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
Wow world, another friday is here and am glad to share a big discovery I made during my recent BBB.
You know, when I have an issue and take a break, I look forward to understanding what’s going on, why or how am faring the way am faring, and what to do next.
So, the first thing I noted was that I am still getting worked up over other people’s reactions or expectations of me! I mean I sometimes felt pissed off and decided to google the word hoping to find some anti piss-off ‘medication’. I didn’t find no solution, only some images like the above.
Bingo, I have a cat and could use the first one, but I have no hair to shampoo, so I could only offer that to whoever was pissing me off literally speaking right?
Further reflections made me realize some vip things now:
I have to do something
I am not for granted hence I have to take action
Oh my gosh yes, yes, yes: I could learn the art of pissing people off too 🙂
Afterall, why should some piss people off and get away with that? I didn’t want to be nasty or outright mean, but I had to make my points henceforth and no longer suffer in silence:
If speaking my mind is pissing people off: am pleased;
If caring for myself is pissing people off: am pleased;
If keeping quiet and letting someone fume is pissing people off: am pleased;
If sleeping over something before responding is pissing people off: am pleased;
If not being excited as I am expected to be is pissing people off: am pleased;
If unflinchingly saying NO and standing by it is pissing people off: am pleased;
If saying yes with a but… Is pissing people off: am pleased;
Gosh, if to my own self am true is pissing people off: am very pleased!
The bottom line I advocate is that although the words ‘Piss Off’ may be found repelant or repugnant, they can be appreciated and used positively to stay sane.
I share my discovery and strategy with the goal of inspiring and motivating others. How many suffer in silence because they don’t want to ‘piss anyone off’ while being continually ‘pissed off’? For a previous and still struggling people pleaser like myself, if passing through learning and practicing to piss people off my way is what I need to find a balance: am pleased.
Ahd now over to you gentle readers and followers? What do you think about these words and their impact on one’s mental health?
David is my Shepard; David is my King; David is my gentleman. David opens the door for me, David likes insisting on the dinning table: ‘after you mama’ and when I ask why he’ll say because it is ‘ladies before gentlemen’. I don’t want to bother his young and fresh mind on what sometimes goes on in the ‘bigger world’. David is my second son aged 10, and he didn’t have an Easter Break per-se because they in final year of primary school had preparatory classes in school daily from 8-12 pm.
And so hmm, that is how David and I came to have a whole week to ourselves at home. I had left his 2 brothers in Buea when I went there to savour Dyane’s epic memoir. Ok, my plan had been to send the three of them to Buea for the Easter break before I knew David wasn’t going to have a break. Now, during the first week of that break, Alain had opthalmologist appointments and now wears glasses, and Gaby the star had a tummy rumble and a wound under his foot which he picked up from one of his many adventures in the neighborhood barefeet of course – oh poor me.
With David, you talk less, do more, and appreciate silence and art more than all. He loves , cooking, drawing or watching one comic or the other. He also has a like minded friend in the neighborhood who goes to his school too. They often hole up in our home after school and draw all those characters they see.
I made it a point to have dinner with David everyday and to help him with any assignments. I thought of what else to do with David, and realized I could start by walking with him to his school. The last time I had walked with them (Gaby is in that school too), was at least 2 months ago and that was a quick dash.
Last Thursday therefore, althought having a hectic day ahead, I decided to walk with David to school. We walked mostly silently, enjoying the breeze and birds chirping , with me making not so successful attempts at conversation. Yet, David was smiling all the way and I later realized he was just happy to have me all to himself and walking with him to his school. When we got there, he asked me to buy him something to eat (we hadn’t had breakfast before leaving, happens sometimes). I also decided to have whatever he opted for so as to taste for myself what they eat in school.
David was so happy he became talkative, introduced near his entire class to me and then em – wished me to enjoy my meal. He wanted to go on with his friends now. My entire day was set to be yummy, nothing could wipe the sweet memory of our walk to school and his joy at introducing his mates to me.
A walk and a sandwich was all it took this day. When I asked David on the eve of his brothers’ return while we had our last quiet dinner together, what he liked most about our ‘home alone’ days, he said the best thing was my walking with him to his school that day, and my not being so stressed out the entire week.
