Erico the so called ‘Fool’: My Hero in Wum P1


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That is Erico shortly after I courted him

Dear World, remember I said I was gonna be away last week right? Yes, I went to a village called Wum in the northwest Region of Cameroon. I mention this village because over 20 years ago it was the scene of one terrible disaster. Will bring that up in another post.

Now, over to my Hero Erico. Some call him a fool. I wonder who is the bigger fool, cause after 8 or so hours with Erico, and all the places we visited and discussions we had and the transformation I saw in his ‘spirit’, I am humbled – simple – Amen!!!

When I got to the compound, I noticed Erico sitting isolated under a tree. Guess he’s used to. I decided to befriend him, and offered that we share a meal. He was so excited.

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Yes I wasn’t really hungry but wanted to court Erico and stigmatize some stigma in that area

Now, while am sitting there with Erico, a lady comes up to us and ask me if I know Erico before. I say well I know him now and ask why, she says because he’s a fool and may embarass me. Ha!!! I let her go. Then a second man comes up, and asks me if I don’t want to go eat indoors; I ask why (like I don’t know he’s jealous of Erico), he says well it’s more comfortable indoors. I say no thanks.

You see people, their envy fuels me up with motivation to make Erico my Hero and star of my short stay. And Erico knows that village inside out. He was abandoned with his paternal grandma by his mum when he was 5 years old because she couldn’t cope with such a foolish child. I taught Erico how to take a picture and see his shot below. He was so excited:

He ignored the kids laughing at him when he initially fumbled with the camera, and am so impressed with his improvement. He took me to the market, and the infamous lake and talked about so much. I will be sharing more of those in p2. I end this with another more glowing picture of Erico taken a few hours later. I got him that jersey from the market as a souvenir.

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I wish I could afford snickers that day, he tells me he loves football but the kids don’t let him play: He had graciously taken a shower and was so impressed with himself – he was the star of the day

This is the first part of my short series of a personal experience with one of the marginalized in our society – the ones we stigmatize because of their physical appearance or mental disposition which apparently is not ‘normal’ and so they should be shunned. One ‘Christian’ lady (she wore their uniform) actually made a gesture like they ( yes Erico’s 2 other friends Ndolo and Tangatapan also became my friends) were smelling and should leave the place.

So my e-world, what do you think of such experiences and different perspectives?

BBC Two Interview: Proud to be a Single Woman – Miraculous Ladies 


http://miraculousladies.com/bbc-two-interview-proud-to-be-a-single-woman/

Aw e-world am back to internet zone. I just had to share this post of my dear friend June. 

For us single ladies and single mums, Valentine’s day could be hard if you are still ‘desperately’ searching for ‘love’…

So, kindly share your reactions to her post on her blog. Thank You

Learning to Face My Fears Part 3 – The Ashley Rose series!


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I started exposing the roses of my dear friend Ashley Rose and if you want a recap of series 1 and 2 then click here: and here:

Today I expose part three and I am happy the way it turned out for her in this particular series that she not only overcame the fear of moving to ‘Atlanta’ but she ended up ‘liking and craving’ for Atlanta.

Read on, enjoy and leave a comment, share with us how you overcame any fear of yours, and of course do not hesitate to share the post with your friends…

Atlanta Braves Statute of Liberty!

Since I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder five years ago, I have made a conscious decision to face all of my fears. One of my biggest fears was moving to a big city. All the traffic, people, crime, and change were too much for me to face all at once. I was sure I would move to Atlanta and all this bad stuff would happen to me and I would come crawling back home to my small middle Georgia town. Surprisingly, I learned to adapt to my environment and thrive.

Visiting Atlanta: I knew that I wanted to move to Atlanta because I wanted to attend graduate school at Mercer University. While visiting, I was nervous driving in this big city with all the traffic and noise. Sitting in traffic can make you feel like you are so small in this big world. The only traffic I ever sat in was at the local Dairy Queen drive thru. Learning how to get from one place to the other was difficult because I relied on my GPS who sometimes has mood swings and works when she wants to. Sometimes I change her accent because I think she will sound nicer, but it doesn’t work. I decided to visit the college and ride through downtown on a Friday. It was not the visit I envisioned because I spent hours in traffic and stared at more tail lights than the actual city. But, I knew beyond all that I feared, Atlanta was calling my name.

