This collage is 4 years apart, google made it lol – shows same me, almost same mood as in feeling not so swag; difference is I know better self care
I love doing dem work out even if I struggle on somedays to do half as usual
There are brighter days too where I sawg all out and my lunch bag is right along
My Me Moment after work
Much of Me as it presently stands lol
Hello world, another Friday is here and I want to continue looking at self care being the best care. Some say I am a “multiple person’ and am ok with that. I recall my 39th birthday blog where I appealed for more empathy towards people like myself who were high functioning from every indication, but who also had their struggles. I live with RA and PTSD and so self care for me is a matter of survival.
So today, I decided to start sharing seven of my best self care habits harnessed during the years, hoping they serve some powerful communication + inspiration and motivation. It was in December 2009 that I was first told to seriously start to take care of myself. I was at an all time low and my last son was barely 5 months old. That year was a very troubled one for me, having attempted suicide some 9/10 months earlier. The good side of all that low was my readiness to try another way now… This way I came to realize involved ME taking care of ME and I mean very Good Care. This has come to justify Self Care as being the Best Care to me lol. This said, let’s see how we cover this P1:
1) Working out has resumed and has become VIP for me
I weighed 115kgs by then, had not worked out for like 15 years or more, ate like a ‘hoax’, hoping it will choke my ex husband up…do you visualize me at this point? And so on the 1st of January 2010, while the world slept after St Silvester’s shenanigans, while ex husband was yet to return from his jives, I stepped out at 3.30 am for my 1st walk. I had also decided to start a 30 days fast (had never done one before)…, and all my pain/hurt/and oh so so much, were in those first fearless steps. This the origin of my love affair with determination + discipline and determination (my 3Ds) …8 years later, swagging between 70-77kgs, I have overcome so much and can now do so much. Working out is simply non negotiable for me now… I have still been through a few days in a stretch where I can’t work out due to a health flare up (whichever it is P for physical or M for mental; doesn’t really matter to/for me), but then I always know it shall pass, I keep at the self care and I go right back to working out once the spirit is back …
2) My health + holistic wellbeing has become my priority
The same friend who encouraged me to work out, was amazed at all the medications I was on. I was taking at least 3 different meds for the RA and sleep issues+anxiety, although over all no improvement was being recorded. I look back today and think the over eating could have also been due to the side effects of those meds. Anyways, I heeded to his advice and started weaning myself off the meds with ‘vengeance’. I started searching for alternative remedies for my symptoms and after two years of meds, I was ready to try even cayenne pepper if it got to that lol. Eating healthy became an obsession. I have carried a lunch bag almost religiously since then. It was tough working on the sleep especially while still in a very toxic marriage, I just had to sleep during the day either in the office or at an aunt’s home nearby. I chose the latter often because I could then bathe thereafter and feel fresh to be more productive in the afternoon. That way, if I barely slept at night and got up at 2.30 am as was the habit then, I could go for my 3 am walk with no qualms. Running into thieves twice didn’t scare me off, that is how bent I was on taking care of myself. Eventually off all the meds, I only take any when in a crisis or when I feel one is coming… My wellbeing has become so priority, I can’t even tolerate ‘fake relationships’ from any point of view…
3) I reached out for professional help
The next and biggest self care habit I embraced was in knowing when to reach out for professional help, and then doing just that. You can only take good care of yourself so much. There comes that point when you need ‘professional help’. I had succeeded in salvaging myself from that ‘sham and shame’of a marriage, and was finally in a place where I could start a healing journey. I was meeting Angels on my path and my Gentleman encouraged me to seek ‘professional help’ for all what I told him about me. No more energy to strive on without help, I first hired a life coach. I call that the best investment I ever made for ME. My Hero Jeff Moore, oh God bless him forever, helped me so so much. Next, I booked appointments with a psychiatrist and a psychotherapist. That was so much self care, self love, self acceptance and all things self… And come to think of all this Amazing work and Grace by which I have become a life coach and psychotherapist too? Come on somebody and say ‘self care is the best care’…
Let’s take a break here today, I will blog on the last 4 self care habits next Friday ( it was a bit intense recalling some stuffs in here – but no tears came and I actually felt some pride at how far I have come)
22.08.18 8 am, leaving for the office
22.08.18 3 pm, leaving the office for home
p.s as I write this post (22.08.18) I have had a mini flare up which started on Saturday. I have been all wrapped up in the office today as seen in the picture above, and it is 3 pm here now. I however feel so much better and am taking care of myself the best I can (some back to school preparation stress and anxiety too but I facing that head on by Grace)
When I created a page for addictions and recovery, I didn’t know I was going to be receiving many guest articles and resources.
