Tag Archives: Gratitude

Personifying my Anxiety: I call her Loha


Anxiety Loha
Loha, (Love Hate): My worst friend my best enemy

I have know Loha pretty all my life. She has kept my mind alert more than I could ever wish for. Whether I ask her to come along or not she does. Always offering suggestions, making me doubt my own self, getting me double check on stuffs I have done, and beating myself more than I should for any omission or slight delay. She sometimes makes me wish a day had 48 hours even when I’ll still feel like a failure at the end of each day.

Oh Loha you are the worst of my friends – you nag! Yes, although I like that you help me plan well in advance and think of all possible scenarios of what, who, why, when something could go wrong; the fact that you more often than not come up with those your fall short blabla when any merry comes or is sighted, qualifies you my best enemy.

I think we should revisit our relationship, I wish I could just cut you out, sometimes I feel I have done just that. Is it a must that once you know someone it should be for life? Can you answer me that? Or do you only want me to take a pill which could give me that courage to kick you the hell out of life?

I am gradually however discovering how to get back at you, for all the years when you sucked me down, with all your nagging. I can now tell you to your face, call you out to the world, embarrass you too some. If you don’t like my approach, get lost because more is coming. I have new friends teaching me more tricks. I know much more than I used to, Loha you better step up or be doomed forever you shapeless chameleon creature – no doubt your best colour you say is black!!!

P.S: That was a guest post I submitted last month following a call to submit. I followed up and got my submission acknowledged, but it never got ‘selected for publishing’ and no courtesy did I get in the form of a ‘rejection/notification’. So, considering it their loss and Loha being mine anyway, I share it with us all.

I am officially taking a 1 month summer break from writing on my blog, but I’ll be reading, commenting and why not reblog any I find cool.

Love loads and all the best from Loha and I 🙂

Inspiring Positive Actions Now Ltd inspires on with Javnyuy Joybert


Awesome Flyer

Hello world, on the 28 the of May 2017,  I took that big leap of ‘Stubborn but very Passionate’ Faith and officially launched the company I had been dreaming and planning on for 3 years.

This Sunday, we have another interesting line up and when you read our keynote speaker’s  profile below, you’ll agree with me that there isn’t only hunger, strife and ‘crazy ‘ politics and policies in Africa.

In my meditation this morning, I summarized these five tips which aptly corroborate the Me doing all I do and where I get my strength from:

1) You can draw strength from the connection you have with others;

2) You can align yourself with the beauty and goodness that resides firmly and persistently in every corner of life;

3) In the darkest darkness, you can shine a light;

4) In the most difficult circumstances, you can act to make a profound and positive difference;

4) You can know, you can understand, and you can live in the service of a purpose that becomes more powerful and refined with each passing moment;

5) Choose to do what you can, and there is no limit to what you’re able to achieve. Amen

About our Keynote speaker for this Sunday June 18th 2017: Javnyuy Joybert

Javnyuy Joybert is a Social Entrepreneur, Empowerment Coach, Public Speaker, Personal Development Strategist/Blogger and a dynamic, prolific and strategic Entrepreneurship/Business Management Trainer and a blend of administrative gifts. He is a focused and purposeful young African.

Javnyuy is a certified Business Management and Entrepreneurship trainer by The American Entrepreneurship Foundation (AEF) California USA, performance and efficiency consultant whose forte lies in Empowerment, Training and Development in the areas of Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Personal Development and Business Management Development. He is one of the youngest and finest Entrepreneurship, Organizational Leadership and results based Business Management trainers in Africa.

Javnyuy Joybert is the Founder/CEO, Senior Trainer and Principal consultant at The Center for Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Business Management Development (CELBMD) Africa – The Pan African Professional Center. CELBMD Africa is an International Center of choice for skills/competency based Professional Executive Training/Development which cut across all levels of industry from Senior Executives to high school graduates. CELBMD Africa offer innovative Professional Executive Training/Development programs and capacity building seminars through the expertise of our renowned trainers, industry experts and volunteers… please visit his website I can’t do justice to this young, dynamic and oh my so so much Icon.

I mean, how grateful can I be right? It is all so amazing and I owe and wish the one I fondly call JJ so so much.

