You shouldn’t be quick to speak, if you wouldn’t be smart to listen
You shouldn’t be fast to blame, if you wouldn’t be up to the game
You shouldn’t be dumb to condemn, if you wouldn’t be glad if condemned
You shouldn’t try to impress, if you wouldn’t try when am depressed
You shouldn’t dare to preach, if you wouldn’t try to reach the real me
You shouldn’t fake you care if you wouldn’t dare an extra mile
You shouldn’t bluff you are clean, if you wouldn’t help the unclean
You shouldn’t brag about your sanity, if you wouldn’t learn about insanity
You shouldn’t boast of your country, if you wouldn’t acknowledge its history
P.s: formally putting closure on some troubling mind muggles recently
Let me think seriously about how or what am going to write in this post – my truth from within my soul…
I have a very good memory, indeed even some events when I was 2 years old are still stacked clearly up there. Books I have all along read, I have since lost count, but still see so many covers flipping through my head and the first xcel sheet I kept with all those titles. And yet, I can’t recall any book I picked up to read and couldn’t proceed because I felt my soul stabbed!!! Here comes the above book, a sort of innocently captivating title right? I mean a very resourceful book if you’ll ask me. So what now? Let me just write a short paragraph of some of the words which kept stabbing my soul when I tried read the first chapter:
Guilt, Incompetent, Unfortunate, Helpless, Sad, Uneasy, Fake, Farce, Hard, Difficult, Perfect, Imperfect, Irony, Sarcasm, Loser, Bother, Honesty, Failure, Victim, Apprehension, Doom, Darkness, Pain, Memories…
Indeed, the same me who had just a day earlier told the author I was honoured to review the book when approached, couldn’t even read another paragraph. Five days have since past since I got the ARC, I have written about my dilemma and recived invaluable advice and remarks and all; I honestly told Martin the author I was finding reading the book challenging and he was simply put Gracious in very few words. I have decided to continue reading the book – and will honestly review same when I get to the end. Here are five reasons why:
- I gave my word: My word is my bond, I have tried to not take my word as seriously in life, but I recently discovered that taking our words seriously is actually one of our personality traits. I am a Consul, in the Sentinel category and my stategy is People Mastery – ah what a personality trait and all. Anyway, I also love when people keep their word to me although I have come to make peace with myself that it ain’t my fault when they don’t;
- This book has made me take a personality test: I don’t know how many people have started a book and put it down to take a personality test before resuming reading! I have never done this and gosh it took a book innocently thrust my way to get me to this. I not only took the test, I went premium all the way to learn about my trait and other traits, my trait’s strength and weaknesses, many whys answered, many how tipped on and hmm so much. Thank you HT LT – who knows what else I’ll do before I finish reading you?
- I’ll even be getting a hard copy for my home library: Here again another first. I have reviewed so many books, a few times because the authors approached me. I have never gotten a hard copy probably for logistics reasons, but I have equally never asked for one until now. Don’t mind that with my first and I now admit very poignant memoir titled My Unconventional loves…I did mail out 5 or so copies to ‘reviewers’ I contacted online and who said I had to send them a copy… I was new to the business, was chasing reviews and was living in Belgium with a better mailing system than back in Cameroon…indeed that bool HT LT will be mailed from the UK to the US and sent through someone coming to Cameroon when the opportunity arises… that’s us, take it or leave it… Martin Baker took it and out of respect for him I’ll not just let him off to muse like I did, when none of those 5 reviewers who got my book didn’t even bother to even reply my querry;
- Martin Baker is a gracious Gentleman (I don’t care how old he is): The day I downloaded the ARC and read just the introduction, I put my kindle down and sent him an email with the first snippet of my apprehension. My guess/calculation going by time is, he read that before sending me a smiley on facebook messenger. None of us replied to the other. Am sure he prayed I didn’t give up just yet, while I sincerely wished I found the courage not to. I then braved on an finished part one, and the dread dregged me on. I let him know once again but told him I seriously wanted to try reading on. See his Gracious words: “Thank you for persevering with the book, i will be very interested in your thoughts”. Isn’t this so gentlemanly? and so I have come to realize the fifth and most important reason am reading this book is for me;
- It’s healing and making peace with and for me; and learning to be and do better for others: I watched a movie last night (one luxury I fortunately can manage with the boys being on vacation), titled “A Cross to Bear”. Don’t ask why that one and not another given I have a dozen or more in my library – some say am a ‘mini psychic’ lol. Anyway, the movie line (cause am going to do a review later I want and need to), is that a woman who opens her home to rescue abused or recovering from ‘something’ youn girls, gets to realize she was doing that out of guilt and had to start doing it out of love. Now, with regards to reading this book HT LT, a few other moments in my life ‘guilt over my brother’s demise‘ and not ‘out of love for myself or others in similar situations, has been my hidden motive.
