Tag Archives: inspiration

Joys & Challenges of Single Motherhood: My Story P3


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The winning team: The joys outweigh the challenges big time

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

If happiness were a crime…


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This is why I really try to stay Merry Marie

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

Ama happy to keep fit
Exercise, one of those activities which make me so happy

I rebaptised Merry Marie…

Know yourself & to thyself be true…

Emotional and Mental Preparation goes a long way I advocate


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

Pleased 2 Piss People Off


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:

  1. If speaking my mind is pissing people off: am pleased;
  2. If caring for myself is pissing people off: am pleased;
  3. If keeping quiet and letting someone fume is pissing people off: am pleased;
  4. If sleeping over something before responding is pissing people off: am pleased;
  5. If not being excited as I am expected to be is pissing people off: am pleased;
  6. If unflinchingly saying NO and standing by it is pissing people off: am pleased;
  7. If saying yes with a but… Is pissing people off: am pleased;
  8. 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?

A Tale of Doctors and wellbeing


Team doctors

I have heard and read it several times, people saying well my doctor never told me this or that, or he said this or that, and em that was or wasn’t covered by insurance. They were mean, no sympathy or empahty, oh so kind and compassionate…

I recall when my late and only brother (he died in 2014 at age 33 after 18 years with epilepsy and bipolar disorder) used to go the doctors all the time. We were close, and I took him to his appointments back home and sat in those consultation rooms, as well in the labs and all. Back home in Cameroon, all seemed to be going well and although he was on a few meds I think 2, he was also on a lot of food supplements, natural remedies, and mum made sure he ate vegetables and fruits like it or not. I discovered carrot juice via him and I still love it to this day, A lot changed when he won the diversity lottery and relocated to the US. Before we get there, let me tell you what I witnessed with most of the doctors we went to back home. They treated him with empathy, they took time to explain updates to us, the prescriptions and side effects, and even recommended alternatives to counter the side effects of those meds. He so loved some of those doctors and could sing their praises un end.

Come in Doctor N° 1 in my tale

doctor1
The serene and reassuring doctor

My brother got worse somehow, we were helpless from this far and we prayed he atleast got some nice doctors. So, when he told us of his primary physician called Dr Daniel Gross, we were so happy. 

My brother looked forward to their appointments. My mother talked with that doctor. Dr DG encouraged him on, he went to therapy both group and solo. He still did some ‘shaggy’ stuffs, but those were better than the total isolation in which he lived his last couple of months. I later found out well he was taken off Dr DG ‘s roster or maybe Dr DG moved on…, and therapy was stopped (probably not covered by insurance…), and so he got assigned another doctor. By then he had started putting on so much weight and was on 6 or so meds.

Here comes almighty Doctor 2

obese1
No Comment

And so it came to pass, that after my family had voiced their concern about the drastic side effects of my brother’s cocktail in May 2014, that mum had complained through his nurses and his case manager in June (while on a two week visit with him), my brother went for another ‘doctor’s appointment in July.

Here is a recap of what Dr whoever said:

He told Gabriel (my brother) that he was aware of his mother’s concern about his weight and that he weighed more than Gabriel;

This doctor put and kept him him on the following meds + more ; and knew what was going on – in his own words to mum :

  • That he was aware of the side effect of Risperdal, which he prescribed, those included drowsiness, dizziness, drooling, nausea, increased appetite and weight gain;

  • That he also prescribed Zyprexa and was aware that the side effects include: Constipation, dry mouth, increase appetite, weight gain and stomach upset;

  • That he was aware that Zyprexa is taken in use with Benadryl it could lead to a stroke or heart failure;

I leave it at that for your interpretation, and I make a case for this other doctor I just found

Doctor N° 3

In my constant searching for information, not wanting to just let myself go and rely so blindly on what the doctor will tell me or prescribe, I discovered an ideal doctor online. This doctor is sharing information on how to make healthy choices for a healthier and happier life, and he seems like one of those not quick to prescribe medication. I recall a recent episode where I developed the dreaded mumps, and Doctor J advised me on natural remedies and yes sleep. Wow, he tries to sound wake up calls, demystifying disease and passionately interacting with all on his platform. I don’t know about his offline practice, but where I in the position to chose my doctor, I’ll chose Doctor J any time.

Afterword

We all have a choice – at least the majority of us do. We could lose that choice for a reason or the other, that I dispute not. Yet my case is that it is awesome to realise sooner than later that we not only have a choice but we owe it to ourselves and our community to make healthy choices. We may not be able to avoid going to a doctor altogether, but we can change doctors or try to stay healthy and manage our ill health in alternative positive ways whether recommended by a doctor or not. I have read quiet some books (memoirs especially) by people with a mental illness or other illnesses like dreaded cancer and co. None relied solely on medications – a couple even got well without medications or worked to get their dosages reduced to a barest minimum while improving on the food they eat and their overall lifestyle. When it used to be said your doctor is  or should be your friend… I don’t know if that’s still true…

 

1 Whole Week 4 just David & I


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That was in David’s School

Hello world,

Wow I just spent a whole week with David.

