My Nest: My Bed: & I


my small room in Belgium
My Nest and Bed in Belgium

Hello World, now that I no longer live in Belgium, I feel comfortable sharing my nest and bed in the final months I spent there. And nope, I didn’t make that room up to take a picture, that’s how I love my nest and bed to be made up to the pin. Indeed, the day I wrote a plea for strength to leave the bed, I was lying on that bed you see there.

I loved that nest of mine so much, it was pretty much the first and only one I got to have all to myself in Belgium – I could finally make it as comfy and nesty as I like for the sake of my hollistic wellbeing. I am not only a very time conscious person, but I love organization, tidyness, cleanliness you name it… I think I already blogged about my small cleaning venture before travelling out. I shared some surfaces with two flat mates like the kitchen, loo and living room, and I didn’t end up minding they abandoned the cleaning to me when they discovered I loved doing that. At least I go to eat free Indian and Senegalese food every now and then.

And so, here is why I write about my nest and bed today. I want to advocate from personal experience that the state of your nest and bed often reflect the state of your mind. May being Mental health awareness month, I am raising awareness anyway comes to my mind.

I am almost addicted to a made up nest and bed that I’ll not step out of my room in the morning even to go for sports, without making up my bed and space. This space can be the tiny one I had out there, the other homes I lived in before there, the two bedroom home I currently live in with my musketeers, or even a palace I may end up in who knows right? and – those musketeers already know their mama by now – gladly two out of three like neatness and tidiness too. To me, where I retreat to and call my home, and where I lay me down my head to rest, I just like thinking of it throughout the day and seeing it so well kept and ready for my return – smelling so comfy with some candles and potpouri and all. I mean next to my bed or bedroom, two other favourite places in any nest I have are the Loo and the kitchen…

I know there are some people who don’t care about such trivalities which could instead add further pressure to a perfectionist gauge, I can only envy them their care free selves. I haven’t been able to try leaving my nest and bed un made – make a psychologist will explain why to me someday…

And you my gentle readers and followers, anyone ever had such thoughts about their nest and bed?

Take care of your mental health, you must not have a mental illness to feel concerned about your mental health. A good mental health means you can think straight about pretty much anything and so it is as serious as the sprain in your knee.

Officially launching my coaching business: Wish me well


The business is official…an enterprise has been jointly founded Amen

It is no secret that when you have a vision you have to nurture it and keep at it against all odds. And then when you feel it in you that it’s time to go pro, you take that leap of Faith your mentors and coach all tell you about.

I dreamt of a coaching business 3 years ago, and I started keeping record of my journey. Developing myself and learning along the way. Yes I have many passions, but this one is among the closest to my soul.

I also landed a great team, I thank my Lord… I take off solo next Sunday but thereafter my cofounder and I will share many more stages. Our website is still under construction but I know how baby steps are necessary to the formation of a man.

In honour therefore of May which is Mother’s month and Mental Health Advocacy month, I am setting off at very affordable cost of 1$ or less so that as many as can come get to listen to me, share with me, and network with one another.

I encourage you in your own visions, good night

Mother is Gold Gathering


Hello world, so this was me at the IMA gatherings for mothers yesterday to talk about singlemotherhood. It was awesome although the media guy didn’t come and so did many invitees. Due to security reasons ahead of today which is ‘national unity day’ in Cameroon_ the event was ordered to be over by 6.30 pm. In Africa and maybe elsewhere, when you say an event is due to start at 3 or 4 pm, well people start trickling in by 6 pm.  I thought I was running and I took my time because I had decided to do so henceforth, and yet I was still the first person there.

Anyway, in images for our collective eyes. My VIP guess was none other than Alain who also spoke twice to his sheer…

You can tell it is us by our smiles lol

A selfie just before the event started

Happy weekend to us all

Mother…


Mother

No one can take your place oh  mother

If you be mad the child still hopes

Yet you may not be conscious about that and it hurts

Nevertheless we all think of you our mothers

Most of us mothers know what is unconditional love

We felt it right from within the womb

Hence we may find it hard to think the baby ain’t ours forever

The seasons change, the years go by

That baby could become a mother too

If you mother never let her be, never taught her to love yet let go, ain’t that an unhealthy mental cycle in place?

