Enduring the storm

A journey of overcoming a loss by Madelein Hendricks

I read this post on social media that said “we are not all in the same boat. We are in the same storm. Some have yachts, some canoes, and some are drowning. Just be kind.”

This post hit home in so many ways. Inside my mind, I have been going through this storm of life in my business yacht, sipping away at the cocktails of success, proudly wearing my sailor’s hat of leadership, cruising past the doubters of my life… And then, BAM! A cyclone of a pandemic hits the world, and fills us all with fear and uncertainty.

Before I knew it, in 18 months, I managed to find my business yacht sinking, faster than I could scoop the water out of it, during the raining storm. It poured problems of lockdowns, cash flow, retrenchments, and finally having to shut the doors of my office. It  left me battered, soaking wet… and alone.

Over the last couple of weeks, it has felt like I have reached a deserted island, an unfamiliar place which was filled with anger, resentment, fear, and a lot of bottles of wine. In the background, I could hear the loving support of my family and friends, but my state of exhaustion and depression couldn’t find them.

As I lie in the sand of my troubles, feeling the warmth of the sun, I can taste the salt of the tears streaming down my face,  as my heart breaks little by little in the passing days.

Blessed by the fire inside of me, I pulled myself up, dusted off as much of the sand I could possibly part with, and made my way to the canoe waiting for me.

Right now, I am paddling. Most days, I just sit in my canoe and hold on for dear life, waiting to be saved. Some days I paddle some more. My business yacht is now only but a memory, and a reminder of what I can be in this life and that my accomplishments are not a reflection of failure, but a result of the damaging storm which I have endured.

I have learnt a lot this year.

I have learnt that things don’t always turn out the way you planned, or the way you think they should. There are things that go wrong and don’t always get fixed exactly the way that they were before. I have learnt that some things stay broken. I have learnt that you can get through bad times and keep looking for better ones, as long as you are surrounded by the people who love you.

My canoe is built from a strong foundation of love and support from my family and friends, but a woman like me will always sail a yacht.

Disclaimer: If you are suffering from depression, or suspect that you are abusing alcohol, please reach out to a friend, family member or a professional for support. I am here for you too – email me at madelein@thevent.co.zW