Have a weekend us all

 

My Son’s Book Review of Born a Crime by Trevor Noah


Exif_JPEG_420
My excitement at getting this book is now solidified by my son’s soulful summary

Born a Crime Review by Alain Michel

Please click on the link it is to a pdf document

He wrote that review on the 6th of June which was one of those days for me, as well as the poem I shared here previously too. That date now means so much more to me, and am seriously and sincerely so grateful.

Thank you all for reading,  he will read your comments on his review and see the likes too – He did read it and is currently reading the richest man in babylon and you can imagine how happy I am he is gradually discovering the wonders of books and poems right?

Acceptance of the Blue Sky Tag Award with pride


Blue Sky Tag

Ain’t I a darling to be accepting two awards back to back? Check out my first acceptance here if you wish:

Disclaimer: Out of laziness and yet wanting to officially accept my award, I did a lot of copy work: ( repeat from yesterday – can I plagiarize my own work?)

This isn’t my first nomination for awards on WordPress, but I am happy to receive them even if I can no longer be sufficiently gracious and grateful with the awards as in yesteryears. I however still try to make it a priority to formally accept them on my blog with answers to all the questions (oh my 11 in this case as compared to um 1 yesterday) – Much copy work again

The above being said, let me start by following other protocol (rules is the right word and they they use it no nonsense) to be observed before I answer that questions now – so let’s get going: Same copy work problem oh

A word of; no a basket full of thanks to The Diary of a Muslim Girl for nominating me and finding my person and all over the place work inspirational. This means so special and I feel so blessed to the extent that I have pliagiarized some of her writing (at least this makes up for the award being cashless lol). This darling of a lady is one to be watched, please check out work even if you didn’t want to follow another new but globally hyped blog!!! Copied with innovation lol

Ok,

Rules are as follows – 

  1. Thank the person who nominated you : Just did above
  2. Answer your 11 questions : Will do in a minute
  3. Nominate 11 bloggers for the challenge : am going against this rule (and the next one) unfortunately and dare I say fortunately; I am now in that category of bloggers who don’t candidly have time to nominate bloggers and … and also I don’t have that network of award loving people who would answer any questions and pass same on
  4. Give your nominees 11 questions : See 3 above to the end


Questions for my nominees –

  1. Describe yourself in one word : Merry
  2. Coke or Pepsi? None
  3. Desk: messy or organized? Organized
  4. Pet ownership – which is better? Dog or Cat? Both; I wish they could cohabit peaceful and so enable us pet peeves to keep them both
  5. Things to do – which is better? Sing or Dance? Both: though my voice sometimes relegates me to dancing while some of my moves will make singing less worse
  6. Are you always early or terminally late? My internal alarm beats all alarms
  7. What is your favorite book you read as a child? Cinderella – made me dream and still dream to this day
  8. What is your all time favorite joke? Ain’t worth joking about
  9. Who is the funniest person you know? Trevor Noah
  10. What is your favorite word? Amen
  11. What is your least favorite word? F—

Oh, answering those questions was pretty fast now – I therefore thank my darling Nusrath again for nominating me, and my I was even the first in her list of 11 nominees. She makes me muse with nostalgia and some melancholy of that 18 year old me – but am glad I got to her amazing blog with those awesome photography and such mature content on all even  subjects including Geography (wow I cound’t stand that subject in school) !!!

Yuppie, two more posts and I ‘vamose’ for the summer

Acceptance of the Cramm Awards with gusto…


The Cramm awards

Disclaimer: Out of laziness and yet wanting to officially accept my award, I did a lot  of— em no just some mild to moderate copy work :

This isn’t my first nomination for awards on WordPress (But am always nostalgic), yet I am ever happy to receive them even if I can no longer be sufficiently gracious and grateful with the awards as in yesteryears. I however still try to make it a priority to formally accept them on my blog with answers to all or the lone question asked (like in this case: bless the founder of this award’s soul).

The above being said, let me start by following other protocol (rules is the right word and they use it no nonsense) to be observed before I answer that question/challenge – so let’s get going:

A word of thanks to The Crack Indian for nominating me and finding my person and all over the place work inspirational. This means so special and I feel so blessed to the extent that I have pliagiarized some of his writing (at least this makes up for the award being cashless lol).

