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A very comprehensive review of my book for a weekend read


WCS by Genero

BOOK REVIEW: ‘WHAT IS THE WORST CASE SCENARIO? BY MARIE A. ABANGA

The memoir ‘What is the worst case scenario’ is a refined reality of life which I believe is a must read for every aspirant person seeking relief from the strong fears of life.

I am heavily inspired by the wordings of Winston Churchill in the foreword of this book found in page 18 wherein he says ‘Never give up, never give in. Never. Never. Never’.

The Preface introduces the memoir proper and brings out the worst case scenario to be the aspect of FEAR of what people will say, or do; defining fear meaning we should fold everything and run; face everything and rise; or false emotions appearing real.

The first chapter dubbed ‘The fear of staying’ opens up with the author describing how she had a mental hostage as she was growing up and the fear of staying was eminent and so the mind probably makes a mental note ‘you don’t want to stay, well you just try your best to cope hoping for the opportunity to escape’. The author describes various levels of her escape mechanisms which kick starts with her being enrolled in a boarding school, followed by the breakdown of her parents’ marriage, she further envisions marriage to be the best escape-she describes it as a wonderful refuge. She manifests her fear of staying broader when even before the Mayor, they argue on the matrimonial regime to opt for. Her fears to stay could solely be consoled in the arms of other men. She concludes by saying her problem was overcoming the fear of leaving, and not getting defeated by that fear which was threatening to make me hostage for the rest of her life.

The second chapter dubbed ‘The fear of leaving’ opens up with the author describing fear as such a terrible thing which can make you a prisoner right in your own bed. Hence, she had to leave her father’s house with her brother because her dad and his new wife were becoming unbearable. After an eight years hiatus, the author regained a prodigal daughter status and she and her dad were ‘seemingly happy’ in her own words though she now had two additional siblings and a third one on course. After the third step-sibling was born, lack of ‘personal resources ‘other than a ‘disturbed mind’, got her to ‘hang’ around some more years at her mum’s. The author got two sons after losing her first pregnancy and loosing another child at birth, then since her marriage was more of lip service, she asks herself if she could leave? This got to a stage where she took a knife and wanted to commit suicide and leave this world with its headaches. She closes up her fear of leaving by a choice to fold everything and run as she often did and then to eventually face everything and rise.

The third chapter dubbed ‘the fear of losing’ describes the greatest fear of losing to be that of losing your mind. She still figured out what to do to be suicidal as a fake wife, a loser, a miserable woman and a sham of a mother. The search for solace found her in marriage seeking refuge. Her fears to lose her esteem, marriage and reputation became primordial in her mind. Her years spent in Belgium were actually necessary for her personal journey towards emotional and mental wellbeing.

The fourth chapter –‘The fear of failing’ Opens up with her expressing her inability to see, face or talk to her lecturer and also her inability to study and work hard with severe skepticisms of her course outline. This made her to earn poor grades in school and had to resit her exams. she narrates her freshman experience as she goes in for her LL.M programme in Belgium to study International Law with International Relations. She encountered hearing problems in following up classes and had to get a Sesame Hearing Aid. She sees failure inevitable but decides to face her fears of failing when it comes knocking as a learning curve onwards. She describes all failures be it emotional, mental, professional, spiritual and otherwise as learning curves if we all exhale and inhale in all humility and modesty before resitting the lessons. The author further shares some 30 quotes which she googled about failure which in summery tries to tell us that no great success was ever achieved without failure as failure is seen as a stepping stone to achieve our dreams. Hence, like the great Barrack Obama says ‘You can’t let failure define you – you have to let your failure teach you. You have to let them show you what to do differently the next time’. A quote which the author got from chapter five of Abraham Mutwol’s book titled ‘The 26 Inspiring Life Lessons from Barrack Obama….’This chapter in brief aims at saying you may encounter many defeats but you must not be defeated…as nothing will work unless you do. The author concludes this chapter with a teaser question of us finding out what is the worst case scenario if we fail? There is a choice, either we fold everything and run away forever or we learn from the events, face everything and rise. The author chooses the second option conclusively.

