Last Wednesday I didn’t publish a post because I was already working on my psychology lol. I am officially an Author at the awesome blog SIWO aka Success Inspirers’ World! I mean they have such a noble vision and massive outreach of over 10.000 subscribers not to talk of readers. You may really want to check them out and why not shot them an email if you want to join their over 100 authors.
You see, for me, it’s all about sharing the good I have come to conclude there is in this life. My first blog there is the resume of my crisscross life and an answer to the above question lol
I plan to be a Wednesday author over at SIWO, and hope many of you follow me to and from there hahaha.
Hello world, I may be smiling in those pictures but one can one do?
So, those two guys D&G are still around because well their dad didn’t take them last friday as agreed for a month. Alain is on an internship and as is at dearest Grandma’s for the month since Sunday. You can imagine how all over the place my schedule now is. Indeed, since yesterday I have been working from home.
Yesterday afternoon, I just had to stop at some point and take them swimming (gladly not so far from home and all free cause it’s their family business lol) so Gaby whom I had initially grounded, was about to make me lose my nerves for real with his pranks. Taking them there was to be honest therapeutic too for me and I could use that chilling and bonding time.
Today, ha David of all pulled some dishonest pranks and I decided to take him to the market with me. Oh had I forgotten his girlfriend Patience. I mean a trip that solo will last 20 mins max, ended up lasting 60 minutes. Gaby who had gone out without my permission and was specifically told not to step out, ignored the instruction and went right out to play. Second grounding right? I found him dirty and asked him to bathe under my supervision. Well, he loves water and showed me just how much…ok relax Ayo… He wanted to go sit outside to eat and I said no, right next to me on the table while I work…what was I even thinking?
In short, he wouldn’t siest, has all sorts of stories and distracting stuffs he has to do indoors now, and I just ended after 2 full hours of sighing and near shouting to let him off…
I mean, there are days in the life of a parent especially a single parent…you just end up laughing at your own calamity…I really think I was punishing my own self lol
Hope this post makes us parents and single parents in the house laugh some…it was good release & anger management typing same off…and my mental health is vip for me…
Be inspired and motivated…one day it shall be another stage and story lol
Live and let life live lol
Self Care is the best Care
p.s: anyways, all is well that ends well and I took myself out for dinner hurray. the last time was in December 2017 lol
Since I returned to my country in August 2015, I haven’t attended any conferences. Workshops or small gatherings yes, I even tried organizing some under the platform I launched called Inspiring Positive Actions Now, but it didn’t quiet take off. My dream on my return was to actually organize a mega conference for women dubbed “Women walking with stubborn but passionate faith”, I had started putting together a team and then all sorts of challenges came in and I prayed and let it go.
It can then be easily understood why I am so excited to attend this conference which I aptly qualify as ground breaking in this country especially in such difficult times we as individuals and the entire nation are facing. I think ladies above all will have to step in the gap to lead themselves and the country as a whole, through all the unrest we are going through, be it spiritual, emotional, mental, physical, socio-cultural… you name them…
I mean, just read their vision:
The vision of this conference is to bring together 500+ women leaders and those involved in leadership in order to encourage, nurture and strengthen leadership abilities by engaging them through capacity building workshops, teaching, motivation and panel discussions on issues that affect women and their leadership in the society. The ultimate goal is to see these conference attendees empowered to carry out their God-given assignments in the home, workplace and world.
And yes, I went to school with some of the ladies profiled as authors, speakers or organizers, so it’ll be so much touching soul base for me. The Lord is really good all the time. If I cannot accomplish something and a sister or brother can, trust me I’ll join them and cheer them on and make some real noise and impact. I wish I could bring someone else, but you know in matters of the soul, your soul must be stirred from within and nothing else. All else will be glam which will backfire in the long run big time.
The conference is put together by an organization called Lead Mission International and their programme shows they’ll be organizing similar stuffs in Burundi too. Isn’t this simply awesome? This is the first of such conferences they’ll be organizing in Cameroon, and although I have a feeling nothing will be easy for the organizers especially with meeting set targets, I hope they brave through it all, counting on no other Grace but the most Amazing one provided by the almighty God and Father Himself. I can’t wait to meet the organizers in person and see what lies ahead in terms of collaboration, learning, sharing and more.
I plan to get a copy of the book because I can see my story in there though not included lol. I will be meeting the editor myself and as an author, I am super excited. Who knows if he’ll take on my next publication? That project from every indication has a course I don’t master because each time I try telling my spirit I want to let it out now, am reminded patience is a virtue.
