Basketball and the mental health of a struggling writer

When writing fails as a form of therapy, I turn to sports

In Summary

• Short-lived sporting history comes back to mind during trip out of small state in US

Action between Kimumu and Seko Girls' during Moiben Sub County championships at the University of Eldoret last weekend
Action between Kimumu and Seko Girls' during Moiben Sub County championships at the University of Eldoret last weekend

I drove four hours to a new state today to watch some basketball. Back in Kenya, during my short stay at Chania Girls, they tried to recruit me to the basketball team, but I somehow ended up in the netball team, where I would proceed to break my leg and never play sports again.

I’m told that I also played sports in primary school, but I have no memory of ever doing that. I have no memory of a lot of things, I don’t like to remember. Given the amount of trauma I endured during my formative years, I don’t like to remember things. I still remember some things that I don’t like and when I do, I pretend they are things I saw in the movies and not things that happened to me. I digress.

I’ve been needing this trip. I was beginning to feel like my small town was becoming a little suffocating and was sucking the life out of me. As I type this, I’m lying in a King Size bed and I’m coming from what can easily be described as the best shower I have had in a long ass time. The fact that my headlights went out about five miles before I got to my destination has not affected my mood. I think it’s the air in this new town, the feel of these new sheets, and the look of these new streets in this new state.

If we’re being honest, I have been struggling. I’ve been struggling to breathe, to live, to laugh, to write, everything has become a struggle.

The last time it hurt (not literally but still) to live like this, was right before I moved countries. The change I knew was coming was so monumental that my mind shut down. I zombie-walked for the first year and a half, and have been spending a year and a half trying to fix myself.

It’s been going great so far. I’m conscious enough to understand what my triggers are and what to do when I can’t do anything. So now, faced with this next big change that’s causing my brainwaves to go into overdrive, I decided to get away from anything that was forcing me to face reality.

The first thing that gets affected when I’m stressed out is my writing. I’ve been writing this particular piece since last night, and I’m still not sure if I’m saying anything. Piecing words together has always been my favourite form of therapy, and I’m so unsure what to do with myself when those pieces don’t fit. So, I took a road trip to watch some basketball.

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