Now a bit of introduction about Cramm for those who dont know about it… 

TheCramm award was created by Liv, the owner of theCramm. Such a pious mind to create such a terrific Blog. Fellow bloggers go and check it out. You won’t be disappointed. (Plagiarism in toto – Marie guilty as suspected)

RULES TO BE FOLLOWED:

  1. Include a little bit about who created this award (with a link) and mention the person the who nominated you.

  2. Share 3 things that motivate you to blog and share 3 people that motivate you to blog as well

  3. Share one thing you hope to do that will improve the world

  4. Answer your challenge question

  5. Nominate your choice of bloggers and give them a challenge question.(I am going against this rule unfortunately and dare I say fortunately; I am now in that category of bloggers who don’t candidly have time to nominate bloggers and … and also I don’t have that network of award loving people who would answer any questions and pass same on)

1. I ALREADY DID THAT.

2. THREE THINGS THAT MOTIVATE ME:

  1. Passion for the Written and Spoken Word

  2. Passion to vent and share and inspire cum motivate with whatever I know or don’t know

  3. Passion to learn for ever and ever from one, sundry and the universe.

3. Three People who Motivate Me to blog

  1. I sincerely didn’t start off blogging motivated by anyone per se other than my zeal to vent to the world

  2. Now, I am motivated by my zeal to keep reading and writing past the logical age of reading and writing; and to be candid this takes constant practice lol

  3. Ok as for people, em now all my e-family (as in all who hop by to read/like/comment/reach out you know) motivate me to keep blogging.


The Challenge question for all the Nominees: – Why did you start Blogging? Your answer should be in no less than 100 words…(Bless you again)

Ok in 100 words here I go:

I had secretly written my first memoir in December 2012, and when I got to Belgium in January 2013 I realized I could publish that memoir via the Amazon. Discovery number something, and then I started think of not really marketing but letting my story and life and all out on a more regular basis!!! There was and still is so much going on in and around my life, I have simply come to baptise it my ‘Thrilling life’!!! Now, who living a thrilling life and self named Merry Marie wouldn’t want to share that life with others? Not me o, who loves to inspire and motivate, in appreciation to the universe from whom I have been so inspired and motivated. I snooped and sniffed and bingo I heard of WP and even Blogger. I dabbled with both and WP has survived over three years of my putting us through my moods, books wagon and hmm mental health advocacy.

So, I have so far written 159 words and I think the crack indian who nominated me wouldn’t be disappointed.

And here I land dear gentle readers and followers,

I have one more award to accept and then 2 more posts before I ‘vamose ‘for a much deserved summer break YUPPIE!!!

A Poem from my son & an amazon gift card fills me with so much Gratitude


Amazon.com Gift Card

Hope you enjoy this Amazon gift card!

$100.00
Amazon.com Gift Card

Hello world, this week has been roller coaster and kind of fast. I am still tired from my previous month activities and also setting up a company, and I still got so much to do. This weekend however kicks off with so much gratitude. I received not one but two amazon gift cards yesterday and oh my one was worth 100 good dollars. How grateful can I be? I so love books it’s like I have to set aside an entire day a week now just for reading – you can guess how many books I have already bought so far…

The other thing which fills my heart with so so much gratitude is this poem below from Alain my son written on the 6th of June, one of those days – He said I could share with us all on my blog:

Tue, 6th June 2017

Human Life

As heat from the sun can be

As permanent and resistant as mosquitoes

Suffering and pain attack the poor

Poverty is as selfish as magots

Sucking a dead animal’s body

But riches do bring problems too

Riches can be swept away 

by illness and disasters

Human has a natural curse it seems

But is blessed with knowledge

Some have clean and clear minds

Others are in uncomfortable minds

In a family, love and hope is needed

to succeed most in life

(c) Alain Michel

Have a Great and Graceful Weekend Everybody

Questions to an Author: Jill Sadowsky


ask-the-author-answers-edition

 

Hello world, with barely a day to go before the Month of May is over, let’s wrap up with my Granny Jill’s interview shall we? So yes here we go after P1 of yesterday:

  1. Can you tell if there was a difference in the way your son was treated before and after he got that diagnosis?

No, because we realized much later that the doctors suspected paranoid schizophrenia very early on, but they are not keen to diagnose such a serious illness in someone aged 20. Doron entered the military in Israel with a medical profile of 96 and when he was released, he was like someone missing in action. For 18 years, people thought of our Doron as ‘normal.’ For the next 16 years, they called him mentally ill. But, we always called him Doron. Our once gregarious son was ill, vulnerable and scared. He’d lost his sanity and grieved for that loss. He’d lost confidence, suffered harassment and discrimination. IF someone did agree to hire him, they offered such a low salary that it was insulting.