David is my Shepard; David is my King; David is my gentleman. David opens the door for me, David likes insisting on the dinning table: ‘after you mama’ and when I ask why he’ll say because it is ‘ladies before gentlemen’. I don’t want to bother his young and fresh mind on what sometimes goes on in the ‘bigger world’. David is my second son aged 10, and he didn’t have an Easter Break per-se because they in final year of primary school had preparatory classes in school daily from 8-12 pm.

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Those particular shorts of his I have begged to have them given me to fix but nada

And so hmm, that is how David and I came to have a whole week to ourselves at home. I had left his 2 brothers in Buea when I went there to savour Dyane’s epic memoir. Ok, my plan had been to send the three of them to Buea for the Easter break before I knew David wasn’t going to have a break. Now, during the first week of that break, Alain had opthalmologist appointments and now wears glasses, and Gaby the star had a tummy rumble and a wound under his foot which he picked up from one of his many adventures in the neighborhood barefeet of course – oh poor me.

With David, you talk less, do more,  and appreciate silence and art more than all. He loves , cooking, drawing or watching one comic or the other. He also has a like minded friend in the neighborhood who goes to his school too. They often hole up in our home after school and draw all those characters they see.

I made it a point to have dinner with David everyday and to help him with any assignments. I thought of what else to do with David, and realized I could start by walking with him to his school. The last time I had walked with them (Gaby is in that school too), was at least 2 months ago and that was a quick dash.  

Last Thursday therefore, althought having a hectic day ahead, I decided to walk with David to school. We walked mostly silently, enjoying the breeze and birds chirping , with me making not so successful attempts at conversation. Yet, David was smiling all the way and I later realized he was just happy to have me all to himself and walking with him to his school. When we got there, he asked me to buy him something to eat (we hadn’t had breakfast before leaving, happens sometimes). I also decided to have whatever he opted for so as to taste for myself what they eat in school.

David was so happy he became talkative, introduced near his entire class to me and then em – wished me to enjoy my meal. He wanted to go on with his friends now.  My entire day was set to be yummy, nothing could wipe the sweet memory of our walk to school and his joy at introducing his mates to me.

A walk and a sandwich was all it took this day. When I asked David on the eve of his brothers’ return while we had our last quiet dinner together,  what he liked most about our ‘home alone’ days, he said the best thing was my walking with him to his school that day, and my not being so stressed out the entire week.

Oh these kids, not only do they notice but they also have their own peculiar benchmarks. Alain the first will shrink if I offer to walk with him to his school for example, and Gaby the last will not be bothered. No I think he will find my presence by his side restraining since he plays as he walks and stones play with him too.

All in all, although I had hoped to have this Easter break to myself, I have a book I started writing in January and am not finding time to write, I am grateful for what I got – a whole week to bond with David.

If life doesn’t always turn out the way you want, turn yourself out to make the most of it. 

Why expect gratitude which you find so hard to show?


The Greates virtue
as tough as other virtues to achieve

Hello world,

Sometimes it is difficult for me to articulate a post; and well I just go with my spirit. Last friday I was faced with one of such posts, and today again here comes another.

I have written a few posts on gratitude; and I end each day I can with enteries into my gratitude journal. It’s made such a tremendous impact in my life. I learnt that from Oprah.

So when someone wondered if they were being acknowledged enough, I quickly recalled pondering at their own lack of appreciation I had personally witnessed on some ocassions.

What goes around comes around. When you can’t bring yourself to say thank you, why expect someone else can? When you can’t be grateful for life and being alive, why expect life to be grateful to have you alive? You’ll find it difficult to live on and that’s just what you’ll keep noticing – the frustrations and adversities.

I am grateful to be alive and to get a second chance at life – seven years into what I call my bonus. I seize all opportunities to show gratitude and I don’t expect it in return  – yet get it too so much…

I want to share how moved I was to read a post by Talasi Guerra who struggles from several issues and yet could still be grateful for life – after yet another difficult night.

Wishing us all lots of reflections this week, some bliss and wow moments full of gratitude

Gratitude post by Maya
Wow, I had never come across this quote by dearest Maya

I hate you: Please don’t leave me…


I hate and love you

Who identifies with such? I sincerely don’t know how to go about writing this post. Maybe this other picture can say some more:

hate and love how boderline

And sometimes, no matter how much we try or wish, we can’t even hug nor punch…

Do you feel a victim? Then this picture can help maybe? :

being happy with yourself

 

Reminds me of my post on where my peace comes from

Are you a propagator? I mean are you a narcissistic with a boderline personality and co? These are all mental illnesses and some help can be found if only you seek it in all genuiness.