In conclusion therefore, because this book from every indication is so resourceful, I mean I have all the 19 reviews it has on the amazon; because I need to do this for me and for healing and doing the best I can for others living with a mental illness or mental challenge, I will finish reading the book. I am even consoled and motivated by some lines from one of the reviews I found helpful on the amazon written by AngryGnome “…This book is not light hearted reading…But in spite of the serious nature of the illness, it is not depressing, as it is filled with hope, humour and more than a touch of beauty”.
Thank you Martin Baker for contacting me with the request to do a review of your book… you are a gentleman and indeed an invaluable friend to Fran Houston. It may be a slowread, but it’ll hopefully be a good and healing read – I look forward to reviewing same – indeed it’ll be an honour.
Be not ashamed to cry
You can’t store it all forever
Crying is no sign of weakness
Humanness if you ask me
An emotion just like others
Be not ashamed to cry
When it hurts so bad
When the knee gets knocked
When the mind goes mad
Crying can help inside out
Be not ashamed to tell
When you’ve gone thru stuff
So shameful you want out
Telling could bring such help
And who knows who you help
Be not ashamed to write
Write it all for you or us
So much therapy if you try
You have to take a step
Ignore stigma and shame
Be not ashamed to read
Read yours and ours
Keeping the brain as busy
Just like you should your body
But be not ashamed of your pace
Be not ashamed to hope
Even when all seems hopeless
The last beat maybe bring a break
Hope that break could lead to a breakthrough
What is life without hope?
Be not ashamed to love
Love yourself and others
Try and try and try
You never can tell when
One more time could be deal
Be not ashamed to be You
P.S: This has personally helped me a lot. I remember hearing Obama and other big figures say asking, crying, reaching out for help is not a sign of weakness but of strenth
This may be a weird poem, but It is a poem and honestly one of my best – am grateful for the inspiration; I think I’ll make it stick to my front page forever and when I do leave, leave your comments on this post. Death is for real, face it or not, think about it or not, wish it or not, avoid it or not, it’s the passage even for the US President. I wrote a small chapter on my fear of dying in my last memoir, check it out
If & when you hear am dead
Mourn not for me
am gone where I’ve long dreamt of
alas that’s our ride
think about you more than me
If & when you read am dead
smile because I say so
I have tried my best and wrote it all
The good, bad & ugly have I lived
I am grateful for the time I had
And for all I met
If & when you see am dead
you may as well envious be
I have been envious of them too
all those gone ahead to toil no more
this life takes a toll
sometimes the mind loses it all
If & when you feel am dead
don’t wish I weren’t
some actually die still living
physical death ain’t not the worse
Maybe just maybe life after now is for real
This and other poems are in a poetry book I am finalizing to offer the universe for free by the end of this month. Stay tuned and have a nice weekend people. Take care of your mental wellbeing
Hello world, the weekend is here and as I promised when I started sharing my single motherhood journey, here is the part three on some joys and challenges. The joys outweigh the challenges although for this post I kept the number for pro and con equal.