Oh mother, you who so give your all

To love them all or almost

Relationships sometimes so complex

Challenging and yet nurturing

Dread and dare and darling all dished out

Is that how it works for all? Could that be nature’s doing?

I wish there were a mother’s manual but I think flowing from the heart is best… No matter how mixed the signals, mother is all we have, motherhood ain’t never an easy hood

 

Love your mothers nothing withstanding, it ain’t easy for neither them nor us – above all take care of your mental health – I attend the IMA Gold gathering with my first son and I am super excited he’ll be seeing me on stage for the first time

Enjoying Me My Mental Health Advocacy


 

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My contributions on pages 20-21

Hello world, it’s 18 days already into this month which is Mental Health Advocacy Month, and am enjoying my efforts at raising awareness.

I mean, in addition to writing and networking for such a ‘complex’ subject which I am passionately passionate about (oh yes I am), I have had the honour of guest blogging and now am even published in a magazine oh wow.

Two full pages to write all I wanted on the topic

 

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And it could not have landes on a better date. Today I am not only working from home because am tired of commuting into town with all that ‘crazy traffic’, but I also had to deal with 2 ‘mini’ stressors this morning.

Let me sit back and leisurely read this magazine. LEGIDEON is published by some dynamic sons and daughters of my native land in the diaspora;  and it is Succulently labelled “A Washington DC Based News Magazine” – you can log in and read online.

Keep doing what you do and enjoy yourself in the process… All the best to us all – take care of your mental health

Questions to an author: Molly McHugh P2


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Hello world, Let’s continue with the second part of our interview right? You can refresh on P1 right here

3) The Writing

  1. Did any books/memoirs influence your writing (style, presentation, content)?

    No. I wrote it how I wanted it to be, played a bit. And though it does have a nice creative style and feel that many (not all!) have commented they enjoyed, it was a bit crap at the start. I was too full of myself, too thrilled with getting it finally done (much was written in notes 20 or so years earlier and saved in email). It needed a lot of editing (I did all editing myself) and it needed to be filled out with more detail.

    I recently even did a minor update with a few things that needed to be fixed and added in a couple of resources. Just want it to be of value to whoever takes the time to read it. And for it to help someone heal their suffering. Give ideas of things that may help.

  1. Did you have a writing mentor?

    No. A few were very kind to check out the earlier version (and honest enough to tell me it needed a ton of editing!) but that was it.

  1. How long did it take you to write and get the memoir published?

    I had a bunch of notes I had written years before and saved in my email. It just felt right to do it, and I was ok being public as my son was older. First version I put up on Amazon as a kindle book took maybe eight months to complete. Updated that a little and then published as a paperback book via Createspace maybe six months or so later.

4) The Message

  1. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

    I shared as much as I could. My blog is full of more info on a ton of topics that didn’t fit into the book. And my way of learning and connecting with others, helping to affect change. Speaking out abou the overdiagnosing and overdrugging, etc. I learned not too long ago about the death of children who are erroneoulsy being given BP diagnosis. So sad. They have health issues, but no, they should not be on psychotropic medications. The doctors fueling this new targeting of children – some have been sued after the child become completely disabled or worse, dies – should be in jail is my line of thought.

  1. Any other writing projects, blogging, business etc?

My bipolar blog I mentioned above – a much different voice than most of what is out there.

My freelance writing business – info here:  I’d love to help someone write their memoir! Special discount for mental health focus 🙂

  1. Where can your memoir be found?

On Amazon here as a paperback and kindle book.

Thank you very much Molly for answering my questions. We hope to stay informed of any updates with your projects.

Any questions for Molly or ideas for my questions to an author series please leave them in the comments! Thank you for reading; Mind your Mind and take good care of your mental health.

