Posted in Coaching and Therapy, Spiritual Journey

Sometimes It’ll get worse before it gets better


 

 

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?

 

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.

 

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.

 

Fast forward to 3 months later, it is getting better and better and am so happy of course.

 

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).

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18.05.18 Last day of official spiritual journey – Thanksgiving workout, eye completely healed Amen

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

Watch me celebrate in 18 seconds lol

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Posted in Coaching and Therapy, Marie's Garden, Mental Health Advocacy, Spiritual Journey

Sometimes in life, you may have to smile differently and come another day…


 

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

 

Posted in Coaching and Therapy, Coaching and Training, Mental Health Advocacy

My once in a life time opportunity at the lone Psychiatric Ward as a clinical psychotherapist


 

 

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:

Learner-Verification-Diploma in Psychology
Sharing just to inspire and motivate

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?’

 

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.

Gaby draws for a client

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

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

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

Posted in Coaching and Therapy, Marie's Garden, Mental Health Advocacy, Spiritual Journey, Uncategorized

And my ego and body took a big bashful beating hurray…


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photo taken 17.05.18

Hmm, that picture was taken on the day my ego and body conceded defeat at exactly 3am. I looked at the time when the thought crossed my mind that ‘this is it for your ego and body’.

I was recently on a spiritual journey of some length, and indeed pressure was not only coming from the outside to give up you know. My ego and body were spearheading the naysayers. Let’s start with fella ego shall we?

Are you sure you can do this?

Nobody asked me the above question out rightly except fella ego. I quickly ignored him and set about with my preparations, mainly emotional and spiritual, then telling my entourage (especially the boys you know). But you know fella e, he lies in wait and pops again even in your sleep. Anyway, it’s all come to pass and I did it…big time and all the way…

What will people say?

Both fella e and the fella Es of a few ‘concerned’, asked me the above a few times. What if they say you are sick, be it physical or mental you know. What if they shun your services and you can’t survive like that anyway, what if, what if!!! I decided to write an official I need no one to believe in me post here on my blog to take care of that once and for all…

You are losing far too much weight and your health too you know

I should be weighing 70/71kgs which is 4kgs below my ideal although my ideal for BMI is 73kg. So what is the alarm? Yes I had some mild health challenges with an inflamed eye which all but shut down and some equally mild RA flares lasting 3 days each, but I mean spiritual journey or not, that could happen. So no all fella Es, the spiritual journey wasn’t going to be stopped. I took several different meds and products for the eye thanks to misdiagnosis, but thank God none was to be taken during the day nor mandatory with food – sorry this approach too didn’t work. I even told my GA when that eye started that it was but a distraction

Give them a piece of your mind like the real you would back in the days

At the start of stage 4, I faced what I will call the most emotional challenge I had ever faced since starting the journey. Fella E nagged at me to give it a piece of my mind and abandon the spiritual journey if it’ll cool tempers and let ‘peace reign’. Well, prima, I listened to my spirit and waited 7 days before giving a piece of my serene mind, and then when the challenge continued I shut down emotionally and said I felt that was the best option for this stage (turned out to be one of Grace – and that was the best decision I made from every indication). You see fella E, you don’t know any real me and you can’t lure me with any of your trapings. I wouldn’t even bother to give you any piece of my mind – let me address your sister body now

A nagging swollen eye

It could sometimes get worst
The worst of a distraction

It started like a joke on the 26th of February. I quickly felt in my spirit that was going to accompany me through out the spiritual journey and although it will be a distraction so no ‘unwanted’ questions are asked about the spiritual journey itself, it turned out to attract a lot of attention. I decided from the very beginning to deflate my ego by baptizing the eye “our healing eye”. I told God it was “our eye” and He knew how much we needed that eye. I however told Him what my spirit told me which I know He was aware of, the swelling or inflammation was a distraction and I treated it as such, stopping barely to sleep at night.

I went about my activities and took up riding the bicycle the more inflamed it got. I read An American Marriage the weekend the eye got to its worst (48hrs to finish that epic novel because I got it from a sister who brought same from the US and was yet to even read the cover)… the eye got its final dose of healing on the 13th of May 2018 and that was another exciting chapter closed in that thrilling journey.