All in all dear all, I already feel it in me it wouldn’t be an idle weekend. I have a very soulful event on the eve of the conference in Douala and I blog on that in two days, then I leave the very next morning for Yaounde where the conference takes place, and will return to Douala on Sunday by God’s Grace. I am bundling all of this into a Me Moment because on my return, I may be alone at home (guys should hopefully be gone on vacation), but I have to resume psychology studies and writing my draft for next year. Any leading lady in Cameroon wants to attend, please call any of the numbers on the flyer and pay a sum you wouldn’t regret spending on your personal growth because YES – YOU DESERVE IT
Addiction is a terrible disease that strips you of your life and tries to take you to the darkest corners of “rock bottom.” If you’ve given yourself the tools to begin your ascent toward a new and healthy life, congratulations. You’ve found an inner strength that can get you through the lowest of lows. But sometimes, even the strong need a little something to keep them going. Here are a few ideas that can help you on your journey.
Engage in exercise. Strong body = strong mind and your mind is what’s going to get you through this. If you don’t already make fitness a priority, begin a group exercise class, which will help your regiment your time and give you something to look forward to.
Create positive social relationships. If you’re like many addicts, you started taking drugs/drinking alcohol after succumbing to peer pressure. When you get sober, you have to leave the negative friends and influences behind. Surround yourself with people who see your best qualities and make you feel good about being you.
Nourish you mind. Read a book, work a puzzle, or enjoy a good laugh with friends. These things may not make you more productive, but they will help you keep your mind centered and clear of the clutter and confusion that might lure you off your path.
Learn a new skill. If you lost your job because of your substance abuse, there’s never been a better time to change careers. Don’t be afraid to pursue a new degree or take classes to help you learn new job skills. Fast Company cautions that the first few days and weeks obtaining new skills is the hardest; don’t allow yourself to give up. A new career might just be the long-term change you need to maintain your sobriety.
Do something good. Addiction can rob you of your sense of purpose, especially if you lost important parts of your life along with it. Start regaining your sense of self by volunteering for a cause near and dear to your heart. Psychology Today explains that when you volunteer, you make a choice to do something positive and can focus on something you feel strongly about.
Set goals. Goals are what keep us motivated. They help us create structure and allow us to draft our own plans, whether for professional success or personal freedom. Set goals for yourself that will help you turn your vision of the future into a reality that doesn’t involve the things that brought you down. Start with small goals that will lead up to larger, more meaningful ones. For instance, if you lost custody of your children, set the goal to earn those privileges back by creating a “to-do” list of actions you must take to prove you’ve changed so you can regain their trust.
Establish healthy habits. Your time as an addict was likely filled with negative actions: drinking, stealing and lying. Instead, replace these with healthy habits that can help to keep you safe and sober. Make a point to spend time outside each day, wake up in the morning and take a minute to just breathe and be alone with yourself, start cooking at home and make nutrition a priority. Other healthy habits include taking a time-out when you’re angry, limiting screen time and learning how to accept criticism without getting down on yourself.
Avoid relapse triggers. Perhaps most importantly, if you want to stay sober, you have to learn to identify and manage problems that might lead to relapse. This might be arguing with your spouse, stressing over money, or driving by the liquor store. Whatever your trigger, eliminate it from your life or take steps to change your reaction so you aren’t tempted by your vice.
Addiction doesn’t have to win. Celebrate each victory and know that you are strong enough to keep going. It takes work, and you have to fight for it constantly, but sobriety is a battle worth winning.
About the Author
Adam Cook is the founder of Addiction Hub, which locates and catalogs addiction resources. He is very much interested in helping people find the necessary resources to save their lives from addiction. His mission is to provide people struggling with substance abuse with resources to help them recover.
P.S: I really appreciate being found out and by people with whom I share common passions, values and all in between. I am very grateful to Adam for finding my website cool enough to host his article. Such useful tips and I will sure be dispensing copies out to my clients. Such articles will go a long way to beat the Stigma surrounding addiction and recovery, and mental health/illness overall. Please while here, you can reach Adam via an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Interviewed by a TV network on swearing in day: am I interviewlicious or what lol?
That I die, but in the meantime I live giving it my best
I have searched until am now serene
Finding that strength isn’t ever easy to say the least…
How do you define yourself Marie Abanga asked the journalist? and I said the following as it flowed from my heart: “I am a Person of Passions and a Tale of Talents”. What else would you want to know when someone defines themselves in such clear terms? But the look on the journalist’s face wasn’t seemingly satisfactory even if he didn’t say so. The interview was by TV 5 Africa on epilepsy and mental illness, questioning me in my capacity as the Country Director of the Gbm Foundation.