Finding a place to call home: I finally got my acceptance letter from school, so now things were becoming a reality. I had to find my very own apartment. Looking for apartments in a city is much different from the country because you never know what you are going to stumble upon. Within the same price range, I could view a beautiful apartment in metro Atlanta, but a complete dump in the city area. So this task was going to be harder than I expected. After viewing several places, I decided to call a cute two-bedroom town home my residence. I went to the country, packed up my cats and belongings and headed to the big peach city.

Moving and adjusting: Deciding to keep my home where I grew up was a safety net decision; I guess I was not ready to completely let go of my small town. The moving process went well. I was able to buy a lot of new things and call the place my home. The first few months were really hard because I missed my family and friends. My anxiety kicked in high gear. According to the book “Dancing with Fear,” the author describes major life changes can cause a feeling of stress overload. I was feeling it and dealing with some panic attacks, but started counseling around this time to gain insight. I remember the first month I was there, I was so lonely because I didn’t know anyone and class did not start for another three weeks. I was bored out of mind, but eventually when school started, I was faced with more than I bargained for. Once I got a part time job and settled into my school schedule, I started to really enjoy my life changing decision.

Thriving: I ended up graduating school and staying in Atlanta for a total of three years. I moved to Los Angeles for a year and then ended back in Atlanta because I missed the east coast so much. If I had never made the decision to move to Atlanta, there would have been parts of the world I would have never been comfortable experiencing. I have decided that I am a true city girl. When I go back to my small town, I am now an outsider and don’t fit in well, but still make time to visit loved ones. Facing my fear of moving to a bigger city exceeded my wildest dreams and enabled me to even follow my dreams.

Source: Dancing with Fear: Controlling Stress and Creating a Life Beyond Panic and Anxiety; Paul Foxman, Ph. D.

Listen to your body and nurture it to spare you some…


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Dear World,

Last week I returned from work one day and suddenly felt overwhelmingly tired. The kind of tiredness I felt was far from my normal. I got alarmed and decided to let a few friends know I could be on my way out at that rate. I mean I couldn’t even leave my room – my bed actually, and I had to be fed right there. A small meal took like for ever and once I drank the milk I slept for 9 straight hours. I woke up the next morning feeling better although my eyes hurt like I had over slept and my head was just calming down.

My friends advised me to rest – a lot – and that’s what I did the very next day – all day I took it at my pace and fed my body some healthy stuffs. I didn’t go into town to sit for 8 – 10 hours working away at the frantic pace I had somehow in retrospect picked up and was even proud of. I usually work hard, even sports is no joking business. But there is only so much the body can take, and as one of my friends pointed out, you can’t twist a 38 year old brain and body like you were 18. Let your size not fool you she added. I gladly re-tweeted a tweet from Ms Marala Scot an American best selling author which says: ‘Your body is not your enemy listen to it’.

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I have known that the body deserves breaks, I have just often thought we are masters and the body servants. It seems that’s a selfish way to look at it right? I keep learning it the hard way. It is not right, we can’t seem to want to play power tussle even with our own body and brain – makes no sense.

Sometimes, our to do list is simply overflowing and we feel like all the energy is there anyway. Yet, if we know ourselves and listen to our bodies, we could get to spare ourselves some headaches and heartaches. No doubt high blood pressure is said to be the silent killer. And when death does come, what will happen to that over stimulating to do list anyway? Maybe read out at your requiem or something?

Therefore my dear e-family, although it is good and even commendable to be ambitious and even audaciously daring, you need to listen to the body you are relying on!

Have you had any such experience with your bodies you would like to share ? How do you nurture your body ?

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Book Review: Bipolar 1 Disorder : How to Survive and Thrive by Molly Mchugh


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A mental illness definitely strips a person of so much; yet there is hope!!!

