Posted in Coaching and Therapy, Marie's Garden, Mental Health Advocacy

It ain’t every other day you are interviewed by the VOA & some musings…


Marie
Just reviving an old picture where I look like am to be interviewed by the VOA hahaha

A full plate for me alone today

Hello world, it’s Friday yuppie. I have a full day today. Sports, work until noon and the school with Gaby for their Youth Week Karoake. Last year he went with David who was still in primary, but they won some stuffs and were distracted and most were stolen. Gaby was near inconsolable and blamed me. “Mama if only you had made time to come like other parents did…”. This year, David is already in Secondary school and will be going to theirs with Alain; ha he even said he’ll bring pancakes for his class (he does great ones here and has most of his stuffs ready – his aunt gave him lots of flour, he saved for milk and sugar, I offer eggs and oil lol). I am going to work now but will be back by 1 pm because I just have to go with Gaby to his school oh…

VOA means business with Marie Abanga lol

That golly news aside, here is the big big one I have. I was interviewed by the VOA as in Voice of America yesterday Thursday February 8th at 4.30 pm. Is this news or what? I was found via online research (bravo girl keep doing all you do, you never know who is reading). They were so nice and grateful I made the time to be interviewed (ha indeed right?), and they say I’ll be contacted soon for the TV filming – hahaha oh somebody see my how far. in a special slang I shared with my brother Gabriel, we would have said I am riding high…

BBC is sorry after all dear Marie Abanga

The goofy news (as in mildly ludicrous) is that, I got courteously ‘rejected’ by BBC Africa for a filming. They had been referred to me by some person out there while they sought persons with ‘hidden illnesses/mental health stories etc’ for a documentary. The got in touch with me via facebook, email and whatsapp ha, put me on line with their director even, got the better of my story, even asking questions and taking notes, ha again, then silence for some days then baam ‘rejection’. That happened yesterday on my way back home. Had I not just finished the VOA interview, I would have honestly cried. Fortunately I hadn’t told anyone about it other than mum who was excited of course. I felt a pinch of low, rejection no matter how parceled always hurts some ego. I was like, how dare they who approached me in the first place and not the other way round? Then I started laughing…what would you advice a client you CBT Therapist? and I laughed some more

OK lovely e-family,  have a laugh-ful weekend hohoho

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Posted in Coaching and Therapy, Marie's Garden, Mental Health Advocacy, Poetry

No longer playing pretend


 

 

If at 3 I knew no better than play pretend

By 9 I knew fully well I played pretend

But put 3 and 9 together

At 39 I definitely can’t continue

Playing pretend like I don’t know

It’s now far past my age and circumstance

I mean if I keep playing pretend now

Can you imagine if 93 meets me here

What a rigmarole and sheer ridicule

like I learnt nothing from life all along

Nope I now know better

for my sanity and hollistic wellbeing

I need to stop any play or semblance of

Say it as it is, do it as I say, love it as it comes

learn and love and live full cycle

Playing Pretend was just a game

I can’t turn that into reality

That will mean wearing a smile and towing the line

The unconventional in me cries fowl

Hence am no longer playing pretend

Posted in Marie's Garden

Behind the Scenes


I watched them set their tools up

In horror because it was a prima

I have heard tales of behind the scenes

How some faces were poked and poked

Brows pulled and pulled

And all shades of colours

Tried on your scary face

Hoping to turn you

Into maybe another masquerade

And I relunctantly sat

And prayed and prayed

That they be quick and quick

For it was never my thing

To go behind any scenes

Makeup for me was once a fun time

Trying out myself to test my know-how

The mildest was my most cherished

But I despised the time and risks

So I gave it up all

Preferred to admire on others

Who took the time and love to sit down

This time my sibling begged

A family portrait of all girls

Makeup would enhance she said

Finally I did give in


And chuckled at all the fuss

how most scary or pretty I looked or felt

All the dynamics and gymnastics

Going on behind the scenes

3 good hours of turn left and right

And we got the portraits of our life

P.s: A thrilling life indeed I got. Finally ‘trapped’ by Anyi Asonganyi aka Ozi International/my cousin and best young makeup artist in Cameroon 2017, and there we go for a family portrait. Mum and my elder sister got what we call ‘one kind’ and that was cool. I braved it and was proud of myself – my brother’s banner in the background made it all so wonderful for me. Never say never nor make light of any one’s occupation

Posted in Coaching and Therapy, Marie's Garden, Mental Health Advocacy, Poetry

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 

Posted in Book Reviews, Mental Health Advocacy

Another soulful review of my 4th Memoir: What is the Worst Case Scenario…


WCS by Genero
Foto courtesy of the reviewer

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

Posted in Coaching and Therapy, Mental Health Advocacy, Poetry

Sometimes in the mist of it…


Sometimes in the mist of it

A soul may be searching

But not know how to seek

Sometimes in the mist of it

A heart may be hurting

But not know how to heal

Sometimes in the mist of it

A hug may be needed

But none knows how to ask/give

Sometimes in the mist of it

Empathy may be needed

Even if not fully appreciated

Sometimes in the mist of it

We want out of that mist

We need help

We want to scream

But the voice is stuck

The stare and tears

The silence and ramblings

The actions and reactions

Oh sometimes in the mist of it

Lots of patience, love and empathy

Can actually clear the mist

(c) Marie Abanga

WMHD_bannerP.S: Ahead of World Mental Health Day Tomorrow under the theme: Mental Health at the workplace.

