Menstruation and #mentalhealthmatters


Maybe some of you ladies didn’t grow up in a society which stigmatizes menstruation; maybe it wasn’t a taboo to talk about menstruation in your community; maybe you didn’t lack a sanitary pad ever; or maybe just maybe you always had the right information about your reproductive organs which are largely affected by your menses? But in my community and many many others around the world, menstruation has been such a hush hush and even ‘unclean’ thing to talk about or pay attention to. And yes, when you go about something in such ‘eggshell’ way, there is bound to be anxiety, frustration, hopelessness, helplessness and outright depression which could lead to other mental health challenges and even suicide in extreme cases. And what support do we get from men if any? Are they ignorant or just don’t care and are instead suppressive and stigmatizing? Let’s give it a voice.

This is why I have accepted this other invitation to address such pertinent issues especially with the growing effects on our mental health in moments like these cause by the Covid-19 pandemic.

#thereishope #bethehope
#hope4abusedbattered #mentalhealthmatters #menstrationmatters

The Church and Mental health challenges…could we be more…


Voice of the Voiceless
How can I be silent?

I leave dots after more because I leave it to each one to fill in what they want. I was shaken and yet poked up when I read of the pastor’s suicide. I was also in serious reflections about mental wellness whether you were a christian or not – coincidence or not? World suicide day had just come and gone, and I remember holding a knife to my heart 10 years ago while 5 months pregnant. I wrote several related posts on Facebook about this yesterday and I just saw another article which took me back to thinking about doing this post.

Here is the link to the article I read:

https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2019/september/pastor-dies-by-suicide-three-things-we-all-need-to-know.html?share=

Now, I don’t know about out there, but in my country mental health challenges are ‘not welcome in church’ period. Better call them demon possessed attacks or wicked people thrown sorts on you – bottom line is you have to be delivered in church, you have lots of penance to do and …

With me being so vocal about my mental health challenges and my PTSD diagnosis from 2014, I quickly learned when I joined church that it’s not so welcome to be vocal – about that and about pretty much – like Rape. I am contemplating if I can swim in such a sea or if I have to leave for real.

So, will this suicide by a pastor cause the ‘church’ to become more…open, real, compassionate, and you can go on; or will they quickly dissociate from the victim pastor, finding reasons to show he was perhaps a ‘fake’ pastor after all?

We’ll see how it goes…in the meantime let’s remember #mentalhealthmatters

Posted in Book Reviews, Poetry

My Son’s book review of A Searching Soul by Marie Abanga (Me)


Alain's review SS

Kindle Cover

This is the first review of my poetry book which is on the amazon at the very afordable price of 0.89$ for kindle and 5 $ for paperback.

Thank you so much my e family and big shout out to all the authors in the house especially Pamela Spiro Wagner whose poetry reading I just so love, and  Dyane Leshin-Harwood whose epic memoir will be released very soon.

Posted in Coaching and Training, Marie's Garden

See who’s back: What a blogging break…


blogging break you said
That was what I thought I needed

What a blogging break I brokered: Am glad to be back!!!

If I have learnt one thing during this blogging break, it is that I really love blogging and the break was not effective.

Primo, I wrote three updates when I had bragged of a month free of blogging. Ha, who was I deceiving? ME it turns out;

Secondly, I didn’t even open the book I was hoping to finish writing during this break. Ha again, who was I deceiving? ME once more;

Thirdly, did I read as much as planned? I bow my head to look at my feet and whisper loudly NO – blogs I follow and 3 or so books and social media fake news etc don’t fill my reading reservoir sorry Marie try harder;

So dear world, I admit I may have brokered a bad blogging break. Indeed, I had hoped to take away to ‘blogging birb’ of thrice weekly and turn that period to reading and writing ‘beck’. I didn’t get any close to achieving that and I realize that although the break from regular blogging did usher in some small mental release, I didn’t really need it. To be honest, I kept counting the days the ‘officially announced’ blogging break will be over and I kept writing down stuffs I would have been excited to blog about.

My evaluating this blogging break is the same way I have for some years now been able to candidly evaluate myself and stuffs in my life. It is the same way I encourage my clients and those I mentor and coach to evaluate their too.

Not wanting to write a long post today on my ‘official first day of new blogging term’, I will conclude with a few updates:

Event flyer

  1. I did continue building my business (s) and am gradually seeing a big picture. I am taking a diploma on CBT to focus on being a personal and mental wellbeing coach of substance ( hardly any in my whole country);

  2. I am working on officially setting up my law firm; another big leap of faith, sometimes collaboration is not for you;

    Gaby
    recently on vaccation in the village
  3. Today my last son Gaby turns 8 and yes he will forever remind me of miracles. His conception was one and he kicked me from the womb when my desperation was its peak and I was holding a knife to my heart. I can never forget that. Coincidentally, I am coaching today on Developing a positive attitude and I am full of positivity and gratitude for life especially on this day. Eight bonus years of living with so much gratitude and I am authentically ME inside out… To God be the Glory Great Things He has Done…

  4. It was therefore a bitter sweet break overall, and there were some moments of ocean breeze and village life – but also some stress inducing and charged moments… life happens

