1) On the day (Wed 27th June) this blog title came to my mind, I was on the way to the hospital to get the results of the inflammation that had rocked my eye for a couple of months now. I was dressed the way you see because I was leaving home very early to catch the first bus to the other city where I had run the tests. I had been told it could be a tumour or some serious allergies. By faith I acclaimed the allergies before leaving the house, and allergies they were. I am rounding up the last treatment for that and it is only getting better;
2) I am happy because I am so in tune with my all these days, I feel my feelings and face my fears. Seriously, never have been this happy. I can unapologetically feel any emotions which come along, then deal and heal or heal and deal whichever my spirit guides me to doing; oh I even help others too as a psychotherapist and this is huge for me; I recently handled a massive breakup like the pro I am lol and the above picture was taken the very next morning post breakup;
3) I work hard, cry hard, pray hard, enjoy hard, relax hard and in short I try to be the Best version of myself. It is oh so sublime.
And so dear gentle readers and followers, if you are happy and you know it, why not share some in the comments please?
P.S: I will happily honour Barakah’s invitation tonight with a sublime white dress – at last I got somewhere to launch the gift I got myself for completing my 70 days spiritual journey, all to the Glory of God…and before then,
in the afternoon I will be a guest on a TV and Radio show aptly titled: Matters at Stake and Therapy respectively. I will be sharing my experience on parenting and other matters at stake including mental health and how to help… now all these from within and without make and keep me happy…
Next steps: Go home after Barakah’s event; catch some sleep and leave for Yaounde early am for the leading ladies conference…how happier can I be right now? Vacation is calling my name, and you?
Moments before I leave go hustle, he is they say my mini me, cum designer and all lol
Well, it ended up fun because I let go
That guy there taught me about Patience big time…I mean as if she was his girlfriend lol
Now, some are lucky to be called Patience and I should assume that virtue is inherent for them. Others learn it at different intervals of their lives, I learnt it from the months before he was conceived, spanning throughout the pregnancy, post delivery and on to present date.
There was to be a girl before David, I had a miscarriage at 5 months, and as if that wasn’t traumatic enough, I was told the gods had to be appeased or else I will not get pregnant again. I wasn’t ready to appease any god, the God I knew needed no such appeasing. I trusted Him and patiently waited on Him.
Exactly 5 months later, I got pregnant for David and then begun more lessons about Patience. Some days when he started kicking, he will take so much time in between or before the kicks, I will get worried. I was advised by the doctor to calm down.
Dday came and although I felt spasm by 7am, David took his time and showed up at 7pm crying his heart out. Alain got me labouring only 3hours and Gaby 1hour lol. As if that wasn’t enough, he developed a respiratory infection just 15minutes after, and had to be put in the cubicle for 10 days. In short, I was numb and well I could only call on Patience to SOS…
David took his time and still does, he was fed right up to 4 years and same with dressing up. He still takes his time today, be it while drawing or playing football lol. The fun for him still seem to be in the kicking of the ball, how cool is that?
My son loves to be swag lol
Having a field day on his bday
Recently on June 20th when he turned 12 years old, he took his time to get his small party going and his invitees left in frustration. David didn’t mind and still put on his best for a hommies dinner.
The amount of Patience I now have today is unarguably thanks to David for a very large part. Even his speech demands your total attention to understand all he is saying. I try my best not to frustrate him by cutting him short or allowing anyone to do so.
Very little gets me on any impatient edge nowadays, and this is very VIP for my mental wellbeing. Even the popular notoriety of Black man time makes me smile and patiently wait while reading, writing etc
My teen and his swag lol
David with his local bow and arrow: A hanger and some broom sticks
My King David initiation to football lol
He has always takien himsel do seriously
David’s letter to me in 08.201, with the Ds written his way lol
The Four of us in our boat.
Patience they say is a virtue and that cannot be overemphasized. Patience has saved my day and life several times, and I am truly grateful for all the lessons David and siblings have taught me about darling Patience.
And now you dear gentle readers and followers, pray tell how did you learn about darling Patience?