Their background check had indicated I was a lawyer, a mental health advocate, and an author. They didn’t get the update that I was equally a CBT Therapist, a clinical psychologist, a motivational speaker and a life coach. When I introduced myself therefore at the beginning, I rolled through all the different stuffs I do and how passionate I am about each one and grateful for the different talents. As an author, I have written over 5 books and several poems, some of which I have turned into songs and look forward to going into a studio to record same. I will just stop at these few passions with their accompanying talents.
Indeed, my career path is in three dimensions although I can see them merging in one big jumble in 5 years. The lawyer will meet the Dr in Psy and the author will also join them and one new big path will emerge for me to keep following wherever they lead in all stubborn but passionate faith.
And so, I forge on with my passions, and the one which captivates and occupies me more recently is psychotherapy. I have a diploma with merits in psychology and a distinctions in CBT Therapy. I want to take an Msc in mental health psychology when schools resume and I also want to have a better understanding of addictions, substance abuse, dis-intoxication and rehabilitation.
Indeed, I was recently so honoured when two bloggers offered to write guest articles on the above. I will be putting them up on Wednesday and Friday, and intend to create a page for addiction and resources and its link to mental health.
Having found my purpose and got a very clear revelation of who I am, getting grounded in how I define myself brings me great joy and fills me with tremendous gratitude to God – my Higher Power for all the inspiration and motivation.
And you gentle readers and followers, how do you define yourself if I may ask?
The chocolate bar is offered me by one of my friends
I started my official therapy practice on the 2nd of April 2018, and to say it’s been all rosy will be untrue. However, reflecting on the above has helped me to be filled with compassion for all I see and to recognize the reality of the situation in my country as far as mental illness/challenges and alternative treatments especially therapy is concerned.
Many want a quick and permanent fix which they are sadly yet to get with the medications they are taking. They are prepared to give something else a try, but helas not many want to try something as tough as CBT or psychotherapy. CBT involves work and honest vulnerability and collaboration. One honestly told me he couldn’t trust me or himself.
Some reasons I have come to think Therapy is Tough are the following:
It takes some time
Depending on the problem formulated (which itself could last an entire session), I could suggest some therapeutic engagement of 2/3 months. This time for me is good enough for a more accurate assessment of both the client and the work accomplished. The clients (many are patients) don’t have that time to spare especially given their current state and search for good health. Then, there is the family whom I love to. I have however only met a handful of the families whose patients am trying to work with. I think they expect me to understand their embarrassment, frustration and lack of motivation to give this ‘therapy thing’ a try. They simply don’t have any more time to go try this alternative treatment. It all boils down to the patient’s engagements which I have hinted can dig up a tsunami for all concerned. A few have carefully pondered this and told me they are not ready, they prefer to keep ‘suffering’ while hoping the right meds for their condition is found one day;
The pervasive meds culture is here too
Well, for almost all I have seen out here, it is all about amazement at the many meds they take which can’t do the trick. The shrink told them to just take their meds religiously and since they take and nothing happens, he only adds some and stops some or increases the dose and the circus continues. I have seen like 3 who are at their 4/5 hospitalization in 8/10 years of crisis. Maybe the shrink being overwhelmed (only one available for 30/50 patients some days), and not really having many options to suggest to the patients and their families, hardly recommends seeing a psychologist or therapist (assuming there were a handful in the city lol)
The families don’t buy into therapy and many don’t have money
Throughout my stay at the hospital, I have sadly found several families to be discouraged and dispirited more than the patients they bring. I know how difficult it can be, I was once the family of a patient. But mum was instead open to trying anything and I mean anything. I accompanied my brother a therapist and other appointments, and one actually came home for their sessions. But, the reluctant families here, even when as part of my internship I offer talk therapy for free, don’t really think it can be of any good. Imagine how discouraged the already discouraged patient can be to talk to or talk with you. Talking of money for out of hospital sessions especially as I’ll be leaving there in less than 10 days, the big excuse is there is no money – all the many meds have already drained up all resources. Reduce the fee to the barest minimum and it is still no – thanks. A few have come for one session and paid up yes but have thought about it again and just stopped.
The above is some of the reasons I have come up with in my analysis of the challenges of therapy in my setting.
I don’t know about the approach to therapy elsewhere; nor the appreciation mental health consumers have for therapy. I would sincerely appreciate any comments in this respect. Thank you very much.
Ps: I am not contemplating stopping practice, just sharing a side to the coin of my reality since starting practice as a CBT Therapist and clinical psychotherapist
It was precisely on the 4th of April that I hosted an incredible young lady called Yensi Helen, the founder of the Hope Centre. I will write a post about her and the amazing work she is doing subsequently. That day was also the appex of my healing eye near going shut.
