Tag Archives: Self Care

It was all about Love Unity and Sisterhood this weekend, + what’s next…


Hello World, a new week is here and I sometimes cherish writing about my thrilling weekends so that their memories stay and spice/speed up my week especially when am looking forward to another tough one like this one starting today.

So, last week I was up and about and I was equally recovering from Malaria now. On Thursday I traveled to Yaounde our capital city to apply for a UK Visa ahead of the world’s 1st Global Ministerial Mental Health Summit from October 9-10. It will be a big honour and delight to attend – let’s see what the visa peeps decide lol.

I worked till 10nish and left for a 4 jours journey which turned out to be 8 hours due to current events in my country (not going into that).

Anyways, once I was done at the visa center the next day, I went to visit a facebook friend and university mate I never even knew lol. She (Arrey Etchi) is a dynamic and passionate Sickle Cell warrior and advocate, and I had been planning to meet her. We had a brief but profuond time. You can read my Facebook write up on that meeting here if you wish lol.

Back to my city with sadly another 8 hours on the road. Weary but not dreary enough to attend our high school reunion on Saturday in another city not so far away this time. I mean, we have monthly reunions but it ain’t every month we all can make it.

This time around, only 4 of us could even do so. Our host was so delighted (yes it was an all girls high school so we are thick hahaha). I love my sisterhood and can only invite those who want to read more on that to click here. It is a brief facebook write up of my hood and why I cherish that hood above all others hahaha…And this too is self care with an awesome support network…

Invitation to NMHDaysI will be attending the 2nd national days of of mental health, organized under the esteemed tutelage of the Minister of Public Health who invited me in my capacity as the GMHPN representative for Cameroon, and how can I say no right? To think I was appointed just a few months ago and I have not even written yet to introduce the GMHPN to the Minister? To think this invitation means some ‘red carpet’ treatment and maybe an interview lol?

The event is held in Yaounde this 25-26, meaning I will leave tonight or 4 am Tuesday morning and return home on Thursday, so you see why the weekend’s memory is even more special for me.

Wouldn’t bore us further with writing more, wish us all a happy week

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My Self Care Journey: P2 of some seven self care habits of mine


Hello World, last Friday I started sharing seven of my top self care habits harnessed over the years, and I promised to post P2 today. Here we go without much …

4) Writing and Blogging like merry marie lol

In September 2012 I got the writing bug for my first memoir. I couldn’t sleep at night and seriously wrote each day from 12 am to 2 am – God knows how my brain didn’t explode. I was now at mum’s waiting to go to Belgium in January 2013, I was on a serious fast which got mum seriously concerned I could be going anorexic again, I was also working out 45mins/1hr each day except Sunday. Lord, the writing was needed to calm me down some. It felt real good. I am so happy for that because today I have 5 books which I self-published in the past 5 years wow. In November of 2013, Blogging joined the mix by some curiosity, and that has been another big outlet for me to write down whatever and then process same whenever need arises. This has also led me above all, to network and read about people whose journeys are hmm… I have a great support system from the blogosphere, I became more aware of myself and my journey and its impact on me and mine, I even got more inspiration and motivation from all the writing. One super way writing and blogging help me take care of me is that, when am struggling or just feeling anyhow, I start to write and somehow start healing. It’s been simply amazing all that has happened since I started writing (with regards to my books, since I have kept journals from childhood) and blogging. I even rebaptized myself “merry marie” and have strived to live up to that one day at a time hahaha. I just make sure to find a balance and not let my gadgets or social media take me hostage lol

5) Finding Self-Love and My Me Moments

Some of those pictures up there show me in My Me Moments swags and jives. I mean, what should I write again about those moments? Once I found the truest and best love right where I had failed to look all along – inside; once I realized my best friend and I could give each other as many treats as we wanted or needed; ah it’s been a great source of self care, rest, recuperation, re-bonding and re-bouncing…I am so comfy just being with me even in the company of others…call that what you wish, self -love is my own appelation.

6) Going & Living Spiritual all the way

This was a gradual process, I mean not going religious but spiritual. I have come to embrace intermitent fasts, mediation, retreats, and courted some like Patience & Humility with love. So, when my inner voice told me last February it was time for a long spiritual journey of 70 days; fasting from 7 big stuffs including blogging and eating, hmm I knew this was it. Spirituality and I are now good for life. Try it whoever is inspired, ah the serenity even in the midst of the most nasty adversity and all – I ain’t trading this for nothing. The lessons I learned, all I gave up, conquered and the new me who emerged in spirit, soul and body – God am Grateful beyond words. This was definitely the next best investment in my self care.

