Mental Health Friday #7

Mental Health Friday #7

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If we truly do want stigma gone, we have to start treating ourselves better. We need to stop seeing ourselves the way stigma says we should. Acceptance and compliance to treatment does not make us weak, it means we see our limitations and that is a part of strength. Compliance to treatment says we are not ashamed. If I want to be treated well, I must first treat myself well. If I want someone to believe in me, I must first believe in myself. If I want someone to understand something, I need to first understand it myself. That is my responsibility.

This is an excerpt from my last post here on Ameena’s blog. I can not tell you that I have always treated myself as well as I do now. I can not even say that I treat myself as well as I should. What I can say is that I have learned on an extremely difficult road that if I don’t treat myself well, no one else will. If I don’t like myself I will change myself for other people. If I change myself for other people, I will never be with people that actually like me. If I am with people that don’t actually like me, how will I know it is ok to like myself? It sounds like a trap and it is. We trap ourselves, every time we accept less, we trap ourselves.

It is hard to step back and look at the trap we are in. No one around us sees us any better than the way we treat ourselves and so, when looking to our fellows for reassurance, which is normal by the way, we get none.

The thing is, we know. We know we are capable, yet we doubt ourselves when we look for reassurance from others and it is not there. In my life I have allowed myself to feel so low about myself and my life that I was spending my time just waiting to die.

Shortly after I was diagnosed with Bi-Polar disorder in 2001 my life changed and I crashed. My husband at the time had been complaining quite a bit about the behavior of my son, who had also been recently diagnosed. My husband was also looking at me differently. He suddenly decided I wasn’t good at paying the bills, although I hadn’t had any problems doing so. He became quite controlling as though I were a child and everything I wanted to do became something he doubted I could do. Driving the hour to Boston, especially at night. Everything became something I should doubt that I could do and I did doubt myself. As I failed and the behavior of my son got worse, my husband and I argued all the time, me constantly defending my son. Everything just seemed to fall apart and the stress level was at a dangerous point.

I went to my son’s therapist and with her sitting with me, I called the Department of Social Services and reported myself. My claim was that I was afraid I was going to hurt my son. When I met with the woman at DSS, she asked me if I wanted her to open a case and I told her I did. I went through investigation and my claim was unfounded. However, this did get some help to come out to my house. I was then deferred to an organization called MSPCC. A woman was sent to my house to sit with me and help me to get respite services for my son.

Before I go on, I want to say that I do not believe any of this situation was directly caused by my son’s behavior. I believe more that his behavior was worsened to a great degree by the stress in the house. Read more

Dreams and Maybes’…

Dreams and Maybes’…

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You are the best thing that ‘s ever been mine

Maybe someday I’ll get to send this to someone and mean every word of it. Someone who’ll appreciate and reciprocate a similar feeling. But if it doesn’t happen, then that’s okay. Life wasn’t meant to be a fairy tale in the first place. We gain some, we lose some. Sometimes, dreams do become a reality, other times, they remain what they are- an illusion, fantasy.

Maybe someday, he’ll come, sweep me off my feet, maybe he won’t. Maybe he’ll be everything I have ever dreamt of, maybe he won’t be. And maybe, just maybe, there wouldn’t be a he. Maybe it’s just going to be me. Living and thriving on my own, dusting my cold cellars and being my Prince Charming, at the same time, my Cinderella. And at the bottom of it, maybe there won’t even be a me anymore- that’s also a possibility.

In any case, I aim to spend the rest of this unknown possibility being the best version of me, dreaming my dreams and hoping for victory because in the end, a life well lived is equivalent to all the dreams achieved and to those dreams that lay beyond in the oblivion, like, having a Prince Charming, having the best thing that’s ever been mine, to them I say-

I’m glad I lived a life positive enough to have such dreams and if someday, the sun rises and there isn’t a “me”, I hope that someone, somewhere will read these words and go- “darn, she lived the best of her life” and if not, then I can dream that too. That’s the best thing about dreams, anything is a possibility in that realm.

This is me saying, go on dreaming, go on living and know that you are perfect enough to handle being both your Prince Charming and your Cinderella. It is an amazing feeling to say to someone “you are the best thing that’s ever been mine” but what’s more amazing if being able to say it with conviction to the person we see when we look in the mirror.

IMAGE CREDIT: saying images.com

Seeing through someone else’s eyes!

Seeing through someone else’s eyes!

#MentalHealthFriday I have never re blogged but there is always a first right?! MHF took a break and would be back next week but this is post by a dear friend of mine I couldn’t skip regarding Eating disorders. As she said, Eating Disorder is a journey and it doesn’t define a person. Please give the original page a view. 🙂

Nuggets of Gold

A week ago I wrote a post on Eating Disorders, more specifically anorexia. I was writing to bring attention to something that is very real and that more people suffer from than you may think. While I don’t suffer from it myself I have walked a close path with it this year. I would like to share a poem  that touched me deeply. A poem written by person that has  personally struggled with eating disorders. I hope you can understand a little more about it as they express their feelings. Thanks for reading and once again please, if you know someone that you suspect struggling with this,  be there for them, get them help!

I have an eating disorder. It is not had or used to. It is present tense. I am Learning. It is learning to love myself. It is learning to let others love me. It is that…

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Mental Health Fridays: Blurring out the stigma

Mental Health Fridays: Blurring out the stigma

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Mental Health Fridays is a new feature I have created on this blog. The main aim is to share stories needing to be told at the same time, blurring out the stigma associated with mental illnesses. There are two things I am unashamedly passionate about: the first is writing while the second is mental health advocacy. There’s no greater Joy of mine than to be able to join these two passions together.