When I did a 2 months internship at the lone public psychiatric ward in Douala the economic capital of Cameroon, 90% of the youths I received had an addiction to something – call it sex, drugs, opiods with the choice one being Tramadol. The youngest I saw was 13 years old and already looked like he could beat me up. Actually tried to fight with the bouncer oh my.
So today, I want to share a resource/guide sent my way by Jake Belfry the Addiction Outreach Specialists over at Silvermist in the USA. Silvermist recovery is a Young Adult Addiction Treatment in Pennsylvania, who pride themselves in: “Inspiring Hope Through Empowerment, Fellowship and Recovery from Addiction”.
The guide is a downloadable PDF that can be save and printed for guidance.
My other long term goal, I think this one beats the goal to create an hospice with a kindergarden for inter-generational healing, is to build an addiction and recovery center. Needless to say there are barely a handful to be generous (I know only of 2 in my city) and am happy I can be inspired by what works elsewhere such as at Silvermist.
Recovery is possible, I have been working one on one with someone spent over a month at the hospital and has been sober for 3 months now. This is the longest they have been since the started using over a decade ago. They have been hospitalized 3 times already but we all hope this time was their last time.
If you or someone you know needs help with an addiction, especially our vulnerable youths exposed to just all sort of stuffs today, please reach out to someone or any of the many organizations available on the net.
I am ever grateful for all the submissions I receive especially those with a message of hope in their conclusion.
Help girls stay in school during menstrual periods, sensitize the public to eradicate shame and stigma
Yensi is the Founder and CEO of The Hope Center, and she has a dynamic team; oh how I wish I were one of them. It is so awesome working on something so noble as instilling hope for one of the most vulnerable and marginalized group of human beings. Whether we all agree or not, women and girls are victims of told and untold atrocities all over the world and in alarming proportions. Indeed, violence against women seems to be so common and would I call it ‘evil effective’, to the point that it is being replicated in wars and civil unrest on large scales with the intention of causing long term physical and psychological damage to the victims and all those concerned with her existence (when the woman is damaged, her entire family suffer and her husband’s ego and reputation is tainted once and for all). Here I am talking about violence against women which is now internationally considered a weapon of war.
Start teaching the children about DV and its sustainability is better assured
Truth be told, if we taught our children to respect one another and not resort to violence as the means or resolving disputes and conflicts, they would likely grow up with those values. They would respect each other as siblings and partners, and will chose dialogue over violence more often than we currently see.
Yensi and I at the LLC Yaounde
Honoured to have my story featured in its maiden edition
We survivors of Domestic Violence also need to share our stories through all mediums possible. We need to stop the vicious cycle of victimhood to silencehood to nothinghood. Anyways, I did when Yensi asked me to, and was really honoured when my story was featured in the very first edition of their awesome magazine: “STOP THE DV” with DV meaning Domestic Violence. Yensi and I both attended the landmark and over due Leading Ladies conference in Yaounde some time ago, and that is where she gave me a copy of the magazine featuring my own survivor and success story. What an honour and priviledge.
The awesome Stop the DV Magazine
So much to do, so much support needed
DV is for real and we really need to be the hope for one another. DV has led to mental health challenges and illnesses, the trauma can be destabilizing and damaging for the rest of one’s life. It can never be overemphasized, the time to speak up is always now. Stigma is still so rife even ‘developed countries’, what more can we expect in ‘least developed countries’ like Cameroon?
It is for all the above, and for the charm and courtesy I find in Yensi, that I am proud to consider her one of my heroines. Thank you Yensi for reaching out to me, and for all the awesome work you do out there. There is help available people, do not suffer in silence out of shame and stigma.
P.S: If you or any organization you know, would love to donate to the Hope Center, kindly do not hesitate to contact Yensi or the center through their Facebook Page.
