Tag Archives: Mental Wellbeing

Please Parents: leave the Children out of your fights…Please…


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I know I know easier said than done.

On a very personal note, I am so grateful I found that enormous strength to not involve my children in my ‘fights’ with their dad. I had a small choice when fleeing in 2011 to remove them and ‘hide’ them or give them away – but I decided to sacrifice my ego for their ‘right to their other parent’. Gladly today, there are no more fights and I am even open to co-parenting although that is a dream considering what I know and what the current status quo is.

Back to these fights between parents and the children brought in, it is sad what I have witnessed in life and what follows those children into adulthood.

I watch this movie starring Diana Ross “Double Platinum”, the child was estranged from her mother allegedly ‘for her own good’. The mother’s crime had been that she had uped and fled to pursue her career since her husband was having nothing of it. Now, that dad was hurt the daughter was even considering moving to New York with her mum who had ‘abandonned’ her all these years… Is it the man she left or her daughter? Even if it was her daughter what prevents reconciliation?

On a most personal note once more and as written in my memoirs, I stopped trying to understand what happened with my parents (or between them), and I started trying to have the best relationship I could with each of them in their own measure. I am not chosing one over the other, they are the only mother and father I have. I mean, the approaches to our relationships are different and sometimes go through their own shenanigans and all, but I want to have a relationship with both of them without feeling guilty of letting the one down. When we were kids, I feel we were brought into their fights especially by my father who had the upper hand financially and economically. I think he has learnt his lessons and at 72 he ain’t getting any younger.

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My Brother and I both loved our parents so much  – He never got to have a relationship with my dad, I am not losing out on that equally in his memory

If a child decides to go ‘No contact’ with a parent for their own reasons, that is one thing … but the feel ‘pressured’ to ‘staw away’ physically, emotionally or even spiritually from one parent is outright wrong.

I thank God for the Grace to not make my boys feel or go through that. My house is open both to their dad(s) and the in laws. We are on good terms and they do stop by to see the boys – or call them on phone.

If it is the parent who decides to stay away, not call or not want them to come over … it their loss (not on my conscience). Taking care on your mental wellbeing and helping your child do same is very important in my modest opinion. Don’t make it harder for them please…

I need my both parents

Happy midweek to you all

Emotional and Mental Preparation goes a long way I advocate


I am just back from a trip and I did share some update on Friday and Saturday.

For the main part of the trip and a personal mission, I had prepared myself emotionally and mentally intensely for a week. I knew organizing a medical mission targeting 500 – 1000 beneficiaries was no joke. Yet, all and I mean much did not depend on me. So I was ready to sleep late and deal – heal from overwhelming scenarios as much as I could. Glad to say I lost my cool only once on the DDay.

Today Sunday, was another day however and I had not prepared emotionally and mentally for the day’s events. I wasn’t even aware of  the program up to the last hours. You can imagine how that shook my mind already so frail. I couldn’t make it and yet I was stuck there and had to wait. I was so tired and slept a little but my thoughts of getting back home and my disrupted routine kept bugging me.

I finally got home 5 mins ago and it is 10.30 pm here. My normal sleep time is 9 pm. Yesterday I missed that but I was prepared, today I am not. I have to deal with it. I hope writing my worries down like this with help me. Maybe I will also go drink some hot chocolate, I believe it helps soothe me. 

I know some will say in life you have to be flexible and adapt and face stuffs like a ‘normal’ person. I am not a ‘normal’ person; diagnosis is not what will make me believe I am/or confirm that I am not … Whatever normal person is. I feel more and more mentally taxed by what will otherwise be ‘normal’ to others. Not being able to be ahead of my program or to even know what is planned and well ahead of time, drives me to an edge. Not sleeping on time, not eating what am used to, too much noise and different reactions from people are taxing now more than ever. Sometimes, even an hour’s preparation can do, but I need to be ready in my mind.