I had a few days earlier seen a vision of 5 white rays coming to that eye as I slept, and when I got alert and waited for the 6th ray, ha nada. But I had gotten the message. It could be worse, but it will get better. Indeed, a few days later, it got worse as you can see.
The eye swelling started out as a joke sometime around February 26th. I mean it could be hardly noticed in the pictures below taken around then right?
28.02.18 eve of spiritual journey takeoff, last outing sort honouring an invitation. Eye has started nagging lol
03.03.18 Day 3 into spiritual journey, eye on its own path too
I took it mildly in the beginning, trying out home remedies before starting what I now call a medical tour of duty. I mean I saw 4 different opthamologist, a neurologist and a cardiologist lol.
12.05.18 Back from same farmer’s market 70 days later 12.05.18
With my buddy Gaby, it’s Celebration day – 6 hurr
Ella my missus always around to support lol
But, through it all, I kept my cheer.
My initial predicament was how to start my internship at the psychiatric ward as a clinical psychotherapist with that eye. Hurray, nobody cared about my sun shades which ended up becoming my trade mark.
Day 1 internship psychiatric unit, helping to clean out the flood
Eye 90% healed by now but googles have become trademark lol
Fast forward to 3 months later, it is getting better and better and am so happy of course.
10.05.18 – eye doing so much better
And so dear all, in life, as it happens, convince yourself it could get worse and it’ll sure get better. Move on trying your best not to throw or be invited to any pity party, revel even in being called a one eye wonder woman (the most befitting nickname I have ever received by the way lol), and why not even think about the worst case scenario? ( I had already looked at some real sexy eye patches just in case you know).
I can’t tell you how much my spiritual journey has purified me and fortified me and made just love life 120% over. I share to inspire and motivate, be well everyone
Hmm world, I have got lots and lots of experiences in life, I don’t know when I’ll be done sharing them lol. I learn too from all of them and find it fulfilling to share these lessons with you all dear gentle readers and followers.
So, I wanted to do an internship as a clinical psychotherapist at our lone public psychiatric ward in our city which happens to be the economic capital of the country, and boy was it tough to get that. I had to go through two interviews. First with the Director of the Hospital, and when he was ok with my head lol, he sent my file to the head of the psychiatric ward who also had to be ok with my head.
Well, I don’t think this happens only in my country, but if you want to get to see any of such caliber of persons, you need two main things in my opinion: A good reference, and a very meek smile which could take you past their secretaries. Of course, the secretary should even be disposed to look at your file/reference and at your face. This is another feat because you are to drop the file off at the ‘mailing service/service courier in french’ and then follow up whichever way you can.
I did you know, because I love following procedure. But I knew waiting for normal procedure to take its course will get me no where. I kept a copy and went out looking for a reference. The first I got didn’t serve the purpose although ironically had once occupied a high postion at the same hospital (talk of life’s shenanigans lol), so I sought for a second which thank God did the magic. In each case, I was received twice by each secretary and given an appointment twice to meet their bosses. You could say I prayed and fasted, and practiced different smiles.
First meeting with Director, barely looked at and told to go wait, but second meeting, different smile, different day, different temperament, Director was very impressed with my credentials and head, and the fact I was coming to start here and not run off to set up private practice or only work with international organizations and think only money money money (his words lol).
Over to psychiatrist, secretary not so receptive first time, but my persistence and perseverance paid off. I even wore my pinky plush superstitious jacket given me by dearest Rachi, and didn’t fear my swollen eyes would sell me out behind the sunshades lol.
Fast forward to today, I am a favourite of both secretaries who call me affectionately ‘ma fille’ (my daughter), and the Director’s secretary recently helped me do up to 100 copies of different worksheets I use. What will you call this now? Wasn’t this worth all that smiling and patience? This is good for our mental wellbeing if you ask me, I am so happy for all these lessons.
Be inspired and motivated everyone especially during this weekend as you muse about life
Day 1 internship psychiatric unit, helping to clean out the flood
10.05.18 – eye doing so much better
Eye 90% healed by now but googles have become trademark lol
Hi World, when you dare to follow your passion, with persistence and perseverance, it is a deep sense of fulfillment all the way – all the time. I bash you not but I am learning, loving and sharing so much in this once in a life time opportunity at the lone psychiatric ward in our city of Douala, Cameroon.
Needless to scare you with grueling details on say the numbers we receive each day, the number of shrinks available leaving out anything psychologist or therapist… nor the condition and resources of the ward… I got two months running from April 2nd – June 2nd 2018 and for that I simply put honoured, humble and happy. One of the first patients I saw wrote me a love letter on the eve of his departure and just yesterday another told me he was sad I was too beautiful for him. I mean isn’t this worth it?