1) On the day (Wed 27th June) this blog title came to my mind, I was on the way to the hospital to get the results of the inflammation that had rocked my eye for a couple of months now. I was dressed the way you see because I was leaving home very early to catch the first bus to the other city where I had run the tests. I had been told it could be a tumour or some serious allergies. By faith I acclaimed the allergies before leaving the house, and allergies they were. I am rounding up the last treatment for that and it is only getting better;
2) I am happy because I am so in tune with my all these days, I feel my feelings and face my fears. Seriously, never have been this happy. I can unapologetically feel any emotions which come along, then deal and heal or heal and deal whichever my spirit guides me to doing; oh I even help others too as a psychotherapist and this is huge for me; I recently handled a massive breakup like the pro I am lol and the above picture was taken the very next morning post breakup;
3) I work hard, cry hard, pray hard, enjoy hard, relax hard and in short I try to be the Best version of myself. It is oh so sublime.
And so dear gentle readers and followers, if you are happy and you know it, why not share some in the comments please?
P.S: I will happily honour Barakah’s invitation tonight with a sublime white dress – at last I got somewhere to launch the gift I got myself for completing my 70 days spiritual journey, all to the Glory of God…and before then,
in the afternoon I will be a guest on a TV and Radio show aptly titled: Matters at Stake and Therapy respectively. I will be sharing my experience on parenting and other matters at stake including mental health and how to help… now all these from within and without make and keep me happy…
Next steps: Go home after Barakah’s event; catch some sleep and leave for Yaounde early am for the leading ladies conference…how happier can I be right now? Vacation is calling my name, and you?
PRE-SCRIPT:Scheduling this post for 6.05 pm once I break my fast, contrary to midnight as in the first two stages, is a testament to how much I missed blogging
It is not like I expected it to be all rosy this spiritual journey; no I didn’t expect any palms on my my path to say it plain. After all and above all, I am doing this all alone, under no direction, supervision or approval – seeking or waiting for no validation, counting not even on my own small allowance but on the Lord’s Grace and Strength. I mean, it will take some real heart to hear someone talk all this and not feel, think or even outright say they are ‘foolish’! – Just listen to, watch or outright ask Jim Carrey
Am I ‘foolish’ then? Do I feel ‘foolish’? Am I lonely?
I have been told I am ‘foolish’. ‘foolish’ to put so much on hold, have nothing saved up for real, and then ‘claim to be embarking’ on such a weird and seemingly ‘self-absorbed’ journey – call it spiritual or purification – it makes no logical or coherent sense especially with a swollen eye seemingly tagging you along as you journey on! Truth be told; it indeed makes no sense even to me – and yes to some extent I may be ‘foolish’.
As for lonely – oh big time. I don’t mind it but it still sucks some. Then lonely without trollers is much better than my current type of lonely. Let me stop at this. But am ok with being lonely, I own and appreciate and embrace it and choose that over being accepted and found ‘conventional’.
What else if not stubborn and hopelessly blind faith can get me ready, steady and set for a journey I know not the destination nor have a concrete nor convincing plan? I mean, when I was asked what was the plan, and I didn’t even have anything to babel with and still don’t – ah poor me right? I really had and still have none to provide or illustrate period! How ‘foolish’of you was the chorus. If I were to keep track of the number of times I have heard the word ‘foolish’ since I started (even just a day or so ago), ha I should be long way gone by now !
Is this a pattern for those who decide to set themselves aside like Peace Pilgrim; and ‘Trust’ their Higher Power, Inner Voice, God, or Who/Whatever you call Him/Her/Them? Again, Just listen to, watch or outright ask Jim Carrey (more current than Peace Pilgrim)
This apparent ‘foolishness ‘even makes it and me seem and look awkward and ridiculously hopeless. I have been brought down my knees not because I was hungry, but because I didn’t quiet know where the next meal will come from to feed my sons- take this literally…
I have read and now affirm, that when You say Yes Lord I am Ready, be prepared to Watch it all near go away until you become a near veteran beggar and Trust on Him and Him only. If you are into business, it starts to trickle out moment by slow moment. If into working with clients and co, the appointments, numbers and all may take a big toll downwards…
A lot seems to not go right (in this illusive world), and it could seem all is linked to your ‘irrational and illogical’ choice to embark on the journey you have embarked on.
