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Thank you to the friends who made me love life again

Thank you to the friends who made me love life again

Why a good squad is worth its weight in gold.

"They couldn't care less whether I was up to being around people, or that I had not showered. They simply wanted to be around me."

Why a good squad is worth its weight in gold

“Dankie, Vader, vir die nag. Ons vra vir die dag. Amen. Dankie, Vader, vir die dag. Ons vra vir die nag. Amen.”

My maternal grandmother raised us with these two simple prayers.

Gratitude and appreciation for the blessing of another day, and a peaceful night ahead. A reminder that life is short, and we should be grateful for every moment.

I write this a month away from completing my six-months treatment for depression, anxiety, and sleeplessness. A diagnosis I have encountered a number of times in the past, but a challenge I never gave myself the chance to tackle head-on until now.

At the start of 2021, I found myself in extremely toxic environments and relationships that left me drained, mostly because I failed to prioritise my needs over the years.

My therapist and psychiatrist advised that I seek healthier relationships and learn to understand that not everyone who is around you wants what is best for you.

I reluctantly opened up my heart to a group of special people who came into my life when I least expected it. I thought I was not ready for new friendships, simply because of how I had been treated.

I was at my lowest on most days that they would knock on our door to check up on me. They couldn’t care less whether I was up to being around people, or that I had not showered. They simply wanted to be around me.

They have crept their way into my life in various ways, making it their personal mission to remind me that I matter and that I am important to them.

My partner of over seven years is at the top of this list. My first and best of friends in this journey called life. With every failed friendship, he has seen my faith in people slowly ebb away.

He has always been there with me to pick up the pieces. Always reminding me that I can be happy, despite the cards I am dealt. “Happiness is not a destination,” he chirps fondly, “It is where you are.”

You then find Lebo, the enigmatic wild child with a really big heart, who pretends to be aloof. He lives by his own set of rules and on most days, just wants to be heard.

Next is Chantal, the calm and loving flower child who is spiritually inclined through dreams and visions, and has the ability to put things into perspective.

And then there is Mandy, the life of the party, even though she can be surprisingly shy. She’s the one who is brave enough to say what everyone else is thinking.

BK is the whoop-whoop girl everyone deserves to have. She is the greatest cheerleader who always wants to make those around her feel special. Do not step at her friends sideways, because she will put you in your place.

Sihle is the gentle observer, with a quirky sense of humour that creeps up on you when you least expect it. She fits into this puzzle of craziness with sass and decorum.

Sizo is the sparky, fashion-forward creative who is unafraid to live his truth and always ready to defend those he loves.

Finally, we have “the baby”, Tshoki. She may be impressionable, but she is wise beyond her years. Managing a group of adults is difficult, and no one can rally the troops like she can.

My knees have met the ground on many mornings and nights, as I thank God and my Ancestors for granting me another chance at life, another chance to feel love.

I may have not gone out to make any friends, but I scored myself a fine set of humans who are always ready to go through the wire to see me happy. Family far away from home.

I am grateful to be an active choice they make when they think about friendship and family. I am grateful that they accept me as I am and are not afraid to call me out on my shortcomings.

I am grateful to have the chance to experience love in friendship, at a time when I thought I would never be able to again.

Poppy Louw

Change expert, Poppy Louw, believes that the big change equals big opportunity.

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