  1. If you wouldn’t mind, can you tell us any short or long term effect to your own mental health as a result of your son’s mental illness?

It affected the whole family. My husband, who devoted a tremendous amount of time to Doron, became  stressed as he was running an accountancy business. Our daughters did without sufficient time and energy from us, without vacations, without extras as every available cent was poured into another prescription drug, another treatment, a new psychiatrist. We did without too – we minded less. Our daughters no longer brought friends home. They returned from school, ate then fled. I learned about stigma: “She’s the one with the crazy son! Of course it affected me, no matter how much I tried to ignore it all. But, having a son in a psychiatric hospital is different. People with physical illnesses get many visitors in the hospital, are showered with flowers, chocolates and other gifts, while very few people even visited Doron. His good friends came at first until they had to get on with their own lives. We understood. Doron’s aunt and uncle were very supportive to him, something I will never forget. I learned at the support group to look for something I liked doing every day, and I did. I liked tutoring English, loved being with my children and grandchild, but, when I was very upset and down, I dug furiously in our garden. I disliked attending weddings or parties as everyone looked so happy and I was so so miserable, trying to keep a smile on my face. Later I learned from a smart psychologist, that I’d assumed that the other guests were happy but how could I know? Maybe they were also plastering ‘fake smiles’ on their faces? My friends told me afterwards that during Doron’s illness, I was extremely angry with the world. True!!!

3) The Writing

  1. Did any books/memoirs influence your writing (style, presentation, content)?

Many years ago, after Doron became ill, I read Anne Deveson’s Book entitled ‘Tell Me I’m Here.’ At that stage, I had no idea that she was a famous person. I simply felt; if she can do it, why oh why can’t I? Well, I started off by keeping a sort of diary but I jotted things that occurred in our once peaceful home onto scraps of paper which I popped into my bedside drawer. When I was asked to join a creative writing group, I typed out all the notes that I’d written and the teacher said; ‘You have a book there.” And that’s how all my more serious writing began. At first I wrote more short stories, then started slowly and painstakingly to write about what was happening in our house. Then, I didn’t even know that  1% of the world’s population suffered from schizophrenia – which is without taking into account all the other psychiatric illnesses that abound.

  1. Which was the most difficult chapter to write in your memoir and why?

Chapter 37, The Last Call was one of the  most difficult to write because of two pages. Page 224 where I wrote:-

Before schizophrenia, our three children had spent years of closeness, laughter and sibling secrets. During the years we lived with Doron’s illness, his sisters had shared their fears and tears, wishing they could escape the shadow but always drawn back to watch over, listen to and protect their older brother, who, in his healthy years, had done the same for them. It was then that my late husband had gathered us around him not long after we’d heard that our beloved son had taken his life. I want you to remember that Doron did not take his life. He took what schizophrenia had made of it. He ended his agony and I thank my son for putting an end to his suffering. I hope that he has found the peace of  mind he so desperately sought, the peace of mind that eluded him during the last 16 years of his life. Now we all have to face the tragedy of our loss.”

And a part of page 225.

On January 19th, 1996, we buried Doron. It was three months before his 34th birthday. On that dull winter’s day at my son’s funeral, the earth that had been dug out, stood in a mound ready to be thrown back. For the last time before he was buried, I talked to Doron, while in the cold, still air, I heard a thousand birds sing their songs of life.