Questions to an Author: Molly McHugh


bipolar-1-disorder-how-to-survive-and-thrive-by-mollyHello World, during this month of May which is Mental Health Awareness month, I am as you must have noticed, doing interviews with authors who have written on mental health, especially about their personal experiences.

I have done a modest review of Molly’s memorable memoir on my blog, and it is my honour to interview her too. 

1) The Profile

  1. Let’s Start with a brief introduction of yourself – your background – and a tiny bit about your Childhood:

    Sure. Born in U.S., youngest of five kids, mom a nurse, dad (after 4 years in WWII) owned own insurance biz. Very athletic (probably saved me from having worse mental-physical health issues), soccer in college, diagnosed Manic Depression freshman year after a psychotic break and hospitaliztion. Normal middle class kid. Loved animals, loved nature, loved being active. Did well in school. Always in one sport or another. Had close friends, the first boyfriend, first kiss, pajama parties, dance parties, prom night… plus some other things I will refrain from mentioning. Lol.

  1. About your Memoir, how did you come up with this audacious title?

I had a FB group for e-book authors, and I asked for feedback on my book title. One of the earlier ones was “A Brain Gone Awry”… everyone hated it. I of course, thought it was brilliant. Ha! More ideas for a title not that great according to my helpful ‘more experienced writer’ critics either.

Then someone told me I had to be more clear, and that folks want to ‘solve a problem’. So I realized my gift to share was to focus on BP-1 (the classic Manic Depression) and to talk about the alternative care that I did over the years that helped me. And helped me not be on psych meds – which is huge. Most folks want that. Hence the title about BP-1 and how to thrive.

2) The Soul Journey

  1. Going from the assumption therefore that you are surviving and thriving, what is your take about mental health?

I am doing well. I’ve suffered – and still do – like anyone who has to deal with these issues but have had many wonderful things in my life as well, so am thankful.

My main issue is that the ‘Chemical Imbalance’ theory used to put folks on drugs has to end. Sure, these meds can help someone suffering with an epsiode of illness (bipolar is episodic in general – with normal periods of functioning) stabilize, get back in control, but are very harmful with long-term use. And no – there is no such thing as an identifiable imbalance they correct. They affect brain chemicals (like anything you ingest into your body) but are neurotoxins with many distressing side effects and create new ‘illness’ issues i.e. side effects.

Mental health is a huge term. It would take a long time to write my thoughts. But the main issue for me is to identify underlying causes of the symptoms someone is experiencing, if possible. And then search for ways to treat. I still deal with quite a bit of fatigue… but not severe, debilitating depression like I had in my younger years. God that was awful. And the improvement is from learning about and treating some of my unique health issues (thyroid, allergies, detox from toxic exposures, etc). Others can do this too.

  1. Did your diagnosis help or hurt your mental wellbeing in the long term?

What an excellent question. I’m not really sure how to answer this… as I had no ‘choice’ in being diagnosed. I didn’t read a book and think ‘oh, this is me’ or spend a bunch of time in therapy then get told I was bipolar. I had the classic onset with a manic episode in late teens and was hospitalized. And no, I was not doing cocaine or any recreational drug that caused it.

A diagnosis is just a label describing symptoms, is one way to look at it. I kept it pretty under-the-table from my outer life as much as I could when younger. But I had to have treatment – had severe depressive episodes and mania. So in that respect, it was needed I guess. Though I fought for other ways to be well and learned much, and healed much on my own with regular docs – what I share in my book.

I can say if I had bought into the ‘I have a chemical imbalance and have to take psych meds’ for life nonsense I would be dead by now. No question in my mind. And also I would not have had some of the amazing experiences I’ve been fortunte to have: college degree, healthy baby, well paid professional work, rasing my son as a single Mom, travel the world, etc. All of this while not on any psych med(s).

  1. Can you tell if there was a difference in the way you were treated and the way you perceived stigma before and after you got a diagnosis?

