Managing my depressive moods


I normally schedule 3 posts a week (mon-wed-fri) , but if l do blog in between then it is something VIP to me. Today, it is about how l manage my depressive moods.

It is going to be a short post and one written on the spur so no crafting post and all.

Well, I think publishing the kind of book l did tells some about the ‘undiagnosed mental illness’ l have right?

So, before abandoning all and coming out here to try starting over, when l got real ‘low’, spending money both for myself and others especially my ‘street’ friends, helped me stay ‘cool’.

Now, when l get ‘low’ as l just did this morning, l write a blog post, read some more and above all, do some house hold chore or kind of basic work like washing the cups in the office etc. l cool down slowly but surely.

Tomorrow, you will read about one vital thing l do also thrice a week that make me very happy.

I sincerely think we all have depressive episodes or moods and we could try managing them, seeking for help if we can and reaching out to learn more about ‘such stuffs’.

l am learning so much online and maybe if l had known lots of these things back then, my life would have been different? Any way, l am more determined than ever to become a coach to help others too so that together we could really be merry all the way.

Dear gentle readers and followers, thank you for reading and maybe commenting? Even a like or share is a good enough signal.

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Saved by a Commitment and Determination


I want to share with you today how a commitment and determination to keep that commitment, helped me manage and change my apprehensive emotions.

You see, I am from the ‘jungle’ and back there, we eat ‘cooked’ meat, drink palm wine and know nothing about ‘cheese’. Typical Cameroonian meals looks like these:

Cameroon-Fufu

Eru

Our version of barbecue
Our version of barbecue
Palm wine - sweet wine
Palm wine – sweet wine

So, when I came here and then met a French man and discovered to my “horror” that what l thought was cheese wasn’t actually, l was sad to say the least.

La vache qui rit is not cheese

La vache qui rit they say is not cheese?
La vache qui rit they say is not cheese?

His family chorused to me that La vache qui rit, what we consider cheese back home and which is considered such a luxury, isn’t anything near cheese.

Oh Ayo, what am l to do now? The cheese I saw, didn’t even smell good to begin with. I told myself l wasn’t to eat it and l didn’t even want to give it a try. l also didn’t want to drink wine and they have a variety needless to say. As for meat, we sure all know how it is eaten out here right? The question is usually ‘rare or medium’?

I knew only a commitment and determination can save me

Yet, l had to adapt to this new way of life, love and yes commitment. If l couldn’t manage those apprehensive emotions creeping up there and even getting me to churn when l met ‘cheese, meat or wine’, how can l help others do same?

I started with Cheese, because that was the toughest of feats. At a leadership workshop I attended, we were asked to list three commitments we were making to lead ourselves. The class laughed hard when my first was: Fall in love and enjoy Cheese.

I had to do that one step at a time and l am glad for the support l got from my darling darling and family. His dad explained the different ‘cheese’ to me and told me some history and what wine to have with which one so as to enjoy it better.

Fast forward, a good and committed student, determined not to let her apprehensive emotions manage her, is proud to share this picture:

I love cheese now though no excess allowed
I love cheese now though no excess allowed

Learning and having wine

I need not introduce French and Wine right? The variety, history, regions and all. I used to be so scared of getting drunk and even back home, l wouldn’t get past half a glass of palm wine.

Now, I had to drink different half glasses of wine and or champagne at meals or gatherings and l decided not to be ‘left out’. l made another commitment, I learned as much as l could and l went to a wine fair. Hmm Ayo was beginning to love wine huh? At a recent fair with 50 or so stalls, I visited most, tasted several (sips only though) and learnt a lot.

Ayo at a wine fair
Ayo at a wine fair
l am yet to go to the Paris Fair with over 1500 stalls
l am yet to go to the Paris Fair with over 1500 stalls

Rare or medium?

As for meat, I am sticking to medium. I noticed that if l select well-done, even the waiter may be disappointed. After all, l don’t find it that awful – l must admit it is even juicer.

Commitment and Determination indeed right?

Dear gentle readers and followers, l sincerely think we could make efforts to improve managing our emotions if only we make commitments and are determined to go by them. l think, whatever aspect of life we want to control or project or get past, it starts with ourselves and up there in our minds. We should get support when we realize we can’t do it by ourselves alone and we should be proud of our milestones.

I am proud of mine and wish you same or don’t you want to stay ahead? Let me know, and pass this on too!

