Hi world, anybody who has visited my blog this past 10 days or so, may rightly think I am obsessed with this book. Yes I am, to a very large though healthy extent. I have never come across a book like this, one which stabbed my soul, made me cry and laugh and curse, and praise, and envy, and shun, deal and heal, and and and ad infinitum…
Yes, from initial acceptance to read and review the book; Apprehension crept in just after the introduction. Hmm, what can I tell you? It may not rock your boat so and that is the whole point – about mental illness. A few will care and many will care less.
But, and yes, the above book did rock my mind big time; I almost gave up reading the book and got different advice when I reached out for some here on my blog. Finally, I found five good reasons why I should read on.
Anticipation set in and I started being amused at the indepth of this particular reading trip. I didn’t want to hurry because I came to realize the book wasn’t so long and technical as I had apprehended. But, I equally didn’t want to be any slow because I anticipated some soul searching discoveries (like what was the deal with doing laundry) and hopefully a happy ending. I wasn’t disappointed both ways.
Now, a little bit about my fascination with this book. I had a best friend as a child, my only brother with whom I learnt to play football and fight for in school…at age 11, he got epilepsy. He moved on, I was there but after a few years he was sent to Germany for further studies. He had brains…but the nurological disorder bashed those brains big time…fast forward USA June 2014, I finally learn he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder a few years prior… I hate writing about this whole era – HE DIED AUGUST 2, 2014 IN BOSTON (I thought publishing a whole book will lay it to rest…nada). So, dear readers, if you do some calculus and philosophize, plus the fact that am one who has been through her own share of shit, and have a few friends going through theirs, you will largely appreciate my fascination with the book.
I heartily congratulate and appreciate the authors and thank them for writing the book. I will do a formal review in the coming days, may be before or after I interview the authors…the book is mind you revealing of so much soul so I will see…
One good turn it has been proven deserves another – is that or not? Well for me and this time around; A good turn Ultimately does; and just did; Hurray!!!
So, exactly two Sundays ago, I decided to create my own award and nominated 7 incredible blogger friends and special friends of mine; they all generously accepted the award leaving soulful comments which near moved me to tears like in yesteryears when I was a cry baby lol!!!
Now, one of these special friends and ‘sister in-law’ of mine by virtue of the fact that she (black American) is married to a Cameroonian, my dearest Mimshe ( a name in the local dialect given her during an African ceremony in 2012, which means Patience – you go figure more about her), in addition to the comment, did an acceptance post on one of her blogs too. Now, that post is brief and beautiful, I so so loved its soulful flow (yes I love the words Soul, Soulful and Soul Searching/healing/loving etc etc lol lol lol).
Mimshe (Yvette is her first name) in return, nominated me for this same award. Read her larger than life words:
“I nominate Marie Abanga. She is a kind soul, an avid reader, lawyer, mental health advocate and life coach in the country of Cameroon. She loves blogging about a variety of issues all from the heart. She also is a supporter of people and their vision to succeed in life”.
Ain’t that thrilling and very generous? How often are you nominated in return for the same award you give others? I have always appreciated when I bring someone a gift of say a good bottle of wine and they opens that up and offers me half a glass you know, instead of stacking that away for say a more ‘befitting ocassion’ (if that don’t happen out there, it is custom here lol). Ok back to the rules of the award, I made them and will answer same below – hoping to make it brief and beautiful too like Mimshe’s hahaha – let’s see…
Here are the three questions Marie (and now Mimshe) would like for me to answer. My responses are written in pink (well she chose pink and I stick with that – oops pink on a white background guess not the best so I go for another colour – em purple it’ll be).
Share 1 or 2 or 3 childhood memories with us.
I really miss childhood (stole lead from Mimshe – but seriously I do) – too. It was a time of reckless abandon (stolen) – for various reasons. Some memories are playing ’till the cows came home’ (is that the expression?) with all my different kind of neighbourhood buddies and my brother Gabriel when he came along – as in when he was born – he was a stay at home boy lol.
I also miss this period when I was not as aprehensive about the present or future, when my brother hadn’t started having seizures, when my mum and dad were still together and well I knew somehow they were there even if… (now melancholy will set in if I go on, so I stop at this)…
Share 1 or 2 turning points in your life.
A turning point in my life came after the death of my brother (for Mimshe it was her mother, so I stole again somehow?). I thought – I don’t know why I thought if any of us Siblings was to die first it should be me – I mean with the life I had lived and faced and played around with? Then he the gentle and genius and all was to be the one to get epilepsy and be diagnosed with bipolar disorder? I had to ‘come clean’ after he was burried.