When I once read that God loves our undivided attention, I though that was just a reality for nuns, monks and other religious – not for an ordinary woman like myself. I would be lying to say I haven’t been conflicted some throughout this journey whose third stage just ended. Will share more about these in due time.
I have felt foolish as a result, foolish of my persistence and perseverance with a passion I discovered. The determination, discipline and dedication I am putting in, can make even a 3 year old wonder if the prize will be a Gold Trophy. Who knows for real, I am prepared to keep being and feeling foolish if that is the price to pay for such faith, no matter how ‘foolish’ it may all seem and sound.
That faith which is so beautifully described in the Bible as among others: ‘evidence in things not seen … in things hoped for…’ And I don’t need my eyes to see what I will get if I persevere to the end – nope, sorry, yes I may be foolish if I can’t list them and point them all out to you, that my faith thing once more… That hope fuels me on!
It was a very peaceful 21 days of spiritual journey and fasting from all the stuffs am fasting from, and to cape it, while starting and staying on a very fulfilling once in a life time internship at the lone psychiatric unit of our main public hospital here in Douala.
Food being one of the stuffs am fasting from, is the least of my preoccupation. I dealt with food issues midway into stage two. Arriving at a point where I don’t react to smells nor get upset if others are eating or cooking some nice or foul smelling stuff by me. I can cook all day and be indifferent to food even after the hour to stop fasting has long past. This to me is self discipline and mastery. When I break my fast, I nourish my body just as well – I have even battled with me to eat during this stage argh.
Even just a year ago, I wouldn’t have believed I could have such faith to embark on such a journey, and stand it all so strong.
I AM TRULY GRATEFUL FOR THE AMAZING GRACE, AND FOR ALL THE ANGELS ON MY PATH.
Dear gentle readers and followers, be oh so positively inspired and motivated to strive on in faith in whichever area of your life you may need to work on. Be mindful of your universe as much as possible, be open to the possibility of several angels on your own path too, you may need to be more prudent than myself, that way you are not – or do not feel outright ‘foolish’.
Grateful for a 3 days break to share some with you all before my fourth and final stage…
No no, like in which church do you go to they insisted?
Is faith now relegated to a church you attend, I fired back?
Ah Marie ok, which religion do you practice?
Papa please faith and religion are not the same to me oh
And the conversation stopped there and I got the look…one I seem to get a little more these days which may be intended to make me look weird, or queer or self absorbed or any of those names which have been thrown at me recently hahaha
When I blogged that I was starting a 70 day spiritual retreat cum fasting, hell let loose. I didn’t really get comments here, but since the post was shared on facebook, twitter and sure the fastest means of communication ever; “hear-say, I got them solicited and unsolicited feedback in abundance.
a) so you mean you now have faith more than all of us?
b) so you mean you now hear voices?
c) so you mean you can do the impossible?
d) so you mean you don’t need anybody’s advice even the doctor’s or a priest? …
Ok, with the type of faith I have, could it now be clear why I am who I am? I have long had such faith, but I compromised myself way too much. Wanting to be accepted and to belong – conform, to be believed in lol
I am difficult to persuade or dissuade…try it. I listen to all schools of thought, do my research, pray over it and then take my decision. Let me get burnt and learn my lesson, I love such lessons and already have over double dozen catalogs (like in the days when it was chic to order via a catalog hahaha)
Let me borrow this from the awesome book The Way which am reading all over again. He wrote it in 1954 and it was simply put revolutionary – no spoilers but hmm, one of those books which reads you too. And so he says in point 14: “Don’t waste your time and your energy – which belong to God – throwing stones at the dogs that bark at you on your way. Ignore them”.
And so dear all, 14 days ago I wrote that I was steady for stage 2, I made it by Grace… slightly tougher than stage one, give myself a 75% ( this was really a getting steady stage, got upset a few more times – may be also side effects of some Primalan or etc I was prescribed ha)but that’s still a bravo for me. I am so thrilled to be back and passionate about the possibility of sharing 6/7 more posts with all my gentle readers and followers before setting out on stage three.