7) Staying ever mindful of new habits and weary of all toxic stuffs

If you have been reading right from P1, you can see I have come a long way. My poem titled Hopeless to Hopeful tells it all in 2 stanzas. All I have learned and am now implementing, both personally and in my psychotherapy practice, have made me very mindful. I sleep as much as I can at night (often 9 pm – 4 am, turning all those gadgets off), I have my serene and safe space (my loo no shame lol), I don’t sweat the small stuffs especially at home with my 3 muskeets, I know my temperature and feel it, literally learned to walk confidently and speak in a proper way and tone. Today, I take my time to reply to any ‘perceived attack sms/emails’ (once took 7 days and another time 30 days, and others I ignore outright); inshort I don’t go near anything toxic consciously. I have bashed my ego and ditched perfection, I am not fazed by food or fashion…I could go on and on…

In conclusion, if after reading about my 7 self care habits someone is not inspired or motivated, then I may not be doing a great job living my purpose. There is one stand alone self care vital habit I will blog on… you guess right if you call it Support System. Until then… hope you find some inspiration and motivation in my self care journey.

 

My Self Care journey: Sharing Seven Self Care (SC) habits of mine P1


Hello world, another Friday is here and I want to continue looking at self care being the best care. Some say I am a “multiple person’ and am ok with that. I recall my 39th birthday blog where I appealed for more empathy towards people like myself who were high functioning from every indication, but who also had their struggles. I live with RA and PTSD and so self care for me is a matter of survival.

So today, I decided to start sharing seven of my best self care habits harnessed during the years, hoping they serve some powerful communication + inspiration and motivation. It was in December 2009 that I was first told to seriously start to take care of myself. I was at an all time low and my last son was barely 5 months old. That year was a very troubled one for me, having attempted suicide some 9/10 months earlier. The good side of all that low was my readiness to try another way now… This way I came to realize involved ME taking care of ME and I mean very Good Care. This has come to justify Self Care as being the Best Care to me lol. This said, let’s see how we cover this P1:

1) Working out has resumed and has become VIP for me

I weighed 115kgs by then, had not worked out for like 15 years or more, ate like a ‘hoax’, hoping it will choke my ex husband up…do you visualize me at this point? And so on the 1st of January 2010, while the world slept after St Silvester’s shenanigans, while ex husband was yet to return from his jives, I stepped out at 3.30 am for my 1st walk. I had also decided to start a 30 days fast (had never done one before)…, and all my pain/hurt/and oh so so much, were in those first fearless steps. This the origin of my love affair with determination + discipline and determination (my 3Ds) …8 years later, swagging between 70-77kgs, I have overcome so much and can now do so much. Working out is simply non negotiable for me now… I have still been through a few days in a stretch where I can’t work out due to a health flare up (whichever it is P for physical or M for mental; doesn’t really matter to/for me), but then I always know it shall pass, I keep at the self care and I go right back to working out once the spirit is back …

2) My health + holistic wellbeing has become my priority

The same friend who encouraged me to work out, was amazed at all the medications I was on. I was taking at least 3 different meds for the RA and sleep issues+anxiety, although over all no improvement was being recorded. I look back today and think the over eating could have also been due to the side effects of those meds. Anyways, I heeded to his advice and started weaning myself off the meds with ‘vengeance’. I started searching for alternative remedies for my symptoms and after two years of meds, I was ready to try even cayenne pepper if it got to that lol. Eating healthy became an obsession. I have carried a lunch bag almost religiously since then. It was tough working on the sleep especially while still in a very toxic marriage, I just had to sleep during the day either in the office or at an aunt’s home nearby. I chose the latter often because I could then bathe thereafter and feel fresh to be more productive in the afternoon. That way, if I barely slept at night and got up at 2.30 am as was the habit then, I could go for my 3 am walk with no qualms. Running into thieves twice didn’t scare me off, that is how bent I was on taking care of myself. Eventually off all the meds, I only take any when in a crisis or when I feel one is coming… My wellbeing has become so priority, I can’t even tolerate ‘fake relationships’ from any point of view…

