Tag Archives: Friends

Martin Baker my Model and Hero


 

Hello world, and Friday is here! I wrap up this roller coaster week with the potrait of my mental health advocate model and hero.

The guy you see above, he is the co-author of the book that has rocked my mind for the past two weeks. Uh huh this one here:

High Tide Low Tide

I have been through low tides and high tides and low tides again with this book and currently I am on safe tides: Not so low, not so high!!! Thank you Marty (for much), thank you Fran.

Now, here is personally why Martin Baker is my model:

  1. He has shown me what it means to be a friend – best friend to someone living with a mental illness: A friend in need is a friend indeed. In a recent guest post of theirs with Time to Change, Fran had this to say:
  2. Fran Time-to-Change-Champions-blogIf you get to read their book, you will understand and appreciate what she means and hmm, Martin has braved it all and is not only around but such a champion now. He has taken courses and done oh my so so much for his friend – I wonder where he finds the time and emotional stamina;
  3. Marty was there for me on the night I was in a police cell in a non controling nor judgmental way and that is what I most needed: Here below is an excerpt of our conversation that night:

    Marty: Hello Marie ?  (sorry the smiley can’t come along) How are things with you today? (I gave an honest response – which was not so good bla…)

    Marty: Sorry to hear it’s not going so good for you ?

     I went on to explain the ordeal to Marty and when he said he believed in me, I asked why because I didn’t want one of those generic I wish you the best statements without facts…

    Marty: In the short time we have known one another the impression I have formed is of a woman with courage to fight for what she believes in and wants.

    This sealed it for me, it was not only true I was a woman of courage and all, but it was touching in the short time we had know each other he had been able to form that impression. For the above reasons and more including his love for poetry, his appreciation of my poems and posts, our shared interest in photography, I declare Martin Baker my model and Hero  I appreciate all he does for Fran and am grateful for the friendship we are building too.

 

Advertisements

Deciding by Faith and not by Fear


Dear World,

Sometimes and yes there are such times, we get to a crossroad in life where we have to imperatively make a critical decision. In such times, one or more of those dreaded emotions overtake us, and we feel so frustrated because we just want to be Ok. We just want whatever situation it is to be over, and not being sure of how to proceed nor the outcome, fear creeps in. In such moments, I think if we decide led by that fear, we may make a painful or even bad decision.

Now my story… I have made a decision to use my story as often as I can to illustrate my write ups.

Yesterday was a day like most, I sent my boys off to school. My last son however, has since returning from the Christmas vacation developed the aching habit of leaving school once they close, and going to his dad’s until evening. This will leave me worried and I’ll be making calls sometimes ignored. Yesterday and even on Wednesday my birthday, he did same. I have been praying over this situation and yesterday it came to my heart to let him go live with his dad if that will make him wander less, make me worry less and keep him safe and stable. We talked and he told me that’s all he wanted.

I talked with a few others especially my mother, and I called his dad. We prayed with his brothers and I took him there. It’s a 15/20 mins walk from my home and he’ll stay in the same school as his brother.

Ah, although none of us shed tears, I wept within. That was another of those emotions, that negative voice trying to convince me am a failure at motherhood. The same kids I fought for and came back home for, can’t stand me blablabla. But this I know deep within, I let him go for him and not for me. My ego can hurt all it wants. My boy is entitled to his own experience. He’ll be Ok by faith.

Where does your Peace come from …?


peace

I once read a memoir written by one of my heroines called Iyanla Vanzart. The book which was titled Peace from Broken Pieces… was a very intense memoir which took us via the author’s journey to find peace after she had seemingly ‘gained’ so much, only to lose twice as much including her daughter and all time soul buddie. I was no doubt left shaken when I read that and realized that it was possible to pull through after going through so much in life, and to find peace. (reminds me to do that book review…)

Peace I seek, peace is all I want to give. More than every material possession, my priciest possession is my peace. When I lose it even for a second, I can’t vouch neither for my ‘holistic wellbeing’ nor what I can offer to anyone else even in terms of the least courteous relationship.

At the 3 day spiritual retreat I just completed, peace kept coming up because each time I’ll admit I was in search of peace. My spiritual director asked about when I felt so nervous and turned to food for comfort, didn’t that bring any peace? I said no. He asked if my friends didn’t help? I said no. He asked if even my sons didn’t bring me peace and joy? I agreed they did for some time but I equally admitted to getting irritated with them and how I sometimes bought them stuffs so they should focus on that and let me find some peace in my aloneness. Gradually, with his direction, I came to realize and admit that peace could never come from without.

