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Posts Tagged ‘Family’

Patricia grew from strength to strength. After a few months she left the Avril Elizabeth home for the disabled and started grade 10 at school. She was quite behind with her work and was tutored until she had caught up with the other pupils. She adapted and did fairly well at school. Patricia went on to complete her 10th grade. Well at least she almost completed it. A month before her final exams she relapsed and experienced a full blown psychotic episode. She told the vice principal of the school that she was a detective and she was investigating criminal activity in the school. The vice principal handled her with care and admitted her to hospital.

I can still remember the gossip, how everybody was discussing this freak at Sunward Park High. It was really embarrassing for me being her brother, and people were even treating me differently.

Sadly Patricia always seemed to develop a resistance to the medication. The illness always evolved and formed a new strain. She had been diagnosed with so many different forms of the disease to the point that nobody knew what her exact condition was. Thankfully Patricia was given a pass on her grade 10 because of her previous annual results. 

At the same time I was in grade 8. I achieved well at school and when I was fourteen I experienced a long period of depression. This was the first time I had ever felt this way and it was a dark and cold place with very little relief found in whatever I did to try and escape it. It was a difficult time for me and my school grades depreciated. I tried to cope with the overwhelming heaviness that I was trying to overcome, but soon felt that it was far easier to just give up.

It was an intense pain at the pit of my stomach like an overwhelming heaviness dragging me down. It wasn’t a case of feeling sorry for myself because my life could not have been more perfect at the time. It was as if my focus was taken from the daylight and placed in a black tunnel of doom. I felt hopeless and longed for my death.

My mother was gravely concerned. She could detect the first signs of mental illness dragging me down to the pit. She took me to see a psychologist and he talked me through my feelings. The dog could have barked me through my feelings for all that was going to help. The psychologist said that he did not want to medicate me; he first wanted to see if things would improve.

I can remember that the depression lasted for exactly eight weeks and just as suddenly as I felt that way the depression lifted and vanished. It was like a chemical imbalance that radically altered my mood.

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Just returned from a three week holiday out in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape. Had the most wonderful time with family. First we went to Oudshoorn and travelled to the Kango caves from there. What a spectacular tourist destination. The caves were like something out of a creepy horror movie, yet the inside features were incredibly fascinating to look at.

We proceeded to take a trip through the garden route, what an absolutely awesome scenic journey. Gazing across at the massive stretches of snow capped mountains and awesome epic sheer drops into the valley. I have definitely drawn inspiration from this trip for my next epic fantasy adventure novel.

We travelled all the way to Hermanus where we stayed for a few days. The houses along the main road running through the town were massive and it became clear to me that most of the people residing in this neighbourhood were extremely wealthy. Even though I could not afford a house like one of these, I soaked up the beautiful scenery for a moment and pretended that one of these holiday homes was mine.

Then we were off to Cape Town and from there we journeyed back up along the coastline. Now Cape Town has to be such an incredible place to live. The entire city is like a massive utopia with age old trees towering over the houses.  When I was young I lived in Cape Town and never had much of an appreciation of this wonderful city. But now I can’t believe how spectacular it is with those incredible mountains high up in the background.

Our scenic journey took us past George, Knysna and Plettenburg bay. To be away from these beautiful long sandy beaches for such a long period made it most enjoyable to make sand castles with my nephews and splash in the icy sea. The scenery along the way was breathtaking. I think we must have documented an entire episode of National Geographic with the footage that we took. The Tsitsikamma forests were fascinating to look at with their endless rows of conifer trees. We passed the most beautiful bridges along the route with a sheer drop of over 200M’s. Bloukrans with a sheer drop of about 230M. To think that people actually bunjee jump off that one. Totally insane.

From there it was back up to Port Elizabeth and back to Grahamstown. It was a tiresome journey at times with the endless kilometres that we travelled, but the epic scenery and the great company more than made up for that.

Oh well, I’m back at home in sunny Johannesburg only wishing to be back there again. Those good times always seem to go by so quickly.

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