Tag Archives: Mental Health

Marie Abanga on Mental Health and Services she offers


 

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

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Pray: How did you kick off this year?


I remember a similar post I wrote last year on the 1st of January. I was bent on that day to kick off the year with sports, especially given all the lousy reasons I came up with in the wee hours of the day not to do same. For me, it boils down to a good start because even if (and yes even when) I lose some momentum during the journey, I can always motivate myself with the memories of a good start – and obviously very good goals lol.

This year is a very special one for me because I was inspired to declare it My Year of Grace. I mean given the success of last year which I had declared My Year of Gratitude and got so much to be grateful for including a Guardian Angel when I had thought I was too old for one, I decided to believe in the power of my own inspirations. No need to go see any tarot readers, soothsayers, Men/Women of God … You name them. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for January 01, 2019 right?

Next special event this year, I formally began meditation and I mean serious ones with knees folded inside. So far I have been able to keep still and fold the knees in place for 10 minutes – don’t laugh give it a try and maybe clap for me lol. But hold up that’s not the goal of meditation oh, the sitting position and brain bushing around; it is the meditation proper, the passage you read and what you retain out of that and how that helps you through out the day.

Now, I needed to be alone in my home on January 1st this year because I needed no distraction whatsoever. I literally locked Ella out of the Gate and locked myself in my room. I had not one but three books I was starting with:

  1. A book of Meditations by the one and only James Allen

  2. Attitudes of Gratitude …by MJ. Ryan

  3. A Mini Course for Life by Jerry Jampolsky and wife Diane, of Attitudinal Healing International

Those three books and the whole meditation concept were offered me so generously by my Guardian Angel. Am I spoiled lucky or what?

After an hour or so meditating and listening to flute music, I went for a long walk and then visited different neighbours on my return. One of them even offered me a chicken drumstick to appease my saliva glands (some spicy odour in the different homes visited were already leaving my glands in a rage).

And so dear gentle readers and followers, I couldn’t think of a more serene way to kick off this 2018 with Grace. Gratitude goes on of course, it brings me so much joy I can’t leave that alone (I love saying all the thank you I can, sending the notes and sms and calls to near irritating hahaha). I hope the steam mustered on Monday 01.01.18 sees me through out the year. I merely turning 39 in 2 weeks time so I should still be good to go right?

Well, enough of me: please Pray gentle reader and follower, how did you kick off this year?

p.s: Will be away for a week or more as we lay my grandma to rest this weekend and retreat as a family for a few days. My two siblings are coming in and am excited to have the bonding time even if under such morose circumstances.

Please let me be (Ushering in the New Year with a call for inclusion and empathy )


Please let me be

for the world

Please let me be queer

let me be queer it’s my life

be all the regular I don’t care

Please let me be a misfit

I am done trying to fit

You can do all the fit in I don’t care

I come from a broken home

I now lead a broken home

keep your fixed home

He cries mama

she teased my papa is gay

And so what I ask?

gay means happy

why be any judge?

and then go to church?

sing unconditional love

and love so conditionally?

They call me a rascal because I love pascal

he is such a friend

we trust each other so

sinners you say?

who did HE come for?

Winners they who followed HIM

Shabby may be the dress code

merry the constant mode

you can care for your body

I’ll care for my mind

I envy you not

spare your nod

Please let me be

(c) 2017 Marie Abanga

America’s Angels and other musings related to mental health…


Hi World,

I don’t know how to qualify my moods today. All is not so good and am near pissed. Why should what happens in America or wherever shake me so? I mean I had a nightmare last night (hardly recall any precedence zut). The KKK were torching 3 homes to be precise – I woke up ant it was 1.28 am I have a clock that reflects on my ceiling. I just have to type all this out and hopefully calm down enough to continue my day which is equally so taxing already with a phone crash last night.

So, yesterday I wrote of America’s ghostsAmerica’s ghosts – I had been planning before the terrible incident of yesterday to blog about America’s Ghosts and America’s Angels after reading the wonderful book by Steve Fugate titled Love Life Walk.

The ghosts of Jim Crow, of the Civil War or the Appropriation, Misapporiations and reservations, the treatment of natives and immigrants (who aren’t fortunate to belong to certain families descendants of immigrants themselves) oh my gosh gosh gosh – I really need to stop reading so vast and caring so much. I now can understand why events likle the collapse of the Berlin Wall or the murder of JFK and etc could drive some off the edge to maniaville completely.