I wasn’t like this before. Maybe youthfulness and the ‘people pleaser’ in me made me  very flexible and outgoing etc. I have been through stuffs since then which have plainly caused such trauma; going on nowadays,  my mind gets scared of future foreseeable ‘trauma’ which may be caused by I don’t what… Sometimes I am scared I am becoming emotionally and mentally frail to a not so good edge. Maybe that’s why I try so much self care you know… I don’t want to rely on meds. Hence I need to prepare myself emotionally and mentally well in advance for any program which will change my routine. For example I attend the African Epilepsy Congress in Dakar in 2 weeks and I have been preparing emotionally, mentally and of course logistically since January.

Empathy not suspicion and disgust of people going through such challenging times is needed. Sometimes, it seems the ‘normal’ people don’t understand or are quick to say they do while advising you to just pray, get over it etc. Maybe that’s why people going through such challenges like these isolate themselves and will rather smile and say all is fine, rather than begin to explain what may only be rediculed? Others try to cope doing whatever numbs their feelings of makes then ‘feel happy’ and ‘on top of it all’/

I am what may be considered highly functional, but I love being prepared and also following my routine. Now Sleep evades me and yet my internal alarm clock will do it’s 4 am jingle and I wish to do sports and help the guys off to school. I know it may not work out that way because of the disruption so far. I hate to struggle and have to try calming down by writing all this. But I also share so someone be inspired and motivated. We are in this together.

Here is to my trying to sleep and to good logic of taking people as they come… That is equally fighting mental health stigma when we share our struggles and seek for ways to take care of our mental health

A very emotional day: finally ready to see where he was buried


Hello world, some update from my village.

 Starting with if you’ll call this good news: the internet connection cut 3 months ago has been restored. Am therefore writing this post as a tribute to that restoration;

Second emotional news: I saw my dad and although I didn’t get a hug, I got so much more. I put my hand on his shoulder and he put one of his behind me too. Some may see this as a no event but to me this is such a big deal… See our smiles…gratitude for the peace… Also reconnected with my big step sister today am thankful and I spoke to the daughter of a late cousin I was so fond of. Indeed we had same surnames and age oh we were pals…

Third and toughest emotional news, I finally did go and see where my brother Gabriel was buried. When he died in the US and his corps was brought home, I flew in from Belgium but refused going to see where he’ll be buried. He is buried behind my dad’s compound, and although I have been here some months ago, I didn’t feel ready going there. Could my going there today mean I was ready for some sort of closure about his death ahead of the medical mission starting tomorrow?

Sometimes in life, some grief shake us up and we near lose our bearings. We have different ways and timelines of dealing with grief, but I wish we all give it a try and not let fear ruin it for us. Even grief at a relationship we so looked up to or one causing us so much pain, we need to find the strength to deal and heal for our mental wellbeing.

Wishing us all a happy weekend… 

I started the day with tears but am much better now… Sharing this to let someone somewhere going through similar stuff know they ain’t alone

A non bipolar related recommendation for Birth of a New Brain by Dyane Leshin-Harwood


the one and only Lucy
The one and only Miss Lucy

Hello world, take it from Lucy and I

I want to without much ado, give you at least 7 reasons why you should pre order or look out for the release of Darling Dyane’s epic memoir. That is, other than the fact that it made me have a wonderful day out, eat some ice cream with the boys at our dear icecream grandma’s, and laugh oh so much:

Dyane Harwood’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder with a foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw (co-author of The Modern Management of Perinatal Psychiatry) will be published by Post Hill Press on October 10th.

Birth of a New Brain is available for paperback pre-sales on Amazon at this link – Kindle pre-sales coming this summer!