Tiredness and Sour Mouth

The last ditch from my body to get me to stop this just ended awesome spiritual journey was to threaten to breakdown. The last week in particular was spectacular. My sleep was literally messed up. Sleep 8.30 pm – 2.27 am and then toss around with some REM sleep for maybe 30-45mins and then give up – and then embarrassingly nod off occasionally during the day on the spur. Three days after it started, while meditating, I got the aha, that is the last attempt. Even the sour mouth which I thought was due to meds was rather intensifying although no longer on meds. Well, I slept much better today and the sour mouth is getting better.

And so dear all, that in a nutshell is how my Ego and Body disturbed and and got a big bashful beating. The spirit was so willing to the point that no weak flesh could deter it.

Be inspired and motivated someone, hope you are enjoying the weekend like I am doing lol

Posted in Marie's Garden, Poetry

My Guardian Angel


My Guardian Angel is the best of all Angels

She guarded me even when I wildered

She guarded me when I returned home to nest

She embalms me in that feeling

One you feel when in tune with you

My Grardian Angel listens to my all

She validates and teaches with gentleness

Takes me as I am 

With my all and all and all

Leads me and lets me

Do and bring out my best

In the company of my Guardian Angel

I will fear no evil

For she is with me

To light and guide

With unconditional love and care

I do believe in Miracles

Ask and it shall be given to you

Seek and you will find

Knock and the door will be opened

And now I make my vow

Whatever happens

My Guardian Angel she’ll always be

P.s: In immense gratitude to the universe for the best gift of the season and much more

Posted in From Around!, Marie's Garden

Faith has been such a faithful companion…I can never be Grateful enough


Hello world, I want to use a very recent real and maybe ‘simple’ event to show how faithful a companion faith has been to me.

Last Saturday I received a gift of IT heels and I said I was going to bring slippers along to the party in December I’ll be daring those to. Now, I had no such slippers in my possession, actually have only flops.

This very Monday 27th of November, I receive those cute slippers you see above. What could we call that other than the faithfulness of one’s faith? I knew when talking about side slippers that there was going to be a way, indeed I told my darling Jesus that even if we couldn’t afford any cute slippers for now, He should think about it because if I sprained my ankles, both of us will feel the pain lol.

My faith in life has seen me through more than I can narrate. I can’t start talking about all the providence which has come my way out of faith. Lord I thank you. Yes, as I say in all my books, without Faith we live in Vain. Do not give up somebody, you never know just when providence will come visiting and they need faith to open the door for them – that’s how it seems to work.

Happy week to all once more

One of those inspiring & motivating feedback from a student …


With some students at PaidWa
With some of my first students: Sidoine is to my right. The dressing to near match was pure coincidence

My first lecturing gig was at the Pan African Institue for Development West Africa, in Buea South West Region Cameroon. That town hosts the famous Mount Cameroon and the School is not far from the foot of the mountain. SO yes it gets pretty ‘winter – like’ cold up there especially for someone like me with rhumatoid arthritis.

So, when you brave it there twice a week for two months; catching a good cold and fever along the way, leaving your city at 6 am to be there by 10 am ahead of a 4 hour lecture regardless of how you feel about that ‘calvary’ – and then a year later you get such an sms from a former student who also interned with your foundation, how else can you feel but super motivated to keep trying your very best?

March 10, 2017

From Sidoine Felix Paid-Wa and later Gbm intern

“Hey good day Mm. Long time trust you are fine. Sincerely permit me express my gratitude to you for all the invaluable knowledge and support you gave me during my stay with you. I can’t believe this but its true and happening. Since I left Douala I have been very engage in project proposal writings here. And Mm, the projects we work out together have been my guide and masterpiece in all the ones I am writing now. And guess what??? People are praising and appreciating the format and maturity of the project proposals. I haven’t done much but to contextualize these projects using what you thought me with. And sincerely I can’t go any further but to express my gratitude and joy. Thank you very much Mm. Hope the boys are all fine. My regards to them please”.

