Lerato

This is so like me isn’t it! It is so like to me to befriend someone much younger than myself. So, ultimately the depression got worse and I got overwhelmed and lost control of my mind and now I found myself in the psychiatric ward of Kalafong Hospital in Pretoria. The first few days were quite rocky, I did what I do best, kept to myself. I followed the instructions and adhered to the rules. I shouldn’t talk about my mental state because you will lose the little respect you still have of me.
I want to talk about Lerato, the girl I met here at Kalafong Hospital. The first time I saw her I could tell she was younger and smart, she had that “born in the 2000s” look. I never talked to her right away. Only the second day when she introduced herself to me. She said to me, “Hi How are you? My name is Lerato and I am 19 years old,” I responded by saying “my name is Georgina and I have lost count of my years?” She stepped closer and said “you speak good English,” I said to her it couldn’t be, I am old school, like Bantu education. And just at that moment we clicked.
We started chatting about why she was in here and myself as well, but I found her story more interesting than mine. She has been diagnosed with bipolar, her parents got divorced and her grandmother passed away and she is studying Development Studies at Wits University and uttered; “Development Studies (DVS) is a field of Academic Enquiry in which we explore debates, experiences and practical ways of achieving an improvement in the Human Condition”. If you want my opinion, the name of the course alone is enough to send anyone to a psychiatric ward, but I guess you didn’t ask for my opinion now, did you?
But she is strong though, she knows what she needs to do to get better and she also knows what she wants from life and also so positive and fun to be around. Yesterday one of the nurses saw us together and decided to move us closer to each other, I am not sure why but I think it’s because they noticed that I was too quiet so they needed me to interact with someone else. And Lerato was just what the doctor ordered, she gave me hope, she makes me want to try again.
Stimela sang: “See the world through the eyes of a child, the lyrics go on to say: ‘I could see right, no wrong, I could see good, no bad, I could see all the good things in life that I’ve never had, If I could see the world through the eyes of a child, what a wonderful world this would be.”
So, then I am seeing the world through Lerato’s eyes, she brings life into everything she touches. Whenever I start entertaining the beautiful mess inside my head, out of nowhere comes Lerato and says something silly like, let’s just giggle for no reason, just to make the nurses curious. And then we go like hmmmmm gigigigigi and the mess just disappears into thin air.
My friends and family in their usual self, have been wonderful and great, I could have never asked for a better people in my life. I can see that they are really trying their best. And I hope to be there for them when it’s my turn to do so.
But Lerato’s presence is on a different level. I get goosebumps when she approaches me because I have no idea what she’s gonna say next. Someone from my normal circle would say, “are you okay?” And I would say “better”. Lerato would say you’re my best friend right? And I would say “of course I am,” and then she would jibe, “I am so glad I found you.”
And just like that she had ignited something inside me, it’s like the light at the end of the tunnel, the one you guys kept telling me about, and I am yet to experience. My wonderful friends would comment, “but Georgina there is light at the end of tunnel, just be patient.” Of course, there is, keep on believing that.
For me, it’s Lerato, the beautiful pink diamond from Mahikeng. As innocent as the day she was born. Sees the best in everyone. Respects people and her smile is so infectious. Dark like any African princess would be. K, I know what you are thinking, people come into our lives for a reason. She is still a child who needs more love, I am saying more love because I have met her beautiful mother. She is a loving mum. And Lerato is reminding me of my purpose in life.
My journey is far from over, but the world through Lerato’ eyes is so beautiful. And today we are having our own little picnic outside our hospital ward, an it is so refreshing.
Thank you for reading
Georgina Mushi Soweto Sunrise News

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