Oh these kids, not only do they notice but they also have their own peculiar benchmarks. Alain the first will shrink if I offer to walk with him to his school for example, and Gaby the last will not be bothered. No I think he will find my presence by his side restraining since he plays as he walks and stones play with him too.
David and buddy Ella notwithstanding her pose lol
David doing his own kind of things – that should be a bow and arrow lol
All in all, although I had hoped to have this Easter break to myself, I have a book I started writing in January and am not finding time to write, I am grateful for what I got – a whole week to bond with David.
If life doesn’t always turn out the way you want, turn yourself out to make the most of it.
Sometimes it is difficult for me to articulate a post; and well I just go with my spirit. Last friday I was faced with one of such posts, and today again here comes another.
I have written a few posts on gratitude; and I end each day I can with enteries into my gratitude journal. It’s made such a tremendous impact in my life. I learnt that from Oprah.
So when someone wondered if they were being acknowledged enough, I quickly recalled pondering at their own lack of appreciation I had personally witnessed on some ocassions.
What goes around comes around. When you can’t bring yourself to say thank you, why expect someone else can? When you can’t be grateful for life and being alive, why expect life to be grateful to have you alive? You’ll find it difficult to live on and that’s just what you’ll keep noticing – the frustrations and adversities.
I am grateful to be alive and to get a second chance at life – seven years into what I call my bonus. I seize all opportunities to show gratitude and I don’t expect it in return – yet get it too so much…
I want to share how moved I was to read a post by Talasi Guerra who struggles from several issues and yet could still be grateful for life – after yet another difficult night.
Wishing us all lots of reflections this week, some bliss and wow moments full of gratitude
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
This post is a ‘rant-lite’ and also a call to authenticity and responsibility.
Some tough issues I have been dealing with recently especially relating to my holistic health, has provoked this post.
The title is literally a discussion I had last December with one of my former college children ( a local jargon to define children we take under our wings in college – boarding school). We were talking and they said the general buz out there in the bush ( another local jargon to mean abroad cause the notion is you go abroad to work your ass off like a farmer going to a real bush) is that I took the easy way out. I was so taken aback and all I could say then was: “really?”. Later on, because I still love them so much, I took the pains to explain to them why I chose to leave bush and relocate home, as if it wasn’t normal in the first place for a parent to want to relocate back home and be with their children.
I am therefore doing this post as an open reply to the bush buzzers, and an open challenge to all to dare authenticity and be responsible for their lives and choices.
Before I proceed, I will want to state that I did visit several ‘bushfallers’ ( local jargon to refer to those who live abroad) both in Europe and the US before my relocation home in August 2015. When many heard I was planning on relocating, they were mainly wow wow wish we could too. I think it’s also this ‘hypocritical irony’ (forgive my choice of words) that set me off when I heard the bush buzz.
I am an unconventional lady and I have taken off my mask. I try 97% of my time to dare authenticity especially since May 2011. I attempted suicide and know desperation; been near bed ridden for 2 years taking one meds after the other. I hit 115 kg (250 lb or so) at one point in life and felt so bad; really I should have taken an easy way out then had I known one. So, when I eventually fled home for bush leaving my boys behind, that could easily and maybe even logically be seen as choosing the easy way out right?
Look at some of the things I did or considered which should have literally prevented my relocation back home.
I published my very unconventional memoir publicly declaring myself an adulteress and Al… Wow, what humiliation? What disgrace?;
Above all I had no sustainable plan lined out especially when my long term goal was to take my boys and live with them in our own home and raise them on my own!!!
So, considering the above, how was I anticipating my come back? How was I going to face the public back home? What was I thinking? That it will be a smooth ride? That I will just fit in and resume from where I left and just find some economic, emotional and even mental stability? Physically I was in top shape, had succeeded in dropping and keeping off over 40kgs – so yes there was surely an easy way out maintaing that physical trend but was that all to it?