    I definitely have experienced stigma (personal relationships, being treated differently, fewer job opportunities) – was forced out of a four-year university program due to knowledge of my medical history. Stigma is real, and I am not sure how it can be changed.

    I had a fair amount of emotional cruelty too – the “tough love” approach is how some describe it. To deny what it really is. When I was severely ill, living on the street, wealthy family with multiple apartments unoccupied didn’t intervene. I spent Christmas in a homeless shelter miles from everyone else secure and safe in their home. Of course it was my fault I had become ill, my fault I was forced out of college then crippled with student loan payments, my fault I’d somehow not fit into the cultural norm everyone felt comfortable with, my fault I was raped, my fault I was mugged, my fault I somehow didn’t miraculously emerge a rock solid twenty-something making tons of cash.

    At it’s essence, stigma is really a form of emotional cruelty. And there’s plenty of cruel people in this world.

  1. If you wouldn’t mind, can you tell us about motherhood with a fragile mental health like yours?

Fragile is a bit offensive of a word… though I know you do not mean it that way. We all have strengths and weaknesses. Surviving what I’ve survived I look at as an inner strength, something in my makeup that no one will ever take away. It is a part of me and will be when I leave this earth. I’m vulnerable in ways some others are not, but not fragile. And never have been.

I loved being a mom and was like many other single moms. I was on no psych meds, never hospitalized, worked for many years, eventually went on disability but still worked to provide a better life and opportunities for my son. We lived and traveled abroad, he is bilingual, has had a ton of amazing experiences.

The only thing that is very different about me – that really would not be noticeable to others – is I have to keep stress down. Limit social time. Had to focus on my son, staying well. Most don’t have as much of those concerns. But most haven’t Manic Depression with a history of psychiatric hospitalization either.

It was always on the back of my mind that I had to stay focused and be careful not to trigger any severe episode. For the most part I was successful. No parent is perfect. My son was raised with more love and caring attention that many children are.

P2  – the conclusion of this lovely interview comes up tomorrow so stay subscribed lol & Thank you

Alone time to better position yourself…


Alone time 1

Hello world, this is a short post but I hope the title and graphics tell us it not one to be taken lightly. I will as usual use a personal incident to illucidate why I so value alone time.

One day a few weeks ago I returned home from seeing off a friend and there was smoke in the kitchen. It later on turned out my last son Gaby had turned the burner on and gone off to take a shower and then forgotten about what was on the stove. David had put some rice to warm us as I was leaving, and after he turned it off, Gaby taught he hadn’t done done a good heat up. When I came back, already stressed from some incident during the day, I was so angry I was shaking… all the what ifs were running wild in my head… I instinctly gave David a slap and just realized that wasn’t the best approach… I had tears in my eyes and the boy was apparently so shocked he burst into tears too… I quickly went and locked myself in my room and put some soothing music… I stayed in there for like 45 mins and although they all came knocking on the door, I had to calm down completely before letting them in. We talked, made peace and I was so sorry. I was however glad I locked myself up and got that alone time…

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We need alone time especially to care for ourselves, our mental health, take perpective etc. I call them My Me Moments and used to plan them and structure them and all… but now, even when I wake up and have some precious 15 minutes before the boys barge in, am grateful…I take even blogging breaks when I need to and I don’t appologize for saying No I can’t go with someone because I’ll rather stay by myself home… Life can be so hectic, these alone times are so needed to better position oneself

Alone time 3

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Precious alone time in on the beach Dakar after sports

And you gentle readers and followers, any thoughts on alone time?

Am invited to talk on Single motherhood by Amy Banda on her IMA get togethers


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Hello World, the first time I was invited on the IMA Series (Inspiring moments with Amy), I didn’t feel as excited as I do now. Actually, a few days ago (May 8th) while still in Dakar which I so dared, I received the following from Amy:

” Dear Marie,

I trust this mail reaches you in good health.

How have you been? I trust GOD all is well.