The fifth chapter – ‘The fear of being loved’ opens up with a pondering question of whom in his ‘right’ senses and emotions fears being loved? She writes about her desire to be able to face everything and rise when any love like gentleman comes along. She commits herself to trust her instincts and reasons and not her emotions on their spur of a moment. She exposes the zeal to rise and thrive amidst difficulties. She exposes her unconventional loves wherein she felt loved in the most unconventional of those relationships. She expresses her earnest desire to be loved and narrates her story of love and later expresses her fears of rejection and abandonments. This chapter that talks more on her love life tales ends with her fears of one thing or the other always looming her mind.

The sixth chapter labeled ‘The fear of loving’ expresses her dilemma in her fear of loving, whether receiving or giving, what she calls philophobia which ranks high amongst unusual phobias. She defines philophobia as an unwarranted and an irrational fear of falling in love though often times the sufferer does fall in love but it causes an intense emotional turmoil in his or her mind. The nature and causes of philophobia all vary from case to case and sometimes, it is a real mystery as to why it might have occurred in the first place. She narrates the story of the queen of England who was philophobic and furthermore says the symptoms vary from individual to individual. Most revering is the fact that she concludes this most delicate and VIP chapters by resolving to face this fear of loving after researching much about it and desires her three musketeers read this and are not philophobic.

The seventh chapter – ‘The fear of stigma ‘ opens with the author expressing her dislike for friends who run after mentally deranged people and sing songs and sometimes throw stones when she was a kid. She exposes her beloved brother’s outpour of foamy saliva today known as epilepsy as a stigma. She exposes the society for stigmatizing people’s bad mental states which can lead to seeking suicide as an option; but advocates that we should not give in to the fear of stigma maybe because we may be branded or marginalized. With a refusal to give in to fear, the author consciously decided to stigmatize stigma. She hails efforts done in this regard like that of Greg Mercer in his story titled A Nurse with a mental Illness; My story.

She further tells us how stigma kills people daily and if we help keep stigma alive, we cause more pain and death. She shares the tale of her fair lady and heroine friend Dyane Leshin-Harwood who suffers from postpartum bipolar disorder in one of her posts with the caption ‘A Stigma of one’s Own’ and secondly ‘ Stigma from the source’. She ridicules self stigma which is accepting prejudiced perceptions held by others which can lead too the reluctance to seek treatment, excessive reliance on relatives, social withdrawal, poor self- worth and may lead to abuse of alcohol and drugs. She ends this chapter by resolutely deciding to advocate much for the marginalized in our societies and says what matters to her most is her legacy and what she leaves behind for her sons and the world at large.

Chapter eight dubbed ‘The fear of advocating’ talks of the author’s dreams of becoming a doctor or a lawyer and she has indeed ended up as a lawyer and a fierce mental health advocate too. She exposes how her beloved brother’s crisis is admittedly the catalyst for her daring advocacy to the point of accepting the huge task of being the country director for the Gbm foundation for epilepsy and mental wellbeing. The mental malady has four distinct stages namely 1-Mild symptoms and warning signs; 2-Symptoms increase in Frequency and severity and interfere with life activities and roles; 3-Symptoms worsen with relapsing and recurring episodes accompanied by serious disruption in life activities and roles and lastly number 4- symptoms are persistent and severe and have jeopardized one’s life. She concludes by resolutely adhering to advocate against all odds while alive.

Chapter nine which is the shortest and last chapter is dubbed ‘The fear of Dying’. It is all about nothing can delay or deny death when its time comes. She exposes her case of losing three siblings but conclusively resolves that the worst case scenario is that if you live, you will one day die. By Banda Banda, Douala, Cameroon

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Another soulful review of my 4th Memoir: What is the Worst Case Scenario…


WCS by Genero
Foto courtesy of the reviewer

WHAT IS THE WORST CASE SCENARIO?

This is a fearful thought and is a question that lingers in every sub-conscious in the face of an impending uncertainty and danger.

Marie Abanga, Poet and senior Jurist, has dared to approach this question directly in her 103 paged book:

‘WHAT IS THE WORST CASE SCENARIO?’

She alone dares to fight the fear within by approaching this fear from different fronts

1. The fear of Staying
2. The fear of Leaving
3. The fear of Losing
4. The Fear of Failing
5. The fear of Being Loved
6. The fear of Loving
7. The fear of Stigma
8. The fear of Advocating
9. The fear of Dying

Marie is every other woman, a mother, daughter, sister, lover and friend. Her style and choice of words are unique and she uses her real life situations together with empirical evidence to attest to the fact that this fear is real. She insists on using the first person singular, I, just to let us, her readers know what one could actually mean when they say they have lived a life of constant fear.

