Grief is a very real thing. People think it’s just grieving the death of somebody, but it actually isn’t limited to just that. It could be grieving the loss of a friendship, a relationship, a person that was once your best friend only to become a stranger…

People cope with grief in very different ways… I used to be the type that would seek my own type of revenge, or send myself down an even worse spiral because I thought/felt that was what I deserved. It’s kind of like punishing yourself and feeling guilt/resentment towards yourself…

However, the older and wiser I’ve gotten, the more I’ve become numb to the pain. I know it sounds really weird, but I genuinely do believe I’ve experienced enough letdowns, heartache and grief to now be at the stage where nothing could ever phase me. Of course I have my bouts of depression and anxiety, feelings crop up, but I’m human, like the rest of you.

I was told I was “abnormal” because I “refused to let people see me in depressive state”, or grief-stricken. But, the truth was, I spent years (from as early as I can remember) hiding behind a smile and laugh, that it was all I knew when I was in a group of people, around friends etc.

As soon as I was told this though (by one of my closest friends at the time) I started second-guessing myself. I felt like I was being fake, even though it was never the intention – nor something I could control. However, I knew things needed to change either way.

Since then, I’ve actually become unable to hide my true feelings – and if I’m depressed, I can’t control who sees it or when it happens. I guess, I owe that to my close friend.

One thing I’ve noticed though is there’s no longer a trigger for my grief or depression, at least – I don’t notice it anyway. As I’ve said, I’ve almost become immune, so I don’t really know where it comes from. It’s just there. When it is, I just get on with it. I can’t even force it out. It just stays and then goes. (Like me on occasions when I’ve been treated unfairly or made to feel undervalued, it was just a lethal concoction of naivety mixed with strong feelings that kept me coming back. Now, regardless of how strong my feelings are, I need to think of my future and mental health.)

I’ve lost enough people and failed at enough projects/relationships/friendships to actually no longer care. Whether that’s detriment to my future, I don’t know. But I do know this: I used to care so much for people/things that in hindsight literally didn’t even care about me (I now prefer it this way, because I can no longer get hurt).

I have removed all factors that could’ve lead to disappointment, I’d had enough. Frankly, all that matters in life is knowing how hard we tried with certain things and people. There is nothing and/or no one that can tell us otherwise. Regardless of what their version of events is, we know ours and that’s what will get us through. All that really matters is our own version. If they want to know, they can ask. If they don’t ask, they don’t care. Neither will we, in time.

It’s liberating to know that when/if people needed me, I was always ready and willing to there. But, when I needed them… Where the fuck were they? Or, better still – in my triumphs, where were they? Exactly.

Grief is very real. Take all the time you need to move on. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re grieving wrong, or you’re not grieving enough… Sometimes, people might even tell you you’re grieving too much. There’s a middle finger for that. Raise it up, raise it loud.

Signs that you’re grieving:

Uncontrollable emotions – feelings of depression

Panic attacks

Heart-wrenching physical pain

Low mood

Lack of ability to do daily tasks

Things to do when grieving

Sit it out, don’t force it out

Talk to someone when you’re ready – a stranger or someone you trust

Surround yourself with positive people that will elevate you and make you feel good

Signs you’re over grieving

You no longer talk or think about the situation that caused you grief / if you do, it no longer triggers an emotional reaction

Be patient. You will arrive at your destination at the time you’re meant to – embrace the detours and don’t be disheartened if life takes you off the beaten track, you’ll always get back to where you need to be.

You might look around at your friends’ lives and compare theirs with how much you’ve accomplished… But, the reality is this: they’re doing the same with yours.

We arrive at different times to different stages in our lives.

For instance, I have yet to find my life partner. I have not begun my journey to building a future with someone who will later become my spouse and father to my children… Reason? I am waiting on God to bring him to me. I am faithful and understand that everything in God’s time works out for the best. Our best.

I don’t look at my friends and think “why not me???” I look at them in awe, and think ‘I look forward to having that one day’.

After seeing most of my friends were getting engaged, married and pregnant, it got me thinking about it… (Also, I’m 28 and have been all the 20-years’+ before it… Girls obsess about these kind of things, Idk!)

But, I was lucky in that I had other stuff going on, so it really didn’t matter. I was doing what I love in the meantime, and still am. Also, there’s the small fact that I was (still am) reserving myself for the greatest person for me. One that’s handpicked and custom-made for me.

