Tag Archives: Mental Challenges

Dynamics & Gymnastics


To be forewarned is to be forearmed!!!

Dear old or new friend

I need to let you in

To the dynamics & gymnastics

That troll your friend

And can make/mar her life

To be forewarned is to be forearmed!!!

Dear old or new friend

The dynamics & gymnastics

Are from external & internal

Forces I can & can’t control

Maybe you heard about dem words

Used in physics or logic

Schools or sports

Think of a body & mind 

In their place

Then imagine how they go

Dynamics & gymnastics

This way & that way

Peace & please

Act up or shut up

To be forewarned is to be forearmed


P.s: poem written at 1.20 am – been thrashing aroumd simce 11:11 pm. Ome of those nights where dynamics & gymnastics are in place. Trolling me around. But am braving this because I have braved some before. I can at least identify some issues and will see my therapist during the day before I go to mum’s ahead of granny’s fumeral.

Scheduling this poem just because the respite I think is in the writing it and not the clicking publish

Wishing us all the best 

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When Royalty gets involved…


Today, I am presenting a poster on the need for epilepsy mobile clinic to plug the knowledge gap in rural settings…in Dakar Senegal. I will subsequently do a post on the corellation between epilepsy and mental challenges (my brother suffered from both and I have read from some who have had a challenging history with both)

Over to today’s post, I want to share an interesting post I read on the mental health writer’s guild aptly titled: Heads together a Right Royal Approach

The point of my post today is that mental health advocacy and sensitization is gaining more and more celeb attention: Yes; the cream of the creamIest Royalty are Putting their Heads Together and doing face time with stars like the one and only Lady Gaga…

So, if Royalty can talk about it and get involved – what holds you back?

We all have mental healths to take care of admit it or not, stop the stigma by putting your own heads together – thank you

Interview with Pamela Spiro-Wagner Author and Mental Health Advocate P2


Hello World, without much ado we continue with P2 of our interview started yesterday. It is Mental Health Awareness and my goal is to advocate with fresh content every day of the week my own mental health permitting 🙂

2017 MHM Horizontal Banner Image

  1. If you wouldn’t mind, can you tell us about your relationship with your twin sister today a few years after the book has been published?

Twelve years after DIVDED MINDS first came out, I have no relationship with my sister except in memory. I love her as my sister but I do not like her.

  1. How have you been coping with your mental illness and yet still been able to function at times enough to write and publish?

I do not believe in the concept of “mental illness” any longer, only in mental suffering. And I do not believe it is anything but calling people names when you label them bipolar or schizophrenic or anything else. I cope when I do, well, and when I dont cope I dont. But like anyone else I have my up times and I do what I do as well as I can. The medications are the real problem, disabling me and most people far more than we can possibly know. All the supposed symptoms of schizophrenia I believe can also be induced and are mostly induced by the antipsychotic medications. So how do you even begin to separate out which is which???

3) The Writing

  1. Did any books/memoirs influence your writing (style, presentation, content)? Not that I recall… No one particular book influences me but I must have read thousands of books. I tell anyone who wants to write to read, read, read, everything you can get your hands on, that way you will not be overly influenced or copy someone else when it comes time to write your own book.

  2. Did you have a writing mentor? No I never did.

  1. Which was the most difficult chapter to write in your memoir and why? The last one was difficult to write because I did not know where I would end it and how…and how to assess the present with an eye for the future is hard. Also to wind up a book I had spend almost a decade writing felt devastating. How to sum up all that in one half a chapter was not easy.

  1. How did you deal with that?

  2. Which was your favourite poem and why? I still like the first one and the last one in the book WE MAD CLIMB SHAKY LADDERS… But I have no real favorites, My latest poem is usually my current favourite.

  3. Did you learn anything from writing your memoir and what was it?

    My notes please: Pammy didn’t have an answer for this question

  1. How long did it take you to write and get the memoir published? I wrote a memoir by myself that took ten years, then when my twin and I rewrote it to make DIVDED MINDS it took 3 years. Publication from start to finish took 2 years.

4) The Message

  1. Do you have any advice for other memoir writers?

Read memoir, first of all. if you do not like to read memoirs, it may be that you wont want to write memoir. But you probably can not write a decent memoir if you do not read it either.

  1. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I really mean it when I say I no longer believe in diagnoses for mental illnesses, whether it is schizophrenia or bipolar illness or any personality disorder etc. I do not even care if someday they manage to find an anatomic or genetic “cause” or abnormality that “proves” that there is such a thing. You know, there are all sorts of genetic variants that happen in people but we choose we how we see it; nothing makes normal or abnormal until we define it that way. We have made up a category of behaviors and description of an experience called schizophrenia and defined it as a bad thing for so long we have forgotten that it was and is not always thought of as bad everywhere, nor must it end badly, except when we treat it badly and with medications! If we treat schizophrenia with medications we know almost for certain it will become chronic by definition. Look at the research. No one knows what schizophrenia is nor who really needs or would even slightly benefit from medication. Most antipsychotic medication does nothing good in the end but make people sicker…I mean this. All for very dubious benefit and no chance of cure. Medications harm people directly and deeply even with just the side effects, which are legion, ranging from terrible disfiguring movement disorders to loss of sexual function and desire, loss of all pleasure in life, to loss of teeth due to dry mouth and so. Would you want to take a chance on any of these because doctors have nothing better to offer you? Or would you too want to eschew medical care and try something that at least truly does no harm?