It’s been one year since I joined the blogosphere and I figure, what better time to start than now. If you’ve got a mental health story which needs to be told, I would love to hear it. Your submissions could be on:
1) personal mental health journeys
2) loved ones battling mental illnesses
3) losing someone to mental illness
4) an experience related to mental health
5) basically anything that could pass as a mental health category

The important thing here is, let’s get talking and blur out the stigma. But to do this, I need your help. Maya Angleou rightly said, “there is no greater agony tha bearing an untold story”. 

I am looking forward to hearing from you, learning from your stories and coming together to blur out the stigma. If you’ve got any questions, you can leave a comment on this post or send me an email.
                    Can’t wait to hear from you: mykahani@yahoo.com

Beautifully Scarred-

Beautifully Scarred-

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We’ve all got our battles,
Our now fading scars;
We’ve all got reminders,
Of a trip through hell and back.

It’s a trophy map plastered,
On the heart for none to see;
Showing scars of various sizes,
All the demons- their defeat.

And she strode, and she fought
And she fell, still got up;
And the battles, wore her out;
But give up, she did not.

We’ve all got our battles,
Our now fading scars;
Which remind us of journeys-
And the strength within, we got.

Secrets of Man

Secrets of Man

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The harmattan breeze,
Blew the oak trees wildly;
golden brown leaves,
Decorating the earth;
He stood me atop,
His fragile old man thighs;
And whispered to me-
The secrets of man.

Someday you’ll grow up,
And wander far and wide;
Meet people of towns,
With different backgrounds;
A specie you’ll find-
In almost every town:
Men who wag their tongues out-
Be wary my child.

And on you will go,
To farther distances;
Enthralled by men,
And their worldly manners;
You’ll learn of the men
Who know not enough;
Contentment of heart-
Foreign to their land

And boy you will see,
The irony of life;
The wealthy lonely,
The wretched happy;
Yearn not to be like
A certain category;
‘Stead head for the grey line-
A perfect balance.

And walk not with grim face;
And thin not your lips;
Drag not you over coat;
And stomp not your feet.
And tend to the needy,
Hold life with a pinch;
Take patience as a partner,
And you’ll be at peace.

IMAGE CREDIT

Of all the lights-

Of all the lights-

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All the light,
She may not see;
The cries at night,
From her baby’s lips;
Too weak to help-
She breaks within.

Six months of chemo,
To save her skin;
Her lymphos attacking-
The Rbcs’;
It’s you against you-
A battle steep.

Hope is as long as,
the heart- beats.
Survive for her daughter-
She strives to win;
Leukemia or not,
Fight it out- she will.
The end maybe near-
It’s not gotten yet-
The light at the end-
She’s determined, she’ll see.

I dedicate this to a warrior I know. I love you and you’ll get through this. This is just a journey, not the end. I also dedicate this to every single person who has battled or is battling. I leave you with this message- 

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The Train Journey

The Train Journey

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When I was a kid,I always believed my first train journey would be a somewhat replica of Jab we met where I would find my “not so charming” prince in distress, save him from the turmoil of heartache, lose my heart to him unwillingly after a few mishaps where we miss the connecting train and then in the end, he saves me and we live a happy ever after life. Well, life has a way if turning things into the unexpected.

My first train journey was what I would refer to as- eventful. With my Karens-like Caribbean printed skirt, yellow basic too and a colored shawl wrapped around my neck, I embarked on my first ever train journey at the age of nineteen, returning home from school.

After a rocky exam, I made the mistake of going out to “chill” with the gals in the night before my flight. Chilling where I came from basically meant, going out to eat anything and everything. All the pizzas, chin chin (local Nigerian snack), zobo, ginger ale, cookies, chocolates, heck, we even ordered a medium sized chocolate cake.

Blythe time I got to the train station, my intestines were screaming loudly, I needed to go and empty them. I managed to climb aboard the train with my bowels twisting and turning. Luckily (the only luck I had that day) , the train at tenant was kind enough to show me to the loo. The sight I met there was enough for me to puke out my stomach contents. Ahhh,I still feel a. Shiver down my spine when I think of the terrible state in which the toilet was on. Not to forget, it was a pit latrine. Read more

J- Journey

J- Journey

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The sandy hills on the path,
did little to deter her journey.

She strode with the will of an Arab
swordsman as the winds blew wildly.

A veil on her face to obscure the marks,
the desert would leave on them.

Through slit openings, she gazed down the path
never doubting if it was worth it.

Wear on her soles, tear on her cloth,
my girl kept on stamping.

Defying the laws of the red evening rays,
she prayed to be protected from them-

The jinn who arose at the set of the sun,
even they little weakened her motive.

And centuries passed, while Bedouins wondered
About the traveler who refused shelter.

Neither water nor food, nor change of shoes-
Always, she declined an offer.

The end of her journey, unknown to them
Nonetheless, they prayed for her.

Any soul braving their harsh barren land
Was one, in need of prayers.

Now tales are told, of a lone traveller-
Who journeyed amidst harsh weather.

It takes two-

It takes two-

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Cold as ice,
He wouldn’t thaw;
Try twice as hard,
Just wouldn’t bulge;
You don’t try enough-
They’ll taunt In their words;
A heart cold as ice,
Can barely be thawed.

String by string,
She cut every rope;
Mustered courage-
Moved forward, let go;
What’s there to try,
With a one sided love;
One can’t make a marriage-
It takes two to work.

Cold as ice,
She left him numb;
Sought for her sunshine-
Unravelling the world;
It takes two for marriage,
For that is true love;
Well here she is living,
And loving and all.

He’s cold as ice;
She’s rocking her world.