Imagine that dinning table over 25 years ago; imagine it has 9 chairs as it did and still does; imagine a teen me sitting on that exact chair with one empty chair between our new step mom and I (the chair after her was empty as you can even see now lol). At one head of the table was Grand Pere, and dad was at the head nearest the door. On the other side of the table sat Grand Mere and my two siblings with whom I was in the same secondary school.
Dad had come on the eve to collect us for summer holidays, and he had brought his new wife to ‘introduce’ her to us, or more appropriately to his family. I think we children didn’t have a choice.
Ok now, let me spare you details of his reception nor my trashing at our school because I dared collect some snacks he’d brought, nor how we holed up in the back boot of his Pajero at the time, so as to give ourselves maximum distance with ‘step mom’. I was following orders.
When we arrived Dschang from Fontem where we went to secondary school, there was a reception planned and the table had been laid out. Sweet drinks had been bought, pork chops, chicken drums oh my; I was sure excited and looking forward to enjoy myself some especially after all the tough life in boarding school.
But hmm, step mom effect activated…total silence… Dare open your mouth you this talkative Ayo… The dinning table was no longer where we all converged to communion with each other…indeed that was the end of sitting together on a dining table…
I was the only one who could seemingly sit on the same side as her. But that was as far as I could go. Eyes were on me, and peeps thrown in her direction. If she touched something, no one of us was to touch same…unspoken rule but one after all…
And dear all; that is how, what came to be my last visit at a home I had so grown to love and had so many childhood memories of, ended with near tears…
At that time, we lived in the city of Yaounde like 6 hours away by car from Dschang, and you can sureimagine how miserable that journey was. How can I forget how the chatterbox me couldn’t even breathe aloud, forget about asking to go pee? Not even one stop to buy any suya as usual. Dad gave up trying to strike any conversation and I stifled my tears.
I am no longer that scared 13 year old but a full circle 39 years. But when I entered that home and saw that dinning table, I sat down unconsciously on that same chair and all the flashbacks made me bent on writing this down to release same, deal and heal, and sharing same with us all. Life has happened to all the parties of that era, and we are each striving and thriving in their own corners…well that’s my case for sure…
Life probably throws us all sorts of tomatoes on our way, what we do with them is up to us…how we are affected and how we move on and maybe help others with our experiences dealing with both fresh and rotten tomatoes is equally left to us… When I talked about this with dad recently and he said to let go, I told him blogging about it would be the best closure… The timeline from when mum left and step mom moving in was like 6 months and I have blogged already at the massive change in our lives and feeding and all thereafter… I sometimes felt my turning teen and some were stolen from me… maybe that’s why I have no problem being a teen again?
Anyways, back to the Area girl in Dschang in 2018… I have come to go there twice and the second time was to say farewell to my MC, ha another Dschang Saga…argh life
I love the very cold city of Dschang, it’s got lots of personal and historical meaning…
This weekend (her burial was yesterday); indeed since June 9th when My MC died, I have gone through a roller coaster of sorts with different emotions, some like pain and grief, plummeting so deep and others like sadness, staying there and keeping me alert and contemplative at the whole point of living.
Some even in my close family circles can’t understand why I should feel so deep and get involved so personal. I decided to just blog about it and get this clear and closed once and for all.
My father had lost his both parents by the age of 8, with his mother dying when he the last was barely 2. By age 12, he found himself in the town of Dschang in the Western Region of Cameroon, that is a 45 or so km from our village of Fontem found geographically in the South West Region. Dschang is French speaking whereas Fontem is English speaking. That was no hindrance for this determined orphan whose family couldn’t afford the 20.000 frs (20 £) school fees required for Sasse College where he had been admitted (one out of 5 only from Fontem). He decided to migrate on his own to Dschang and do all it took to work for his upkeep, master that French language and culture in no time, and pay his fees in one of the public schools which cost 1500frs at the time.
One day as fate and faith will have it, MC’s dad who was Divisional Delegate for Education at the time, visited the school dad was, overlooked into dad’s neat book, marveled at his meticulous handwriting and admired the way his hand shot up to answer questions or ask same. He decided that day he was going to adopt dad and sent a note to dad’s family to that effect. Dad told me he didn’t even send the note, he was ready to move in with one I fondly called ‘Grand pere’ the very next day lol.
