A Solder Lives…To Fight Another Day.

We come to a point in our lives when for a split second, everything seems so perfect. This is when all that ever bothered you is no longer a problem but merely a figment of your memory. You reach a point where you can comfortably laugh it off and brush it off as a ‘lesson-learnt’.

Sometimes I even have to pinch myself, refusing to believe for just a moment, that my family is as blessed as we are now. We have our struggles, yes. But nothing compared to the horrors of yesterday. I am still amazed at how far we have come..each one of us. Trully, God answers prayers.

10years ago, a time like this, I would probably be locked up in my room trying to drown myself in little sketches that I liked to do when I was sad and feeling lonely. I would then try to numb the recurring stomach ulcers with some soft humming from my favourite radio. I would try to occupy my mind so much so that I would not even dare think about the violence that would follow in the night; the yelling, throwing around of furniture and utensils, the beatings, the exchange of words, the rumours that would go around among the neighbours the following morning, missed breakfast, getting late to school, skipping lunch coz of too much stress.

It left me and my 8 year-old sister so scared and helpless. Even though he didnt touch or insult us, the much he did to my mother was enough to scar us and to make us hate him more everyday. Alcohol. He had succumbed to it. It was ruining our lives. We suffered for 7 long years. On and Off. On and Off.

Finally, around this time, in 2005, we managed to convince him to go to rehab. Yes. God had finally changed his heart, made him more willing to give it a try. Second Chances. Our prayers of Redemption were finally being answered. This was only the beginning. He recovered well in those three months he was there and then joined us.

If you see us today, its unbelievable. Many wonder how we did it. It was God’s Divine Power. My mother, sister and I clung to prayers like they were our daily bread…our breathe. They actually were, come to think of it. Soon after, we even moved to a new neighbourhood…way better by standards and even psychologically. There was no point of staying there, where we were under constant scrutiny from the neighbours, waiting for any slight fall. It was a fresh start for us.

Dad has been sober for 8 years now. I am proud of him. Never misses mass on Sundays. The most positive person I have ever met. Sometimes he can be so positive it even starts to get annoying. Haha. Well…I have started to turn into that myself.

You might think that it is now so perfect. Yes…perhaps when compared to the past, but in reality, no, far from it. But we are managing. The hardest thing has been trying to rebuild the burnt bridges. The fear we had for him still lingers on. We used to isolate ourselves and avoid him and thus we never really got to bond well. We are obviously closer to mother and so sometimes he feels left out and instead of trying to reach out he gets angry and pushes us away. Its a struggle getting to know each other all over again. He is a perfectionist, likes to have all control and is very short-tempered. Am getting used to that. Its not easy, but am trying. We all are.

He wrote me a letter when I was still away in highschool; in boarding school. Of all the things he said, “A Soldier Live To Fight Another Day”..has remained etched in my heart. I hold on to that everyday. Things never get easier. We only get tougher!

Stay Strong,

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Share some Happy!! :)

I remember promising you this one..

In highschool I used to have to deal with not only school stress, but home stress too. Being in boarding school made it way better, because it was some sort of escape from all the unhappiness at home and I would find myself dreading the holidays.

My first year of highschool was literally hell at home…trying to get my then alcoholic father to rehab was close to impossible..atleast he was a bit willing though. My mother therefore channelled all her stress to us. I would cry myself to sleep almost every night when I was at home on holiday and occassionally when I was at school and happened to be hit by bouts of bad memories.

Then I found a way out..

Seeking Happiness… Yes. Same as what I now call, “My Journey to Happiness” I decided to focus on all the positive I could because the negative was threatening to tear me apart. I was an emotional wreck but I decided that I had to now focus on my life and not that of other grownups who had made mistakes….*ahem*

The easiest way I found to focus on the positive was by speaking it and thinking it…even writing it. I began to be more of a listener to my friends and that way I no longer focused on my problems. You’ll be shocked the kind of things people go through everyday in silence. Not only did I feel blessed, but I begun to appreciate the things I had taken for granted.

Thus the ‘counsellor/shrink/psychologist/psychiatrist/bigsiz/relationshipguru’ in me was born. All these are names I’ve been dubbed ever since, both by friends, acquintances and even a couple of strangers.

Interesting thing I came to discover is that, in reverse, I was actually giving myself the therapy I needed. While I would come up with the most encouraging things to say and write up the sweetest, warmest notes to console a hurting heart.., all this would impact me positively too. I would feel consoled, encouraged. Therefore it went a long way to healing my brokenness too.

Nyway…I remember this one time when I tried to convince one of my friends to persevere and just finish highschool in our school as opposed to changing schools. She was really bent on getting transfered, claimed she was so stressed out by the school while in fact the stress was just projected from home. I tried to make her see that, if only she would look at the good and then she would start to feel better. I honestly saw a lot of me in her. Though I had never though of changing schools. I guess it was her way of escaping her anguish.

In most cases I got really connected with friends when they shared with me and I would feel for them sooo immensely to the point of feeling like it had to work out for them no matter what. I would constantly check up on them just to make sure that they were not giving up. I was not ready to give up on them until I saw that they were okay. In a way, them giving up would be too devastatingly discouraging to me…would put it in my head that sometimes things just dont work out. And thats the last thing I wanted to believe. So I pushed hard…probably even harder than I should have.

Then came my breaking point;;

I continued to check on my friend and every tume it seemed that she was doing better only for her to go back to square one. Then this particular Sunday mornig as we were having breakfast before heading to chapel, I noticed that she was feeling really crappy. Thus I felt the need to do what I did best. Listen. Advise. Encourage. In my paralleled self-therapeautic moments of speaking and thinking up wise and touching; consoling and uplifting things, she just snapped!! She yelled at me;  told me that am too positive, even when its not necessary!! ;( I automatically shut out and withdrew.

So there I was in chapel, clenching my fists so hard. Trying to fight the tears that were now free-flowing down my cheeks. And I asked God what bad I had done in trying to be a good friend. I felt so humiliated. I almost gave up.

To this day, I remain a Happiness Convert. Despite the odds. Despite the moments of trials where people make fun of me. I remain who I am because I realize everyday thats the greatest gift that God has given me to share with others whether they want to receive it or not. He has been so good to me, loved me beyond measure and so I continue to strive to share His love…everyday..in any way..

Share the Happy,

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