  5. My one resolution with regards to blogging is that no more pressure on myself to maintain any blogging routine, my mental wellbeing is primordial and this is also living my mental health advocacy

Happy Sunday to us all and thank you my e-family

thank you
am so full of Gratitude

And so was Gaby a few minutes ago

Posted in Epilepsy Advocacy, Epilepsy Solidarity Walk in Cameroon, Mental Health Advocacy

STIGMA: The Script’s Synopsis P2


Hello world, pursuant to P1, here is P2:

…This is actually the setting into which Precious, Victor and Mercy are born to papa Thomas and mami Maria. Papa Thomas is a doubting Christian who has fallen out with the church because he insists on wanting to take a second wife since mami Maria has so far giving him only one child (He refuses to count the first two sick children as his). He has surnamed this third child Mercy and although she is only a girl meaning of not so much value to him, he desperately needs the ancestors or God to have mercy on her and spare her from the ‘badluck’ of her siblings.

The movie takes us through the traumatic ordeal of Precious and Victor, an ordeal which begins at home and ends up in school. They are at first taken by their parents to the traditional healer where they undergo near fatal and highly superstitious practices in a bid to rid them of the ‘curse’ source of the badluck, and when the procedure fails, they are dragged to the church with the hope that the reverend father will exorcise the demons in them.

The movie also brings out the guilt, burden and pain mothers feel and bear throughout such ordeals. In our case, mami Maria the mother of the sick children, bears it all bravely, leaving no stone unturned to get her husband to change his staunch traditional mentality and try out the ‘whiteman’s medication’ for once. It is she who when at her stall sees the NGO’s sensitization posters, pleads desperately with her husband that they go to the mission hospital and attend their presentation to learn some more. She equally plead with the catechist to come talk to her husband mindful of his disapproval of papa Thomas’s penchant for polygamy. The catechist’s visit leads to their being received by the reverend Priest. Reverend Fada as he is calls, seizes the opportunity to dismiss all what has been said at the village square and the traditional healer as false beliefs/practices; nothing more.

The lives of Precious and Victor henceforth take a dramatic turn for the better once reverend Fada refers them to the mission hospital. He knows that help can be found at a hospital because his cook’s child who suffers from what he refers to as epilepsy, gets a lot of help from the hospital in the nearby village.

Precious is almost denied a chance at the ‘whiteman medication’ when her father papa Thomas grumbles that he doesn’t have money to take two children there. He will rather take the boy and leave the girl to end up which ever way. Her dear mother steps in again by bringing out her savings. There is no way mami Maria can let her husband blatantly and viciously discriminate against her two sick children because one is a girl and to him of little value, while the boy a younger sibling deserves all the chances at getting better.

At the hospital, the children are registered for consultation by the neurologist who comes during the medical missions organized by the NGO. This NGO which has been working on the field for barely two years now, has indeed been able to secure the personal support of one of the few neurologists in the region. The Neurologist they are told brings a special machine to test the brains of the selected patients so as to know the exact type of the brain disorder they suffer from, and to be able to prescribe medication which can prevent the fainting or seizures as the attacks are called in the hospital. The God sent NGO has also brought some subsidized medication which thanks to mami Maria’s savings, the family can afford.

All is well that ends well, at last the children can now go to school. Another exciting news is that they don’t have to fear the reaction of their teachers and fellow students if they have a seizure in school because the NGO has also brought handbooks about epilepsy for the teachers. The teachers will be trained and they will in turn teach the students on what to do if a friend is having a seizure. The NGO is even sponsoring the Fon’s Football Cup tournament (among other projects), so that through the sponsorship they can sensitize the entire community on the brain disorder and advocate for a change in mentality towards persons living with epilepsy – thus fighting against stigma. Epilepsy they emphasize is not contagious and so people will stop running away and shaming them when they are having a seizure. Epilepsy they even add can be cured and prevented. All this is so new, it makes the news in the whole village.

In the end, Precious and Victor become heros in their village. Their story is reported in the local newspaper and the NGO tells them they will be taken to the city to share their story. Soon, many other parents stop hiding their sick children at home, they take them to the hospital and write down their names so that they will be selected and called back when the NGO organizes another medical mission….

Stay nearby for P 3 next week and thanks for all the support

Posted in My Heroines

Cheering My dear Dyane all the way with love


Dear Dyane Leshin-Harwood, sadly I don’t know how to properly link from a phone, but I tried my best…

It all started 9 years ago with your courageous decision to not bottle it up and pretend it never happened, your painful and challenging crawls and strides to get a book deal and submit a draft…

Today, as you finally get to submit that draft, which is a big big step to the fulfilment of your dream and desire to see your exceptional story and advocacy message out there in the literary and psycho-scientic world, know that am rooting for you. I am so proud of you because as an author I know some of the frustrating and yet rewarding pumps of it all…

I am sure dearest, that several members of our e-family as well as your actual family, are equally so supportive and super proud of you…

As I board my plane later today, I want you to know that am so happy to have met you on the blogosphere, and to have spoken with you for real when I visited the US…

I wish I could light a real candle for you today…but I managed to find something close online…

Whoop whoop whoop my heroine: whoop whoop whoop all the way: 

with love always, your dear Marie

This is the doormat to the elevator at the hotel which I seriously noted only yesterday… Wow right?