In the same Memoir, she writes several deep letters to persons you might want to know of, talks about her adventures around the world. She propels courage to her readers by citing and bringing out the quotatioins of almost all the renowned big names you might know – John Wooden, Jack Canfield, Coco Chanel, Robert F. Kennedy, Janet Fitch and twenty five others.

Mental challenges are for real and they don’t discriminate. No one chooses such challenges and just the FEAR of being labelled or ‘discovered’ to be having them, can actually drive someone outright ‘crazy’.

The mental Health Activist, is conscious of what many others might be painfully and silently going through, and she will do all in her capacity to increase awareness about the importance of mental health, to enable the already affected find strength in whatever remains.

Ever since I got this book, my office work has been a nice ride. Nkwain John Paul Sam aka Genero, Douala Cameroon

Introducing Marie Abanga the Lawyer


 

She was called to the Cameroon Bar Association first as a pupil lawyer in 2008 and then sworn in as a Barrister and Sollicitor before the Supreme Court of Cameroon on the 11th of May 2011.

In the meantime, she has been through thick and thin, and although she is not making light of what Kay Redfield Jamison has been through, she herself has had an unqiet mind. Indeed, all her professional prowess didn’t stop her from getting so depressed in 2009 and picking up a knife to attempt suicide while five months pregnant.

Marie Abanga has developed and been guided by a 3D principle: Determination, Discipline and Dedication. A legal practice she at one point almost gave up on, is now being massively revived begining with the building of a website worth every weight in gold.

Please join me in applauding this brave woman, single mother of 3 boys, mulitple award blogger and soulful author, business consultant, personal and mental wellbeing coach of substance, lecturer, lawyer Co-Founder and CEO of Inspiring Positive Actions Now Ltdstaunch advocate for women’s empowerment and victims of domestic abuse, and a philantrophist par excellence: Some call her simply Phenomenal Marie and she is bent on letting her little light shine all the way

 

p.s: I hope my journey inspires someone out there. It is possible to be and do so much and yet to suffer such tough times and mental tribulations. Morever, being at this stage doesn’t mean tough times wouldn’t come again. It means to me that I have to believe in myself even more, be my own best friend and champion, self love, self care and many more selfies,  and trust myself to seek for help when I need it and above all just be me, saying it as it is. Marie Abanga the lawyer definitely makes Marie Abanga the personal and mental wellbeing coach proud. She is my first and best friend till death do us part and I love her to the moon and back. Thank you lawyer in me for persevering even when I didn’t think it was worth it anymore

Officially launching my coaching business: Wish me well


The business is official…an enterprise has been jointly founded Amen

It is no secret that when you have a vision you have to nurture it and keep at it against all odds. And then when you feel it in you that it’s time to go pro, you take that leap of Faith your mentors and coach all tell you about.

I dreamt of a coaching business 3 years ago, and I started keeping record of my journey. Developing myself and learning along the way. Yes I have many passions, but this one is among the closest to my soul.

I also landed a great team, I thank my Lord… I take off solo next Sunday but thereafter my cofounder and I will share many more stages. Our website is still under construction but I know how baby steps are necessary to the formation of a man.

In honour therefore of May which is Mother’s month and Mental Health Advocacy month, I am setting off at very affordable cost of 1$ or less so that as many as can come get to listen to me, share with me, and network with one another.

I encourage you in your own visions, good night

Broke but not Broken


Have you ever been to that city

Broke ville it reads

You get there and visit awhile

Some peace comes but worries loom

You then up to leave

But can’t seem to find your way

You have been stuck

In more embarrassing settings 

Too many times to count

Broke for cash, kind or soul food

But finally I Thank my Lord

this time around am glad 

I am only broke not broken

Ahead of my 38th Birthday: My Gift to You with gratitude


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I got the best photgrapher for this one

 

Hello World,

The above pictures show a now, and all the years back … I love them both. In the meantime, what has that lady done with her life so much that she can offer you a gift of it? She has made several interesting twists and turns leading to discoveries which made her loathe herself more before finally loving herself whole. It is one of the memoirs in which I record some of my greatest fears in life and how I have learnt to face them throughout the years thanks in large part to life’s lessons and my shaggy self, which I am offering to you.