Even before my brother died in 2014, one ultimate and frankly the biggest turning point in my life was in 2009 when I attempted suicide with a knife – 5 months pregnant. You don’t go through such an experience and then go back to business as usual period!!!
Share some words of wisdom or otherwise about blogging as you have experienced it.
Blogging is not as intimidating as it seems (Theft again but what can I tell you?). The hard part is starting (Mimshe forgive me but I do agree with this too). After that, the rest is a matter of writing from the heart or your niche (and this too). Pretty soon, it will become a routine habit that is stress relieving, fun, personal and sometimes time consuming (oh and this too) Ok, let me add something from me; when you want to build a network, do visit other blogs, like, comment, and follow for real and not just to attract others to you. Some may come and then smell the bait and drop you like a hot potato (I have done this and had it done to me too), and know it musn’t be mutual as in not all you follow will or must follow you back etc etc.
And here I am, I know nothing brief about my post, just hope it is ‘BEAUTIFUL’… Thank you so much Mimshe, I am ordering her book For the Love of Cameroon right now… Happy Sunday to us all.
Hello world, last week and indeed since I started blogging in November 2013, I have received so many awards, and always wondered if and when I could give out an award too. I have therefore, em unanimously, decided to give out my own created award: The Ultimate Appreciation Award to the following bloggers in appreciation of their support to my modest person both directly and indirectly during my blogging journey. Now, because I know many of their blogs are “Award Free Zones”,my award is a “Rules’ Free Award”. Your acceptance of this award via a comment in the comments section will suffice. However, if anyone of you wants to do an acceptance post and pass this on even to myself lol, feel free to do so and while at it, here are 3 questions I’ll will be honoured if you answer same:
Share 1 or 2 or 3 childhood memories with us;
Share 1 or 2 turning points in your life;
Share some words of wisdom or otherwise about blogging as you have experienced it,
My Nominees and my why…
June Whittle over at Miraculous Ladies, Divine Copywriter and Co. Junie as I fondly call her is my Jamaican Heroine in London. Indeed, she is now one of my sisters from a different mother. I have blogged about her and my visit to her serene space and yummy Goat stew and peas and all, and while you are here, check out her poetry book so soulful and her BBC Interview…
Dyane Leshin-Harwood over at Proudly Bi-Polar. Dyane or Lady Di as I call her, is also my captain over at Lose It. She and I have a special bond and baddass – she knows what am talking about and she is another of my heroines. Her voice was soothing and I am praying I get to visit the US and her own coast so as to ‘Redwoods bathe’ with her and in the meantime I anxiously wait for the official release of her epic memoir…
Pamela Spiro-Wagner over at Wagblog Dum Spiro Spero!!! I simply don’t know what to write and what to leave out about Pammy as I fondly call her. She is more than a mum to me, a soul sister and much more – she inspires me to the moon and back, read the post I did about her here and seriously visit her blog if you want to know first hand what or how someone can live with a diagnosis of schizophrenia (go through all she’s been through) for over 4 decades, and still be the author, poet, artist and all she is…
Kitt O’Malley over at Kitt O’Malley. Kitt is a a strong woman in every respect. To be going what she is going through (with herself, her son’s own issues and her parents) and still holding it, while finding time every now and then to share with others either via her blog, or on ours through her likes and comments, or as a volunteer and etc, is simply put amazing. I sincerely appreciate her comments on the Gbm Blog where I hardly get any…
Doctor Jonathan over at All about Healthy Choices. Since I found his blog, I appreciate life and the choices I make more. So much information, such a selfless man, and he gives advice freely if only you’d ask as simple as that. I am so grateful for the few emails we’ve had, his concern about anything health and above all his hosting me once as a guest on his awesome blog…
Buffalo Tom Peabody&Team over at buffalotompeabody’s blog. His or rather their blog is the spot to unwind after a hectic day. You read maybe about the next century or decade or the reverse; the current global or rather US instigated, enhanced or quelled rigmarole and much more – em without threat of fire or fury. I sincerely wish I had more time to read this blog as often as I’d love to. However, whenever I hop by I leave with a replenished Laugh Gauge…
Yvette R. Toko is my last but the not the least blogger I appreciate all the way home to Cameroon hurray. Her blog which let me to another kindred spirit is so glamorously titled – guess – bam bam bam: For the Love of Cameroon. She is a dynamic, passionate, God Fearing, oh I wish I could write down all those adjectives and more; kindly check out her book for the love of Cameroon on the Amazon…
Dear all, wishing you a happy Sunday and thanking you for your prayers and kind thought following my request of yesterday. It is improving.