Ok: Let’s get going:

  1. If you want to know how to act well enough to be selected for a role as kid: get the memoir;
  2. If you want to know how many times you should enter for a contest to win a sports car before giving up: get the memoir;
  3. If you never knew a dog could get a c-section and suffer a stroke and still be a ring bearer at a wedding: get the memoir;
  4. If you want to know how to avoid your broken heart from being quickly mended: get the memoir;
  5. If you want to know how to import a boyfriend and soon regret it enough to cameloen the colours of envy for months: get the memoir;
  6. If you want to know the best way to bribe a potential landlord (not with sex I emphasize); get the memoir;
  7. If you want to know how to prepare for and pass your massage therapist exams (not what you are thinking): get the memoir

And the biggest bonus

  • If you want to know how you can ‘flimpsily’ say  ‘it’s not my type” and to have to treasure that for life : get the memoir
  • and oh another medium bonus: I used to call my vip buddies my ‘PP’ meaning ‘Personal Person’ – but if you want to know what it truly stands for: get the memoir

I hope I haven’t given any spoilers away – men I laughed more than I should have when reading that memoir. Dyane was generous in making a large chunk of it about life and all before getting serious about the not funny subject matter of Postpartum Bipolar Disorder…

About Dyane Leshin-Harwood 

lady D

Dyane Harwood is the author of the memoir “Birth of a New Brain – Healing
from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder” (Post Hill Press, October 10, 2017) with
a foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw. She holds a B.A. in English and American
Literature from the University of California at Santa Cruz. A freelance
writer for over two decades, she has interviewed bestselling authors
including Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison, Anthony Bourdain, and SARK.

Dyane lives in Ben Lomond, California with her husband Craig, their
daughters Avonlea and Marilla and their collie Lucy who serves as a
writing muse and sits on Dyane foot when she writes.

Dyane’s website: www.dyaneharwood.com
She blogs every Friday at Birth of a New Brain: 
www.proudlybipolarwordpress.
Birth of a New Brain Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Birth-of-a-New-Brain

You can find Dyane tweeting away on Twitter: @DyaneHarwood

I hate you: Please don’t leave me…


I hate and love you

Who identifies with such? I sincerely don’t know how to go about writing this post. Maybe this other picture can say some more:

hate and love how boderline

And sometimes, no matter how much we try or wish, we can’t even hug nor punch…

Do you feel a victim? Then this picture can help maybe? :

being happy with yourself

 

Reminds me of my post on where my peace comes from

Are you a propagator? I mean are you a narcissistic with a boderline personality and co? These are all mental illnesses and some help can be found if only you seek it in all genuiness.

If we don’t stop the cycle at some point be it as victims or propagators, then that is enabling and keeping the generations chained in that trauma. A hurt soul can only hurt another soul – until one finds light, love, peace and happiness through Self-Awareness, Self-Acceptance; Self-Love; Self-Help; Self-Care … the brokeness continues

Some reflections from my searching soul… have a warm weekend

When I feel am running late… I’ll just take my time…


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Hello world,

Happy mid week. I wonder how I hadn’t gotten to this point all along. Ha, maybe because punctuality and anxiety over punctuality are so wired in my brain. Just the thought of me being even a second late could ruin my sleep. I prefer to be an hour early than a minute late. I have blogged about my obsession with punctuality over and again.

The paradox is that I have met and keep meeting people who are in love with what is fondly known as BMT or Blackman main time. You know that deal where you say the event starts at 5 pm whereas it actually kicks off at 9 pm, and well because you know no one keeps to time anyway. I have fallen several times for this and been there at 5 pm and waited my patience over hahaha

Anyway,  I started getting rather sick with my obsession with punctuality and decides last year to seriously start work on that. Especially with three musketeers gracefully occupying 70% of my time, how can I still be rigid with time keeping expectations?

So gradually but slowly I started finding a way to deal with such obsessive and compulsive attitudes.