Near 9 years later, I finally get the honour and grand style opportunity to show my supervisor at that time how much I appreciate her empathy when I lost my daughter the day after she was born. She was the only person I can remember from my office who called, visited and followed up how best she could in the aftermath. (2 others came along with her on that visit but that was that – I don’t hold it against anybody anyway) She understood when I’ll call the office so in tears not able to come to work. She once chastised me when I visited her and looked like whatever, to go upstairs and sleep (I must have slept 5 hours that day at her home). I can never forget. So if you ever read this, know that the whole world now knows how much I appreciate.

Posted in Coaching and Therapy, Marie's Garden, Mental Health Advocacy

Photo Therapy: My Journey


marie-the-baby

 

 

Marie June 1991
1991 that famous year: A whole chapter in my first memoir

 

 

 

Dare to look at your pictures and picture your journey. Listen to yourself and talk to yourself. Give yourself permission to deal and heal. The new you will attract new views. It took me such a while and many twists and challenging turns, I dared and fared, I cried out and cried in, I wrote and told and now I have found a balance…I embrace a few many causes and do what I like, love and need. I have been named Phenomenal, me who was once labelled Radical. I am… and I am going to let my light shine all the way and that’s Okay

IMG-20170721-WA0001

Happy weekend to us all

 

Posted in Coaching and Therapy, Marie's Garden, Mental Health Advocacy, My Heroines

Introducing Marie Abanga the Lawyer


 

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 Ltdstaunch 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

Posted in Marie's Garden, Mental Health Advocacy, Poetry

I don’t need eyes to see…


I don’t need eyes to see;

I don’t need eyes to see the pain in you!

I don’t need hands to touch;

I don’t need hands to touch the scar in you!

I don’t need ears to hear;

I don’t need ears to hear the scream you scream within!

I don’t need a mouth to taste;

I don’t need a mouth to taste all what you’ve been fed by life;

Dear … I just need you to trust;

I just need you to trust…that I feel YOU…

To trust that I don’t really need eyes to see…

(C) Marie Abanga 2017

Dedicated to the memory of Gabriel and to my 4 sons

P.S: The above poem is an apt summary of my week. Was wondering what or how to write all I have had in me/dealt with this week – another thrilling one with lots of love and lows…and the poetic inspiration came in as I walked to and fro the market. I so love it … Actually, it is a soul search and summary from me to ME, me to YOU, me to THEM, said with love, encouragement, some supplication and yes some defiance… I miss you Gaby, I didn’t know as much nor did so much back then, but I promise you I will do so much henceforth till my own time is up…

Posted in Coaching and Training, Marie's Garden, Mental Health Advocacy

Sometimes you’ve got to treat yourself to something


It may be ice cream like I had last friday sharing the moment with my son and budy Alain, or it may be something else…

Life is fleeting there is no doubt about that. One moment you are here and the next moment you are nought but memory.  You can’t afford to not enjoy yourself in the meantime. I know some of us are workaholics, and making time for a treat or indulging say in ice cream when ever mindful of our health and weight, may be a tough one to go for…

I am so grateful through my twists and turns I have come to a point of balance. Work and Play (reading and writing, dancing and singing can be play no problem), serious and joker, calorie counter and not so mindful etc…

It is important for our holistic wellbeing that we treat ourselves to something sometimes… Seriously if we don’t, life will still treat us to dust someday…

For the sake of treating myself this something also, I decided since last Tuesday to spend the rest of the week in Buea, working and playing from there ( I have to sadly return to Douala this afternoon, I have missed Ella and my home). I came with Alain and the other two musketeers are on vacation at their Dad’s… 

I attended a networking event sane tuesday evening and expanded my networks, I spent a whole day with my dearest Donna in the seaside resort of Limbe, on Friday,  I also attended two beautiful events yesterday Saturday and even got a beautiful attestation of participation…

Alain on his part accompanied me sometimes, but other times he had his own stuffs to do. He lived with a mentor and I elsewhere. That arrangement was also treating myself to some space away from him and letting him have his own experiences away from me…

It is VIP for our mental health and I am ever grateful for all these opportunities. Talking about being grateful these couple of days, I got that awesome piece of art from Donna I shared yesterday, I got featured among the 11 most sought after young speakers (http://www.celbmdafrica.org/2017/07/23/11-highly-sought-after-young-trainers-speakers-in-cameroon/) and trainers in Cameroon, and  I got the following from Alain –  I know he means that:

I actually loved washing their feet until even last year lol

Happy Sunday therefore to us and remember to sometimes treat yourself to something…

Another of Donna’s wonders

P.S: I developed Stye but the swollen eye ain’t going to spoil my mood no matter the iritarion lol (no picture for now who knows if that’s virtually contagious right?)