The times in my life when I had ever felt peace, it was because I was spiritually whole above all. It never had to do with my material standing or even who my partner or friends where nor what they thought about me. Even my family in both the nuclear and extended sense could not bring me peace. No Fame nor Fortune, Friends nor Foes oh my nothing from the exterior could give or bring me peace…

Aha, my Peace came from making peace with my Almighty Father. No matter what seemed to be my outward show of strength, stability and even shape, I went through real tough times of restlessness within – synonymous to having no peace of mind and mine… No doubt I couldn’t give Peace… all my deeds brought such headaches and heartaches I was damned and almost thought myself doomed…

But alas… there it dawned on me… I could finally answer Father’s question when on the 28th of of October I felt such peace I had not felt in years. I had just made an amazingly big peace with my Almighty Father, He who had never relented/nor given up on me; and who like the Prodigal Father was watching out for my return. Father I cried, MY PEACE COMES FROM WITHIN! Alleluia I was Rahabilitated and I was rightly the woman in Jn 8 v 1-11…

My spiritual director helped me to see that peace doesn’t need any material attachments. The evidence is that, on that day I was ‘bare’. In a very modest surrounding, with the barest necessity and away from all the ‘vibes’ of modern day life, yet I could find such peace I hadn’t found even the previous day in the same setting, nor the previous years in far better off settings.

Dear all, the Peace I now have is really that one of total Abandonment to my Almighty Father’s will. I will in the coming days share with you my legacy and prayer written on that day. Oh how I have so much Peace now, the type that surpasses human understanding. Materially, financially, socially I am struggling; but spiritually I am riding high and I know that He who is in me, What I have in me, is stronger than anything that can come against me or seem daunting as is. Peace indeed be Still Marie it is well with your soul…

Oh join me praise my Almighty Father as you reflect on where your peace comes from… Shalom

Today is the feast of all souls… I thinl of my brother dearest Gabriel but I have peace within and the pain is sipping and sipping away with each passing day

peace-1

The Best thing my boss ever did to me was not to give me a raise but a sack…


image

I have come to firmly assert the following: “Do not be afraid of your breaking point for your Turning Point is just round that bend”. And when such is what happens to you over and over, you develop that thick, confident and lively skin and spirit which makes optimistic  and pessimistic fellas wonder about your physiology 🙂

I vividly remember preparing to go meet my boss in the office on a friday afternoon. The atmosphere in the office was degrading free fall and I was already under so much pressure mentally. I was equally completing a thesis and another memoir. I think I was equally fed up with that job by then. I loved it but my love and dedication weren’t doing it enough. It wasn’t reciprocal and that sucked.

I also admired my boss very much and indeed she is one of my heroines.  Yet, as much as she appreciated my efforts, she had to make a choice. Let me off and let the team “breathe”.

I went in and took the news bravely. I dealt with my palpitations and ‘mini depression’ that followed. I fortunately had such a terrific support network including mother general herself.

image

Today, am back to my country Cameroon and by all faith, praise to my Almighty and Amazing Father, I am my own Boss. I moved into my own office yesterday and we even had a small reception aka office warming.

image

Dear all, isn’t this awesome? I can do just so much without fear of anymore sacking. I know what is on the other side of the coin. Albeit what ifs… But hmm that my skin and spirit will sure see me thru. Once more people, try trying to look far beyong that breaking to be ready for the bringing…

SOS for my good friends: Their “Go Fund Me” Campaign


Hello world,

I hope some of us take some time to read their campaign and to donate even just a 5 $,£, Eur etc. I have been graced to meet oh so many wonderful people in my life. I keep being amazed at how extraordinary some of them are. One of them – because they are a couple, is Mr/Mrs Jennings. I wouldn’t say more, I’ll implore you to read their story on their camapaign page.  Personally, when I give even a widow’s mite to such causes where I don’t expect anything in return, I am so so happy. I don’t give only when I have enough or excess, and I know that the multitude who give me different things every other day, don’t do so either.

Our “Go Fund Me” Campaign.

Gratitude all the way
Gratitude all the way

How do you pull it altogether: My sister asked?


Reclining but not submitting, that's how I sometimes do to pull it together
Reclining but not submitting, that’s how I sometimes have to lie, before pulling it together

Hello World, when my sister asked me this question last week, or rather when she made it sound like she was in awe at how I pulled it altogether, it got me thinking. I mean thinking real real. Do I pull anything? Do I pull it if at all altoghether? My writer instinct then was: ok start writing – but remember I recently decided to do only two posts a week, and that ration had been served. So hey calm down/regulate those emotions (I just stumbled on a post on some DBT Skills on that), and why not beef up further research on what you do to pull your self and stuff altogether!

What I Pull – Have Pulled too right?

First of all, today also seems apt to do this post because I got up with that feeling of: ‘ok another day alive, but do I just stay me in bed?’ I stayed for 45 or so minutes, then I got down to some ‘singing meditation’ (yes, must there only be silent meditation? )

Next, I sent a whassap to my 1st contact of choice – my mum of course. I just want to be that 5 year old talking to and with mum non-stop. I care less if am labelled ‘cry-baby’ – there are worse labels out there. Mum didn’t reply immediately because she was travelling, but I feel at least one mile better whenever I write to her. Her responses may not always help me in pulling whatever it is needs pulling just then, but it helps either way.

I also pull the ackwardness of mood swings and gym mixed feelings. Today I didn’t feel like going to that gym. I had worked so much on Saturday and my body still irked. But I love what the gym does to me and I can even just only follow Lady Dy’s Doctor’s advice and do only 30 mins, but first I have to sometimes pull myself out of the house you know.