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What’s the Worst Case Scenario…

From the 18th of January – my birthday, to the 22nd of January, my fourth and toughest memoir to write, will be free on amazon kindle. I bet you it’ll make a good read. I also hope it’ll convey my gratitude to you all who have in one way or the other impacted me on my earthly journey. It also in total gratitude to my Almighty Father and Mother Nature, that I keep writing and sharing and appreciating and reading and loving and living. I once asked how many times one outght to say thank you, glad I got no answers for I know I’ll always do love saying thank you over and again.

So, without much ado, get your free kindle apps and get set to download this modest gift of mine to you. Tell your friends and family who may be interested in reading such a memoir, it’s also my modest contribution to mental health advocacy – shaming the stigma to be candid.

I know many people wish me well, I wish someone who reads this will go out of their way to honestly tell me what they think about it… it could generously be via a review on the amazon (such a big gift for me), or even here on my blog; whichever suits you. All I really want to say by this post and gesture is THANK YOU – because saying that has never gotten any ackward for me 🙂

My Legacy: Happy New Year to All


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Hello World, I scheduled this post for the first day of the new year – here’s to hoping am still around. If I comment on any of your comments, then I sure still is around Amen…

I started writing this sometimes in October 2016, but for some reason I didn’t post it then… I’ll want for it to be live on my blog… to just be here for all to see… each passing day, each passing moment, brings me closer to the inevitability of my life’s closure… something I had even wanted to usher in myself over 7 years ago… it’s been a long trip since then and am still around… more glad than not to be here…say I love to live…

In my last memoir titled What’s the Worst Case Scenario: Fighting my fears within mindful of my mental challenges ; the last and shortest chapter (a single page), was ‘The fear of Dying’. I had to face that fear because it had already dealt so much with me and that fear greatly impacted my living to the fullest. Paradoxically to put it simply: The more I feared to die – the more I feared to live! Whatever show I put up, was very often just that, a show! Hurray am past that now… I not only faced that fear, I think about that past and I chuckle… I don’t look forward to dying any time soon, but who does? And yet it’s so inevitable that we’ll all walk or drift or etc. through that door of no return… and I just thought about my legacy especially on this day, what will I like to be remembered for? This is it:

I lived & loved: I loved &Lived

Truth equally be told, if in the in between of living and loving: loving and living; I was an inspiration to some and hopefully motivated even just one; then that’s a big bonus to my legacy: This is what I sincerely wish to leave behind for my sons and posterity; and be remembered for – and for all the gratitude I have always had in me for all who crossed my path in whatever way, even the hurtful way…

Without much ado now, we can’t afford to become sad on the first day of a new year: Happy New Year & Best Wishes – Thank You to all my gentle readers, followers and soul family…This year I make no resolutions other than to continue striving to thrive in every circumstance in total faith… So over to you;

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An Area Girl in Abidjan Day 3


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Aiming to be just this and try my best

 

What’s Up

Well, all may not be so good today work/conference wise, but at least I have a good food budget for today thanks to the strenous exercise which I did this am. It is leaving me barely walking I must admit, but hey I want to run and burn more calories afterall.

About Work first

So let me get this thing off my throat before I return hopefully to normal. Group work sucks : especially when the group members aren’t interested in the work but in showing off or about. So today as in a while ago, we get split into groups and my co-mates talk and talk and agree on barely anything and then time is up. A self imposed group leader wouldn’t let others talk and I just sat back at one time not wanting to get so carried away with the vibrations – that’s life and in another country and time I am a lecturer and understand some student’s frustrations at their groups. Fortunately or unfortunately, in my student days that teaching technique was neither unknown nor deemed important…

Tricks and Tips learnt

1) If I take just that first step I could end up surprising myself. I felt sore this morning but I left anyway and ended up working out twice as much as monday. I’ll rest the limbs tomorrow and workout harder again Friday anyway…

2) When you cheer someone up  … it makes you smile and in return you are fired up too. I cheered a mama who was street sweeping and she smiled and I smiled and I leap further. Some men cheered; me up I continued uphill and then continued smiling to their commutes. One of my pals on Lose it called Bradley cheered me up two days ago and I bet he smiled to himself for doing that and maybe decided to keep up in his efforts too…

3) I could stuff up at breakfast, lunch & coffee breaks, and skip dinner altogether… or could I? Oh no to my disappointment… My Stomach wouldn’t let me stuff up as much as I could have wished for – it seems like when you lose weight, several parts of your body shrink too like your stomach, feet  and even invisible parts… and now tomorrow morning am not going to have breakfast because I just discovered a scale at this conference centre’s medical centre and the nurse said I could step on that – best before breakfast… I want to know how it’s going after 3 days, if I lost, gained or stayed the same nonetheless… friday is my last day at this conference centre and I feel doing that tomorrow will calm my curiosity quicker…