I am inviting you to be a panelist on the IMA GOLD monthly’s second panel this May 19, 2017on ‘Choosing Single Motherhood: The Thinking Mother’s Guide’ which seeks to illustrate reasons why single motherhood is prevalent at such times, deliberate on strategies of single mothers’ success to bring up the children in an upright manner and  pinpoint the challenges single mothers face daily to raise their kids. Knowing you are an all round contributor to peace, human rights and coaching’

This topic seeks to illustrate the worth of the mother at home, and her multi tasking abilities to do a lot at a blow. It will be great having you share your enriching experience to help single mothers benefit from your testimonies.The ‘Making Mothers Matter’ enriching encounter will address single mother hood issues, the 21st century mother and the ever evolving technological trends which keep her away from her motherly duties. Why recognize a mother talks with principal aim to enrich the relationship between parents and their children. “

Why the excitement?

  1. Why – simply because I am a very proud single mother period!!! I am aware of the challenges, I have faced quiet many but I wouldn’t rush this stage of my life nor wish it to pass any fast. I am making the best lemonade I can and already reaping profits from this business – the joys are oh so joyful;
  2. I will inspire many I know who are still so overwhelmed and even ashamed of their situation in life… even those who ‘choose’ single motherhood deliberately, still deal with some melancholy and all which in my opinion isn’t healthy to one’s mental health at all – like many other things we do in life, if we don’t have it figured out or on check in our minds, the output can be shaggy or even lead to an outright meltdown;
  3. I love coaching on an audience scale instead of doing one on one. When I do the one on one, I get carried away too much into my client’s story, and well I spend more time with just one person instead of talking to many for the same time and then answering questions from the audience;
  4. To top it up, am very excited at seeing my dear Amy’s projects flourish. She is so talented and has so many ideas and projects. It is my honour to help in whatever way I can and she rightly considers me one of her big fans. I have been known to motivate her even on her sick bed;

What is there to be proud about single motherhood?

  1. Single mother is a mother like every other mother, but a mother who does it singlehandedly. Some single mums have their families to help them like Obama’s mother had, while others don’t. Doing such a job for me deserves pride and not prejudice;
  2. The fact that inspite of all the odds, you get to deal with the shame, guilt, pity, loneliness, and many more challenges to be this single mother each new day for as long as it lasts, is a feat to be proud of;
  3. By agreeing to go on that platform, I want to help the single mothers present and those watching from their homes to heal & deal:deal & heal

I will sure keep us all posted how this goes, it’ll sure be a boost to my mental health and my coaching journey.

Here is a picture film of the Pink edition in March on Female Entrepreneurship

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSX6RNoP6Eg&t=327s (My face is at 6.40-6.42) lol

Have a nice week us all and happy mid month

Nice Lemon: For toxic situations & Relationships


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Forget about its acidity
Hello World, May is Mental Health Awareness Month and I am dedicated to doing daily (weekdays) posts all having a relation to mental health. Today, I want to share some tips to helping detox from toxic situations and relationships which can harm our mental health. I picked them up from one of the many books I have read, one day I will find that book again and do a review – If I can recall it is about boderline personality people and how to cope: Hope it helps
NICE
N stands for: No. Practice saying it. And remember that you don’t need to explain why the answer is no.
I stands for: I. Express how you feel: “I feel …”; “I think …”; “I know …”
C stands for: Clear commitments and agreements. Strive for clarity when you communicate your expectations and commitments.
E stands for: Enough! Don’t hesitate to denounce abusive behaviour.
LEMON
L stands for: Leave the room or the situation.
E stands for: Emotional distance. Reduce the amount of personal information you share. Limit the topics of conversation.
M stands for: Move out of the house, or away from the area.
O stands for: On your terms. Visits and other interactions are your prerogative.
N stands for: Not answering, or selectively answering, calls, letters, e-mail.
Have a nice weekend us all: Remember you can make the best lemonade with all nice lemon you find

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