Introduction

I wish to begin my candid review of this epic memoir by expressing my gratitude to Molly for having stuck through with writing this memoir. She kept this dream alive for 20 years and I find this generous. Generous also because of all she shares in there – from a very personal and equally professional perspective. Here is someone who fell sick; lost her mind on some occasions; got diagnosed with one of those dreaded labels; witnessed the system’s ‘stagnancy approach to mental health’ from both sides (as a care worker and as a mental health consumer’, and was ‘kindly’ harassed into withdrawing from medical studies with no one held accountable. But, the deal for me is reading on to find out how she survived and is now thriving as best as she can. I have learnt so much not only from reading Molly’s memoir, but also from interacting with her online.

The personal narration

Brought up a catholic, Molly probably knows the dogma of retribution being a direct consequence of our sins or ‘short comings’. It is easier to blame a mental illness on the person suffering same, or their family and upbringing. In this respect, a lot of prayers are said by the family of such a person in total faith and hoping for a miracle. This is some of Molly’s journey although this approach doesn’t work out well and Molly goes from one misadventure to the next. Her personal narration equally covers her ‘merry go round’ with the search for ‘balancing the chemistry’ in her brain through some psychotropic drugs with each having its of pros and huge cons. Physical ailments join in the mix or maybe were even there all along and just can’t take the toxic chemical assail any more without crying foul. Molly is lucky to find a doctor or two who is patient and thoughtful enough to go to the bottom of her physical predicaments to prescribe some alternative treatments. These alternative treatments, including those Molly researched by herself and even natural ones like the sun and thyroid supplement, are all part of the big wrap which enable Molly to survive her Bipolar 1 diagnosis and eventually thrive.

The Scientific narration

Molly’s memoir is not only about her personal journey, it is also about a lot of scientific information and material the average mental health patient and yes even some doctor may be unaware of. Molly shares insights into her research both off and online in her quest to better understand what the ‘heck’ is going on in her brain and life. She also makes a strong and corroborated case for the need for both the scientific and mental health community to be and stay informed of the evolution of psychology, psychiatry and pharmacology mindful of the giant pharmaceutical industry. Molly seems to point out something I had baffled at when I visited the US – Mental illness seems to be all about pills regardless of how bleak statistics are turning in. Fortunately, there are voices of hope out there, although they may be threatened a drown – they are there.

The debilitating narration

I refrained from including this under Molly’s personal narration because it seems to be the trend for many suffering from a mental illness. That mental before the big word illness does so much disservice to the person, their family and even community as a whole – perplexedly unlike with physical illness. Once you get a mental illness diagnosis be it of bipolar 1; 2; Schizophrenia; borderline… you name them, a lot is stripped off you. If you are lucky to be treated as a human being any more, you still come to realize you belong to the category next to guinea pigs or pets for whom either despise or exaggerated pity is the new kindness. There is so much stigma and the community is hyped with fear of this mental ‘nuts’ roaming the streets instead of being locked up for good. You learn very quickly to not mention the word mental again if not relationships will keep being jeopardized.

My appreciation

This is one more of those books I wish I had read a few years ago because it would have helped me and a sibling. The book is very easy to read because of the simple English used and even the anecdotes to fruits in the scientific narratives. Molly’s sense of humour probably helps her survive and thrive, but it will sure keep the reader interested in reading till the end. Although a mental illness strips a patient of so much, it is possible to face the ‘mental beast’ head on as Molly has done. Indeed, she has not only brought into the world a healthy and full of energy young man now in his young adulthood, but she has been able to go back to finish college and start a freelance career in communication. She is over ten years from her last hospitalization and is ageing gracefully. Who says there is no hope once you get a mental illness diagnosis? Read on, I whole heartedly recommend this memoir and give it a 5/5.

About Molly

molly-and-son

Molly is much more about bipolar than I could do her justice. Here is a glimpse in her own words; check out her website for your freelance writer jobs:

I’m Molly, your go-to gal to get your online writing project done with content that informs, is well-researched, SEO optimized and engages your audience. I will manage your writing projects while you focus on more important things such as running your business. Let me know what type of content you need for what format (blog, website, newsletter) and I will get it done.

You can get detailed information about each of my specialized services here: Blogging, E-books, Website Content, White Papers.