  1. Any other writing projects, blogging etc?

My first poetry book WE MAD CLIMB SHAKY LADDERS, can still be bought from Cavankerrypress.org and my newest poetry book which includes my art LEARNING TO SEE IN THREE DIMENSIONS will be published in late May 2017. I try to keep my blog going at http://pamelaspirowagner.com

  1. Where can your memoir be found? DIVIDED MINDS can still be bought from Amazon.com but also used copies can be found and you can order it from any bookstore.

Thank you very much Pammy for answering our questions. We hope to stay informed of any updates with your projects. Kindly drop any questions you have for Pammy in the comments section and please do not hesitate to respectfully share any opinions on this interview too…

 And before I go to her bio, please do not hesitate to visit Pammy’s Blog for more on her writings and mental health advocacy

Pam’s Awesome Profile

An artist, writer and poet who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia for decades, Pamela Spiro Wagner attended Brown University from 1970-1975. She later went to medical school for one and a half years, before being hospitalized for the third time for psychiatric care. In 2010, she was also diagnosed with PTSD due to trauma resulting from deeply inappropriate and punitive use of seclusion and restraints in psychiatric hospitals.

  Wagner won First Place in the 2001/2 international BBC World Service Radio Poetry Competition, judged by Nobelist Wole Soyinke. In 2005, she co-authored, with her twin sister, a psychiatrist, DIVIDED MINDS: Twin Sisters and their Journey through Schizophrenia, which won the national NAMI Outstanding Literature Award and was a finalist for the Connecticut Book Award. Four years later,  Ms Wagner’s book of poems, WE MAD CLIMB SHAKY LADDERS was published. Several poems won  honorable mentions at New Millennium Writings and two were short-listed for the Bridport Prize in the UK. Her writing has appeared in the The New York TimesSunday Magazine, the Hartford Courant, and Tikkunamong other places.

 Doing art under the name, Pamwagg, Ms Wagner was part of a group show in Hartford, Connecticut in 2011, and had two solo shows, one at the Otis Library in Norwich, Connecticut in 2012 and then at the Wethersfield Library in Connecticut. Two paintings and two poems appeared in the Collective DreamArtsMagazine in 2014. In June 2017, her art will be on display at the Hooker-Dunham Gallery in  Brattleboro, Vermont.

Despite experiencing much adversity in her 64 years, including the decades-long diagnosis of schizophrenia, Wagner has also been lucky enough to have had four life-changing miracles along the way. The passion to write poetry, starting in 1984, and then, quite suddenly, to take up art in 2008 at the age of 55, were just two of those miracles.  She currently resides along with her cat, Beanie Baby, in Brattleboro, Vermont, in northern New England, where she disavows all labels, including those of any mental illness.

 Wagner’s books include: DIVIDED MINDS: Twin Sisters and their Journey through Schizophrenia (St Martin’s Press, 2005)

WE MAD CLIMB SHAKY LADDERS, poems (Cavankerry Press, 2009)

LEARNING TO SEE IN THREE DIMENSIONS, poems and art (Green Writers Press/SunDog Poetry 2017)

At the end of this month, I will round up with a summary post of advocacy and my take on the different interviews and opinions and all – please do not hesitate to contact me if you want to be featured on my blog during this month (Mental health related only)

This interview is the longest post I am doing on this blog I promise… don’t unsubscribe please

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The Fear of Being Loved… WCS… Chapter 5


