P. S: Am writing this post to calm down some while waiting for the party scheduled for 4 pm to actually start. It is 6.20 pm my time and I have given up on this ‘black man time’. Anyways, it’s not even like I remembered the birthday party until I visited another supermom and bossom friend of mine… As to my new name, I upgraded myself to supermomhood period…
OK now hold up, how did I get here?
My day started at 4:50 am with prayers+meditation. I then hit some workout, grateful for an extra kilo since I finished fasting weighing 70kgs.
So truth be told, I was in celebration mode and even wrote about it earlier this morning.
Another super note this morning is the joy of speaking to a kindred spirit super dad for 30/40minutes after my workout.
I then went to the market, not knowing the boys were to receive their report cards today. I never got the sms the school said they always send. Fortunately, their school is not far from the market and curious to all the cars parked out there, got me to know it was today.
So supermom, rush back home, fix quick lunch of stir fry cabbage and then hop out to their school. I have to rush back home because I have a 3pm session. I get home 2.30 pm, and gladly give the boys cash to go swimming…they all made honour roll so grateful to God…
I then have a much more consistent lunch after the session lol, and head out to go see my friend whose daughter has been sick all week. My plan was to continue from there to my aunt’s where we assembly for my cousin’s vigil while awaiting the corpse. But when reminded of the 40k bash of another schoolmate of ours to which I had been invited personally, I quickly rush home to change in white the designed colour for the event. I stop by the barber for a hair cut and then shower and out hurrah.
I mean, the last time I was out with friends was another one’s 40k birthday on February 28, eve of fasting take off, so you can imagine my excitement Hahaha…
Tomorrow is another day, I will go to my aunt’s then; afterall, the corpse get here but on the 24th and I have been there some already.
OK now, if you think events can delay starting, try one of ours out here. It is currently 7.03 pm and only a handful of invitees lol…
Now y’all, enjoy your weekend. I will hang around 1.5/2 hours and then go home to call it a night after a super day spent superbly.
p. s: Party finally kick of by 7.59pm and guess who is called to lead prayers? Guess how long her prayer is? Guess who leads to the buffet? Guess how much she piles on her plate lol? Welcome another half kg hopefully.
All is well that ends well for I zoom it all and get home at 9.03 pm. Boys I meet up pray with me and am off to zzz. Thank you papa.
Hurrah I now weigh 71kgs and that’s a celebration call lol
Anyway, the essence of this post is to inspire and motivate us all especially this weekend, to learn to celebrate our milestones. Don’t have to wait for the Mega Achievement to celebrate. I mean, is it leaving the bed and brushing your teeth after three days of no shaking due to depression and etc? Is it sending the application after months of procrastination, or even writing one? Is it refraining last minute from spanking that kid or answering back at your spouse in anger as before?
Ha, when on completing my 70 days fast last May 18, I weighed 70kgs, I knew I had to do something to flesh up more. It was cool but cause for alarm. Eating is still sadly not easy, I even had to go cerelac someday or just soup and smoothie. Hence, yesterday when the scales read 71, I was glee.
Enjoy or make the most of life. the milestones and challenges why not.
It is getting more elaborate what I am up going to be up to in the second leg of my journey here on earth. I hope my God gives me an full opportunity to do all He is giving the Grace and Talents to do already so far.
One of the most awesome things I have undertaken and will be furthering my studies in, is clinical psychology alongside with CBT Therapy. It is possible to do and be all you dream of, and if you fall short of all that you will land in some place you’ll still appreciate and be very grateful for.
I am celebrating this other milestone with its own dedicated website, hmm am grateful for the sleepless nights in Belgium setting up my blog. The website is tougher but I could manage quiet some and did got some help too.
It is still a work in progress of course, but this is what I got so far and will seriously appreciate candid feedback.