Deathly Life


When I first bookmarked this post for a reblog, l never knew l will have a good reason to do so. Yes, Dr. Maya Angelou left us days ago and going by her words, she lived fully and was prepared to die anytime. I am really trying to make the best of whatever time l have left for this life is deadly. As I read somewhere; “Twere never one escaped it yet”

Musings from a Dreamer

The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.

-Mark  Twain

Death comes to us all. We cannot escape it, nor can we run from it. Death will find us whether we welcome it like an old friend or reject it like the cancer it is, clinging to the last breath that leaves our malfunctioning lungs and hoping it will pass over to the next room. We are not invincible, though our minds tell us so. We are light and shadow and dust; nothing more. We are held by invisible strings. The Creator is holding us above the deep chasm of death and the only thing keeping us erect is His unfailing love for His creation. But soon, time will run her course and our bodies will wear thin and decay back to the ground from whence…

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Love by Maya Angelou


Maya fought, so we could fight less, she dared so we could dare more. Maya blazed the trail so we could keep marching, she inspired and motivated so we could lean in with love knowing we were not alone. Yes, I will remember her for how she made me feel when I read any of her works or interviews and power quotes.

Vincent Egoro

Today the world is saddened by the death of  a truly great individual. A woman who has touched the lives of millions of people all over the world, with her words, and her person.  A woman  who lived her life with gratitude and grace and gave so many gifts to this world. Though she may be dead, her words and works live on as she herself once said, ” Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.” – Yes not even death can dim your light Maya Angelou! I celebrate you. RIP!

May these quotes on love by Maya Angelou inspire you to live your greatest life;

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Rebecca, my courageous heroine from South Sudan


Rebecca and I on Women's day 2014
Rebecca and I on Women’s day 2014

When l resumed lectures this year, I was what you will call an old student. I could easily identify fresh students and among them, Rebecca caught my attention.

She is from South Sudan

I felt the urge to reach out to her and become her friend. I knew how lonely I felt as a new student with no one to talk to on campus. She also made me feel there was a ‘deep story’ past her look.

When I first tried, Rebecca was cold. I didn’t give up. I tried again in the form of talking about life in school and studies in general. She is also taking the same course as I am and as fate will have it, we both took the same ‘FDR’ (research method) lectures.

Rebecca offered to drop me home one night as we left school and that was the ice breaker. She talked almost all the way. She told me she was from South Sudan and then she stopped talking.

Who doesn’t know of South Sudan?

I wondered not why she stopped talking after that, but why it still mattered so badly to her.  Afterall, she had also told me she fled that country over twenty years ago when it was all still Sudan. She had equally survived her way through to France, learned french, completed her studies, gotten married, had two kids, and picked up a job with the liaison office in Paris.

But, we must not forget that the horror of a war leaves on long after it is over. And yet, although that civil war with Sudan is over and South Sudan gained its independence, Rebecca still has family there and they live through the current ‘carnage’ in their country. Some have died she says and some cousins are missing.

South Sudan is still making highlights, currently competing with Central Africa Republic, Congo Kinshasa and the others in their ‘bruteness’.

Rebecca’s Courage and survival is remarquable

In addition to all what I said about her fleeing to France and learning French, Rebecca survived an abusive marriage and soon found herself with two kids on the street. She decided to find a job in Brussels but for one whole year, she commuted from Lille to Brussels every day just to earn a living.

She met her current husband and they now have two kids. Well,  it isn’t all fairy tale. Rebecca’s husband just relocated to Canada where he got a job. My friend Rebecca is raising four children, working, going to school, and trying to stay updated about her family back in South Sudan.

Rebecca says she is inspired by me

One day, Rebecca phoned me and invited me to lunch. What a pleasant surprise. We agreed to meet in the notorious Matonge area (a not so famous black neighbourhood in Brussels);

I ate with my hands, reminded me of home
I ate with my hands, reminded me of home

Rebecca who had earlier bought my book, told me I inspired her so much that she wanted to write her own story too. She says there is still so much to unwind from in there, but with a friend like me and her determination, she knows she will get there.

In the meantime, I am the one who finds her a strong and courageous woman. She is my heroine and I am glad I reached out to her back then.

Dear gentle readers and followers of mine, what says thou? Sharing is caring, we never know who may be touched!

Managing my ‘Great’ emotions


To me, Great Emotions are those emotions that make us feel great.

