in my past blog posts. So I’ll mention the things I might have overlooked in the aforementioned blog posts. Tifa had a baby girl in February 2020, Edly had a baby boy in August 2020, and Doc had a baby girl in August 2021! Damn! I’m old! Haha.
And as for me right now, I don’t have any child nor do I want any, I’m not married neither do I intend to do so and I still hate most human beings. It’s 20 days to the end of this decade that has been awful, to put it mildly and I’m honestly not really looking forward to the future at all!
Oh! I still live with hypertension, angina, migraines, chronic backache, depression and anxiety, duodenal ulcers, IBD and other fun things.
Allow me to state my boundless love for these gems I’m lucky to call my Family:
Mum, may you always be yourself and never stop putting me in my place whenever my head grows too big! This world lacks the requisite language to express how much I love you!
Tifa, may you always look at the bright side of things despite having a pessimist like me in your life and never forget how grateful I am to you! I love you!
Doc, you’re not a fan of reading anything that isn’t a medical journal so I know you won’t read this. Nevertheless, I love you!
Edly, you suck at a lot of things outside of business but one thing you don’t suck at is showing me you love me… in your own interesting way. I wouldn’t trade you for anything!
Boub, Tina, Al, John, Maureen M, Fiona Bash, Andrew K and many others that I may have forgotten to mention, thank you and I love you!