Here is the address lol: https://www.marieabanga.com/
I am leaving the office now for a well deserved weekend, be inspired and motivated someone
Have a fabulous weekend us all
When you say I don’t know me anymore, I will say I can imagine how you feel…
When you say my mind is murky, I will say I can imagine how you feel…
When you say you can’t take it no more, I will say I can imagine how you feel…
When you say you had a miscarriage, I will say I can imagine how you feel…
When you say you just buried a child, I will say I can imagine how you feel…
When you say those kids drive me nuts, I will say I can imagine how you feel…
When you say I am having a divorce, I will say I can imagine how you feel…
When you say I left and lost everything, I will say I can imagine how you feel…
When you say I was abused and raped, I will say I can imagine how you feel…
When you say I want my life back, I will say I can imagine how you feel…
When you say I really need help, I will say I can imagine how you feel…
When you say am making progress, I will say I can imagine how you feel…
When you say thank you we did it, I will say thank you too we really did…
P.s: Excitedly looking forward to starting a new chapter of my life as a professional life coach and CBT therapist. One of coaches told me I had an impressive toolbox of personal experiences. I sure do and am grateful for those… I say the serenity prayer now more than ever…I see where all this is heading to…My long term goal with all this is to open ‘Marie’s Healing Home for inner peace’
Hello world, after passing my exams in flying colours recently; setting out on a journey to launch a much desired and needed service as a CBT therapist and mental wellbeing coach, so grateful for all the support.
Have a great week everyone
Hello World, It may be way too soon for me to say here comes another of those weeks, I think it is still some residual burnout jumbled up with some mood cycles spiked a few weekes ago by a higher than usual hyped calendar.
Let’s start with Insecurities
Well, something this weekend, and I mean as trival as asking for a selfie, made me face the reality that I like many others had insecurities and limitations. I have never doubted this, although I didn’t call them out as such before not ‘smile’ at anyone who ‘dared’ tell me so – if you get the gist.
So, during an event, I met someone I have admired on facebook for a while, we are a decade or so apart in age with she being a junior, but share some similarities like being staunch advocates of whatever our causes are. We also say it as it is and try to live our best. We acknowledged each other that day, appreciated our outfits, neeedless to say we were maybe the only two dressed in African prints (in a culture where fashion and trendy means competing with Beyonce hmm), but I didn’t ask for a selfie, or that we get someone to take us a picture. True each time we met and exchanged a word, there was buzzing around, but then I could still try right? Ok, at the gala my battery died down before I met her again, but maybe if I asked, her phone could have done just good right? And to think the very next day I was out there on facebook bluffing about our outfits and had no picture to show? Had only mine like I was the only chick à l’africaine you know. Insecurity period!
So, if on the same day and event I can have different encounters and behaviours, then I should either be perfectly human or not lol. Seriously, the above got me thinking. I mean I don’t fear striking conversations, why fear ask for ‘mere’ snapshots? There are other times I have asked for snapshots, so it’s not like ‘jamais fait – or never before done’. Actually, that same morning before I ran into her, I was just from making a new contact, a lady who sat a row ahead and I could feel she is on her phone ‘social networking’ just because… so I introduced myself to her and got to meet a dynamic lady who has a restaurant in my own neigbhourhood called ‘Fresh Cravings’ – guess who plans to take her guys there this weekend? So when Saraphine asked that we do a selfie, sure I smiled some mindful of the chilly room.
The simple conclusion is that I have my own insecurities, and they fluctuate based on circumstances.
Limitations I want to look at from the point of a limiting circumstance or occurence or event etc. We probably have them everywhere, right close to us, in our homes, interractions and all. I bring it up to say those limitations do not and should not make us any less human I think or grateful our lives. A small and very current example is that, since I got to the office this morning, I am struggling to find my groove to work as planned, the internet connection is frustrating and this also limits any progress (tbt there is also much I could do without the internet connection) I should have made right? But the laptop itself has been rebooted already twice too. I can choose to give up this day as is, focus on preparing my notes for lectures tonight, (like double checking them since I prepared them long ago lol) and go bitch about the day althrough the night. Will that make me feel any better and less ‘guilty’ at having wasted half the day already not really doing much? I thus fell back on writing, and this post is here.
Whenever it goes up, I will know I haven’t done what I planned this morning but I didn’t let the morning’s limitation keep me down. I also think others will be inspired and motivated by this post. I will even conclude by throwing out a question: Has anyone any insecurities and limitations they may want to share/or better still the tips on dealing with this?
Thanks for reading and have a great week everyone
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
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
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 Ltd, staunch 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