Tony Robbins Emotions control
Tony Robbins Emotions control

I want to be very honest with you today because to me, it’s all about honesty in here. The emotions I have found hardest to control, are those emotions which depict my happiness, joy, gratitude and you name the rest.

Life hasn’t always been ‘Great’

I went through and still go through so much in life that I could in another scenario, have given up and given in to drugs or whatever for some sanity.  At some point as a married woman, l thought to find solace in one adultery after the other.

I was sincerely used to ‘not so great emotions’. Negative ones. I hated my life, l hated living, l attempted suicide. l didn’t even cry, l just closed up and lived parallel lives. l gave so much for it made me happy to do so and yes l still do.

Life has been Great nevertheless

I can’t say l didn’t receive anything. Oh no, l got so much from life too. my mother my best heroine, gave me the good, the bad, and the ugly. Others did too. But the one I craved the most from, barely had my time. My ex husband gave me some expensive gifts but l never felt any love flow through his actions and so emotions didn’t pop up then.

I met my Darling Darling, a Gentleman

l will honestly say that it was at this point in my life that I started realizing the impact of emotions on our well being. He has been doing so much for me, and with him l discuss my emotions. l cry now more than l ever did even as a kid when my parents will lash me.

l am realizing how much it is important to manage our emotions because as Tony Robins rightly states, that is how we can reshape our daily experience of life. Yes, I want to in every situation, identify even if only a tiny ‘great emotion’, cling onto it, manage it, and get the best out life.

My darling darling surprised me the other day with business cards. We had conceived them together but l wasn’t yet ready to order them. Ah there l go, l cried so much that my vision was blurred and my face dull:

Ama full of joy
Ama full of joy

He says I am a good cook and my restaurant is called MerryTables. I thought of the name Merry Marie for my business and hence the name became:

Ama biz card

At least, I feel l am on the right track. I don’t want to be a crying doll even if that is to show gratitude. However, I think l have to go through this process to be able understand myself better and eventually my clients.

Dear gentle readers and followers of mine, what says thou? How do you manage your great emotions? Thanks for sharing, that is caring!

How many times should i say thank you?


Thank you

I remember that question in the bible on how often to forgive, but now I wish to know, how many times should l say thank you?

On May 20th 2014, I received this from WordPress:

followed-blog-100-1x
followed-blog-100-1x

l was thrilled. I recalled my journey in this new world. Did I even know what a blog was by June 2013? No. Did I know how to link a post or what else have you? Sure no. What did I know then? I knew that l had passion. l knew that l had determination and discipline and dedication enough to see me through.

l was and still am grateful for all the indirect and direct help l got. Direct comes later because it was really never there. l remember someone telling me l wouldn’t survive as a blogger because it’s so demanding. She added that even if l did for a while, l would probably drop out -as from school?

I have written posts acknowledging all the good, the bad and the ugly ‘people’ in my lives especially since l started writing my blog, published my books and all.

So, how many times is good enough?

Personally, it brings me great joy to be grateful all the time.  l thanked you all for my first five likes and all,  and l promised to continue writing if only for you. l threw a thank you party for my first anniversary in Belgium, shortly followed by a birthday party as l turned 35. I remember the excitement when l was informed l had written a 100 posts then. l sincerely don’t know how to interprete stats, l just write from my heart while maiking an effort to improve on content, form and SEOs and what not.

Recently, l even surprised the town hall staff in the little village of zottegem in Belgium, who handled my file. She was so nice. I was back to that village for my hearing aids hitch, and l stopped by just to say thank you.

My darling darling is still getting used to my saying thank you even just for his kiss. But I am so happy to be merry as l say THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Thank you very much
Thank you very much

Or am l still excited just coming from the jungles, a previous MJC (Mary Just Come) like me?

So, gentle readers and followers of mine, unless you think otherwise, l will state that saying thank you over and over again is food for the soul – or do you have any other idea?

Why I dropped that knife!


Yes, today I am writing about suicide and WHY I DROPPED THAT KNIFE!

I held it and then dropped it!
I held it and then dropped it!

I had been living a terrible life – parallel lives l called it in my ‘in’ famous book. I was sick of being sick. I had lost my daughter the year before and four years earlier, it had been a five months miscarriage. I just felt distrustful. l though about suicide, yes it seemed a ‘good’ solution. After all, what real support did l have?

l felt l had had enough of this life!
l felt l had had enough of this life!

No guts to seek for help?