My dad clearly owes just so much to this Angel, his family and all. Dad was taken in as a first child, and the couple later on had 8 children with MC being the 7th. Although nearly 2 years older, as I said I didn’t know nor could be bothered.
MC and I did stuffs teens (mischief ones especially) do, including talking about and exploring our sexuality. If that isn’t profound what is? When her dad my ‘Grand Pere’ died in July 2009, I was so heavily pregnant with Gaby I wasn’t even allowed to go into his room at the hospital to bid him farewell. He had insisted dad come in all the way from Fontem to Douala to see him and dad had picked me up on arrival so we go see him together. Shortly after dad arrived, ‘Grand Pere’ I was told looked at dad, nodded, touched his hand and then drew his last breathe.
I didn’t attend his burial either, Gaby was just a week old. Now, before this all, the last time I had gone to Dschang was when I was around 15 years. Life’s twists and turns came and we all went to town and life continued to happen. Keeping in touch was henceforth by phone etc.
An Area Girl around
Dad and I at Grand Pere’s
Praying on Grand Pere’s tomb
3 weeks before MC died, Dad was in Dschang and I decided to go check on him. It was you can tell a soulful home coming. I still have to write about the visit. I prayed for MC on ‘Grand Pere’s’ grave but I guess the dice had been cast – she had endured too much already and couldn’t even talk… Am so glad I reached out to her that weekend with all the love I had and could show in my modest way…
The above should make it clear once and for all why I felt the grief so deep. It was like going to mourn for both ‘Grand Pere’, MC and her two other siblings gone ahead some years earlier at different intervals.
The good news is that, I found healing and closure right there at the burial – so glad I braved it to go. I did stuff I liked like washing the dishes (which is a huge thing at gatherings like this – hence really appreciated) and that was so self soothing, and then I went and spent an hour with MC where she was laid (3,45 am – 4,45 am). I prayed, meditated, read scripture passages on meditation, and listened in silence to MC remind me that life ain’t to be lived in the past participle (as she loved saying). The meditation was also on spot from James Allen: “Who can mend a broken Vase by weeping over it”?.
And so for closure, it is well with my soul. I equally traveled back home safely, and although I haven’t slept properly for 3 straight days, am grateful for the sleep in shifts in the night bus and at the wake. I will make it up gradually… The weekend before was equally partially spent at another burial, the only sibling to a dear school mate…arg life…
It is important in my modest opinion to deal and heal in every circumstance and to do it the way which works best for you. It is therapeutic to Feel your Feelings, Face your Fears and embrace the journey with fortitude and gratitude.
On this note, I cherish MC’s spirit of exuberance and love, I celebrate our memories and am filled with gratitude for knowing her thanks to the largesse of her Angel of a dad who made of my dad the man he is today… Cousin or not, whatever label it is, MC was a soul sister…
Be inspired and motivated us all, happy Sunday everyone
P.s: a brief of my timeline on return home, to inspire and motivate
6 am arrive home
7-9.30 am sleep
10.12.30 pm clean up and cook
3.30 pm – 4.15pm session with client
4.30 – 6 pm power walk for welcome home. I feel so great and know I’ll have a very good and peaceful sleep
Since I returned to my country in August 2015, I haven’t attended any conferences. Workshops or small gatherings yes, I even tried organizing some under the platform I launched called Inspiring Positive Actions Now, but it didn’t quiet take off. My dream on my return was to actually organize a mega conference for women dubbed “Women walking with stubborn but passionate faith”, I had started putting together a team and then all sorts of challenges came in and I prayed and let it go.