The not so good news is that I have a swollen eye which has been around for close to 20 days now and I was taking my part in its healing slow. I went to to the ophthalmologist finally last Wednesday (near regretted I did spend my money for a nonchalant 10 mins consultation and prescriptions for all including tests and lenses and no diagnosis even ha). So, I gave those products up to today to make any impact (ignored the tests nor lenses prescription -not wearing both hearing aids and lenses period) and all I was getting was blurred vision+drowsiness+sour and dry mouth… I recalled not having read the side effects of those products, having even pressured to be told what they were specifically for. When I FINALLY (better late than never but best to always read once product is bought) read the side effects of the three products he prescribed this afternoon, I identified with some of those effects, and thus decided to go full scale natural remedy during this 3 days break. I got me some Aloe Vera and Cucumber, I also have turmeric and honey , some this and that. I googled how to use them for a sore eye, and am fixing them up to use them religiously for the next three days. We’ll see how that goes lol, but I have already used some semi-frozen Aloe Vera Gel on the eyes, drank a glass of the gel too (yummy negative), put a slice of cucumber dipped in real cold water on each, dropped in turmeric mixed with mild warm water, eaten 3 spoons of garlic+turmeric +chopped onions+moringa leaves +ginger+honey ha – full healing in 3 days by the force of my faith, and put some ice cube on the hurting one – I swear I already feel better and the boys notice a difference…I never heard of overdose with natural remedy nor side effects so am all enrolled…my inner compass is guiding me once more… I drank an xl cup of warm milk and honey too, didn’t feel it right to drop that in the eyes hahaha
Enjoying workouts though reduced intensity
Fresh Aloe Vera
Fixing all my natural products
I can still read and write and see me some yuppie
Thanks to all well wishers, and I wish us all be faithful to our faith in who or whatever we put or see same…inner peace is my compass, which indicates the right direction in matters of my faith.
Happy Sunday (happy Palm Sunday to all who celebrate this day) …this post seems so befitting of a Sunday right? Hope it was a good and soulful read…
It’ll be ok Son, one day we’ll own a motor bike lol
I will write an entire blog post at the end of this special spiritual journey/fasting, to share my personal experience, the pros and cons of such a profound journey. But let me just state the fact that whenever you decide to do something in life, the ego and the self centered self seek to take center stage and direct you. This will definitely conflict if what you are embarking on is spiritual in nature – for example a fast.
On Wednesday 07/03, the 7th day of stage 1 of this thrilling spiritual journey am on, a conflict arose in the form of how to deal with Gaby’s Shi Shi*. He didn’t want to bathe – inshort he didn’t want to go to school even though they were starting 4th sequence exams that morning. Hod up now, he even wanted to switch education systems again back to French ha. I don’t even know where to start with the merry go round…
I first told him to give me a minute and I went into my loo to pray. I asked for serenity and discernment (Those are the first lines of my personal prayer). There wasn’t much time left. I invited Gaby to come bathe with me (inviting or allowing any of them into the loo my love is a privilege no one wants to ruin), he was calm and started singing as he often does when bathing. I joined in (I hadn’t planned on going out that early nor going for a walk, I wanted to do some small sports once they all left) and sang and danced with him until I realized he was in no haste to leave of course lol.
He said if I should please accompany him to school which was the idea I had anyway. We walked kind of fast (20 mins and not 40 when you don’t hold his hand and he gets to kick pebbles and watch birds hahaha), and by midway he was more mellow and we started to gist. At the school entrance, he met some friends and all was good – bye mummy…
It was then I continued walking taking a longer route, and I stopped by my former landlady (who owns the home where my marital sagas unfolded leading to my fleeing – she knows it all and stepped in a few times God bless Ma Made). Her grand daughter now a young miss, asked after the boys and especially about ‘le petit Alain la’. She still thinks of them like small boys although she is only a year older than Alain now. When I jokingly told her Alain was big and macho and could date her now, Maeva blushed and sad lol like they do. I always check in on Ma Made every now and then because she was simply put awesome to me and us all when we were her tenants.
When I got home, I met David outside (the college guy didn’t have school today because their class finished exams yesterday, and they were asked to stay home for a 3 day break, while Alain finishes today) He was fiddling with the neighbour’s motor bike, and I was taken down memory lane…
Motor Biking 101 in Bxl 2015
Back from my walk and down memory lane
Thanks to Gaby therefore, I had a good 56 minutes walk, I saw Ma made and Maeva (whom I last saw on New Year’s morning), and I sat on the neighbour’s motor bike and went down memory’s lane to a moment in time when I had a length Period of Grace before my relocation back home.