You know, it wasn’t easy picking up psychology studies after I completed my CBT Training obtaining the first ever DISTINCTIONS note in my entire academic pursuit. But, and indeed, I was so motivated by this score and took an online diploma in psychology, dedicating close to 13 tough hours spread over two weeks, to have a merits score of 88%. Well there was lots of reading background too right? Anyway, below is what my records show:
I was now ready to for the once in a life time opportunity at the lone public psychiatric ward in my city, and considering the journey to get that opportunity, not even a nagging swollen eye nor any discouragement from ‘friends and foes’ could blur my vision.
I will just share a small portion of an email I sent to my soul family after two weeks at the ward:
April 20th: I call them my friends, I meet them before reading their records, most if not all have pure hearts marred by etc
Simply put, I am the first therapist seen there and I am fortunate to do it my own way. I am personal – calling names and not bed/room numbers; and I greeted and hugged a 19 year old girl and it meant the world to her. (She’s moved on to be my first ever private client, she is doing so well already and gladly her meds were revised … to read she’d been diagnosed with Schizrophrenia almost broke my heart)
Sadly, the meds culture is invading here and I have seen some zombies. But, many families don’t keep their patients here for more than a week because they don’t have money.
There is also quiet a high amount of addiction cases and I have already met and still work with 3 of them. Sad too many of their families have abandoned their patients and either care very less about them.
I generally see patients first and connect before reading their records, most records are filled with so much negativity and bias and bring out all things violent or pointing to need for incarceration and fierce treatment with ‘no mercy’ anti psychotic shots like haldol and valium oh my…
I take it in strides and many love me, indeed the lone bouncer there has started calling me to help him calm difficult patients ha. Some patients outright ask for me and some nurses too are not so pleased. But I go there only 3/week and the Major and Psychiatrist love me so and are so grateful I am there.
I mean, why would I pass on such a once in a life time opportunity to make a huge difference in my life and those of all these people hurting and suffering from all these debilitation, marginalization and stigmatization like my brother had, just because I am initially a lawyer and from a ‘noble profession and background?’
Studying for a Masters in Psychology at home, may not have time for a formal Bsc in Psy will see how it goes
It’s all about my path to fulfilment
I have never doubted the intelligence my Almighty Father gave me. It is simply awesome all I sponge in, do, learn, love, share and embrace. No turning back for me, I embracing it all – all the way. His Amazing Grace is sufficient for me.
The boys are so proud of me and ask about my day. I tell them about my friends and sometimes they draw for them like Gaby did above for anty Love – she treasures that drawing and shows it off to everyone lol
Initially Shy, I get Nadege to relax lol
It’s plain me and my cheer
Now, have you ever heard of an intern having an intern? Nadege above is a psychology major student who was sent to me on May 15th to train for two weeks before I leave. Here is a flash from our first day together. We took some pictures as she requested, and when she sent same to me, we had the following exchange (shared of course with her permission):
[14:08, 5/15/2018] Marie Abanga: Thanks for the pictures darling. Ravie de travailler avec toi (saying am happy to work with her) [14:29, 5/15/2018] Nadege Psy: Don’t mention. Me too fière de bosser avec toi. Cette journée à été formidable (saying she is so happy too to work with me, and the day was a blast)
Our office is a hospital room, and we sometimes make a weary client to lie down for 15 minutes to the sound of some meditation music etc… we are out to help our friends as best as we can and am so happy to say I can give myself a 65% reach out. I go for walks with any I think need a walk or have that hot energy to burn out, I sit wherever with whoever, pray with them or sing or even just stare, hold hands, it’s all my spirit leading me. And it has indeed so done, I mean look at what one could manage to write on a worksheet I gave him
He filled that on the eve of his departure from the hospital, he was a patient of very little words
The chocolate bar is offered me by one of my friends
Another one who initially told me they don’t speak English, now greets me each morning as follows: “Hello lovely…” He gave me the large chocolate bar in the picture… many have given me little stuffs too, and it’s all so warm…
Be inspired and motivated with that passion and vision of yours regardless of your current circumstances or who says what around you. There is no doubt my just ended spiritual journey has fortified me bigtime for this once in a life time opportunity…
Happy midweek to all
mum, author, mental health advocate, therapist, inspires & motivates with personal experiences
Always be Happy; always wear a Smile , Not because Life is full of reasons to Smile, but because your Smile itself maybe a reason for many others to Smile; The Greatest Thing In Life Is Love And The Second Is Laughter..