When you get lemons in life, do the best lemonade you can and look out for profit.
Shalom and happy weekend to us all
I know I know easier said than done.
On a very personal note, I am so grateful I found that enormous strength to not involve my children in my ‘fights’ with their dad. I had a small choice when fleeing in 2011 to remove them and ‘hide’ them or give them away – but I decided to sacrifice my ego for their ‘right to their other parent’. Gladly today, there are no more fights and I am even open to co-parenting although that is a dream considering what I know and what the current status quo is.
Back to these fights between parents and the children brought in, it is sad what I have witnessed in life and what follows those children into adulthood.
I watch this movie starring Diana Ross “Double Platinum”, the child was estranged from her mother allegedly ‘for her own good’. The mother’s crime had been that she had uped and fled to pursue her career since her husband was having nothing of it. Now, that dad was hurt the daughter was even considering moving to New York with her mum who had ‘abandonned’ her all these years… Is it the man she left or her daughter? Even if it was her daughter what prevents reconciliation?
On a most personal note once more and as written in my memoirs, I stopped trying to understand what happened with my parents (or between them), and I started trying to have the best relationship I could with each of them in their own measure. I am not chosing one over the other, they are the only mother and father I have. I mean, the approaches to our relationships are different and sometimes go through their own shenanigans and all, but I want to have a relationship with both of them without feeling guilty of letting the one down. When we were kids, I feel we were brought into their fights especially by my father who had the upper hand financially and economically. I think he has learnt his lessons and at 72 he ain’t getting any younger.
If a child decides to go ‘No contact’ with a parent for their own reasons, that is one thing … but the feel ‘pressured’ to ‘staw away’ physically, emotionally or even spiritually from one parent is outright wrong.
I thank God for the Grace to not make my boys feel or go through that. My house is open both to their dad(s) and the in laws. We are on good terms and they do stop by to see the boys – or call them on phone.
If it is the parent who decides to stay away, not call or not want them to come over … it their loss (not on my conscience). Taking care on your mental wellbeing and helping your child do same is very important in my modest opinion. Don’t make it harder for them please…
Happy midweek to you all
If happiness were a crime
Then I rather be a felon
Hoping 4 the longest sentence
To last my life time
If happiness were a crime
As it rampantly seems
I’ll seek all plea bargains
If it gets to that point
I feel happiness is a crime
The way some happy are bashed
Seems happiness is to be shunned
Selflessness and service ; carrying your cross
But I beg to differ
Will rather a rebel be
If selfless makes me unhappy
Selfish & happy instead I forge
Some crimes are for the better
Matters not what the law says
Or how some will feel about you
Maybe that’s your sanity at stake
Rather happiness than pity
Empathy and not sympathy
My present circumstances
matter not to my happiness gauge
I’ll really rather be a happy criminal
I rebaptised Merry Marie…
Know yourself & to thyself be true…
I am just back from a trip and I did share some update on Friday and Saturday.
For the main part of the trip and a personal mission, I had prepared myself emotionally and mentally intensely for a week. I knew organizing a medical mission targeting 500 – 1000 beneficiaries was no joke. Yet, all and I mean much did not depend on me. So I was ready to sleep late and deal – heal from overwhelming scenarios as much as I could. Glad to say I lost my cool only once on the DDay.
Today Sunday, was another day however and I had not prepared emotionally and mentally for the day’s events. I wasn’t even aware of the program up to the last hours. You can imagine how that shook my mind already so frail. I couldn’t make it and yet I was stuck there and had to wait. I was so tired and slept a little but my thoughts of getting back home and my disrupted routine kept bugging me.
I finally got home 5 mins ago and it is 10.30 pm here. My normal sleep time is 9 pm. Yesterday I missed that but I was prepared, today I am not. I have to deal with it. I hope writing my worries down like this with help me. Maybe I will also go drink some hot chocolate, I believe it helps soothe me.