Look at what I was giving up from the new life I had managed to forge abroad:
A wonderful relationship with a gentleman, one I still regard as my Super super Hero;
‘Illusive peace and tranquility’ from not having my children meaning I can do pretty as I want and go where and whenever I please (I mean, I know many bushfallers who send their kids back home to be raised by their parents for various reasons including the cost of childcare out there – the peace and tranquility I got from leaving and living without my own was ‘illusive’ – I don’t know about others);
Some great relationships which could only be tended if I stayed in bush, lots of adventure like even learning to ride both a manual and motor bike, in short a new and more ‘modern’ way of living!;
Insurance coverage which gave me access to the hospital, basic medications, doctors and specialists like the dentist – one I haven’t seen since I returned for lack of coverage and means or need!;
And who knows, I may have worked my ass real out (I wasn’t already doing badly and could send some euros back home every now and then), and taken my sons over after maybe 3 -5 years (what they would have turned out then and how our relationship would have evolved, I can’t guess);
The possibility of more stress due to the drop in standards of living, less income, difficult relationships, readapting to a culture after mixing up other bits from different parts of the globe…
So, reading all the above which I am greatly limiting because my intention with the post as I earlier said is to invite people to dare authenticity and be responsible for their choices;
DO YOU MY GENTLE READERS AND FOLLOWERS ALSO THINK i TOOK THE EASY WAY OUT?
If that really is an easy way out what I have chosen, then why don’t many more take it instead of playing out their lives on social media and whining all they can behind their screens?
I am grateful for my choices; I am grateful for all the chances; I am grateful for all the changes
I don’t think any is an easy way out, the grass very often seems greener on the other side until you are stuck on it: I chose to relocate having found who I was looking for – and that is ME; I chose to dare authenticity and say it as I see and live it;
My first lecturing gig was at the Pan African Institue for Development West Africa, in Buea South West Region Cameroon. That town hosts the famous Mount Cameroon and the School is not far from the foot of the mountain. SO yes it gets pretty ‘winter – like’ cold up there especially for someone like me with rhumatoid arthritis.
So, when you brave it there twice a week for two months; catching a good cold and fever along the way, leaving your city at 6 am to be there by 10 am ahead of a 4 hour lecture regardless of how you feel about that ‘calvary’ – and then a year later you get such an sms from a former student who also interned with your foundation, how else can you feel but super motivated to keep trying your very best?
March 10, 2017
From Sidoine Felix Paid-Wa and later Gbm intern
“Hey good day Mm. Long time trust you are fine. Sincerely permit me express my gratitude to you for all the invaluable knowledge and support you gave me during my stay with you. I can’t believe this but its true and happening. Since I left Douala I have been very engage in project proposal writings here. And Mm, the projects we work out together have been my guide and masterpiece in all the ones I am writing now. And guess what??? People are praising and appreciating the format and maturity of the project proposals. I haven’t done much but to contextualize these projects using what you thought me with. And sincerely I can’t go any further but to express my gratitude and joy. Thank you very much Mm. Hope the boys are all fine. My regards to them please”.
And as coincidence will have it, I was in Buea on that day for some work and had actually planned on checking on him – cause sure we have kept in touch. I offered him lunch and we had a good 45 mins of inspiring and quality time.
Such and many others from the others I have taught in my own city since then, keep me grounded and so motivated. The second batch I taught (and by grace they are all asters students) voted me the best lecturer they had ever had, and invited me to their end of year party, offering me a gift… it was all so emotional. I love teaching, sharing knowledge, relating with the students at any point, and simply trying to teach better than I was taught. I actually let them teach us all too and I have also learnt so much along the way. I actually dragged my mumps face to class last Sunday and braved an 8 hour lecture.
I have as often as I can told the lecturers who impacted me most that I was so grateful. I have visited a few who taught me even 15/20/30 years ago and oh my that made our day. Before I started teaching, I had a talk with my best undergrad lecturer and she inspired and motivated me along. Today, I consider teaching one of my top passions.
Is there any lecturer in the house? How do you feel about your work? Any student too? Have you ever thought how a small appreciation from you could mean the world to your lecturer? Much more than any salary raise? I have as often as I can told the lecturers who impacted me most that I was so grateful. I have visited a few who thought me even 15/20/30 years ago and oh my that made our day.
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