3) I reached out for professional help

The next and biggest self care habit I embraced was in knowing when to reach out for professional help, and then doing just that. You can only take good care of yourself so much. There comes that point when you need ‘professional help’. I had succeeded in salvaging myself from that ‘sham and shame’of a marriage, and was finally in a place where I could start a healing journey. I was meeting Angels on my path and my Gentleman encouraged me to seek ‘professional help’ for all what I told him about me. No more energy to strive on without help, I first hired a life coach. I call that the best investment I ever made for ME. My Hero Jeff Moore, oh God bless him forever, helped me so so much. Next, I booked appointments with a psychiatrist and a psychotherapist. That was so much self care, self love, self acceptance and all things self… And come to think of all this Amazing work and Grace by which I have become a life coach and psychotherapist too? Come on somebody and say ‘self care is the best care’…

Let’s take a break here today, I will blog on the last 4 self care habits next Friday ( it was a bit intense recalling some stuffs in here – but no tears came and I actually felt some pride at how far I have come)

p.s as I write this post (22.08.18) I have had a mini flare up which started on Saturday. I have been all wrapped up in the office today as seen in the picture above, and it is 3 pm here now. I however feel so much better and am taking care of myself the best I can (some back to school preparation stress and anxiety too but I facing that head on by Grace)

What, and why, is self care the best care?


Hello World, both on a personal scale and as a psychotherapist, self care is a very important precept to me. I therefore decided to wrap up this week with a post on self care, which I tell my clients is the best care. Many times they ask me in return, what really is self care and why is it the best care? We all know how taking care even of our basic necessities when we are mentally challenged can be difficult right? But here is the great thing, self care is not only about doing it alone, but also about knowing when to ask for help because right then that is the best way you can show yourself you care for you!!!

So, while on the web searching, I came across some sites having an article or the other on self care. The LawofAttraction.com defined self-care as copied below and indented, and I find that definition apt. I wouldn’t be adding to it and bore you out, thus here we go:

Self-care is a broad term that encompasses just about anything you to do be good to yourself. In a nutshell, it’s about being as kind to yourself as you would be to others. It’s partly about knowing when your resources are running low, and stepping back to replenish them rather than letting them all drain away.

Meanwhile, it also involves integrating self-compassion into your life in a way that helps to prevent even the possibility of a burnout.

However, it’s important to note that not everything that feels good is self-care. We can all be tempted to use unhealthy coping mechanisms like drugs, alcohol, over-eating, and risk-taking. These self-destructive activities help us to regulate challenging emotions, but the relief is temporary. The difference between unhealthy coping mechanisms and self-care activities is that the latter is uncontroversially good for you. When practiced correctly, self-care has long-term benefit for the mind, the body, or both.

That addressed, why do I uphold self care to be the best care?

No one knows you better than you. No one can take care of you better than you. No one can make you valued, happy, sad, and all other feeling and emotions in between better than you. This is so so true for me, I mean I know myself inside out and I am true to myself.

I am therefore in charge of my own care – and so should/can you!!!

I have gradually developed several self care habits which truly make me happy and serene. When I am overwhelmed or need help, I keep my therapist hat aside, and reach out to my support circle. It is very important to have one, and to nurture your circle with your own presence, that way, when you reach out you will be helped and not shunned. We each have something magical to share, that smile or email or drawing, or a few poetic lines which makes someone’s day.

When we are in charge of our own self care, we can tell what works and what doesn’t, we can let go and laugh or cry without tearing ourselves down, we remain alive to ourselves and not zombie out under the influence of drugs – be they prescribed or illicit. The deal for me is identifying earlier than later what works for you, who can help you best when you are not so in tune with your self care plan ( yup good to have a self care plan), and what is the worst case scenario…

More to follow in a part two hahaha

Have a great weekend us all

Let me go bury My MC and then look forward to a vacation…


My MC‘s burial is this weekend, wake keep tonight and burial 30th – I am probably going to be there by the time this scheduled post goes up. It’s gonna be a brief one…

I will take a break from blogging for 2 weeks hopefully from July 9-23 , to rest and recuperate (ain’t ever easy I know) and next week is flamed up starting actually on Thursday July 5th with Barakah’s event before I move on to Yaounde for the Leading Ladies Conference.

It was barely 1 month ago that I went by night trip to MC their village to visit my dad… The real relationship being that dad an orphan had been adopted by this Angel when he was just 11/12 in a city he knew no one in and was yet to learn French. It had been 2 decades I hadn’t been there because Grand pere (MC’s dad) died in 2009 when I just had Gaby… In short, all these make for at least two more posts…

For now, see you hopefully next month for a couple of days lol

It’s been one half of a year indeed – hmm, let me just bury My MC and see how it goes with the mini break and co

Have a great weekend everyone and till then – one love – do take care of yourselves and take a break when you have to, cause life can be tough and roller coaster…

I’ll be Home Alone for the New Year and I definitely need it…


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That picture was taken this morning at my mum’s, a few hours before I had some mild palpitations and felt so weak I had to take some natural remedy and go back to my home.