All the people who loved Doron could finally say farewell. I saw people there who had not coped with his schizophrenia, but knew how to handle death. So many friends, neighbors and acquaintances stood, shoulders touching, their breath mingling in the icy air into one great sigh for our loss. The rabbi intoned the familiar words. His voice echoed in and out of me like surf slapping against the shore. His words didn’t comfort me. I registered simple animal sensations. My mother’s frail hand clutched mine. My daughters were trembling. My husband was crying. I was the only one unable to shed a tear. I whispered goodbye. So much left unsaid. I ached to see him on his surfboard. The thud of earth,  marker. He was gone. He didn’t say goodbye. In a tumble of memories, I saw Doron’s smile superimposed on the painful image of his anguished, tortured expression.

I love you, Doron.

REST.

1962-1996

  1. Which if any was your favourite chapter to write and why?

Chapter 27 because it showed that one can be happy in the midst of schizophrenia. Our daughters were aware of the terrible stress we were under and presented us with two flight tickets to Crete, including accommodation for four days. With misgivings, we took leave of Doron who was in a hospital at the time, hugged the girls after thanking them profusely. The flight was forty-five minutes in duration and we flew to our Greek hideout with  our son’s blessings. “I am happy for you both,” he said. Both my husband and I loved spending time together, even more so on vacation and we reveled in the fact that we had nobody to take into consideration. We relished the unexpected gift of time together, this reassurance that love and  pleasure were sometimes hidden in the crevices of pain. It reminded me that despite our woes, the world went on turning and sometimes presented extraordinary surprises. Our break on the idyllic island of Crete seemed longer than four days, and we felt whole again when we flew home. Every moment had been precious and I’d banished thoughts of mental illness, grateful that our girls had banded together to allow us this escape.  We didn’t know when or if another opportunity would present itself but we were ready to face the next round with schizophrenia.

4) So overall how did you cope?

I learned to take one day at a time. I tried to remember Doron when he was healthy and how much pleasure he had always given me. I cradled the gentle way he used to speak as if they are butterflies alighting on my hand, an event so startling, that I didn’t want it to end. Coping with the stigma was difficult for my daughters. It took me about a year to learn to live with it, yet my husband didn’t give it a thought and told his clients that he had to end their meeting early as he had to visit his son in the psychiatric hospital. Not a single client left him for that reason.

4) The Message

  1. Do you have any advice for other memoir writers especially on challenging subjects like mental health?

Today, there is a tremendous amount of material on mental health out there, both on-line and in books, so check out the market and make sure that y our book is different. There is always another angle.

  1. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

a) I would like people to know that my late husband’s favorite quote was one of the things that kept me on an even keel while Doron was fighting his demons. Schizophrenia had to take second place whenever I read the following prayer even though I am not a religious person.

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity To accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference.”

b) We knew nothing about mental illness till we were thrown into its midst.  From the start, we got the message that we were to blame. Fortunately, my late husband refused to accept the blame. He didn’t allow me to either. Smart move. There are no miracle cures and not too many answers. We needed to know that parents cannot cause schizophrenia. We needed to know about the mental health society, ENOSH, the Israeli Mental Health Association to enable us to join a support group as eventually, it was a support group of 22 parents who shared my grief, fears and confusion without pointing an accusing finger at me. We learned there to take each day as it came, to change our expectations and hopes and to use humor wherever possible, something my husband did naturally. We needed to know what to say when our son told us that we ‘didn’t really want him to get better.” What to say when he threw out the food I’d just cooked, convinced that I was trying to poison him. How to behave when he trashed his sister’s bedroom or covered his window with aluminum foil to keep ‘them’ out, or slashed picture frames in his search for microphones that e had hidden there in order to help ‘the establishment.’ I needed to know how to act when he became aggressive, depressed or suicidal. What we did not need was to hear a psychologist or psychiatrist ask us; ‘well what did you do?

It was at the support group that we learned how to set limits as we still had to find time for our healthy children and for each other. We had trouble with the way the staff decided at the last minute when they were releasing a patient from the psychiatric hospital. I had to organize extra food, change my teaching schedule and my husband had to reschedule his client’s appointments. We felt the need to know what side effects each medication could cause, as well as what the illness was causing him to do.