Hello world, happy midweek. Here I come again with another thrilling post of a heroine I met all the way in Wum – North West Region of Cameroon – Yes the same place I met my hero and teacher Erico. Meeting all my heros and heroines are definitely part of my journey here below, experiences I so appreciate and am grateful for, and the lessons learnt cum memories will definitely help me tremendously in my coaching and motivational speaker career. When does that officially kick off only the Master Lord knows… In the meantime, follow me and my heroine Benedicta as we go around the village.
How it all started
Aunty let me go and carry it for you her tiny self said! You still look so tired and there are many children there!
Hmm, I wanted some water for my evening bath but I sure didn’t want small Benedicta to go carry it for me. You see, when I got to the village by noon that day, I was in dire need of a bath, having travelled from Douala my city all night to Bamenda, and then all morning in another small and jam packed car from Bamenda to Wum. The second distance of 50 kms lasted three hours (hope you understand the state of such a road). I was brought water by an adult in law of mine but when I realized there was no running water in the compound, I decided after a while to go fetch that I’ll use at night. The water in that village is cold to the extend that when you bathe with it, you either catch a fever or are healed of one period.
But Benedicta I asked, why can’t I go with you and carry my own myself? If you can go so too can I right?
At last, we seemed to have arrived because I spotted this:
I realized the beautiful water tank or whatever it looked like, was built by their Member of Parliament. Our government had better priorities than providing such basic amemnities to the whole country. And yet, the taps on that thing weren’t even running – HA!
I didn’t have to ask any questions, I just followed Benedicta to a nearby spot
See how the water flows, talk of patience being a virtue! And I couldn’t bully all those children right? So I waited. And then I started to think of the way back, but when I saw Benedicta smiling and chating with all those other kids, I relaxed. Wwe finally fetched our water and we headed back home as you can see below
The red bucket is mine of course
There goes Benedicta joyfully, I dared to remove my camera with my bucket on my head but couldn’t take a selfie o
Once home, my heroine quickly offered that we go again – Euh – emm I give Benedicta some money to buy herself a lolipop on the way and quickly dash off to join the other women prepare food to cook in one of our warm village kitchens
Our warm Kitchens
Corn flour cakes, typically eaten with vegetables yummy
A Healthy portion for Me yeah
If you were in my place and given my age, will you go for a second round? Isn’t Benedicta so sweet?
Wow, Hello World, I am a whole year older+2 days and I feel good… so good… I mean how better can it get to receive a mystery blogger award ? I thought I had received all sorts of awards out there, even thought to paste it up front that this blog was henceforth award free… but truth be told, who doesn’t like recognition, appreciation even if it be outright flattery ? Well I do, and am diving head on into this award game once again – I mean even if only for the reading and regaling pleasure of my Cameroonian Sister Ngumabi who nominated me. Look, she is also the first of my Cameroonian sisters or bloggers to offer me a blogging award. But then, what is this whole mystery stuff about ? I asked her (and she’s super excited since this is her first award), and then I read her own nomination post – I copy and paste some of that to spare us some nods 🙂
WHAT IS THE MYSTERY BLOGGER AWARD?
“Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging and they do it with so much love and passion.
Aw dearest Ngumabi, thank you for the nomination. I did this for you, but am afraid I can’t follow all the rules to the letter. I can’t nominate as required, many of those I know don’t do these awards stuffs – see we past that “age” hahaha. You keep doing your thing ok girl… see you someday I mean it 🙂 And yes my best blog post is: And wow I found Love
And now to you my gentle readers and followers, anyone is welcome to regal themselves and any of us who will hop by with accepting my open nomination 🙂 – you can devise your own questions if you chose too 🙂
Let me begin this post of mine with the two lone pictures I have left of the ‘yummy looking years’. I wish I had more, especially one which showed me at my apex scale of 115 kgs. But helas, when I fled my marriage and the country altogether, those stuffs stayed behind and I gather on my return that there was a big burnfire… Am still trying to rebuild the mini library I left there…
Ok here is a sort of timeline of my thiness 🙂
Well, let’s do so some fast forward to 2014, because I now admit I was worriyingly anorexic inclined in 2012/2013 – when I look at pictures from then, I see why mum was worried… I had stopped eating simple and period…
And the next year – 2015
And the next – 2016, precisely saturday 05.11.16
This is what I gather: Yes, I could have been this thin and at other times that fat…
Life has taught me so much, I have lived so many different experiences and the toll has been physical, psychological, mental, emotional and above all spiritual…
Body weight or mass is near often not always to do about what we see…
One of my lessons is this: Live and Love the prethoughand enjoy as much as I can…
I now smile at my ‘yummy me years’, when I could just eat me some comfort chocolates and care less about tracking calories or who will say what… I love cooking and so when my marriage was going roller down, I spent me time at home cooking and well… what do you do with the food no one comes back home to eat?
