Proud of myself


When I woke up this Saturday morning; I realised I’ve been living my week in fear. I had a cold feeling around the space my heart should be and I dreaded waking up. I also have been having nightmares again recently. The context of the nightmares differ, but they have a few things in common; they are not a nice experience; I wake up feeling uncomfortable and in them things are almost always out of control, because the people in them violate my boundaries. For example, I dreamt that I was on a farm and I had to help someone escape, because she was being abused by the people there, but I wasn’t succeeding. It was this nasty feeling of just never ‘being good enough’, never cracking the code, staying a prisoner and dependent on what the abusive people did next.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
Text by Ariel Hopewhispers

I am learning about myself and I think these dreams are in line with how I’ve been feeling about life and myself this week. I need to have more faith in myself. I tend to be a very anxious person and to see life as it is right now – with no silver linings – and to then think that life will just always be this way, when this is not true.

I started off the week thinking that my business would just never become profitable and the people in it doesn’t care about helping me make it successful – they just in it to take what they can right now from me. My husband would never contribute towards it, because he is inherently lazy and I would never be successful at the contract I’m working on right now, because I just am not good enough at organising and filing. But I guess I was wrong.

I held a meeting on Thursday with all stakeholders in the business and everyone was there and committed towards sorting things out – even my husband. I had a talk with him beforehand – about him getting up and leaving in the middle of meetings & conversations and he said he wouldn’t do it this time and he didn’t. I told one of the people that I would like her to pay me back petrol money for using my car during the month, and she did.

Image by suju from Pixabay
Text and graphics by Ariel Hopewhispers

I also told the other stakeholders that me and my husband couldn’t survive if, when the business doesn’t meet target, they just pay themselves first and then we don’t get paid and they paid him R5,000 and also decided to pay my professional body fee R8,100 to keep me accredited as well as our data fee for working from home R1,200. I also told the guy I was working with that he should pay me for the half day that he gave everyone else off at work. He didn’t, but that is not the point. He could have. And I feel better for raising it.

Image by Soorelis from Pixabay
Text by Ariel Hopewhispers

I also collected some compliments/ advice for my compliment/advice corner this week. The contract guy said “Don’t sell yourself short. You must believe in yourself. I do.” My husband said “You’re not useless. You’re tired. Tired means you’re living.” and one of the business stakeholders said “You must know how much you are worth. You are the backbone of this company, even though you don’t see it right now.”

So was I right to feel fearful this week? I’m starting to think that, that should not be the question. I think emotions aren’t right or wrong or accurate or inaccurate, but it is what you do with them that matters. In this case my fear spurred me on to read about boundaries, which encouraged me to communicate my boundaries this week to other people, which resulted in people treating me with compassion and respect. That is an amazing step for me. I am proud of myself.

Image by Mabel Amber, still incognito… from Pixabay
Text and graphics by Ariel Hopewhispers

I will post the link to the book I was reading about on boundaries on here at a later stage, together with some information I find valuable from it, in case it could help someone else out there. Until then, thanks for giving me this space to vent and think and be safe.

Featured Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

The sun is shining ☀️ Thank God.

I’ve been seeing my new therapist. I’ve had two sessions with her now. I believe it’s already making a difference. I’ve been going to boot camp at 5 every morning. It’s a huge commitment but I’m doing it. And I have to maybe just take the time to admit to myself that I am enjoying it. It’s actually kind of fun – just taking a whole hour and selfishly devoting it to me and my body. Incredible. I went to go watch my friend’s belly dancing performance. The girls looked so pretty, confident, happy, beautiful… I want to f|l like that. So I impulsively signed up for two open classes. I don’t know how that would fit into my future, considering money, considering time, but hey, perhaps everything doesn’t have to be a five year plan. What if I just went to these two classes and enjoy it? What then?

I’ve also been painting a lot of wine bottles… I save them, paint them, then use them for oil lamps, planters and storage. I am not sure how practical or sustainable this is but I must say I am enjoying it… It’s creativity without being daunting.

I would like to paint again – huge portraits and such, like I used to, but everything has it’s place, it’s time. It’s not time right now to paint but the time is getting closer.

This will be the first year that I’m taking off time over Christmas. The new partners made it happen… It’s really amazing how much the business has grown. And though we are not even close to being home free… We are surviving right now and that is proof of concept.