The power of stigma is devastating and if mental health professionals and caregivers could help explain to the public that it is an disease like any other, that it is not contagious, that most sufferers are not aggressive, despite the media headlines – that they commit no more brutal crimes than so-called ‘normal people.’ Could you help floundering parents  put a sop to the stereotypes of mental illness and also tell the world that people who suffer from mental illness do not come from crazy families.

Last but not least, PLEASE give our sick children some hope. Nobody can live without hope.

If I have managed to change the attitude of just one person who reads this, my emotional upset at rehashing Doron’s story will have been worthwhile.

  1. Any other writing projects, blogging etc?

‘My son, my son,’ was published in Hebrew in the anthology UPWARDS, Chapters in Community Mental Health edited by Yechezkel Taler as well as The Last Call in the anthology Hidden Lives edited by Lenore Rowntree and Andrew Bowden and A short love story “Love on the Kinneret’ in Ang-Lit Press’ LOVE IN ISRAEL, 65 short stories in honor of Israel’s 65th anniversary.

Having reached the age of 78 but still behaving like a teenager, according to  my grandchildren, I am writing less, but still writing.

  1. Where can your memoir be found?

David’s story is available on Amazon as a kindle book.

Marie,

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to write all this.

Thank you very much my favorite Granny Jill for answering our questions. We hope to stay informed of any updates with your projects.

About Jill

my fav granny
Also called the messiah in her circles for breaking the taboo and speaking about Mental illnesses this actively

Jill Sadowsky was born in South Africa and has been living in israel since 1963. She has been writing since her son contracted paranoid schizophrenia. Granny, is a multiple award winner and her works have been featured in distinguished journals. She is a sought after speaker on brain health/illneses especially given her experience as a care giver of two loved ones lost to Schrizophrenia and Alzehmier.

And so world, with this wrap up interview, I must say I am so grateful to the Universe for giving me the Grace to blog each day for this month of May which is mental health Awareness month. Tommorrow I do a recap of the internviews and some of things relating to my mental health advocacy. Granny Jill is one of my best inspiration – my at 78 years? What do you all think?

My Gift to all: My Poetry Collection


Kindle Cover

Hello World, today is friday and I wish I were going away from the weekend. But hmm, saturday I accompany my dearest Donna at her Dad’s Memorial Service, and Sunday is my first mega event launching my company. As much as I had had three years and more to prepare this journey, write up a business plan and draw it all up in my head, stepping on that bridge now is sort of daunting though appealing at the same time; I am actually partnering to do this and well the organization and capital raising part of it and all … wow even the lawyer in me is …

You should know some stuffs about life and its people – how some of those who were so glad and full of praise when you helped them with their own business, don’t even as much as bother cheering you emotionally and actually want nothing to do with your own business … how some can actually sabotage with some sarcasm and …

Let me leave it at this, the poetry book is free for 5 days and thereafter the kindle is at 0.99 c

You know, I am not bothered by naysayers, I am grateful for life and all the opportunities to learn, grow and love…

I leave you this weekend with a few pictures which have made me chuckle, nostalgic and grateful for life … all my pictures right?

Happy weekend and take care of your mental health dear gentle readers and followers, Thank you

Dare Dakar: Dare Life (An area girl in Dakar)


Infront of my poster, well others hadn’t put up theirs yet – trust me to be on time

I am back from 5 days in Dakar, where I was attending the 3rd African Epilepsy Conference –  I am so tired. I have equally been nominated to lead the national chapter of the IBE and so you can imagine.

This post was actually started while still in Dakar just so I don’t have much writing to do on my return.

Yes: I have Dared Dakar and I am more armoured to Dare Life or better put Dare the business of Living. Before I proceed, I want to say like all dynamic business men, I want to make a huge profit out of this business and invest in society starting with my family.

Daring Dakar Day 1 -3

I have to greatly summarize so as not to write this post in 3 parts.

Day one (Thursday 4/05/17) was literraly spent flying over Africa and doing Airport hopping. There are no direct flights to Senegal from my country; so –  I left my home at 6 am and finally checked into my hotel in Dakar at 10 pm thanks to the cab driver who knows no where and no French… The national language in Senegal is Wolof …

Day 2-3 (Fri&Sat 5&6/05/17)

That block is called the Confucius Language Centre – donated by the heavily present chinese

I start off very tired, curiously still jet lagged although the sports I get to do from 4-5 am on Saturday morning boost me up plenty. Friday morning was really tough and some emotionally taxing situation nearly nailed me down. I am so grateful for my support network and coping strategies. I learn a lot though and yes I make so many contacts. Some area people (from the doorman via the receptionost to the room cleaner etc these are my best); a student and some VIPs.