I’ll be away next week but I did schedule some posts


see-u-soon

Hi all,

Well and technically, I could just slip off and you wouldn’t know. But, since I love to know when a friend or family member is gonna be off, and since I consider you my friends and e-family, I am letting you know that.

I wouldn’t also be telling if I could still have access to the network to read from you or reply to your comments. But let’s just say a chunk of my geographical location is been cut off from google & co for a while now. That’s the part I’ll be heading off to next week.

I know you’ll understand and I’ll miss you guys. That’s life and when some people depart we just have to go tell them farewell – It’s one of our human duties right?

Have a fabulous weekend dear gentle readers and followers

Roll out the Red carpet!!!Guest Post: Escaping the Nightmare


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Hello World; I know beyond reasonable doubt that consistent and engagind actions yield succulent fruits. Join me ye all gentle readers and followers of mine as I roll out the red carpet for my first guest post of the season: Ms Talasi Guerra of the epic blog Braver than BeforeRead on and tell for yourselves if the title of her guest post and even that of her blog don’t resonate with each of us in one way or the other.

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Her smile is so sweet, I just had to put her picture here for more effect as we read on

Have you ever had that nightmare where you are desperately trying to run away from something or someone, but no matter how hard you strain, you just can’t get your body to move fast enough? It’s like there are these invisible wires attached to all of your limbs, pulling you in the opposite direction as you exert all of your energy to move ahead one inch at a time. While you don’t know exactly what the danger is, you are certain that it is just behind you and ready to pounce at any moment! And in your mind, you are running away with all your might! But in reality, you are moving more slowly than a weary sloth.

I’ve had this dream many, many times in my life. It is such a frustrating and disconcerting dream to wake up from. And though I have never made the connection until this moment, I think that living with anxiety is almost exactly like living in this nightmare.

When you live with anxiety, it is like there is this mysterious danger constantly looming over you, coming at you from every direction. Fear kicks in and tells you that you must run in order to survive, but you simply can’t move. Sometimes it seems that the harder you try to get away, the more stubbornly your body refuses to cooperate.

And yet somehow, though you can barely move at all, the negligible progress you are making depletes almost all of your energy. It is all you can do to survive at this point, never mind trying to dodge the danger. But giving up is not an option either. You can’t stop trying to run or the threat will catch up to you and you will face certain destruction. So you are stuck in a state of constant torment—the battle between the danger you perceive and your inability to escape this approaching doom.

I’ve lived like this for most of my life. It is an exhausting existence. Always running; always trying to escape. But quite frankly, I am tired of running. I am tired of attempting escape when I don’t have the energy to move. I am tired of fighting with a peril that I can’t even identify.

So that’s it then. It’s time for me to turn around and face the danger. It’s time for me to look this thing in the eye and say, “No. I’m not going to run from you anymore.” And something tells me that when I do—when I finally stand up to it—it will lose a little bit of its power. Each time I take a stand, it will lose a little bit more, and a little bit more, until the tables finally turn and it becomes the one on the run. In that moment, I will be the one chasing it… until it is gone forever!

About Talasi

Talasi Guerra is the Director of Children and Family Ministries and Graphic Designer at First Baptist Church in Lloydminster, Canada. She loves to write, travel, and create. Follow Talasi on twitter @talasiguerra. We are welcome to her blog where she invite us to Journey with her through the day-to-day mess of anxiety and fear as she seek to cultivate courage each and every day. She is a fighter and survivor, and although she battled an eating disorder for 7 long damn years, it’s now 10 years she escaped from that nightmare – Amen!!!

Don’t worry, be happy!


I am that friend my Precious Pammy mentions. Yes sometimes life works us up and then the mind and body pays the toll. It’s a learning process and I can’t ever thank my angels enough for leading me to my Precious Pammy. Hope her post helps someone out there.

WAGblog: Dum Spiro Spero

Recently a friend wrote to me that she was exhausted with worry about whether the future would work out as she wanted it to. She has many concerns and young sons to generate a lot of worries, so i sympathize completely. Nevertheless, this is what i wrote to her and more…

Remember that there are plenty of futures out there and we have absolutely no way of knowing which one will come to us as the present, not until it is the present. So you can spend your time worrying in the present about a future you cannot change by worrying about it (can you?) or you can choose to ENJOY THE FUTURE now by assuming that it will all work out beautifully. That means of course, that freed from worrying about a disastrous outcome, you will enjoy the present, too. Yes, it is possible that what comes will bring…

View original post 450 more words

Learning to Face My Fears Part 2!