Maybe it was all my fault. I had no guts to seek for help. Maybe I only tried a little, and then shied away by having to say all the disgusting things l had been doing. Maybe it was because our system doesn’t even provide those helplines we have out here. Maybe yet again, it was that nobody around me truly cared enough than to see my smile and get the help they were so used to getting from me?

It simply was becoming too much for me to bear. I kept reaching out to the wrong people or rather l kept being noticed by the wrong people? First it was this cool … whom l thought will just help me but not take advantage of me. Oh no, he was human after all, and we both had longings we wanted satisfied too. And there was “my treasure”. Ha but he came after the suicide attempt.

The voices in my head encouraging me on

I really remember that day, it was during lent of 2009 and l was 4 months pregnant with my ‘miracle boy’. I call him ‘miracle boy’ because l still don’t know how he got in there. Sorry to say it but l guess it was one night when my husband forced his way in.

l told myself all this could be stopped and l would be doing myself and us all great favour by taking away one more miserable life from circulation. l told my baby each and every day how l was filling and how sorry l was that we may both never get to meet each other?

One good morning around 10 am, when my two other boys had gone to school, and the house was as silent as death, and it was just my baby and l, still in nightie and looking as sad, teary and sluggish as ever – l went in there and brought the knife to my room. l said what l though was a last prayer but then l dropped the knife…

What I thought of there and then

But heck, who am l really dealing with?, do l really deserve this? Does that baby really deserve this? Do l know why and for what purpose l am here on earth? Does my mother yes my first and best heroine deserve this? Hadn’t she had enough yet with an only son sick? Did my other boys deserve this? And my Father and siblings will they ever cope? No Ayo l reasoned, there surely can be strength in what remains. I thought even if l wasn’t happy with my husband, he didn’t deserve this either and neither should l give him more reason of claiming l was possessed.

And so I dropped the knife

l hear and read of a lot of suicide stories and l am currently reading a book of a mother who’s son with a bi-polar disorder, committed suicide. l thought to share my story. l hope someone reads this and drops whatever it is they have picked up or are contemplating picking. Please dear family and friends, look out for yours too because some simply don’t know how to ask for help. Surely, our society plays a role, bullying, peer pressure , domestic abuse, you name the rest.

This week ends off dear gentle readers and followers of mine, thank you so much for everything. Your comments, likes and sharing means a great deal!

Lady Di, my ultimate Inspiration and heroine!


The people's princess
The people’s princess

She has all sorts of names but I choose Lady Di. She still is though dead, the people’s princess. She is my ultimate inspiration for writing about my parallel lives in such brutal honesty.

I was living in far off Cameroon 17 years ago when she left this world. I remember hearing my parents and the cream of our society discuss a  fairy tale wedding of the heir to the British throne and a beautiful young ‘virgin’.

A few years later, in 1985, when my father bought our first TV, I finally got to see Lady Di on TV. I was in awe just like several of us have been.

It wasn’t all fairy in the end

Around same time, we started hearing and reading stories of how all wasn’t well in their marriage and how she said they were ‘three’ of them in there. However, I initially thought it was her bulimia that drove the prince to look else where.

A sham?

But, in 1992, with the book Diana her True Story by Andrew Morton, came some shocking revelations about the difference between perception and reality even for a princess. In her numerous interviews, a lot could be learnt. I listen to the one below over an over.

If a Princess can do that, so can you

We all know how conservative that society is, not to talk of the Royal Family right? We also all know what Lady Di had been doing to stay ‘humane’ like visiting those auspices and championing the fight against land mines.

What a befitting caption?
What a befitting caption?

Now, she braved it to lash out, to tell it all through Morton and then the Panorama Interviews. She shared her hopes, aspirations, betrayals and all. She said she also had ‘affairs’ while in there. And this is where I got it all.

I am no Princess

Who was l therefore not to relieve myself of all that internal baggage? What did I stand to lose? What happened to Lady Di after the books, reports and all were published, played and replayed? Well, in the end, some say paparazzi killed her – but hey , am no Princess and don’t ever figure paparazzi wasting their time and money behind me.

The bottom line is who we also help

The bottom line is who we also help with our story. That is how I saw it then and still do. My boys will cope just like Lady Di’s boys have done. At some point, we have to make a choice to be unconventional if only for the sake of staying sane and probably inspiring someone else.

Dear gentle Reader and followers of mine, Lady Di was my ultimate inspiration and she is my heroine. Do you have any such heroines or experiences to share too?

