Monday, October 6, 2014

Rise of the Phoenix

It has been one of those days again that make you feel trapped into a game. Like the Truman Show. Where someone is overseeing your progress, toying with your life, your future and most importantly, your emotions. If i hadn't been able to get on the plane and come to Sweden, i would be excused to think that i am actually living in a reality show, or a god simulation game where there is a giant invisible hand above me watching my every move, plotting another adventure scenario each day.

I am going to tell you a story today. A story from my recent past, the days of my last true love. Days where pain and suffering overtook me daily, where acid tears glided like rivers in my cheeks right out of my eyes until i had no more strength or tears to shed. Why? Because for the first time after 7 years i felt how it is to feel love for someone again. And because it is very complicated for me it reminded me of the days i spent in the army.

As i walk the streets of Uppsala and see all those people and couples that enjoy these tender moments i just can't help but remember how that felt, how the loss of my dog and my love affected my life and my choices, how i ended up in Sweden and how i actually hugged my sister for the first time after 19 years. It's not all fun and games, though i might talk about what happened yesterday and today. We shall see fellow babies.

It took me years to stand on my feet again.
It was 26th of November 2012. I was in the general army camp of Avlona, one of the biggest gathering camps in Greece and the Balkans. I just had learned 5 days ago that the first and only love of my life, my shinning star, caring mother of our baby dog had found a new person to love.

The blame was shared, i did some wrong moves, motivated by jealousy, pain, suffering, being engulfed in a sea of strange people i did not want with me, taking orders from despicable human beings with no respect for the fellow man or any humility, enforcing their opinions, rotten opinions and commands that we were supposed to follow, not by respect, but out of fear.

That day was supposed to be a happy one. Relatives and family from all over the country flocked in the army camp to share some moments with their beloved children. It was a day where all of them were invited and for the new recruits to let off some steam and see some familiar faces.

The walk from the camp was long, about 15 minutes until the entrance. I remember the last time i got there, trying to get some food delivered from the famous "The recruit's cantina".

My legs were so heavy. Burdened by the weight of expectation, of failure and shattered memories, i was enveloped by the abyss. I was mechanically carrying a chair in order for my sister to sit. She was the one that would come and see me that day. If everything was well Alexandra would be here. Every step i took i thought i would fall down and nobody would pick me up and take me out of there. Away from the bottom of the barrel.

I saw happy faces everywhere, soldiers that cheered up, ready to have the day off and relax. But i also saw faces like mine. Drenched in fear and loneliness, a doom and gloom of cataclysmic proportions covering their faces, their skins pale as a ghost, their spirit weakened, ready to depart towards the spiritual world.

I had reached an all time low of 68 kilos. In less than two weeks since my enlistment during my birthday, i went from 77 to 68 kilos from the misery, the tears, the lack of food and support and my lack of willpower for life. As much as love can make you do superhuman things and defy all odds, its death can make you feel empty, black and insignificant and make you bleed all the joy out of you. And that day did not help. Not in the way it unraveled...

Getting in the woods, marching towards the entrance you could hear life and laughter echoing. The first influx of visitors had arrived. I was scared of what i would see. We finally made it to the gathering point, a place of sheer beauty, with short grass and wooden tables and benches next to the historical artillery and tanks of the Greek army.

A short look around me was enough to crush my knees and break the fragile wall of self-esteem i had recovered during the past days. Happy people running towards their loved ones. Almost every soldier had his girlfriend visiting, a person that genuinely cared for them. I remember one running with 2 chairs in his arms for 100 meters, sprinting to hug his girlfriend down the road. He dropped the chairs on the ground and lifted her like a piece of cloth, spun her around then they shared the most passionate kiss i had seen for the past years.

I remember the inner struggles, the titanic strength i mustered not to cry and break down there. I felt weak and vulnerable, jealous and unsure if i would feel the same again. My sister would arrive in 30 minutes. My mind was broken and my thoughts numbed. I felt lobotomized. I would take the wrong choice once more.

Right next to the picnic area there was a tiny hilltop with a tarmac road slashing it in the edges. I lost my chair somewhere but i did not care. I sat there on the edges alone, a forlorn figure once more. I kept watching happy people hugging and kissing everywhere around me. I found myself calling Alexandra's number...i had to say something. We were barely talking, she was cold as ice and the last time she cried about me was when i told her about the ring.

I remember her saying "hi how are you?" like she was talking to a stranger. I started talking, saying how i felt and how i hoped things were different. How i hoped i would sleep and everything would be normal again. How i witnessed everyone around me being proud and happy. I remember telling her that i saw almost everyone with their girlfriends and that they were so immensely happy...and her replying that she did not believe me.

I cried for 30 minutes, trying to remain unseen. Tears flooded my eyes, that became sore. I was muttering words and phrases in pauses, because i was not able to cope with the sobbing and the pain. I remember saying that i felt plagued by death and that i had a dream. A dream that i once saw her in the street and i greeted her. And that she replied to me by saying "Who are you? Do i know you?" I woke up sweaty and frightened that night.

It's funny how they say that dreams are mere illustrations of what we really want and crave, or that sometimes they can even predict the future. Because fast forward January 2014 i called her to see my beloved dog and see replied "Who are you?". That is the last time i ever saw my dog and the last contact i will ever have with Alexandra. I have to admit that every 6 months i enter her profile page and steal one of my dogs pictures, to see that Flicka is well and beautiful.