I know some will say in life you have to be flexible and adapt and face stuffs like a ‘normal’ person. I am not a ‘normal’ person; diagnosis is not what will make me believe I am/or confirm that I am not … Whatever normal person is. I feel more and more mentally taxed by what will otherwise be ‘normal’ to others. Not being able to be ahead of my program or to even know what is planned and well ahead of time, drives me to an edge. Not sleeping on time, not eating what am used to, too much noise and different reactions from people are taxing now more than ever. Sometimes, even an hour’s preparation can do, but I need to be ready in my mind.
I wasn’t like this before. Maybe youthfulness and the ‘people pleaser’ in me made me very flexible and outgoing etc. I have been through stuffs since then which have plainly caused such trauma; going on nowadays, my mind gets scared of future foreseeable ‘trauma’ which may be caused by I don’t what… Sometimes I am scared I am becoming emotionally and mentally frail to a not so good edge. Maybe that’s why I try so much self care you know… I don’t want to rely on meds. Hence I need to prepare myself emotionally and mentally well in advance for any program which will change my routine. For example I attend the African Epilepsy Congress in Dakar in 2 weeks and I have been preparing emotionally, mentally and of course logistically since January.
Empathy not suspicion and disgust of people going through such challenging times is needed. Sometimes, it seems the ‘normal’ people don’t understand or are quick to say they do while advising you to just pray, get over it etc. Maybe that’s why people going through such challenges like these isolate themselves and will rather smile and say all is fine, rather than begin to explain what may only be rediculed? Others try to cope doing whatever numbs their feelings of makes then ‘feel happy’ and ‘on top of it all’/
I am what may be considered highly functional, but I love being prepared and also following my routine. Now Sleep evades me and yet my internal alarm clock will do it’s 4 am jingle and I wish to do sports and help the guys off to school. I know it may not work out that way because of the disruption so far. I hate to struggle and have to try calming down by writing all this. But I also share so someone be inspired and motivated. We are in this together.
Here is to my trying to sleep and to good logic of taking people as they come… That is equally fighting mental health stigma when we share our struggles and seek for ways to take care of our mental health
Wow world, another friday is here and am glad to share a big discovery I made during my recent BBB.
You know, when I have an issue and take a break, I look forward to understanding what’s going on, why or how am faring the way am faring, and what to do next.
So, the first thing I noted was that I am still getting worked up over other people’s reactions or expectations of me! I mean I sometimes felt pissed off and decided to google the word hoping to find some anti piss-off ‘medication’. I didn’t find no solution, only some images like the above.
Bingo, I have a cat and could use the first one, but I have no hair to shampoo, so I could only offer that to whoever was pissing me off literally speaking right?
Further reflections made me realize some vip things now:
Oh my gosh yes, yes, yes: I could learn the art of pissing people off too 🙂
Afterall, why should some piss people off and get away with that? I didn’t want to be nasty or outright mean, but I had to make my points henceforth and no longer suffer in silence:
- If speaking my mind is pissing people off: am pleased;
- If caring for myself is pissing people off: am pleased;
- If keeping quiet and letting someone fume is pissing people off: am pleased;
- If sleeping over something before responding is pissing people off: am pleased;
- If not being excited as I am expected to be is pissing people off: am pleased;
- If unflinchingly saying NO and standing by it is pissing people off: am pleased;
- If saying yes with a but… Is pissing people off: am pleased;
- Gosh, if to my own self am true is pissing people off: am very pleased!
The bottom line I advocate is that although the words ‘Piss Off’ may be found repelant or repugnant, they can be appreciated and used positively to stay sane.
I share my discovery and strategy with the goal of inspiring and motivating others. How many suffer in silence because they don’t want to ‘piss anyone off’ while being continually ‘pissed off’? For a previous and still struggling people pleaser like myself, if passing through learning and practicing to piss people off my way is what I need to find a balance: am pleased.
Ahd now over to you gentle readers and followers? What do you think about these words and their impact on one’s mental health?