It can then be easily understood why I am so excited to attend this conference which I aptly qualify as ground breaking in this country especially in such difficult times we as individuals and the entire nation are facing. I think ladies above all will have to step in the gap to lead themselves and the country as a whole, through all the unrest we are going through, be it spiritual, emotional, mental, physical, socio-cultural… you name them…
I mean, just read their vision:
The vision of this conference is to bring together 500+ women leaders and those involved in leadership in order to encourage, nurture and strengthen leadership abilities by engaging them through capacity building workshops, teaching, motivation and panel discussions on issues that affect women and their leadership in the society. The ultimate goal is to see these conference attendees empowered to carry out their God-given assignments in the home, workplace and world.
And yes, I went to school with some of the ladies profiled as authors, speakers or organizers, so it’ll be so much touching soul base for me. The Lord is really good all the time. If I cannot accomplish something and a sister or brother can, trust me I’ll join them and cheer them on and make some real noise and impact. I wish I could bring someone else, but you know in matters of the soul, your soul must be stirred from within and nothing else. All else will be glam which will backfire in the long run big time.
The conference is put together by an organization called Lead Mission International and their programme shows they’ll be organizing similar stuffs in Burundi too. Isn’t this simply awesome? This is the first of such conferences they’ll be organizing in Cameroon, and although I have a feeling nothing will be easy for the organizers especially with meeting set targets, I hope they brave through it all, counting on no other Grace but the most Amazing one provided by the almighty God and Father Himself. I can’t wait to meet the organizers in person and see what lies ahead in terms of collaboration, learning, sharing and more.
I plan to get a copy of the book because I can see my story in there though not included lol. I will be meeting the editor myself and as an author, I am super excited. Who knows if he’ll take on my next publication? That project from every indication has a course I don’t master because each time I try telling my spirit I want to let it out now, am reminded patience is a virtue.
All in all dear all, I already feel it in me it wouldn’t be an idle weekend. I have a very soulful event on the eve of the conference in Douala and I blog on that in two days, then I leave the very next morning for Yaounde where the conference takes place, and will return to Douala on Sunday by God’s Grace. I am bundling all of this into a Me Moment because on my return, I may be alone at home (guys should hopefully be gone on vacation), but I have to resume psychology studies and writing my draft for next year. Any leading lady in Cameroon wants to attend, please call any of the numbers on the flyer and pay a sum you wouldn’t regret spending on your personal growth because YES – YOU DESERVE IT
Fire polishes gold, and that is how fire warmed my ears up and kept them tuned for 40 good minutes. I then knew I had received the entirety of the gift of listening that day.
It was on the eve of stage one of my spiritual journey and I already had near everything covered. I was already in the no anger and all serene strive mode so help me God.
I received a phone call from someone who had an issue with my apparent waywardness and non clarity plus ‘so called spiritual journey to start’. And they spoke, and spoke, and spoke… initially I was getting angry and my ego was cheering me on to fire back; and then I thought to myself nah don’t give them that pleasure. You need all your energy for the journey you are about to embark. Secondly, girl don’t you know listening is a virtue? How are you going to be a great coach and therapist if you can’t listen all through?
And thus I listened, and listened, and yawned, then listened some more. I was asked if I was still there, and I said yes I was listening. I knew the time because I had just come in from the market and taken my phone out of my purse when the phone came in. After 40 mins, I needed to change ear sides and looked at the phone while switching sides. I took note of the time and praised my lord for seeing me through. The tone was now no longer monologue but dialogue. I didn’t have much to say but sincerely appreciated aloud the opportunity to obtain that precious gift in its entirety when least expected.
My Son who passed by every now and then, congratulated me at the end. I shared with him the lesson and that all glory was to God.
And so dear and gentle readers and followers, sometimes in life, the best gifts come in trying circumstances and we could miss them if we restrained ourselves not. Many clients today tell me I listen to them so much they wonder if they were really making that much sense to captivate me. I smile, don’t bother them with my story, but tell them I wish to listen to them to the end before we start talking or working.
Do you have any experience of receiving a precious gift in the heat of life? Be inspired and motivated
Hurrah I now weigh 71kgs and that’s a celebration call lol
Anyway, the essence of this post is to inspire and motivate us all especially this weekend, to learn to celebrate our milestones. Don’t have to wait for the Mega Achievement to celebrate. I mean, is it leaving the bed and brushing your teeth after three days of no shaking due to depression and etc? Is it sending the application after months of procrastination, or even writing one? Is it refraining last minute from spanking that kid or answering back at your spouse in anger as before?
