The Nine Lives Of This Body That Houses Me

As I write this, I am nursing septic burns that have covered the right side of my body.

To say I am in constant and severe pain is an understatement.

The night I burnt myself with a 25 litre bucket full of boiling water, I wondered in between my screeches of horror, if the emotional trauma of the self inflicted wounds would be something I ever recover from. I’m still not sure.

It’s been four days since my accident.
The pain first introduced itself as something I’d compare to feeling like being on fire.

With medication and dressings, it lessened to what can compete to what you feel when you burn yourself with an iron. Now the blisters are oozing fluids and my skin is peeling off.

I have always had a high tolerance for pain but this pain seems determined to swallow me whole. I cry when I walk. I groan when I lie down.


Late last year, I suffered an injury on my right foot. I’d fallen while walking to the shop. My foot had swelled up like a baloon and my xray results had insisted it wasn’t broken, even though I couldn’t walk.

I walked with a limp for months until it went away, eventually taking the pain with it.


On my birth date at the beginning of the year, I sat on a plastic chair in a community clinic, convinced it was my day to die.

When it was my turn to see the nurses, they diagnosed my symptoms as lysteriosis. With two injections, one on each buttcheek and medication in hopes to cure me, I was sent home.

I recovered quickly, lucky to be alive at a time when the sickness had claimed so many lives.


About a week ago, I’d reached breaking point, my business partner and I were racing against time determined to meet funding deadlines for the annual festival we co-host in rural Eastern Cape.

I could feel myself slipping into the worst depressive episode, I had to put a halt to all my efforts of curating and organizing and applying. My shaky mental health forcing me to make self-care my only priority.

I didn’t have the luxury of time to accomodate such a mental breakdown.


At this moment, my body houses rough swollen skin, the scars of my burn and all this insistent pain.

As someone who’s suffered/continues to suffer so many ailments, I can’t help but wonder what the breaking point of this body will be.

On its normal days, it is plagued with faulty wiring of its brain chemistry, accompanied by chronic anxiety. And on its bad days, it is met with unecessary accidents.

This body seems determined to outlive a lot, overcoming as it goes along. I’m definitely holding a grudge against everything it has been through but also in awe of its strength.

Once more I am alive and I am healing.

8 thoughts on “The Nine Lives Of This Body That Houses Me

  1. Ooh my sweet Sinawo, I’m so sorry you have to go through this. Mental illness is real and once it reaches breaking point, there is zero reasoning, one ceases to appreciate anything and fear makes one believe that this is how life will become, hence we resort to taking our own lives. I know, I’ve been there. Once you survive it, often people who’ve never battled with depression won’t understand, they’ll see it as a weakness and fail to understand. Through it all, God showed mercy on you, He showed Himself in that moment when your body couldn’t take the pain. You will heal my beautiful sister and you’ll come out stronger. Much 💕

    Liked by 1 person

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