Today, I enjoy trying to stay in my new shape although it still troubles mum a bit that I don’t want to add at least 5 more kgs. Hahaha, that’s though because I am already committed to my wondrous group on Lose it…
To all in the house who will read this… I just want to in my usual personal self, encourage each of us in our journeys. It’s definitely much more to do than with being this thin or that fat, but sometimes that physical appearance makes a difference especially when your health is at stake. Trust me on this one I did 2 years of ill health…
Dear World with less than 30 hours left in this Kingdom of Belgium, I thought about what I could offer us all to express my profound appreciation for all the direct and indirect help I have had in becoming the woman I now am.
I am therefore offering us all free kindle downloads of all the three memoirs I have written and published since coming here. The bonanza runs from tomorrow the 30th up to Sunday the 2nd of August on the amazon. Just type out the titles on Kindle Amazon, and I hope the following links help too. Share this with your friends and family, the reading apps are equally free to download for those without Kindles you know 🙂
And oh my, that already forecasted Black 2nd of August, when my dear Gaby left this world. I am glad I was able to write a memoir on his journey beause he like all the other “simpletons” we know, didn’t start out that way, nor must they necessarily end up that way. That’s why I really hope that book of all, is read by many many many in due time 🙂
I love the above quote by Michelle O very much and I henceforth consider and declare myself a successful woman. I do so not because of the figures in my bank account, but because of the quality and quantity of people I have been graced to meet, know and impact in my existence. They all have also taught me a lesson in addition, subtraction or something else.
From the bottom of my heart therefore, I say THANK YOU. I hope I am still able to blog once Home, but I sure hope to. I will read your posts for sure and try to let you know I did 🙂
All the best to us all, let me leave you with hopefully some funny pictures of me recently:
Hi gentle readers and followers, I admit to a now so so blogging habbit. The weather is changing and so are priorities. Spring is ushering in brighter and warmer days, and so are my dreams, hopes and plans for the future taking on a brighter (though sometimes daunting) outlook.
Let me begin with this huge personal announcement. I realize I have come so far in my life, far enough to go back home to Cameroon and share all this in person. Yes, when one door closes, several others open up. Are we ready to look regretfully at the door which closed behind us, or are we prepared to take one big leap of Faith and look optimistcally for the several others which are probably already open, and all we need to do is walk through?
On another note, this is what happened to me yesterday. Two events actually.
I went biking, and since I am still so excited about this new skill, I decided to challenge myself to a new route once more. I think I have already received an appropriate bike baptism, and don’t fear losing a tooth. i probably only need more patience and determination. Yet, on this new route, I kept pedalling and didn’t find the turn I was hoping would lead me back home. I panicked and decided to return on the otherside of that same route. This was a road by Factories with the sea opposite, and now I was riding by the sea, against the wind. It sure was no fun, and I stopped a good 3 times.
When I got home, I learnt that the turn I had been hoping to reach, was just 300m from where I stopped. I was so disappointed. I remembered this quote a friend shared with us on facebook: “The reason why people give up so fast is because they tend to look at how far they still have to go, instead of how far they have come”. I definitely wasn’t appreciating how far I had biked yesterday, I was scared at how far I had to go before reaching the turn.
In the afternoon, I was invited by a family to the Steam engine festival. There was also the WW2 museum. When you get to visit some of these places, and see how much the world has evolved, I bet you you can only leave there inspired and motivated. At least that’s what happened to me. I look at the high speed trains we have today, and wonder if I should be appreciating how far technology has evolved instead of spending my energy bitching when the train is a few minutes late.
And so back to biking, this afternoon, I decided to go back on that route of yesterday. I planed to finish that lag, find that turn, and return home by that other route. It ended up to be a 5.5 km ride, and I did it in 35 minutes ( a new and great record just after two weeks of studies). Each time I biked and still couldn’t see an end, I just kept smiling and biking. I was proud at how far I had come, and refused to be worried at how far I had to go. My thought pattern was now one of; ‘if you have done this much – you sure can do it all’.