I went to mum’s to help out as we prepare for Grandma’s funeral come January 5-7 2018. That dress am wearing was just stiched by a seamstress and it’s the uniform for the funeral. Pictures are good because they don’t lie if you are not faking postures or heavily made up. I was none. I see my neck strained out, I see pale though cute eyes, and an entire body and mind crying for a ‘do nothing day’.

I am so grateful for my cousin who has agreed to take all three boys over from tomorrow 31st December to January 3/4 , and so I’ll be Home Alone (well with Ella).

It is hard to explain why someone looking so seemingly healthy and one who used to be the mover and shaker and dooer even of the seemingly impossible, isn’t the same anymore. It sometimes beats my own immagination too. I think it is hard to comprehend even by an immediate family, and sometimes I wish it were the Rhumatoid Arthritis rearing its head and the swollen articulations are there for all to see and say sorry.

Not only am I tired, my ears are ringing and the hearing aids seem to be capturing all the wrong sounds and amplifying them for poor me.

So, I’m holed up from the 31st of December at 4 pm right up to the 2nd of January 2018 when I resume work.

Happy new year to us all and happy celebrations to those who will be joining family and friends. To those like me, we are gonna be fine, it is just some uneasy rest and recuperation.

Twinkes not Wrinkles 


Twinkles not wrinkles

Those I want for the season

The reason but no treason

~~~
Twinkles not wrinkles

They come naturally

Please let them be

~~~
Twinkles not wrinkles

In my eyes not on my brow

That’s all by Grace

~~~
Twinkles not wrinkles

You want those too?

If yes, you welcome

If no, I know you nought.

Up and about this Saturday for some respite

P.s: Wishing us all the best for the season, new year ahead and life in general

My Prayer and Affirmation Wall 2 Inspire some…


 

Hello World, am inspired to share something close to my heart which helps me every day, morning and night to stay grounded irrespective of any circumstances. The above is my prayer and affirmation wall just above my bed. The lighting is sort of dim because I have a ‘green coloured’ bulb in there. That colour green, is my favourite and so happens to be the mental health colour lol. It is soothing light to say the least and makes me love my room more – my serene space. Having that wall helps me introspect a lot each day as I wake up or prepare for bed. There you find my personal prayers I have written down this lane, some of my poems, some affirmation, gifts from the boys, and drawings from Gaby etc.

When I read for example the above appreciation note, I know even if I don’t feel so good or up to that day, I have and I am appreciated so I can’t be any hard on myself – I mean I should appreciate myself more right?

Indeed, it is that prayer and affirmation wall which led a cousin of mine to recommend the movie “War Room” to me. That movie is a soulful one and nothing to do with the violent war the world knows. If you have time, it is free on youtube and here is a link.

Be inspired by my journey dear world, and wish you find your own serene space…

Happy Midweek everyone

Alone time to better position yourself…


Alone time 1

Hello world, this is a short post but I hope the title and graphics tell us it not one to be taken lightly. I will as usual use a personal incident to illucidate why I so value alone time.

One day a few weeks ago I returned home from seeing off a friend and there was smoke in the kitchen. It later on turned out my last son Gaby had turned the burner on and gone off to take a shower and then forgotten about what was on the stove. David had put some rice to warm us as I was leaving, and after he turned it off, Gaby taught he hadn’t done done a good heat up. When I came back, already stressed from some incident during the day, I was so angry I was shaking… all the what ifs were running wild in my head… I instinctly gave David a slap and just realized that wasn’t the best approach… I had tears in my eyes and the boy was apparently so shocked he burst into tears too… I quickly went and locked myself in my room and put some soothing music… I stayed in there for like 45 mins and although they all came knocking on the door, I had to calm down completely before letting them in. We talked, made peace and I was so sorry. I was however glad I locked myself up and got that alone time…

alone-time 2

We need alone time especially to care for ourselves, our mental health, take perpective etc. I call them My Me Moments and used to plan them and structure them and all… but now, even when I wake up and have some precious 15 minutes before the boys barge in, am grateful…I take even blogging breaks when I need to and I don’t appologize for saying No I can’t go with someone because I’ll rather stay by myself home… Life can be so hectic, these alone times are so needed to better position oneself

Alone time 3

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Precious alone time in on the beach Dakar after sports

And you gentle readers and followers, any thoughts on alone time?

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