Last Monday it hit me like BAM… I had got up at 4 am, hit my workout at 4.45 am and planned to be ready to get out at sharp 6 am. By 5.30 am, I hadn’t had my shower oh no…I’ll be so late… Big panic yellow lights waiting to turn red… But then I remembered in a flash how late and miserable and erratic I had got the last time I lost it for fear of being late. I decided to try it out a different way. I went into my room, took a deep breathe, had my shower and got ready without letting any panic thoughts ruin my consciousness. At sharp 6 am, I was ready and although I had to forego packing my lunch bag ( my fault now cause if I had done that the night before… Shush such thoughts now…) And big bonus, I wasn’t late to my 6.50 am appointment after all…

I know some people don’t worry about such things, but I know some do. I am thus sharing this with you to inspire you and to motivate you to keep working on yourselves.

Any other tips to share on how to take this anxiety trigger and their obsessive compulsive cousins?

Today being international women’s day, may I wish all the women who hop by a happy day

When my routine gets interrupted… I really struggle


know-yourself

Hello world, glad I am really getting to know myself and can anticipate what may come if I do certain things, or if certain unplanned stuffs are sent my way.

You see, for a pretty many years now, I have functioned by routine. I mean those close to me know how I like to plan everything and log them in my todoist, google calendar or even on post its. Then my brain loves to log out between 8:30/9 pm and up on its own between 3.30-4 am. That’s how routine I am. Then there is the time for this, and time for that all stored in my internal memory. Once that routine gets interrupted I struggle to get back with almost sometimes big efforts near exasperation.

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Last week I was trying once again to get back to my normal routine and self because I had spent the week before that on the road tavelling to one burial after the other. I therefore missed out on sleep as schedule, on sports and even eating what and when planned. I also realized on my return I had lost my work grove. Last week I started on monday with a 30 minute workout, doing only 2/3 of what I normally do because I was listening to my body. I tried to catch up the sleep I missed but I just couldn’t because I’ll feel so clumpsy when I ‘over sleep’. I actually did really over sleep thursday morning and got up at 6.15 am and the boys were not ready for school, the house a mess, and I was weary before I even started anything. Save for the Grace of God I didn’t lash them and I really tried to calmly pull it all together.

I have struggled to get my work ethics and groove back too, and yet it got so stretched on Tuesday and Wednesday I almost threw working away. Needed to motivate myself so much. This wasn’t helped by what I felt were last minute changes to some projects, or delays in some work and all. I fumed in me and then calmed myself down. Preferred to end the week by working from home although I also needed to be home because my last son wasn’t going to school.

I try hard to keep a calm demeanour especially at home, and so far not bad. Grateful also for meeting some awesome people on my trip like Erico who made it worthwhile. I just wish I didn’t have to struggle this hard to get back together when my routine gets interrupted cause my mental wellbeing takes such a hit and I fight not to go ‘down the black hole’!

And now over to you dear gentle readers and followers; have you ever made or had a similar experience? Any tips to share?

Listen to your body and nurture it to spare you some…


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Dear World,

Last week I returned from work one day and suddenly felt overwhelmingly tired. The kind of tiredness I felt was far from my normal. I got alarmed and decided to let a few friends know I could be on my way out at that rate. I mean I couldn’t even leave my room – my bed actually, and I had to be fed right there. A small meal took like for ever and once I drank the milk I slept for 9 straight hours. I woke up the next morning feeling better although my eyes hurt like I had over slept and my head was just calming down.

My friends advised me to rest – a lot – and that’s what I did the very next day – all day I took it at my pace and fed my body some healthy stuffs. I didn’t go into town to sit for 8 – 10 hours working away at the frantic pace I had somehow in retrospect picked up and was even proud of. I usually work hard, even sports is no joking business. But there is only so much the body can take, and as one of my friends pointed out, you can’t twist a 38 year old brain and body like you were 18. Let your size not fool you she added. I gladly re-tweeted a tweet from Ms Marala Scot an American best selling author which says: ‘Your body is not your enemy listen to it’.

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I have known that the body deserves breaks, I have just often thought we are masters and the body servants. It seems that’s a selfish way to look at it right? I keep learning it the hard way. It is not right, we can’t seem to want to play power tussle even with our own body and brain – makes no sense.