And so gentle readers and followers, here is some inspiration. Appreciate how far you have come. Appreciate how far technology which we today find so unavoidable, has come. Appreciate the beauty around you even as you pedal uphill. There is no mountain without a descent route. I so love this line of C.Dion and R.Kelly’s hit song titled I am your Angel: “No mountain is too high for you to climb, all you need is some climbing Faith”.
Wow, so am I to start crying now or rather stop? I have been wondering if this Mk as I call him, was for real. Could he be that secret angel I wrote about recently? I just stumbled on this post lyrics… and could I just sing speechless… to you both? Thank you both, soon my water will run dry because I must admit that I cry much more for joy until my headaches if you get what I mean.
I have blogged for years now. But I never met a man as gentle and kind as Mihran Kalaydjian. Because aside from the fact that he had been so generous reblogging my posts, there was this one very warm conversation I had with him.
When I posted my condolences to our dear Ajaytao, I made Mihrank cry that day. Although I was worried if I made him cry because I wrote bad; or I wrote something for Oscar’s (coz I do have the tendency for drama), but I was really touched with his honest sentiment. Coz Mihran never met Ajay, yet he shed a tear for him. He even asked me “Why am I crying, Aina?” I told him, “It’s because Mihran, you’re a gentleman with a very big heart and beautiful soul.” And so we were both crying in the end.
I think I have received the cream of creams now. When I started blogging, I remember visiting a blog on blogger where this Award was displayed with a dozen or so others. I just admired and wondered to myself if I would ever get one of those. Maybe I admired the Liebster Award most because of it’s ‘Germanness’? (Emm, whatever that means). So imagine my stupor when on reading my dear Phoenix the rebirth’s blog and seeing my humble and modest blog as her first nominee for this prestigious award!
The Liebster Award recognizes new, up and coming bloggers who have a certain number of followers, ranges from 200 to 3,000. (I am not even there yet but already this noticeable? Wow)Liebster is German meaning “beloved” “sweetest” “dearest”. Essentially, I like to view this award as acknowledging some of the “sweetest” bloggers who connect their blogs to their viewers in a welcoming and hearty fashion.
If you wish to accept this award, the following guidelines are below. There is no pressure to accept the award. I find your blog genuine and would like you to know that I value your honesty and content.
The steps for The LiebsterAwardare as follows:
Thank the person who nominated you for the award! A warm, hearty, & standing ovation thank you to Tempest Rose for recognizing the good in my blog!
Add The Liebster Award logo to your post and blog.
Answer 10 questions provided to you by the person who nominated you.
Provide 10 questions of your own for your nominees to answer.
Nominate 7 bloggers for the award and notify them.
**These are the general guidelines. With that being said, you do not have to do the full amount to accept the award. You can answer and/or ask only one question,nominate one person, whatever you feel comfortable doing. ** (This I love most because I know many don’t have time to do them awards ‘school’).
And so dearest Phoenix, I am most grateful, humbled and fortified in my journey. One of my dearest venture being Mental Health Advocacy. My story says it all and I stigmatize all those who out of lack of ignorance and empathy, degrade themselves or humanity further.
These are Phoenix’s questions and I choose to answer all of them:
Questions for my Nominees to pick and choose to answer:
If you were stranded on an island and only had 3 things, what would they be? Faith, Hope and Love
If you could change one thing about your country, what would it be? Stewardship
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? My Depressions
If you could try something new today, what would it be? Water Surfing
What is your life mantra? Honesty henceforth until death do me part
What is your biggest fear in life? Dying too soon before laying a strong foundation for the work I’ve embarked on
If you could have dinner with one person (alive or deceased) who would it be and why? Ellen Johnson because she is my idol
What is the most beautiful place you’ve ever seen? No place external like my Soul
Name a song that describes your life in a nutshell. My Way by Frank Sinatra
And my two nominees are:
Theresa Reed at http://theresareed15.wordpress.com/, she was there on one of those dreary nights when I couldn’t sleep and my tears and anguish were threatening to ruin my vacation (and yes, this is trumpeting a post).
and my friend over at Pieces of Bipolar: http://piecesofbipolar.wordpress.com/, She describes herself as a unique girl in a unique world and am glad she sees herself so. There is so much positive in pampering and upholding one’s self albeit in all honesty.
So my dear nominees, if you accept my nomination, I leave the same questions above for you to choose from or answer all!
Dear gentle readers and followers, to me it is always all about gratitude. This blog’s life has been sustained not only by my three D’s, but above all by your direct and indirect support. Really, I want to say thank and wish each of you could accept this Liebster Award too.
My thrilling life as an author, coach, consultant & mental health advocate…