If we don’t stop the cycle at some point be it as victims or propagators, then that is enabling and keeping the generations chained in that trauma. A hurt soul can only hurt another soul – until one finds light, love, peace and happiness through Self-Awareness, Self-Acceptance; Self-Love; Self-Help; Self-Care … the brokeness continues

Some reflections from my searching soul… have a warm weekend

Some say I took the easy way out: really?


easy way out

Hello world,

This post is a ‘rant-lite’ and also a call to authenticity and responsibility.

Some tough issues I have been dealing with recently especially relating to my holistic health, has provoked this post.

The title is literally a discussion I had last December with one of my former college children ( a local jargon to define children we take under our wings in college – boarding school). We were talking and they said the general buz out there in the bush ( another local jargon to mean abroad cause the notion is you go abroad to work your ass off like a farmer going to a real bush) is that I took the easy way out. I was so taken aback and all I could say then was: “really?”. Later on, because I still love them so much, I took the pains to explain to them why I chose to leave bush and relocate home, as if it wasn’t normal in the first place for a parent to want to relocate back home and be with their children.

I am therefore doing this post as an open reply to the bush buzzers, and an open challenge to all to dare authenticity and be responsible for their lives and choices.

Before I proceed, I will want to state that I did visit several ‘bushfallers’ ( local jargon to refer to those who live abroad) both in Europe and the US before my relocation home in August 2015. When many heard I was planning on relocating, they were mainly wow wow wish we could too. I think it’s also this ‘hypocritical irony’ (forgive my choice of words) that set me off when I heard the bush buzz.

I am an unconventional lady and I have taken off my mask. I try 97% of my time to dare authenticity especially since May 2011. I attempted suicide and know desperation; been near bed ridden for 2 years taking one meds after the other. I hit 115 kg (250 lb or so) at one point in life and felt so bad; really I should have taken an easy way out then had I known one. So, when I eventually fled home for bush leaving my boys behind, that could easily and maybe even logically be seen as choosing the easy way out right?

Look at some of the things I did or considered which should have literally prevented my relocation back home.

  1. I published my very unconventional memoir publicly declaring myself an adulteress and Al… Wow, what humiliation? What disgrace?;
  2. I published another memoir on my brother’s journey with a mental illness as if his having epilepsy wasn’t ‘stigma and shame’ enough!;
  3. I admitted to being a victim and propagator of domestic abuse in yet another unconventional memoir!
  4. And then bam, I published my own personal journey with mental challenges!!!
  5. Above all I had no sustainable plan lined out especially when my long term goal was to take my boys and live with them in our own home and raise them on my own!!!

So, considering the above, how was I anticipating my come back? How was I going  to face the public back home? What was I thinking? That it will be a smooth ride? That I will just fit in and resume from where I left and just find some economic, emotional and even mental stability? Physically I was in top shape, had succeeded in dropping and keeping off over 40kgs – so yes there was surely an easy way out maintaing that physical trend but was that all to it?

Look at what I was giving up from the new life I had managed to forge abroad:

  1. A wonderful relationship with a gentleman, one I still regard as my Super super Hero;
  2. ‘Illusive peace and tranquility’ from not having my children meaning I can do pretty as I want and go where and whenever I please (I mean, I know many bushfallers who send their kids back home to be raised by their parents for various reasons including the cost of childcare out there – the peace and tranquility I got from leaving and living without my own was ‘illusive’ – I don’t know about others);
  3. Some great relationships which could only be tended if I stayed in bush, lots of adventure like even learning to ride both a manual and motor bike, in short a new and more ‘modern’ way of living!;
  4. Insurance coverage which gave me access to the hospital, basic medications, doctors and specialists like the dentist – one I haven’t seen since I returned for lack of coverage and means or need!;
  5. And who knows, I may have worked my ass real out (I wasn’t already doing badly and could send some euros back home every now and then), and taken my sons over after maybe 3 -5 years (what they would have turned out then and how our relationship would have evolved, I can’t guess);
  6. The possibility of more stress due to the drop in standards of living, less income, difficult relationships, readapting to a culture after mixing up other bits from different parts of the globe…

So, reading all the above which I am greatly limiting because my intention with the post as I earlier said is to invite people to dare authenticity and be responsible for their choices;

DO YOU MY GENTLE READERS AND FOLLOWERS ALSO THINK i TOOK THE EASY WAY OUT?

 If that really is an easy way out what I have chosen, then why don’t many more take it instead of playing out their lives on social media and whining all they can behind their screens?

I am grateful for my choices; I am grateful for all the chances; I am grateful for all the changes

I don’t think any is an easy way out, the grass very often seems greener on the other side until you are stuck on it: I chose to relocate having found who I was looking for – and that is ME; I chose to dare authenticity and say it as I see and live it;

Have a great mid week o

Easy way out quote