 The conference is at the famous Cheikh Anta Diop University by the Ocean and my my my…  I meet Falima and we click. She is a 3rd year student and in love with Cameroon ha – some things we think are despicable are other peoples dream… And you could refresh about my heroine Fati here, Couma on the right is her kid sister now my friend too ofcourse

On that friday evening, we have the official opening ceremony followed by a cocktail. I am very pleased to make friends with Ella & Lola

I keep stocking up on chicken to feed my friends

Day 4&5 (Sun&Mon 7&8/05/17)

I sleep much better and I go for sports at 5 am. Baam I run into a Petit gang arguing over their booty but I refuse to let fear take me back. I walk right through them with a dare me stare like a commando. It tells them, am an area girl minding my business, mind yours. One of them whistles at me “yowa (yes in their dialect) mama” but I dont smile back. I instead make the ‘buddy fist gesture’ and continue my way.

I zoom through the morning and soon it is closing ceremony. There is a planned city excursion with a restaurant reserved for those who opt. It ain’t free and nope am done with those 3/4 star stuffed scenes. I also have to be economical so I chart my way to Fati their family home. Going to such areas makes you know life indeed has several shades. Talk of bumpy ride…

To get there you just keep going right through the sea lol. The VIP friend who brought me here told me in all their life they’ve never been to this area nor where I am lodging…

It was already past 3 pm and I was scared lunch will be over; but nope just in time… See me enjoy famous Senegalese rice the Senegalese authentic way …

On my way back to the hotel I dare a scarpie and enjoy 2 hour plus of cheap sightseeing and listening to Wolof being rolled off from all angles. These people greet each other for at least 7 minutes. How romantic? Am loving it and today being a Sunday there aren’t that too many passengers… Wrong it pick as it goes, hop out as you wish… I sit, stand up for a grandma, sit again elsewhere when someone leaves, stand up again for a pregnant woman and when next I mange to squeeze somewhere I dare not look up again who comes in …and, I still treck for like 15 mins because the final bus stop is no where close to the hotel…

On Monday I quickly do sports and then check out of the idealistic hotel by the beach, to the area where I can drink chai by the road side. I can count on Coumba to go shopping for souvenir gifts. Here is the address Coumba gave me, sorry it is in French so use google translate maybe it’ll give you a more precise address:

“Bjr marie tu diras au chauffeur que tu vas au golf rond point marché jeudi terminus 38 à la cité des enseignants …”

Look my people, when a Senegalese tells you it ain’t far, hail a cab immediately. When they say they are just stopping by to greet, cancel other appointments! Simple

And I did it, dared dakar again one last time, dared to go to the infamous Goree Island. How could I come to Dakar and not visit that island? The emotions you leave that island with – am speechless

Tuesday 9/05/17

Flying until finally landing and getting back home in one Peace/Piece – Amen

I hope I have been able to visually take you to Dakar and back, inspiring and motivating you to Dare Life and Dare Yourself

Have a great midweek (as for me I am spending half of this day in bed – Ineed to chill out before I crash) leaving you with this short clip of someone excited at watching the waves

Mind your mental health (Mental illness or not)

Thank you so much

Book Review: Birth of a New Brain by Dyane Leshin-Harwood


Birth of a new brain cover

 

Mental illness is more often than not associated with incompetence, fragility, frugality, vulnerability, undesirability: I don’t make that association however, and memoirs like Dyane’s make a pale of those who think a mentally ill is a ‘no good’! 

May is mental health awareness month and I have the honour of furthering my mental health awareness month with a book review. Dyane’s epic memoir of one of the ‘not so known’ mental illnesses is worth its weight in gold especially at this time when even Royalty is stepping up advocacy on mental health awareness.