We have load shedding right now. That’s what they call it in South Africa when they cut the power for hours at a time during the day. That is why I have time to write work much today.

The happy

It’s been a pretty good day.

I’m really happy today.

I just woke up fine.

The sun is shining today.

And I’m really happy to be alive.

I like reading and painting.

All the sessions of therapy have paid off too.

The not smoking, the going to bed on time,

The forced exercise, the admissions, the torture,

The struggle, the hoarder, the organizer, the sorter

We all came through for me this week.

And now I’m happy, if just for a minute,

The world isn’t ending right now

And that is worth remembering.

The sad

There’s a sadness deep inside of me,

Like an ocean filled with tears,

It drowns me from the inside out,

Fills my nostrils with salty regret

Always a triple threat.

I am not sure where it comes from,

Or why it decided to stay.

All I know is once it was inside of me

It refused to go away.

No matter how fight it, how distracted I become

There’s a sadness deep inside me

Just waiting on my return

Broken shells are people too

When I walk along the shoreline,

On the beach close to home,

I always notice, and always pick up

All the broken seashells.

Have you noticed how they shine?

Some wink, some shrines

In the sunlight, how they tell their story proudly

To everyone in the world who takes the time to notice.

Not pity,

Just notice.

Like the rhymes in this poetry,

They are broken, yet beautiful.

Documenting a Chaotic Mind: The Art of Gareth Jones

I believe this man is doing an incredibly brave thing here. It is daunting enough to be diagnosed with mental illness, but to then accept it, work with it and showcase it in all its chaotic glory is truly brave and beautiful. I am so thankful for people like these who, through their bravery, let’s the rest of us know that it’s okay not to be okay. Sometimes it’s even beautiful. Thank you Gareth Jones.


I went to boot camp this morning. It felt really good. Hubby encouraged me to go and that was the last push I needed. He says I would never have done it just for me. I would have the intent but not the conviction to push through, which would keep me stuck in a loop of thinking, wishing and planning a lot but not doing. Why is it so difficult for me to do things for myself? Just for me? Because it makes me happy? Why does it always have to be such a fight? If I don’t make money from it or don’t make somebody else happy because of it or don’t gain tangible results from it (as in a clean house) I don’t do it. Hubby is right. I really can be such a dick 2 myself. I need to write this down to remember that getting up and letting myself relax and think of nothing other than how to survive the next exercise is okay. Not just okay. I’m desperate for it. I need it. It makes me happy. And I deserve happy.

I Don’t Know Everything

Thanks for bringing this up Jack. When you’ve been raised in a home where only perfection will earn you love and your only choice always was ‘be perfect’ or be ‘unloved’ it’s really difficult to let go of this voice inside of yourself that always relentlessly whispers lies – demanding perfectionism in everything you do.

I often still catch myself out – I’ll often push myself harder than anybody should, demand more, be satisfied with less. I dismiss my positive qualities and annihilated myself for my bad ones. Like a really bad parent. I struggle to have compassion for myself. And lately I’ve noticed that I also struggle to have compassion for others.

Sometimes I don’t even try because I’m certain I’ll fail. Other times I try things that no person in their right mind with my resources at the time would’ve and I make myself get to the other side. Failure is not an option.

I think this ‘trait’ or flaw has earned me a lot of treasures in life. It’s how I started my business with zero clients and no money, freshly defeated by my precious career and turned it into something resembling a stable future. It’s also earned me a lot of heartbreak. It’s why I expect the unexpectable from others, it’s why I can judge the hell out of those I love around me. It’s how I almost always feel that everyone around is not doing enough, committed enough, worthy enough. It’s how I’ve lost every person that I’ve ever liked enough to attempt to have a relationship with. And so… I’m constantly torn up by perfectionist expectations and yet I’m never good enough. And in reality it results in me never being good enough for people I reach out to. This must be how one makes ones own nightmares into reality – without even realising it at the time.

They say it’s lonely at the top. I can tell you from experience it’s a lot lonelier at the bottom after you’ve fallen off the previous high.

I suspect I need to focus on developing more compassion as an antidote to perfectionism. I am not yet sure if I deserve it but I know the people around me definitely do. And that is who I am at my core – a caretaker, a protector, a loyalist. I love with an intensity that I can only describe as painful. So then why do I struggle with compassion? Isn’t that the ultimate perpetual torture?