But no I wouldn’t go off any cliff because I am tougher. I will brave this but I now know I should mind more of my business than what the media trusts my way. I will chose what I click period. Las Vegas shooting touched me  and I reached out to mine – but maybe this time because it was in a church and the victim toll – oh my …

And yet America has so many angels. I visited 5 different states in 2015 and took all means of transportation I could just to be in the move – name it I took it maybe except private jet (which I wasn’t even hoping to). I walked of course, took the bus (both in the city and cross city – two different companies even), train, cesna, plane, even hitched a ride in Vermont after visiting my Precious Pammy at the hospital and it was getting dark etc and I have no recollection of being treated shabily. I mean I remember Richie who played some instrument (ah yes the Clarinet) and bout me a soda and told stories all the way, I remember oh this lady who bought me food in the train from VT to DC, I remember Sherry who invited me to spend the night over at Virginia, I mean Pammy whom I had never met who invited me to the US in the first place and contributed towards my air ticket, made up such a nice room for me even though hers was in such a mess, so so many good memories I can’t even remember again. I thought it was because I was a foreigner (don’t ask me if I carried a sign), but when I read Steve Fugate’s book I knew there were Angels indeed in America.

Sadly now, When such a terrible thing occurs, a culprit is to be found asap. Mental health is a suspect par excellence and it’s even cool if records can prove that asap so the case can be closed. But I have known quiet a two hands full in America who live with various mental health challenges, illnesses and etc and they are oh so nice or simply keep to themselves.

Seriously, I am shaken and taking some big measures. No twitter for a while and hardly any facebook. Even if the fire is burning on Mount Cameroon heading towards Douala IDC!!! I am reviewing my interet list on G+ and of course I wouldn’t click any sensational headline again – serves me right.

I know a lot of killings and crap and hatred and hurt out there, but for a human being to calmly take a gun in a church or wherever and gun down others – then something is really wrong somewhere.

I pray for myself and the angels in America to not let the ghosts and nightmare of that country close in on us and mess up further our fragile mental healths.

God Bless America indeed: I feel better having ranted this out here

P.S: AM LEAVING ALL TYPOS TO REMIND ME OF HOW SHAKEN I WAS WHEN I WROTE THIS POST

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

Just say it as it is


Just say it as it is

Just say it as you see

Just say it as you think

Just say it as you feel

——-

What is it you want

What is it you need

What is it you can

What is it you can’t

——-

There is so much shallow

When you don’t say it

When you fake it

Because you want to make it

It may work for a while

But can last only a while

And the price you’ll pay

May lead you a painful way

——-

It is worth every dime

To say it as it is

I ain’t saying no more

Yes yes to please

When my soul will miss

The serenity it so seeks

Sometimes silence says it too

——-

If they don’t like it

If they don’t want it

If they don’t respect it

Not my worry

I will just say it as it is

——-
P.s: Inspired by an event this morning; I said as it is and am ok with me. I hope this poem inspires so many, to start or keep living true to themselves. Above all, minding my mental health is supreme for me. In return with saying it as is, I pray for the Grace to be more emphatetic and patient with myself and others…

Must You Talk About IT?


Hey, must you talk about it

She asked staring appalled

What’s wrong with talking

I answered innocently

I mean about It she lashed

About what ain’t got a name

Well you know what you so talk about

I so talk about pretty much I counter

Well, you focus it seems

On the weary and scary 

The shaggae and reggae

And if I don’t I query

Would that make it any better

We all have our own moments

I talk so people know

There ain’t any shame in talking

And so am sorry

If you feel embarrassed at my talking

And now to give a definite answer

Yes, I must talk about It

They too deserve a to be heard

Am of both worlds…

——-
P.s: These poems will be part of my “Serene Soul” collection, inspired by the healing, closure and acceptance am finding while studying the book High Tide Low Tide… By  an awesome twosome Martin Baker and Fran Houston… Can’t thank them enough

The Blame Game


Hello: shall we play the game?

The dynamic blame game

Dunno who’ll win this game

Who gets most guilt and blame

Let’s get the ball rolling 

It’s played by you and me

First you push the meds

I blame the docs

Then you push the food

I blame the cook

And next comes sports

Am not in the mood

What of sleep

My mind a restless

Who’s fault you ponder

How am I to know I wonder

Am trying my best

They all are to blame

I accept no guilt

Ain’t responsible for nothing

Could be I was born so

Or maybe some mess caught up

I hear acceptance can help

But then I will have no more game

Helas I love the blame game

But it ain’t worth playing you go

Did you ever hear a winner?

All play and get burnt

Blame game serves none

Even blaming self 

Helps you not

Ask all former players

Oh then I’m out of the game

Decide to shove guilt and blame

And the whistle blows: years later

Am now am much better

How I dread the blame game

P.s: Poem written on the go 27/08/17  inspired by the book am reading  (High Tide Low Tide…)

Five Reasons why I’ll finish reading High Tide Low Tide…


High Tide Low Tide

Let me think seriously about how or what am going to write in this post – my truth from within my soul…

I have a very good memory, indeed even some events when I was 2 years old are still stacked clearly up there. Books I have all along read, I have since lost count, but still see so many covers flipping through my head and the first xcel sheet I kept with all those titles. And yet, I can’t recall any book I picked up to read and couldn’t proceed because I felt my soul stabbed!!! Here comes the above book, a sort of innocently captivating title right? I mean a very resourceful book if you’ll ask me. So what now?  Let me just write a short paragraph of some of the words which kept stabbing my soul when I tried read the first chapter:

Guilt, Incompetent, Unfortunate, Helpless, Sad, Uneasy, Fake, Farce, Hard, Difficult, Perfect, Imperfect, Irony, Sarcasm, Loser, Bother, Honesty, Failure, Victim, Apprehension, Doom, Darkness, Pain, Memories…

Indeed, the same me who had just a day earlier told the author I was honoured to review the book when approached, couldn’t even read another paragraph. Five days have since past since I got the ARC, I have written about my dilemma and recived invaluable advice and remarks and all; I honestly told Martin the author I was finding reading the book challenging and he was simply put Gracious in very few words. I have decided to continue reading the book – and will honestly review same when I get to the end. Here are five reasons why:

  1. I gave my word: My word is my bond, I have tried to not take my word as seriously in life, but I recently discovered that taking our words seriously is actually one of our personality traits. I am a Consul, in the Sentinel category and my stategy is People Mastery – ah what a personality trait and all. Anyway, I also love when people keep their word to me although I have come to make peace with myself that it ain’t my fault when they don’t;
  2. This book has made me take a personality test: I don’t know how many people have started a book and put it down to take a personality test before resuming reading! I have never done this and gosh it took a book innocently thrust my way to get me to this. I not only took the test, I went premium all the way to learn about my trait and other traits, my trait’s strength and weaknesses, many whys answered, many how tipped on and hmm so much. Thank you HT LT – who knows what else I’ll do before I finish reading you?
  3. I’ll even be getting a hard copy for my home library: Here again another first. I have reviewed so many books, a few times because the authors approached me. I have never gotten a hard copy probably for logistics reasons, but I have equally never asked for one until now. Don’t mind that with my first and I now admit very poignant memoir titled My Unconventional loves…I did mail out 5 or so copies to ‘reviewers’ I contacted online and who said I had to send them a copy… I was new to the business, was chasing reviews and was living in Belgium with a better mailing system than back in Cameroon…indeed that bool HT LT will be mailed from the UK to the US and sent through someone coming to Cameroon when the opportunity arises… that’s us, take it or leave it… Martin Baker took it and out of respect for him I’ll not just let him off to muse like I did, when none of those 5 reviewers who got my book didn’t even bother to even reply my querry;
  4. Martin Baker is a gracious Gentleman (I don’t care how old he is): The day I downloaded the ARC and read just the introduction, I put my kindle down and sent him an email with the first snippet of my apprehension. My guess/calculation going by time is, he read that before sending me a smiley on facebook messenger. None of us replied to the other. Am sure he prayed I didn’t give up just yet, while I sincerely wished I found the courage not to. I then braved on an finished part one, and the dread dregged me on. I let him know once again but told him I seriously wanted to try reading on. See his Gracious words: “Thank you for persevering with the book, i will be very interested in your thoughts”. Isn’t this so gentlemanly? and so I have come to realize the fifth and most important reason am reading this book is for me;
  5. It’s healing and making peace with and for me; and learning to be and do better for others: I watched a movie last night (one luxury I fortunately can manage with the boys being on vacation), titled “A Cross to Bear”. Don’t ask why that one and not another given I have a dozen or more in my library – some say am a ‘mini psychic’ lol. Anyway, the movie line (cause am going to do a review later I want and need to), is that a woman who opens her home to rescue abused or recovering from ‘something’ youn girls, gets to realize she was doing that out of guilt and had to start doing it out of love. Now, with regards to reading this book HT LT, a few other moments in my life ‘guilt over my brother’s demise‘ and not ‘out of love for myself or others in similar situations, has been my hidden motive.

In conclusion therefore, because this book from every indication is so resourceful, I mean I have all the 19 reviews it has on the amazon; because I need to do this for me and for healing and doing the best I can for others living with a mental illness or mental challenge, I will finish reading the book. I am even consoled and motivated by some lines from one of the reviews I found helpful on the amazon written by AngryGnome “…This book is not light hearted reading…But in spite of the serious nature of the illness, it is not depressing, as it is filled with hope, humour and more than a touch of beauty”.

Thank you Martin Baker for contacting me with the request to do a review of your book… you are a gentleman and indeed an invaluable friend to Fran Houston. It may be a slowread, but it’ll hopefully be a good and healing read – I look forward to reviewing same – indeed it’ll be an honour.

And the last award for this week is a MYSTERY…



Hello World O’, how many Fridays will meet me exclaiming what a week!!! Ah life is a mystery and I am honoured to receive this really descriptive award.

Thank you once more dear Joan for nominating me, I just realized this award was twinned with the Blogger Recognition Award I accepted last day.  I love these appreciations of my ramblings and hope they are much more for my indefatiguable mental health advocacy. So here we go, I just say thank you and return to my mysterious life hahahaha