Sometimes, our to do list is simply overflowing and we feel like all the energy is there anyway. Yet, if we know ourselves and listen to our bodies, we could get to spare ourselves some headaches and heartaches. No doubt high blood pressure is said to be the silent killer. And when death does come, what will happen to that over stimulating to do list anyway? Maybe read out at your requiem or something?

Therefore my dear e-family, although it is good and even commendable to be ambitious and even audaciously daring, you need to listen to the body you are relying on!

Have you had any such experience with your bodies you would like to share ? How do you nurture your body ?

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Why Do people say you have changed?


change-and-why

Hello world, new year new fuel… and I mean blogging fuel hopefully. I am not ‘pumped’ up in that high kind of way, but I am hoping to blog more, especially ‘coaching’ kind of content to help us all… as usual I get to use more from personal experience than from anywhere else… So, let’s get going, hoping we all are starting off this new year ‘pumped’ up to be better versions of ourselves…

You have changed

That was something an aunty kept saying to me when I came back to Cameroon last year – relocated to start all over again with my 3 boys… Now, as if making that decision to relocate to my country without any financial luggage was not hard enough, I had to start worrying 1) if the change she was remarking about was good or bad change, and 2) what could have caused that change, and 3) what I was to do with that change. The above caption which I stumbled across on facebook last December caught my attention and got me thinking and deciding to share my reflections here on my blog. 

Yes I have sure changed, I love this change and so it is…

I left this country – the real word should be I fled this country in May 20111 an emotional mess to put it that simple. My weight had dropped significantly from the shameful 115kgs of 2009 to something between 80/75 kgs and so I wasn’t weighed down by any physical mass to be candid. I still wanted to shed a few kilos but above all I need to HEAL emotionally, spiritually and even professionally. Fast forward 5 years later: I am emotionally whole, spiritually grounded, professionally on a path I love and am working hard for and I have lost the kilos I still wanted to lose. So Yes YES (as my favorite Lisa Nichols teaches), I have changed and for all purposes it is good change.

What caused the change… and keeps causing the change

I can now honestly say the change was caused both by what I went through, and what I learnt through it all. The bonus was what I let myself make of it all because that had an impact in how I let myself handle the change. That’s what I’ll look at next. For here, I had been hurt so much in life by my circumstances and my own doing and undoing, I could only but try to get the message out of all that mess and let that message change me for the better. I had to let go of all the hurt because if I hung on to it, I couldn’t change genuinely and completely. I also started paying more attention to the life’s lessons, learning a lot from others – so many inspirational and motivational great people out there. I still do and have no regrets that I’ll rather spend my time listening to life changing you tubes and reading positive material than going out on social functions. 

What I am doing with this change

Now, I simply can’t change and keep all that to myself… that’s just not me. Simply put, I am working towards becoming an emotional and wellbeing coach and I am beginning to realize my story is the main capital I am going to ever use to help others in their own change journey. This is what I am doing with this change and I am so grateful to be able to use my change journey and story to help inspire and motivate others. To me, the change means the world to me because I can help others with story.

My reach out to us all

Life is so full of twists and turns… so much hurt amidst the joys… and yet we can change… we can embrace that change, and we can find it so fulfiling if we help others too… Please, we don’t have to fear change unless we are comfortable with life as is and that I doubt. We are here for each other, at least I think many of us are… let’s share our journies and help each other out the best we can…

Peace, Love and Abundant positive change in this new year

change

Release those bags: A picture which says it all…


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I truly wish it were not so easier said than done. I however think the emphasis is in striving to release them and not to look back. To care about our mental wellbeing and do something as soon as we can so the weight of those bags not ruin our bones. Of keeping faith in hope, of accepting our limitations mindful of the need to release all of them bags quick before we collapse. Of forgiving ourselves above all, and of releasing the bags as we can; as we move on…

Happy sunday to all, peace and love and healing all the way