Then there was the discovery that the airlines am using to go back home changed baggage policy from 32kgs /2 pieces to 23kgs/2. And to think I had already packed and bought stuffs for my boys and co? Ok even if I pay for an extra luggage, some personal items will just have to go to Salvation Army. Well now the fuming is over, I am fine with giving to Salvation Army, I often do anyway. It just was embarassing I hadn’t checked before, just assumed the previous statusquo. Serves me right or left?

How then do I pull?

Needs perpectives and retrospectives
Needs perpectives and retrospectives

I pull by letting it all out just as is. I try as much as I can to do that. It can sometimes take years, like with my first memoir, but once I did that – oh my I felt super super FREE to proceed. No more writting in hiding, nor living parallel lives. My recent memoir share more of such stuffs (It’ll soon be free to download as my bye from Belgium gift to all).

Kindle Cover
Kindle Cover

I have come to terms with the fact that none of my families is perfect and that’s ok. Neither the one I was born into, nor the one I tried to form. I have learnt the lessons, and embraced the seasons. Dialogue where possible is one of the ways I pull my self and stuff through especially in this tricky domain.

Sometimes, we may not get any support from our ‘conventional families or even friends’ when and how we need, but hey they too have their own selves and stuffs to pull. I try to put myself in the other person’s shoes even if my initial reaction is to fume and whine.

Above all, I try to keep my smile. When I was a kid, I rarely smiled (yes some fake laughs especially when crafty), but as a teen I started hearing that I was prettier if I smiled. I tried, and hmm I love myself with that smile especially nowadays.

Different shades of me
Different shades of me

I also have some very special friends in my life especially online, and then my me-times and me-treats you know. Some are already planned for later this week – fingers crossed for the external and internal weather sort of 🙂

Dear gentle readers and followers, I thought to share these stuffs because I think they may also help someone you know. Of course I appreciate your comments, the likes, and the shares why not. I wish all all the best, thank you!

Meet Richie, my wonderful seatmate to the deep south and my hero


Richie Selfie
Richie Selfie

Richie looks at the Selfie and asks who is that cool guy there? He tells me he still thinks he’s got some looks and I add some style too. You see Richie’s necklace? And oh his Ray ban sunglasses? Richie says if I come to South Carolina he’s gonna buy me a pair. Oh, ok let’s start from the beginning right?

Meeting Richie

Bye Arlington VA, welcome Durham NC
Bye Arlington VA, welcome Durham NC

On a probably once in a life time opportunity, after testing of this infamous jetlag, and getting ready for Uncle Sam’s, I am hoping to zoom across at least 5 states. After MD and VA in three days, it was time to head south to NC. It was at the Megabus at the Union Station, that I met Richie. On the queue, Richie appeared somewhat nervous, and to some he could pass for a guy not worth befriending. Well, as it turned out, he landed in the seat right next to me. And to say I had first chosen a seat below, before changing my mind to seat on the top? And what to make of the fact that Richie had missed his morning bus and had had to pay a 5 usd fee to reschedule?

Well, I love people of his age, and Richie’s initial ‘stern’ look wasn’t going to deter me from striking a conversation. He carried a little box and my curiosity asked to see what was inside. ‘Oh my Clarinet he goes, it’s older than you are young lady…’ Richie says that clarinet bring him so much joy, it is simply his therapy and call to pursue to joy…

I wish I could attend Richie's next european tour in July!
I wish I could attend Richie’s next european tour in July!

Richie the encyclopedia

Richie like most people his age, know way more than you can find in some text books. I love listening to them and I think they love having me pay them that attention. Even my boss’s mum often asked after that african miss! Richie told me where we were headed is known as the Deep South. He told me about his 3rd fore-generation who were slaves. Told me what ever he knew of the American Revolution, the Civil war and sure about life in general. ‘Oh Baby, I had a full one going he goes … ‘ ( He called me baby and I smiled in fond remebrance of some other pops I had met in Brugges Belgium). He told me his best hero was a man named John Brown, and this got me looking up this brave American Abolitionist I had never heard of. In short, Richie was good company and the bus ride was cool. I wish I were actually going all the way to deep south Carolina…

With buddy Richie in Richmond
With buddy Richie in Richmond

In Richmond, Richie bought me a coke and two walnut bars, and told me some story about the town. Richie made me laugh so hard when he told me his 100+ home in South Carolina, had been declared a historical site, but he hadn’t qualified for the grant to renovate the fast dilapidating bungalow. He said “Oh sure the house qualified, but not me…”. Richie is a hero to me, having lived in several states and held several various jobs…

Dear gentle readers and followers, I am glad to share some highlights of my US adventure. Another lesson here for me which I am confirming, is that some first looks may be deceiving or even revealing. Richie said I don’t talk like a lawyer, and could woo a tough guy. Wow, anyway I have worked in a prison for six months and I did woo Billy the Bully!