The Journey Is The Destination

I spent last year listening to Dr Jordan Peterson, the Canadian clinical psychologist on repeat. So far, it has changed my life, led to my self-transformation, impacted the goals and dreams I have always had for my life. I am kinder. I am joyous. I am content. I feel fulfilled. I am thankful and filled with gratitude for my ACE (adverse childhood experience), my past torment, turmoil and clinical and manic depression. I say all of this unashamedly because it has got me to the point where I am today in my life.

The other day I tuned into Vusi Thembekwayo’s podcast. He greets his listeners with, “Hello, family” and immediately I felt at ease with this legend in his own time as a South African  businessman and entrepreneur. These days I am receptive to the vibration and frequency of creatives, thinkers, thought leaders, visionaries. Not only in South Africa, Africa but elsewhere. As far as the United States of America, Europe, the United Kingdom and even Asia and Australia. I am inspired and deeply motivated by men and women who are forging their own path in this wild and free world with determination and independently from everyone else in their immediate environment.

It took me a long time to get here. I battled relapses, I struggled with mental illness, my body had to adapt to a course of tricyclic, monoamine oxidase inhibitors and psychotropic medication and my personality boomeranged off the ceiling somedays with a vengeance. Some days I felt sad, empty, useless, pathetic and my levels of frustration were sky high. There was nothing I could do about that except cry, make myself ill with worry, burden and the troubles of the world. I was steeped in negativity, insecurity, doubt and self-talk that bordered on the insane. But understand this. I had to go through suicidal depression and all of the other stuff, my mistakes, my negative thought patterns, my reckless behaviour that oftentimes endangered myself and my mental and emotional and physical wellbeing to get here. To understand other people’s modus operandi I had to accept, learn, adjust my behaviour accordingly, and heal and become a great listener as people talked to me about what was confronting them in their own lives, the uncertainty they were facing, the difficulties and the challenges they were going through that was blocking their route to personal development and self-improvement.

I am grateful for everything my father taught me and the belief and every sacrifice my mother has made in her life for me. Without those two individuals who cared for me when I was under observation at a posh clinic in a well-to-do suburb, and numerous hospital stays I would never be where I am today. I would not be a writer. I would not be a poet and essayist. I would not be an up and coming screenwriter who wants to make her mark in the film world. There are so many incidents in my life that I have not forgotten. People, individuals who the gifted American filmmaker Tyler Perry calls his “points of light”. I have had my own points of light in my life.

The teachings, school of thought and philosophy of Credo Mutwa, my English teachers at St Thomas High School, St Mark’s High School in Swaziland and Collegiate High School for Girls, my film school lecturer David Max Brown who over twenty years ago taught me the most powerful lesson any mentor can teach his mentee. What the meaning and purpose of self-care, self-love and self-improvement is in one’s life. Indra de Lanerolle, Robert Muirhead, Eddie Mbalo, Dr Basil Brown, John Klassen, the editor and poet Robert Berold, the New Brighton poets Mzi Mahola and Mxolisi Nyezwa, Lebogang Lancelot Nawa, Frank Meintjies, the North American poetess Cynthia Atkins, another poetess Silke Heiss, the businessman and entrepreneur Saki Mabhele, the clinical psychologist and scholar Zimkhulu Fatman, the psychiatrists Dr Willem van Wyk and Dr Sonja Prinsloo, the Afrikaaner doctor Dr Pool who saved my life in an intensive care unit, the family physician Dr Gary Allie, Gavin Mabie, Michael Barry, Meralyn Barry, the filmmaker and scholar Mikale Barry, the scribe and teacher Yusuf Agherdien, and Sister Soraya Joel, the American screenwriter, producer, director of Algerian descent Amine Kais have all been points of light in my life. I have, and still have, so many teachers. I am constantly learning, aligning and re-aligning myself and my vision with others who are like-minded individuals. Who believe in attaining their goals, building empires of gold, who treasure time spent with family and friends. Never forget where you came from. Never forget the people who forced you into your dream. What is pain? In the right hands it can be a tool, an instrument that can lead to personal success and you as an individual developing a personal vision for yourself.

There are many poets and writers in my life, my editors that I have so much to be thankful and grateful for who have accompanied me on my writing journey every step of the way. Everything that I have achieved I have achieved with their help. Morton Rand, my literary representative, Thanos Kalamidas of Ovi, Tendai Rinos Mwanaka of Mwanaka Media and Publishing (Mmap), Xavier Hennekinne of Gazebo Books, Sola Osofisan of African Writer Magazine and Naza Okoli, Sam Hawkesmoor of Hackwriters.com, Robin Barratt of The Poet Magazine, Toast Coetzee. They have to a certain extent extended kindness and a generosity of spirit to me. I respect and admire these individuals a great deal. Heather Robertson and Charles Molele assisted me with getting my first poems published as a teenager in a national print magazine in South Africa.

Depression, suicidal depression, rage, psychosis is not the be all and end all of the sufferer’s life. There are many instances where we have to overcome experiences that wounded us deeply in our lives. Perhaps as Dr Daniel Amen said in a recent podcast, “there is no such thing as mental illness. We are dealing with a brain health issue here.” His words rang true for me. I suggest you find this Dr Daniel Amen on YouTube and listen to his insights. I am doing in depth research on how nutrition and exercise, vibration, frequency and energy, prayer and meditation influences the mechanics and mechanisms of the brain. I am looking into dopamine, serotonin and binaural beats. I listen to music. My life is relatively stress free from whatever confronted me twenty odd years ago. I can’t completely believe that my healing had to begin with me processing my emotional pain and my triggers. We all have triggers and it is up to us to do the research into the language of divine love and the mind-body-spirit connection.

Abigail George
Abigail George
Abigail George is a researcher and historian. Follow her on Facebook, Linkedin and Instagram @abigailgeorgepoet.