Ha, when on completing my 70 days fast last May 18, I weighed 70kgs, I knew I had to do something to flesh up more. It was cool but cause for alarm. Eating is still sadly not easy, I even had to go cerelac someday or just soup and smoothie. Hence, yesterday when the scales read 71, I was glee.
Enjoy or make the most of life. the milestones and challenges why not.
Interviewed by a TV network on swearing in day: am I interviewlicious or what lol?
That I die, but in the meantime I live giving it my best
I have searched until am now serene
Finding that strength isn’t ever easy to say the least…
How do you define yourself Marie Abanga asked the journalist? and I said the following as it flowed from my heart: “I am a Person of Passions and a Tale of Talents”. What else would you want to know when someone defines themselves in such clear terms? But the look on the journalist’s face wasn’t seemingly satisfactory even if he didn’t say so. The interview was by TV 5 Africa on epilepsy and mental illness, questioning me in my capacity as the Country Director of the Gbm Foundation.
Their background check had indicated I was a lawyer, a mental health advocate, and an author. They didn’t get the update that I was equally a CBT Therapist, a clinical psychologist, a motivational speaker and a life coach. When I introduced myself therefore at the beginning, I rolled through all the different stuffs I do and how passionate I am about each one and grateful for the different talents. As an author, I have written over 5 books and several poems, some of which I have turned into songs and look forward to going into a studio to record same. I will just stop at these few passions with their accompanying talents.
Indeed, my career path is in three dimensions although I can see them merging in one big jumble in 5 years. The lawyer will meet the Dr in Psy and the author will also join them and one new big path will emerge for me to keep following wherever they lead in all stubborn but passionate faith.
And so, I forge on with my passions, and the one which captivates and occupies me more recently is psychotherapy. I have a diploma with merits in psychology and a distinctions in CBT Therapy. I want to take an Msc in mental health psychology when schools resume and I also want to have a better understanding of addictions, substance abuse, dis-intoxication and rehabilitation.
Indeed, I was recently so honoured when two bloggers offered to write guest articles on the above. I will be putting them up on Wednesday and Friday, and intend to create a page for addiction and resources and its link to mental health.
Having found my purpose and got a very clear revelation of who I am, getting grounded in how I define myself brings me great joy and fills me with tremendous gratitude to God – my Higher Power for all the inspiration and motivation.
And you gentle readers and followers, how do you define yourself if I may ask?
Working out has, was and will hopefully always be a constant in my life
That is the famous Don’t Quit poem
DDay I was all bliss lol
Wow I have come so far and have learnt so much. I am transformed inside out I mean I just wish I didn’t have to keep talking about it and just guard it all jealously in my heart and soul. The spiritual journey cum purification I undertook from March 1st to May 18th with a 9 days break spread out in 3 intervals of 3 days each, was indeed a once in a life’s time opportunity. I was prepared for it, deciding to go for it with the mantra of: “Forging ahead with Faith and Trust and not Fear and Doubt“.
It was never an option for me because I believed in my Higher Power who inspired me to undertake the journey in the first place. I have always been a seeker and love being spiritual. I was inspired to dedicate this year as my year of Grace, and since January it has been from one Amazing Grace to another. This explains to a large extent why despite all the emotional and even physical challenges throughout the journey especially during stage 4, I was prepared to pay the price as foretold.