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What’s the Worst Case Scenario…
Who in their ‘right’ senses and emotions fears being loved? What is wrong with me that I would so long to be loved and yet end up often running away from this ‘love’? Could it be it was real? Why am I not so entertaining when some gentleman comes along and probably with a deep inhale starts to talk to me about ‘love’. Oh now I remember! I have several times thought it’s probably a spam, scam or mere spark. And yes, as much as a child seeks for attention and love, so too do they fear rejection and reproach. Maybe, it all started in my own childhood too, you know. Let me give it a glance.
In my previous memoirs, I have described the childhood and relationship I had with my parents. Each of them in their own respect. I know I was equally a difficult child, or so it is said. But what I know for sure, is that what I most longed for, I never got. I longed to be loved and not just looked at. I longed to be nurtured and not just noticed. I longed to be led and not just laughed at. I longed for a real relationship with either of them and not just be the receiver of so much unsolicited pampering or reproaches. I truly longed to be supported in my ‘difficult’ development and not just spanked to get it straight.
What I honestly think I got, was what probably the parent in question, given their own circumstances and probably childhood, did give. I reproach none of them any longer, no I have since moved on. Being a mother now, I try so hard to give all of what I missed to my boys, or to dialogue with them and get them trust me enough to open up to me. Yet, I have to explore this area of my life because I still feel the fear of being loved, because the ‘love’ I had before was so painful, has had such repercussions in my life and is still threatening to.
I grew up in a context and society where the norm was that ‘children were to be seen and not heard’. What do you have to say anyway, especially when adults who know it all are talking and making decisions probably even concerning you? What were your needs as a child? Simple there according to that context! You needed to be fed, to sleep, to dress up, to go to school and yes to church or wherever you were told to go, or taken along. Imagine what a difficult thing that was for ‘extroverts’ like me who could talk and ask all sorts of questions enough to become annoying and outright unruly. I am sure mum was overwhelmed, while dad thought trying his best to buy all those stuffs was good enough. And the gist is, some parents today still see it was best that way. For me, that context was devoid of ‘realness’ in that the parent-child relationship as such could be more out of moral, cultural, religious and otherwise obligation and fear, than love.
The irony about this chapter is that I am starting it just as someone is trying to ‘come into my life’ again. I don’t even know what to say or do. I just hope by the end of this chapter, I would have faced some of those stuffs deep within me which have pushed me to Fold Everything And Run one too many times. I want to be able to Face Everything And Rise when any love like gentleman comes along. I have to trust my instincts and reasons, not my emotions on their spur of a moment. And if it turns out to be a spam, scam or spark, I will try not to close that gate again, but rise and thrive. After all, so far so good to the extend that I who was once Battered, and tattered, fought hard enough not to be Shattered…
Dear World, such are the mussings and matters in this other memoir of mine.
Get your Kindle ready, the Bonanza runs from the 18th of January to the 21st. A day sort of for each book… that’s my birthday gift to us all with so much gratitude…
Thank you
Gratitude all the way

The Fear of Loving: Philophobia – Chapter six of WCS… Part 2


  1. What's the Worst Case Scenario...
    What’s the Worst Case Scenario…

    And there we go, with the probable causes! Glad to know I am not alone and hmm that maybe even the Queen of England was philophobic until she married her prince! The article concludes on her case thus: “Historians now believe that her condition might have arisen owing to the fact that she had seen her mother Anne Boleyn as well as her cousin executed for love. The fact that her own father was responsible for the execution might have made her believe that all romantic relationships have a tragic ending”.

    Philophobia symptoms vary from individual to individual:

  • Some people are so afraid of love that they cannot open up to anyone. They do have committed relationships, but cannot maintain any of them.

  • Their well being often depends on the responses they receive from the person they love. This can keep them high strung and anxious all the time. They may be extremely possessive or, conversely, they may drive away their loved ones with their detachment.

  • One also experiences severe anxiety owing to the pressures of commitment: restlessness, shallow breathing, rapid heart rate, nausea, chest pains, etc are a few physical symptoms that can be attributed to Philophobia.

  • Panic and anxiety attacks are also common. These can be terrible since the sufferer often feels dizzy, or feels like running away, crying, shaking or sweating profusely or even feels as if s/he is fainting.

    Oh my, what is all this I am learning? Why now, oh my, after all this wreck in my life? At least, I have admitted the problem and started out to find a solution. Maya Angelou advised the following which I firmly believe is worth it: “We have to confront ourselves. Do we like what we see in the mirror? And, according to our light, according to our understanding, according to our courage, we will have to say yea or nay — and rise!”

    I therefore read with keen and pupil like attention the recommendations of my resource article on ways to face your philophobia which are unfortunately so generalistic. Anyway, it says the following: There are many ways of overcoming the fear of falling in love phobia. Self help books, talk therapy, psychotherapy, hypno-analysis, etc are a few effective methods that have shown proven results.

    There are also several online and offline forums or support-groups that can encourage an individual open up about his fears about love and commitment.

    I am even very proud of myself to have finally resolved to face this fear and research about it this much. I wish my sons read this and hopefully don’t get or develop any such phobia. Anyway, they’ll probably stand a better chance of facing any problems they come across earlier than later, knowing from my experiences and works, what some of these may be. As for me, I am this day November 13th 2015, in the seaside resort city of Limbe in Cameroon, making a firm resolve to face any remnants of this fear head on and welcome my next relationship with much more optimism, courage and love than would have previously been the case. Yes I Can!!!

Choice and emotion: a short essay with some musing


Choice and emotion: a short essay with some musing.

With the above post from one of my favorite blogs beyondmeds, I re-launch my presence into the blogosphere.

Yes, I took a shortmedium break. I had and still have some issues both ‘upstairs’ and ‘outstairs’ to resolve.  I am ready!!!

I am glad to have so many to learn from and to share with. I am glad that I can live with my emotions however they come without resorting to meds to help me. I wish several other could or are actually doing so. Its a wonderful experience to get past the melancholia in real and then to look back. It’s like giving birth without an inducement or better still undergoing an operation without anesthesia? Hmm this last one is almost impossible right?

And so dear gentle readers and followers, lets look forward to what I have scheduled for this week. Yeah I made the choice – to keep up just being me.