I miss you baby...
I bombarded the phone with phrases of pain. At least i am not an emotionless robot. "I had no idea you felt that way" she said. That did nothing to comfort me. She would never understand....

Then we hung up, i had to try and recover. I sat with some people from my hometown and their families and girlfriends. They fed me and tried to cheer me up, because i looked like a human wreck. And i would have been even worse if there was not a special person that proved the cornerstone and my mentor in this toughen-up adventure. We will talk about her later.

My sister came. She brought me some supplies from mom and she bought me some water and apple juice from the cantina. She asked me if i am well and i pretended to be so. She could probably see  through it, but i had to fake it. Time passed and the visitors had to start leaving. Then i hugged my sister for the first time in 19 years. I had to remove the poisonous feelings of vulnerability and banish my lack of family love and embrace it for the first time. I am sorry if i am a horrible person sometimes mom. I love you all.

Then i saw a guy that looked like me. Alone and drown in sorrow. I picked up his chair and patted him in the shoulder and told him "Be brave". A small smile was carved in his cheeks and he said thank you. I never saw him again, nor i ever learned his name. I hope you are good friend.

The long journey to redemption started. Baby steps one at a time. I cried for 6 months. But it's ok there is no bad blood. I am better than that. But man that journey was rough. As i walked towards the sunset i thought about the past and all those wonderful memories closed in that tightly sealed box inside the corners of my brain. I had an epiphany, the sun was setting, but in a few hours it would rise again. And i would rise as a phoenix, with wings of fire leaving behind the scorched earth and rising towards the sun, to fly high and with such vigor and ferocity, to take the world by storm. I will take over the world, prepare yourselves for me...

At this point my journal entry ends. There is only one person left to talk about. I will not say her name, though she perfectly knows who she is. I would probably would not have made it was it not her support through the dark times i found myself walking through. She supported me from the first moment, even though she knew me barely. But from the little bit i knew about her, from that aura of positivity and kindness i witnessed...when all hell broke loose, i called her. And she listened to me, a practically strange man. She talked to me almost everyday, she helped me pull through and recover mentally. She advised me and told me better days will come. That if i can outbox 25kg heavier people in the ring i can surely tackle them outside in life as well. She told me that she would take me out when i returned home and that i would meet the hottest women through her. Hell she even made me laugh a bit with phrases like these. It has been two years almost and i am sure i will never forget her name or her contribution to my development.

So Thank You and when i die and leave this place after many many decades, i will be proud to say that i was your friend. You may not know it, but every Easter i lighted a candle for you in church. I wish you a placid sleep and a great weekend.

Let's get ready for the grand finale.
These words were written in tough times. I guess i explode on paper. I know which people are close to me...the rest of you can fuck off. If you crossed me and made me bleed, think about it, it's a shame.
There's no easy way out, no shortcut. It's not nice, i smile rarely lately and i don't sleep well. I don't have many news to share and i have distanced my self from my friends in Uppsala. I feel like ice, ready to break. The land of tears is a strange place and it's my fault that i visit it often.

I am gathering strength within me to transform, because i learned to give love so don't be scared princess, i will be there if you need me, remember that...I have the impression that some people do not respect me as a human, shame on you you have become frozen machines, lost into electronic addresses losing the way back home. I wonder if i should be sad or happy. I am writing what i think because i cannot hold it inside me.

Goodnight Sweden.Your feedback is important to me, so please share, subscribe or leave me a comment with your thoughts or what would you like to see in the future! Take care!

And remember. It ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward.

Mina Flicka....


  1. Τελευταία φορά που σε είδα ήταν κάπου ανάμεσα στα τέλη Οκτώβρη και αρχές Νοέμβρη καθώς περνούσα από το σημείο που καθόσουν, στο Παραδοσιακό της Αριστοτέλους και την Αλεξάνδρα να διαλέγει τι θα πάρει. Μέχρι που διάβασα το blog σου, δεν είχα ιδέα για το τι είχε συμβεί μεταξύ σας. Από εκείνη την ημέρα δεν την έχω ξαναδεί και δεν ξαναμιλήσαμε, επομένως δεν ξέρω κανένα νέο της. Παρακολουθώ εσένα όμως και χαίρομαι που βρίσκεις το δρόμο σου.
    Να θυμάσαι πως ο καθένας παίρνει αυτό που του αξίζει (αργά ή γρήγορα...) και ότι Ουδέν κακόν αμιγές καλού. Ξέρω, κλισέ ατάκες και οι δύο, αλλά στην περίσταση νομίζω ταιριάζουν.
    Φιλιά πολλά από Θεσσαλονίκη, να προσέχεις και καλή τύχη σε ότι κάνεις. Μέτρα ένα ακόμα άτομο που ενδιαφέρεται για'σένα (ειλικρινά το λέω) κάτω στην πατρίδα.

  2. Γεια σου Κλαιρη! Wow μικρος που ειναι ο κοσμος ε; Αρχες νοεμβρη ηταν. Ευχαριστω πολυ για τα καλα σου λογια, ειναι ομορφο να βλεπω οτι καποιος ακομα με θυμαται και του αρεσουν αυτα που γραφω. Εισαι πραγματικα ευπροσδεκτη οποιαδηποτε στιγμη στο σπιτι μου τοσο στην Ελλαδα οσο και εδω. Να εισαι παντα καλα!

  3. Οι λογικές σκλήρυναν απότομα!

    1. Μπερδευτηκα λιγο εδω :P Αλλα οκ!

  4. Τωρα πραγματικα εκλαψα ομως