If I’m being honest, my problem was that I used to think if I “helped” God along, it’d bring my Boaz sooner… Umm, nope!

God wrote our lives while we were still in the womb. No amount of “helping along” will bring our desires sooner (relationships, friendships, careers etc). All we can do is work on ourselves, to become the best version of ourselves before we reach our destination.

I laugh and joke about it, but I really want to be at my most confident, happy and reach my spiritual best before I meet my life partner. Relationships of any kind are just an advancement or enhancement to an already perfect life. It is not an ‘abracadabra’ movement that fixes everything, but an accompaniment. It’s basically: “I have this ready-made life that I’ve been working on – and you have yours – how about we share them?.”

Not going to lie, I used to think I knew who it was going to be, but as time goes on, I’m realising I honestly do not. I know who I hoped it would be, but I also know that God’s will be done, and that’s what will be done. I am ready for whatever outcome. Looking at both options as a win:win situation helps…

Nowadays, I’m so grateful to be in a new headspace where I am focusing my attentions on other things that bring me absolute joy and fulfilment. I’m doing just fine. I am living my life, my way. The last piece of my puzzle will come when it’s destined to.

To be frank, I’m extremely thankful that I didn’t meet my Boaz earlier, because had I met them at a time when I wasn’t ready, it would’ve ended in divorce/a major breakup.

Admittedly, I was a cuckoo, and a somewhat-toxic (in some areas of my life) mess of a human with more emotional flaws than I let on.

I often get asked “what’s changed?” The answer is prayer and wisdom (teeth), I guess? I’d like to think it’s an age thing too – as I’ve always longed to get older, because I’m an old soul with lots of maternal qualities.

I don’t want to bible-bash, but when you’ve witnessed actual miracles happen to you – by God alone – it’s hard to sit back and keep your mouth shut. I’m one of those people.

To summarise, there finally came a time in my life where I am no longer stubborn, am no longer impatient, am no longer needy (of attention) – I freely admit to being these ways previously. If we don’t own up to our wrong-doings, we won’t grow, right?

If that miraculous transformation can happen to me, it will happen to anyone. Just believe and be mindful of the transformation, relish in it.

Now? I’m at home in myself more-so than ever before. I’m content with my own company (until the time is right to meet my spouse, when I’ll be sharing it with them). I know that when I meet them, I’ll know instantly/instinctively and it would be God’s doing. It will be eternal. It will be Holy. It will be blessed.

Fifth rule of ‘Life Club’? There is always more than four rules! Actual rule? Wait. It gets better. What’s yours won’t be anyone else’s.

The ‘Life Club’ continues…

Never give up. Push through the storms. Reward and favour is always at the other side. Miracles are usually given right when someone’s about to give up. I’m not saying get to that stage, I’m just saying keeping looking forward – the light at the end of the tunnel will come.

There is always tomorrow in times of strife. The sun shines after it rains. At that point, a rainbow appears. If you can’t see that rainbow, that’s because it’s in you.

Rule four of ‘Life Club’? Perseverance. Keep pushing and you’ll pull it off! Always remember: it’s a bad mood/phase, not a bad day/life.

It’s a new day, which means new rules for Life Club.

Live it. Love it. Laugh through it. The downs teach you to appreciate the ups. Take your time to really understand your life. Take your time to learn from your mistakes. Take your time to see the beauty in it.

Because, people say ‘life is short’ – but the general life-expectancy of humans nowadays is about 70… (That’s not a short time at all when you compare it to the people who sadly lost their lives at a younger age and/or those who couldn’t even make it through birth. Live it for them!)

ICYMI: That’s 70+ years of chances. That’s 70+ years of opportunity.

Third rule of ‘Life Club’? Live it, love it and laugh with it.

If you’ve got a second, check out the second rule of Life Club, below…

Live without limitations… Do what you want, where you want, with who you want at a time you want it. We call it ‘my choice’ for a reason – because it’s nobody else’s. We are here for a good time, not a long time. So, don’t worry about what others think. People will talk regardless. So, you might as well give them something to talk about.

Second Rule of ‘Life Club’: Your choices are there to be chosen and stuck to, regardless of what anyone else thinks.