How and How Long does a parent mourn a child?


I don’t want to know what killed her, I just wish to find out how and for how long l should mourn! 

Today started out fairly normal. Hey, I was even all smiles and dressed to please myself, the weather and in souvenir of Cameroon my motherland. I had a Rhumatologist appointment and since l found out the doctor was Cameroonian, I was looking forward to some nostalgia.  l had actually chosen him based on that and well, we did talk of our motherland.

Shortly before going to my "waterloo"
Shortly before going to my “waterloo”

But something had been happening in me since last night and I couldn’t figure out what. I just wasn’t my normal self at some dinner we attended and l was sent off to bed.

The moment I walked into the hospital, I knew

When I walked into that hospital, I knew why. Although it’s been six good years since l lost her, l still don’t know if I mourn well or for how long l will still have to mourn. I passed a pediatric unit and all those toys, I saw the neonatal unit and saw those incubators in which she spent that one and only night, l passed the gyneco and obstetric ward, and all this was tormenting.

Why does it hurt so much?

It’s not like I think about Ange Claire every other day, no it’s much better now. After all, she just survived a day so maybe I am better off than those parents who bury Children with some accomplishments and futures ahead? Or maybe it is actually that I didn’t mourn right and for a ‘right’ period of time?

When my girl was born, she looked just like me and this picture of mine reminds me so much of the hair she had.

Marie the baby.

l loved her so much although l didn’t even get to suckle her even once. All l did was cradle her a minute and give her kiss before she was taken from me and put into that incubator. She had developed a respiratory deficiency barely 15 minutes just after she was born. I am thankful her elder brother had survived a similar problem too. He had battled in the incubator for one whole week shortly after his birth.

Did I mourn right and right?

I remember the doctor telling her father and l that night that she needed a special drug, which unfortunately wasn’t available in their pharmacy. It was maybe 9.30 pm and there was only one pharmacy in town where she was sure it could be found. Her father asked her if he could go get it in the morning, and she said yes. I was so tired after having laboured for more than a day and having to go through that, l just couldn’t pick another argument with him to go then.

l couldn’t sleep straight. l dozed off at midnight, had a nightmare and woke up at 4am. l told him we should go and check on her. Sure we got there just as the doctor was pronouncing her DEAD. l just went to my angel and kissed her then l went back to the room and hid under the bed. l quickly entered the denial gear or whatever that could be called.

l only managed to call my mother. Who came in and left soon thereafter with her father and co to bury her at her paternal grandparents’. She later took me to her home where l spent a week mourning in whatever way.

Friends l had called last night to announce the birth of my princess, were told a different story when they called to find out how we slept. Some stopped by and by then l had already switched to ‘am ok’ gear. l didn’t want to discuss the ‘matter’.

The only person l really wanted to talk and or cry over it with, was my husband. But he didn’t want to. Until I left his house, never did we discuss that ‘matter’. I hallucinated for six good months, lost sleep and any sexual appetite, l was so scared he may die, l did’t want him to travel, touch me or even be merry around me.

Then I thought I had mourned enough

l however gradually pulled myself together and was always ‘seemingly so strong’ so much that my sister who flew in to visit soon thereafter, remarked later on that she thought l never ‘cared’. She was surprised that l talked about that incident in my 35th birthday message to all.

Yet, when a cousin of mine lost his baby when his wife was 5 months pregnant, l was erratic. l stayed up all night and cried and spoke to whoever until dawn. You see, I have also lost another baby to a miscarriage too.

Finding strength in what remains

So after I left that hospital today, ( I haven’t been to a hospital since she died, clinics yes but hospital no), I couldn’t move. I knew l had to steady myself. My blood pressure even showed an increase although when the doctor asked l just said it was stress.

And then, my Darling Darling who had been out of town, just got back. He’d tried to call when I was in there and only left a message. He tried again and told me to wait for him right there. You see, he knows what it is to lose a child. He’d lost one too.

We are best friends and l am so grateful for him. He has even agreed to go with me for my results and the doctor’s control.

l know we shall all die. But, l really think that children should bury their parents and not the other way round! I am equally glad l can write to heal and help others and that l can share my struggles and all.

Dear gentle readers and followers of mine, do you know how and how long a parent mourns their child? Do you want to share or just leave a gentle comment? Thank you in anticipation.

mum, author, mental health advocate, therapist, inspires & motivates with personal experiences

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