Some stuffs I get from Dyane’s epic memoir:

We don’t care about those ‘lunatics’ because we are not them and no we can’t become them. Sometimes, and as in Dyane’s case, we so wish our sick ones well, but we don’t try to learn and understand what is going on. We don’t even know what or how to ask them any questions. It gets to a point where we look forward to either having them removed from our ‘normal’ existence, or forward to leaving them and going far away – be it for studies, work or just a fresh start. One thing I learnt from this memoir is that close or far, we can be so impacted by mental illness of a close one. Paradoxically, Dyane starts having troubling ‘mental issues’ after she’s left home and is on her own, although she had felt for so long before then that something ‘weird’ was going on.

And yet:

A lot of good things in my opinion happen to Dyane in between the time she leaves college and when her second child is born – the birth which sparks her postpartum bipolar disorder. She takes on different challenging jobs and meets a vast array of people most especially her ever supporting husband.

I am so interested to know what keeps her husband staying with her mindful of her seemingly ‘unappeasable’ mental illness and mental health altogether. Maybe she’ll write a second memoir about this. He from much indication in her memoir, is a care giver par excellence both to her and to the kids, juggling these all with his ever demanding job. People like her husband are to be celebrated because many with a mental illness are sooner or later abandoned even by their families and left at their own guise.

It is once more interesting to read in this memoir about the treatment mentally ill patients seem to attract. There are basically two types of treatment. You are either treated as a human being with an illness like every other (very rare), or most often, you treated with such stigma and near shunning altogether. Dyane even while very sick, can tell and appreciate when she is treated with empathy, and even sympathy. She also narrates the few times she’s treated like ‘one of them lunatics’. When you sometimes leave the hospital worse off than you get there; when you develop post hospitalizations trauma disorders which is another mental illness on its own.

All is not lost, after trying several different medications, nearly becoming a guinea pig of sorts; after trying to go off cold turkey not once but twice; after silently challenging one of her doctor’s sarcasm about alternative treatments; Dyane has come to find a balance between all of them. Even ECT wasn’t left out, she desperately needed a new brain – she’s courageously brought forth one and trying her best to nurture same.

My Appreciation:

Her narration is not only so funny at some points you wonder where she found some words and different styles she uses (oh yes she has a B.A. in English and American
Literature); her memoir also has helpful links and annexes. Her extensive biography below beats the ‘stigmatized notion of mentally ill as incompetent and losers’! I mean what dedication starting all over and over again, entering a contest hundreds of times, taking on difficult exams and the list goes on.

As some other advanced reviewers have already said, her memoir is a big bonus to the mental health community, – a community I dare advocate should concern all of ‘us’ because all the ‘thems’ we see today were once ‘us’ before. There is really no point for stigma which to me shows insecurity and fear of the unknown.

I without any reservation, recommend this memoir to all and sundry. I give it a 5/5 and can’t wait to receive my autographed copy come October. I need to have that physical copy on my shelf period!!!

About Dyane Leshin-Harwood

Dyane Harwood

Dyane Harwood is the author of the memoir “Birth of a New Brain – Healing
from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder” (Post Hill Press, October 10, 2017) with
a foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw. She holds a B.A. in English and American
Literature from the University of California at Santa Cruz. A freelance
writer for over two decades, she has interviewed bestselling authors
including Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison, Anthony Bourdain, and SARK.


Dyane had the once-in-a-lifetime experience of attending a writing weekend
conference taught by her favorite author, the late Madeleine L’Engle,
author of “A Wrinkle in Time.”  Dyane has written for The Huffington Post,
The Mighty, Postpartum Support International, Postpartum Progress, Anchor
Magazine, Fit Magazine, The International Society for Bipolar Disorders,
The International Bipolar Foundation, and The Stigma Fighters Anthology.
After founding a chapter of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
(DBSA), she facilitated free support groups for mothers with mood
disorders for nine years.


Dyane lives in Ben Lomond, California with her husband Craig, their
daughters Avonlea and Marilla and their collie Lucy who serves as a
writing muse and sits on Dyane foot when she writes.

Dyane’s website: www.dyaneharwood.com
She blogs every Friday at Birth of a New Brain: 
www.proudlybipolarwordpress.
Birth of a New Brain Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Birth-of-a-New-Brain

You can find Dyane tweeting away on Twitter: @DyaneHarwood