Rock Bottom

I see myself as a ship, a cruise-liner to be specific. The sea are the factors in my life that are beyond my control. My parents are the lighthouse , the Lord , Jesus Christ , the Captain. My beloved family is the diverse unit of passengers on-board.

I’ve been to a place where I couldn’t move forward. For a while residing at the rock bottom of the sea seemed normal. Life at times places icebergs on the way that sink me ; drown me temporarily. Counsellors and therapists might call it depression , I just call it ‘the blues.’ With the hormonal imbalance inside my body these feelings are to be expected. But teenage suicides still shock us,why? I lost a former classmate and a friend’s sister because of the rock-bottom feeling when pain hits. It is a sad sight as we lay the murderer/victim to rest. As we literally place them at rock bottom. In 2004 , I lost my aunt Bongeka also as a result of suicide. Thinking about her still saddens me deeply. It feels as though treasured passengers jumped off the ship.

To lose a family member is hard enough but to lose faith is grief of a totally higher degree. We are raised in a society whereby science at times contradicts religion. Making one to believe greatly in the physical state of existence and not as much in the spiritual form. It is said that God did not promise us no hardships ,pain and challenges but rather that He would be with us through trials and tribulations.

Earlier this year a small yet significant event occurred that made me lose some faith. I had practised for hours on end. I had prayed to God that all proceedings go well and during my performance there was a powercut. For the rest of that day in the pits of the sea I asked He allowed for it to happen. But a while after,after an introspection I realised that it was a test and I failed,dismally. God never left me,never has and never will.

As bad as rock bottom might be, in the same breath it is the best place. From there,there is only one-way and that is UP! The key in life to progress is not to digress. It is easy to lose sight of your goals and focus on your failures. Anyone can do that. But is a winner who takes failures as learning curves and does not repeat them. Bill Gates started from the bottom and now he is a billionaire. I too started from the bottom. From Grade 1 -Grade 11. It has been a journey – a long one at that but one most enjoyed. In all honesty I hate school but I do appreciate it , for education is an asset that only gains value. Without education I would start from the bottom and die there.

As we grow older , and hopefully wiser we get a new right accompanied by a responsiblity. Next year a small number of my peers will be 18 years old and therefore vote in the National Elections. The power to choose the ruling party. We did not start from the bottom in terms of fighting for freedom/liberation nor did most our parents and most of us seem to take democracy lightly. There are thousands of people who are six-feet under because of fighting for liberation. It is the duty of vote to put a worthy political party in power which will uphold democratic values and not vote simply because of blind loyalty. That is the only way South African can progress and hopefully one day be a first-world country.

When you find yourself in a hole look up to the sky ; the heavens ; to God. Everyone has a bad day now and again but it is key not to be wrapped around your emotions (negative feelings particularly ) but to pick yourself up from your rock bottom and claim your place on the summit. A wise man I know used to say, “Believe. Be. Live. And you will forever live, not physically but historically! ” Sir Phila Dyasi-The Great.

[ Written 26 March 2013]

by PHILA DYASI #nublaccsoul