This is part two of the series I started last friday and which I explained were those of my dear friend Ashley Rose

If you missed out on part one you could refresh here: When I am done with her series, I will share just one of mine, for now let’s read on, like, comment and share:

Facing fears can be a very difficult thing to do. I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder four years ago. With having an anxiety disorder, I have dealt with being afraid of going over bridges. When I was 8 years old, I went on a school field trip to the beach. While the bus was crossing over a bridge, a huge boat went under the bridge causing the bridge to open up so the big boat could make its way through. At the time I was panicked because I did not exactly understand what was happening. My teacher saw that everyone was scared, but was delayed in explaining the situation. I still get scared when I cross over bridges, but I have been able to lessen the panic significantly.

Watched video of bridge: I forced myself to watch a video of someone driving over one of the longest bridges in the United States. Watching the video was not as bad as I expected. My stomach turned a little in the beginning of the video, but I finished feeling very strong about facing bridges.

Drove over a small bridge: Usually when I go to the beach, I am with a family member or a friend who will drive over the bridge for me or coax me through it. I decided to face my very own fear and drive over the bridge in Savannah, Georgia which leads to Tybee Island. The bridge is very high and it is the one that we went over when I was eight years old. I finally drove it all by myself and it was the scariest thing I could imagine at the time. I was so nervous and held my breath. I was really scared because there was a big boat getting close to passing under the bridge and I was scared the boat would come busting through the bridge and my car would fall into the Savannah River and I would be gone forever. Of course, everything went smoothly going over and coming back.

Drove over a huge bridge: So I moved to Long Beach, California for a year to face fears and get different scenery from my home state of Georgia. I had to go to San Pedro to see a client one day and I tried my best to avoid going over the super big green Vincent Thomas Bridge, but it was inevitable. It was terrifying because the people around me were driving so reckless like they were on the set of “2 Fast and 2 Furious.” They were too fast and I was too furious. The bridge felt like it was a hundred miles long and it never ended. There was a lot of traffic and the lights were stop and go. The bridge looks old so I was worried it was going to fall any minute, but somehow I made it back home safe and sound.

I have continued to drive over bridges, not because I want to, but because I want to get to other states and places. I continue to face my fears head on and pray the entire way. My fear of bridges may seem a bit irrational, but it is very real to me. Slowly and surely, I hope to continue on my journey and face the fears that have paralyzed me for too long.

 

I submitted an abstract to the African Epilepsy Congress; and guess what…


 

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Mum presenting the foundation at its launch in December 2014

Hello World,

This week starts off great for me – & us at the Gbm Foundation, it is one full of anticipation. Last thursday at precisely 20.35 pm, I saw an email notifcation from the International Burreau for Epilepsy captioned: Re your abstract… Well, I didn’t want ‘bad’ news just before sleeping – I took a deeep breathe, prayed and slept…

Next morning after an intense workout, it dawned on me it could very well be an acceptance of the abstract I submitted… I started singing songs of praise because I had hesitated submitting an abstract in the first place – am no researcher nor scientist you know.

Dear Marie Angele Abanga,

We are pleased to inform you that the abstract you submitted to the 3rd African Epilepsy Congress 2017, with the title “The Need for Epilepsy Mobile Clinics to Plug the Knowledge Gap in Rural Settings”, has been accepted… (What else did I need to blow up?)

Kindly read the blog post I did on the foundation’s blog this am, and follow us there to support our work. I thank all here and everwhere else who already support us and me most especially in any & everyway.

I hope my journey with the foundation and my other endeavours like weight loss, inspire and motivate us all not to give up on our projects. We need to continue our various advocacies especially for delicate, sensitive and largely marginalized causes like Epilepsy awareness and mental illness care regardless of the fact that sometimes life is really simply weird.

A site about my thrilling life, inspiration, motivation, writings & mental health

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