And as coincidence will have it, I was in Buea on that day for some work and had actually planned on checking on him – cause sure we have kept in touch. I offered him lunch and we had a good 45 mins of inspiring and quality time.

Such and many others from the others I have taught in my own city since then, keep me grounded and so motivated. The second batch I taught (and by grace they are all asters students) voted me the best lecturer they had ever had, and invited me to their end of year party, offering me a gift… it was all so emotional. I love teaching, sharing knowledge, relating with the students at any point, and simply trying to teach better than I was taught. I actually let them teach us all too and I have also learnt so much along the way. I actually dragged my mumps face to class last Sunday and braved an 8 hour lecture.

I have as often as I can told the lecturers who impacted me most that I was so grateful. I have visited a few who taught me even 15/20/30 years ago and oh my that made our day. Before I started teaching, I had a talk with my best undergrad lecturer and she inspired and motivated me along. Today, I consider teaching one of my top passions.

Is there any lecturer in the house? How do you feel about your work? Any student too? Have you ever thought how a small appreciation from you could mean the world to your lecturer? Much more than any salary raise? I have as often as I can told the lecturers who impacted me most that I was so grateful. I have visited a few who thought me even 15/20/30 years ago and oh my that made our day.

Posted in Journey to Coaching, Mental Health Advocacy

When I feel am running late… I’ll just take my time…


retro_pin_up_running_late_oops

Hello world,

Happy mid week. I wonder how I hadn’t gotten to this point all along. Ha, maybe because punctuality and anxiety over punctuality are so wired in my brain. Just the thought of me being even a second late could ruin my sleep. I prefer to be an hour early than a minute late. I have blogged about my obsession with punctuality over and again.

The paradox is that I have met and keep meeting people who are in love with what is fondly known as BMT or Blackman main time. You know that deal where you say the event starts at 5 pm whereas it actually kicks off at 9 pm, and well because you know no one keeps to time anyway. I have fallen several times for this and been there at 5 pm and waited my patience over hahaha

Anyway,  I started getting rather sick with my obsession with punctuality and decides last year to seriously start work on that. Especially with three musketeers gracefully occupying 70% of my time, how can I still be rigid with time keeping expectations?

So gradually but slowly I started finding a way to deal with such obsessive and compulsive attitudes.

Last Monday it hit me like BAM… I had got up at 4 am, hit my workout at 4.45 am and planned to be ready to get out at sharp 6 am. By 5.30 am, I hadn’t had my shower oh no…I’ll be so late… Big panic yellow lights waiting to turn red… But then I remembered in a flash how late and miserable and erratic I had got the last time I lost it for fear of being late. I decided to try it out a different way. I went into my room, took a deep breathe, had my shower and got ready without letting any panic thoughts ruin my consciousness. At sharp 6 am, I was ready and although I had to forego packing my lunch bag ( my fault now cause if I had done that the night before… Shush such thoughts now…) And big bonus, I wasn’t late to my 6.50 am appointment after all…

I know some people don’t worry about such things, but I know some do. I am thus sharing this with you to inspire you and to motivate you to keep working on yourselves.

Any other tips to share on how to take this anxiety trigger and their obsessive compulsive cousins?

Today being international women’s day, may I wish all the women who hop by a happy day

Posted in Journey to Coaching, Marie's Garden, My Heroines

Benedicta my heroine in Wum


path-to-go-fetch-water
Benedicta so carefree as she leads me to the village spot for fetching water 

Hello world, happy midweek. Here I come again with another thrilling post of a heroine I met all the way in Wum – North West Region of Cameroon – Yes the same place I met my hero and teacher Erico. Meeting all my heros and heroines are definitely part of my journey here below, experiences I so appreciate and am grateful for, and the lessons learnt cum memories will definitely help me tremendously in my coaching and motivational speaker career. When does that officially kick off only the Master Lord knows… In the meantime, follow me and my heroine Benedicta as we go around the village.