Some Lessons learned
Everything works out for the good of those who fear God. It did and does for me big time, I can’t ever doubt that one bit again. It took some serious self-discipline to fast from all I was fasting from, but I knew it’ll all work out. I am still in ‘recovery’ from all the fasting and even though some challenges still abound like with food (ha eating hurts some), I know it’ll all work out – even the shaky and shaggy relationships will sort themselves out either and in back to good or good to go;
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I mean, whose strength could I be using other than Christ’s? A friend agreed with me I was connected to spiritual energy because I kept doing all I do without any siesta, and starting feeling weak only in the last week of stage 4;
It’s ok to let it be in the process. I was fasting from anger, attack thoughts, and more. Some like my usual drive to have it all clean to the drop, justify myself or defend my stance, just had to be let off. They were replaced with empathy, compassion and even prayers for the other person. Hmm, I think of the me of barely 5 or so years ago and I look up and tell God, YOU ARE GOD INDEED;
Fasting is the fastest way to lose weight but the most delicate. You must have faith in the process and be committed throughout to obtain maximum results. Although I didn’t fast to lose weight, losing weight was an inevitable result. I have lost 7 kgs and I weighed 70kgs just this morning. I would love to gradually scale up to 73/75 kgs my ideal, but am letting the process take its time. I fasted for 70 good days unsupervised, I just took my vitals every now and then and trusted my own inner compass. I did drink lots of water and home made smoothies, and eat as much as I could after 6 pm each day (don’t ask me how much was that – those who have fasted know how difficult it is to eat much when you break the fast)
I had a healthy reading appetite all through and was even amazed at how much I sponged in. Books I read included An American Marriage (uh huh an Americana friend brought their copy and lent it to me, and by 48 hrs I was done), TigerFish, Born For Love, The Boy who was raised as a Dog,Keep Moving Forward: Memoirs of An Abandoned Child and His Triumph Over Abuse and ADHD, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Count your Blessings, The Old man in the Hospital Room, 33 days to Finding your Soul Signature, 35 days redefining yourself for success, a poetry handbook by Mary Oliver, 2 Peace Pilgrim books, Fasting for health and Wellness, and I started Power Thoughts by Joyce Meyers. I was interviewed by VOA Africa, TV5 Monde and Stv on the foundation work and my advocacy in general. I also continued religiously with meditation, using James Allen’s writings, A Course In Miracles, A Mini Course for Life and Attitudes of Gratitude. For movies I watched The Shift, Earth: what on earth will it take to thrive, and Carving your Destiny. I can’t track documentaries and YouTube’s lol. One eye wonder woman I was indeed for all this journey save for the last week of stage 4. Indeed, my ego and body could do nothing but take a big bashful beating hahaha.
I wanted to share this because I think people need to know what the odds and possibilities are if they embark on a project dear to their soul with a ‘Don’t Quit’ Attitude. It could happen you have to re-strategize and draw back some, but go for it like Diana Nyad lol (argh I wish I could figure out how to get myself an autographed copy of her bestseller – maybe a kindle is the most I can get after all)
If I can credit my 3 years’ experience of working in, and falling in love in the prison, the most vip will be that I learnt how far I could strive and I got on the lane of “Lord grant me the serenity to accept the things I can’t change; courage to change the things I can; wisdom to know the difference” (in other personal words, to find the balance between wanting to heal the world and staying detached enough to do just the job).
And so today when I find myself at the psychiatric ward of the main public hospital in my city, and I see the needs of the people and the distress, I don’t go get burnt out trying to heal the world nor take on the system – my own mental health could take a big hit. I can’t even get personal enough to be burnt again because men that really hurt back in 2016.
I am however not shying away and not even trying you know. I can’t heal the world, but I sure can help some who lives in the world to heal. Imagine the ripple effect. I can’t take on any system starting from the family, but I could inspire by trying my best and reaching out and gently coaching through whichever system I come across, even if therapy is visibly tough with no pills to prescribe.
Knowing the above and radically accepting such, has enabled me to enjoy the bliss in all my days at the psychiatric ward. I am known there in french as: “Doc tojour souriante” (always smiling doc lol). I start off in the am with my cheer, and leave in the late pm with same cheer. I know how to get close but not so close, I know how to inspire, coach and motivate with expectations – as in my life or world depended on the outcome. And because I know all this, I equally know how to tune off and enjoy my me moments like I recently did while spending half a day at the magical “chutes de Mami Wata” in the city of Dschang, western region of my country Cameroon.
Face it or Fear it the choice is yours
Hope your week is coming up cool, happy midweek…
mum, author, mental health advocate, therapist, inspires & motivates with personal experiences