All in all, I didn’t raise my voice nor use a whip, Gaby bathe and went to school not whinning anymore about moving back to french system of education, I did exercise and got even some extra.
When life shows up with some twists, twist yourself around calmly and you may just have fun in the process like I did…
*Shi Shi: local slang in french to mean childish whining or something of the sort
p.s: My friend comes back from school 2 good hours after they closed, he stopped at a friend’s house he slurs. I look at him like that… sigh and say a silent prayer, then I take away 2 of the 3 mangoes I kept for him. He loves mangoes very much, maybe he could learn a lesson from there? I mean he could tell or ask me this morning he wanted to hang out at a friend’s after school; and that’s not even cool to just leave school and go to peoples’ homes like you don’t have one right?
Sharing to inspire and motivate especially parents in the blogosphere – wishing us all loads of patience in dealing with and bringing them kids up
Wow, 1st 3-days break and I am super excited. I will publish 5/6 posts during this break because yes, I missed writing out here – so bear with me gentle followers.
On a more serene note, the above picture was taken on day three of my fast, a Saturday, I was back from the biggest farmers’market in Central Africa – found thankfully in Douala like 30/40 mins away from my home, I bought all that and fixed them all up for the month – or however long we can keep that lol. I worked in that kitchen all day, because I love cooking (big temptation if you are fasting but I had no option and could do that lol), and only left that kitchen at 6 pm. Someone said wow?
So, as I announced last week, I started a spiritual/purification journey of 70 days as guided by my inner compass and this includes a 4 stage fasts with there being a 3 days break in between the stages.
I am fasting from 6 things as directed- and as you can see if you use magnifying glasses lol (food, anger, worry, hate, attack thoughts and yes the last one is sex, so that doesn’t even cross my mind during this period), and to be honest, so far so good. I sincerely evaluate myself 80% and this is an A – Period.
The day started off so cool because it had rained cats and dogs the previous night. I walked Aime’s son to school, well she came along, I worked with my dearest Sahadat (you’ll read about her before stage two begins I promise) from home, talked for long with my son Israel, it’d been such a while and I so love to connect with this full of promise adopted son of mine, and to make my first day so special, another small daughter of mine who was looking to connect with her dad all these years, called me to announce the good news. She is 22 and has never spoken to nor seen her dad. I once helped her zoom trails to find him to no avail. What a first day right?
It takes stubborn but passionate faith to walk such fate especially if any fasting whatsoever is involved. I mean I ate no pin, and tried my very best to fast from the other items. The 20% less is the shaky thoughts because am human of course… but I have faith in the fast… I said I was ready and stand by that…
Let me borrow from my friend Pammie’s view on faith: “faith is not a religious faith…it is trust in life-serving-life” and this is why I am going through this 70 day purification and fasting. I have faith in the outcome.
And so, me thinks, to fast especially in stages and for so long, whatever the motive (be it for health, wealth, weight, or religion prescribed) you need to have faith in the fast. No fast cars involved here, you have to walk your talk.
To, summarize this first post of my first break from my first stage of fasting, I am so grateful for the Grace to fast. The picture below is me that same saturday after working all day. I sate down to a full tray of a balanced diet which included a detox home made juice (smoothie if you want lol) in the red cup, a succulent fresh mango, some fresh tender corn on the cob home cooked of course, a yummy risotto in rice salad style, pap and enough water to fill my thirst tank hahaha. It was not so clear by the time I wrapped all up and freshened up, but the focus should be on my tray and not my face hahaha
So seven days later, here I am trying my best. Happy with the firm implementation of my 3D principles of Determination, Discipline and Dedication. The spiritual fruits are already starting to bud… but that will be fully revealed at the end. I could however treat myself to a hefty dinner and ignore the irritation on my eye and knee cap – guess my body not so pleased with me o
lots of fibres, veggies and sweet mangoes lol
lots of fluids for the eye and running nose
mum, author, mental health advocate, therapist, inspires & motivates with personal experiences