The BUNKER

In the bunker, the war can’t get to you. The bombs may shake the very ground you stand on. They may force you underground. But they cannot kill you. A familiar trigger entered my life again this week, and it pulled me under. Because that is the nature of darkness.  It lies latent. And when you think you’re home free, darling, you’re reminded that depression-darkness-addiction-struggle isn’t chicken pox! Just because you’ve had it once, doesn’t mean it can’t return. It may come back stronger. Please let it find that YOU too are stronger. I went into the bunker this week. Not to hide or cower, but into an underground war room. Because this is war. And a warrior cannot fall asleep on a battlefield. Whether an enemy is in sight or not: Stay Woke and Stay Strategic. Because what you must know is that your enemy is a coward. Let not your vice, whatever it may be, be the trump card that topples you. Do the daily work to ensure you cover your Achilles’ heel. We all have one.

Depression is a gift. It forces you into a darkness where you have to confront your way out. You’re given the opportunity to curate your life, or die. To plot victory in the details. You learn to dissect the darkness. Understand its modus operandi. It starts by presenting a seed, a sometimes seemingly harmless suggestion that if you allow it to be planted, becomes a slow poison. Darkness has components and accomplices, that you can break down one habit-belief-lie-trigger at a time. And herein lies its weakness. Confront, analyse, and eliminate each of these habits-beliefs-lies-triggers, and you will weaken your vice, one day at a time. Do the work.

Do a SWOT analysis on YOU. Meditate on your Strengths and expand them. Bravely confront and eliminate every component of your deepest and darkest Weaknesses. Open your eyes to your Opportunities. And build up learned armour and weapons for your Threats. In the fame, acceptance and success illusion driven world we live in today, we’re so focused on the pride of the upward rise that our egos prevent us from venturing into our weaknesses. We are muted by the shame of it, and shelve it, instead of confronting it. We’re so well adapted to numbing it, only to find that the numbing feeds it. Until that trump card becomes a monster. Be not surprised by it. Attack whatever your vice is while you can, and be not deceived by its latency. It may be depression. A drug addiction. An eating disorder. Self-harm. Negative self-talk. Substance abuse. Emotional pain you’ve never dealt with. Failures that have caused you to bow to them. Beliefs that cripple you. A lie about you that someone made you believe. Whatever your darkness and its secret, know that as at today it has not managed to kill you. That means you’re ahead.

Depression is the world’s most widespread illness and the leading cause of disability worldwide. Every 40 seconds on the globe we call home someone commits suicide. The global relapse rate into drug use within a year after treatment stands at 85%. Every 62 minutes at least one person dies as a direct result from an eating disorder. Nearly 50% of individuals who engage in self-injury activities have been sexually abused. Globally, 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of sexual abuse. Emotional pain is a steady poison that daily debilitates your mental health.

Speak out against your darkness. Attack it. And you will find you are not alone. Vices are human conditions, and as humans, none of us are immune to any of them. We should be able to say, “I’m going through hell”, and have someone say “Hey! I’m going through it too! Here’s what I’m doing to get out.” We are a species designed to love. Do that. Lest you lose a loved one because the world judges, and they thought you would too. Lest you lose you.

What is Frolicatier?


  1. A life as art adventure that recognises that you require no permission to be the highest and truest expression of you (who, in your heart of hearts, you really want to be) and to deliberately grow into that expression, knowing that you are worthy to own the life you were created for.
  2. A reliable source of curated content designed to support that adventure.
  3. A nurturing space for everyone who is the keeper of a dream that can change the world – that would be you.
  4. A birthplace for social movements that move the human race forward and overthrow social ills.
  5. A brave honouring of a purpose-filled creative gift, it’s light-seeking curiosities and light-sharing expressions. Girded with passion and wisdom through the battles I’ve overcome I have grown into the perfect purpose God has for my life, and I will steward it with according honour, gratitude, and the courage to be the highest and truest expression of who I was created to be.
  6. A dynamic hub for innovation, inspiration, and impact.
  7. A happy factory! Where you will always receive soul food to frolic in being bravely true to who you were limitlessly created to be and live a bigger life than you could ever have expected to manifest. I desperately want to see you release your true greatness (and defeat your darkness-limits-fears-failures-excuses-ceilings, whatever it may be) and how the embracing of beautiful you changes the world in ripples.

The past four weeks have been life-changing for me. I have seen how the brave embracing of a dream and a purpose (far) bigger than me has had ripples across the globe. Frolicatier has received emails and messages from Tokyo, Atlanta, Montreal, Johannesburg, Nairobi about how this dream is inspiring Frolicatiers to be good and great in brave new ways. I have learnt that when a dream born in your imagination and soul comes to light, it has more dimensions than you could ever dream it would birth! I pray this inspires you to birth your light-filled dreams. I can assure you, they are limitless. Follow them bravely. They know the way.

I am writing this piece in the wake of what was a near fatal relapse for me. My heart is also with one of the artists featured on this piece, who relapsed into her pain after 6 years of sobriety, and whose brave Light inspired me to share this message. I am also writing this piece in the wake of the longest and most spectacular lunar eclipse of this century. It reminds me that no matter the size of any battle I face, the magnitude of the God who created this spectacular universe we can be in awe of, sees my battle, and is bigger than it.

Your love note emails and messages encourage me more than I could ever express. And in particular those messages that say, “Hey! I’m going through that too!” Please always feel free to write in, Frolicatiers. This is a nurturing space for everyone who is the keeper of a dream, and should there be anything trying to rob you of that…we’ll fight it together!

“Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” – Leonard Cohen “Anthem”

Love you,
Nicola

Team Frolicatier


Nicola Ontong
Nicola Ontong

Frolicatier, Global Creative Lead

Penelope Hodkinson
Penelope Hodkinson

Frolicatier, Global Design Lead

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