4) I finally got a new phone and what an excellent deal I got… The chinese are completely all over the place here and there’s even a song or two celebrating or making a mockery of that : « Partout à Abidjan Chingchon » ( chingchon refers to a chinese) and so pretty many things are Chines with their prices

5) When the training ends, leave quickly to go retrieve your passport because when you all go down at once and other trainees or participants at whatever leave their own events, the reception area could turn into something else 🙂

The day’s summary and other matters arising

Conferences are indeed tough like Bradley commented. When you get back to the hotel you just wanna crash, I wonder how the men manage it to hang out in the bar every evening or go out to the city as they narrate in the bus each morning. And oh, my I felt so cold today I wraped myself up in my winter jacket (served afterall) and wraped my shawl on my head, A friend had said we could meet this evening for dinner but am definitely not following up on that nor even looking forward to her call or chat… and tomorrow is even going to be tougher with an eminent personality coming in and there is 2 big homeworks already and I want to work on those and sort of impress him you know (well at least 1 of them) … Fortunately no sports in the am, maybe just a walk to relax those limbs more… And, yeah I found out about the hours and price for the miniature golf and am heading there on saturday morning ‘sun or showers’. While in Brussels, my SSh and I had made program upon program to go to a mini golf course and we never did helas… I called him today and took crash lessons… am looking out and forward to the fun above all else… In the meantime am curiously not keen on taking any pictures – hopefully by friday after conference official close at 2 pm I will 🙂

Wishing us all so so much

P.S Am still at the reception of the hotel since we returned an hour ago, fighting slow connection to finish this post and then publish and go me up to my room and be cool for a while before poring over tomorrow’s material…

An Area Girl in Abidjan Day 2


abidjan2
Ah there goes Beautiful Abidjan – but little or no time for sigthseeing

I woke up on my second day in Abidjan on a left note to put it simple. I didn’t only feel over fed by none other than myself – (out of politeness to Pape my Monday dinner host, I had to give it a big try before taking the rest away), but I slept poorly because I had to watch the dang thing live and 9 pm in the US was gonna be 1 am in Abidjan. I dozed off like 20 minutes after smiling at seeing the first woman in the US History stadning on a Presidential campaign stage with a man who would have given all if he could not to run aganinst any woman especially one who lacked ‘stamina’ like he said.

I therefore had a low food budget for the day because I didn’t and couldn’t go for exercise. That may have even been very difficult had I even attempted because my hips were very sour and crying fowl from all I did with them at the mini gym I found on the beach on Monday. Anyway, this morning I am back on those tracks hips better heal on their own, afterall that’s where I want most if not all of those 5kgs to flee from.

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Helas, that was the closest I could get to the monument

Conference training was hectic and I ate very little so as not to run over my food budget like I did on monday. I managed to leave on break time and dash to that gorgeous cathedral which was fortunately oppositie the conference centre, but the gates were CLOSED from all ends and I couldn’t even find the opening hours before the rain started to have a shower. I dashed across but the only openening entrance to the conference centre was two blocks round the corner. Abidjan has had its own share of crisis too and bet ya security ain’t taken for granted here.

Getting back to the hotel at 5.30 or so pm, I was just ready for my bed and nothing else period. I finally managed to call home because I had gotten a local sim card during break too, and then I walked some to a nearby supermarket hoping to find Ivorian cocoa to no avail. It was thus back to my room, eating the take away from Monday, and sleeping like a log.

I go jogging now hoping Wednesday comes with a better food budget, better this and better that Thank you Lord…

Nice day to us all

P.S : Network didn’t allow me to publish before going for sports, now I can update. I surprised myself for running 30 straight minutes even if only slowly as in ‘quicker jogging’ (hope you get this), and then yep went back to that mini gym on the beach and put in 20 minutes of same excercises and more, and then did 10 minutes aerobics to stretch and lalala. It was more day break than monday and commuters were starting to be up and about and it so happened there was no other female around doing what I was doing and some men cheered me on and one really clapped. I was so flattered and hyper motivated. I can’t wait to log this into the Lose It app and see what I get as food budget for today…