How it all started

Aunty let me go and carry it for you her tiny self said! You still look so tired and there are many children there!

arrival-in-wum-selfie
My Lovely Afro Wig is souvenir now, there was I on arrival straight; from that red car filled with 8 people and 2 babies

Hmm, I wanted some water for my evening bath but I sure didn’t want small Benedicta to go carry it for me. You see, when I got to the village by noon that day, I was in dire need of a bath, having travelled from Douala my city all night to Bamenda, and then all morning in another small and jam packed car from Bamenda to Wum. The second distance of 50 kms lasted three hours  (hope you understand the state of such a road). I was brought water by an adult in law of mine but when I realized there was no running water in the compound, I decided after a while to go fetch that I’ll use at night. The water in that village is cold to the extend that when you bathe with it, you either catch a fever or are healed of one period.

But Benedicta I asked, why can’t I go with you and carry my own myself? If you can go so too can I right?

water-path
Almost 15 minutes later we were still going to the spot and I was definitely slowing Benedicta down

At last, we seemed to have arrived because I spotted this:

water-spot-hausa-quarters
Mainly Kids go fetch water I as she had warned

I realized the beautiful water tank or whatever it looked like, was built by their Member of Parliament. Our government had better priorities than providing such basic amemnities to the whole country. And yet, the taps on that thing weren’t even running – HA!

at-last-at-the-water-point-in-hausa-quarter
Between January and 15-02-2017 it was already looking so upbeat, rust and the taps didn’t run

I didn’t have to ask any questions, I just followed Benedicta to a nearby spot

water-in-drops
Sort of a local dam

See how the water flows, talk of patience being a virtue! And I couldn’t bully all those children right? So I waited. And then I started to think of the way back, but when I saw Benedicta smiling and chating with all those other kids, I relaxed. Wwe finally fetched our water and we headed back home as you can see below

 

Once home, my heroine quickly offered that we go again – Euh  –  emm I give Benedicta some money to buy herself a lolipop on the way and quickly dash off to join the other women prepare food to cook in one of our warm village kitchens

 

If you were in my place and given my age, will you go for a second round? Isn’t Benedicta so sweet? 

Wishing us all a happy new Month

Posted in Journey to Coaching, Marie's Garden, Mental Health Advocacy, Uncategorized

When my routine gets interrupted… I really struggle


know-yourself

Hello world, glad I am really getting to know myself and can anticipate what may come if I do certain things, or if certain unplanned stuffs are sent my way.

You see, for a pretty many years now, I have functioned by routine. I mean those close to me know how I like to plan everything and log them in my todoist, google calendar or even on post its. Then my brain loves to log out between 8:30/9 pm and up on its own between 3.30-4 am. That’s how routine I am. Then there is the time for this, and time for that all stored in my internal memory. Once that routine gets interrupted I struggle to get back with almost sometimes big efforts near exasperation.

listen-to-your-body-1

Last week I was trying once again to get back to my normal routine and self because I had spent the week before that on the road tavelling to one burial after the other. I therefore missed out on sleep as schedule, on sports and even eating what and when planned. I also realized on my return I had lost my work grove. Last week I started on monday with a 30 minute workout, doing only 2/3 of what I normally do because I was listening to my body. I tried to catch up the sleep I missed but I just couldn’t because I’ll feel so clumpsy when I ‘over sleep’. I actually did really over sleep thursday morning and got up at 6.15 am and the boys were not ready for school, the house a mess, and I was weary before I even started anything. Save for the Grace of God I didn’t lash them and I really tried to calmly pull it all together.

I have struggled to get my work ethics and groove back too, and yet it got so stretched on Tuesday and Wednesday I almost threw working away. Needed to motivate myself so much. This wasn’t helped by what I felt were last minute changes to some projects, or delays in some work and all. I fumed in me and then calmed myself down. Preferred to end the week by working from home although I also needed to be home because my last son wasn’t going to school.

I try hard to keep a calm demeanour especially at home, and so far not bad. Grateful also for meeting some awesome people on my trip like Erico who made it worthwhile. I just wish I didn’t have to struggle this hard to get back together when my routine gets interrupted cause my mental wellbeing takes such a hit and I fight not to go ‘down the black hole’!

And now over to you dear gentle readers and followers; have you ever made or had a similar experience? Any tips to share?