The Joker: a reflection of reality we don’t want to see

If you’ve never read about depression, please go here. If you have a general idea, please click here. If you don’t have depression and you think you know what depression is, click here. If you are depressed, click here. If you’ve been diagnosed with depression, click here.

When you’re done, please come back to this post.

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*spoilers ahead.

I made the error of watching Joker a second time yesterday.

I am not okay.

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Mental health.

Mental illness.

Craziness.

Crazy

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After watching it, I told my close friend that I was ashamed.

I am on medication. I hear these are “baby” medications from people who equally battle more complicated manifestations of mental illness. I know someone with a combination of stronger medications to keep them, at the very best, okay. There is the occasional pill popped when an anxiety episode kicks in.

I have a father who pays for my medication because I can’t afford insurance. He also pays for the psychiatrist visits and to see the counselor. These services are not cheap in Kenya, or anywhere for that matter. Because, mental health.

So, how dare I, who’s getting help, talk about mental health?

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The devil is a liar.

If you don’t believe in him, then tell those thoughts in your head to sod off if you are in a position to get the help you need.

Don’t be an ungrateful human. Speak your truth. We need more of you. How else will people know there’s hope??!

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The Joker. I could relate with him. I could ABSOLUTELY relate with him. I have mentioned here I was in a psychiatric ward (post on this another day), and even after, before the meds kicked in, I remember going for my appointment two months later and telling the psychiatrist that I talked to myself out loud one time when walking to the stage in response to this whole scenario I had created in my head.

It was once, but when it happened I panicked. I was officially going mad. Remember that scene where it hits him that the love affair he was having was a delusion?

That movie triggered me.

I get when he killed who he did. The difference between he and I is my mental illness being diagnosed early and medicated. I have heard of a woman taken to Mathere after killing her husband during a psychotic episode. A few months later she got to go home. I’ve had someone close to me in the same institution.

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I was ashamed that I have access to the resources and support that I have.

But now, I am thankful. I am thankful to the God and the forces that be for the support I have.

And from this gratitude, I will shed the light.

Mental illness is not a podcast. It is not an interview. It is not a hashtag. It is not what your favorite celebrity has. It is not to be packaged and it is not bite-size.

It is the brain working against you. And that, is the scariest shit there is on this planet. Look at a child with leukemia being positive, and loving and full of joy. Their mind, spirit and soul are aligned and they have peace despite their pain. Mind blowing and admirable. They have an anchor. But when you mind is ill, you have nothing.

Nothing.

Picture yourself having nothing to hold to.

That’s why Arthur Fleck lost it.

And I get him.

Because, what good was keeping his shit together?

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Get help.

PS: I am African. I am Kenyan. I am a woman. I KNOW mental illness is stigmatized. But speak, I will.

“You made me feel-” and other lies we tell ourselves

“The people who trigger us to feel negative emotion are messengers. They are messengers for the unhealed parts of our being” —Teal Swan.

No one can make you feel.

Pause and read that again.

Now, let’s proceed. I came across this quote in 2016 there about, and it was during a time of my life where complaining was a hobby. There was always something wrong with my life, with the people around me, with my work- just everything.

During the end of 2016 I got into- calling it a relationship would be a tall order. Let’s just call it a “mistake”. And boy was I triggered!!! Everyday it seemed like this ninja would do something to set me off or hurt me. It’s when I came across the quote by Teal Swan and in a span of 3 months I had grown so much that I cut the relationship off.

The hangups took a while longer, but it’s safe to say that’s a closed chapter. What. I am human.

The reality was, I was the one feeling those feelings. He might have triggered them, but I had to take responsibility of my emotions. So I’d ask myself, ‘What wound do you have that makes his words/actions feel like salt?”

Side note: Emotional abuse can be subtle. But I changed so much just by being with this guy and dealing with my wounds that even my taste in men changed. Since then, I’ve dated some really decent guys.

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I’ve been called heartless, and while I think it is a genetic condition from my father’s side (LOL!), I’d like to think of myself as someone who largely has learned to handle their emotions especially given my history. When sober 😁

Note: I am not talking about my mornings and my random mood swings. I am not a morning person and my hormones are everywhere. 😅

If I snap, it’s because I have assessed my emotions, there is no wound, and you’re just being to tool. And there, I will put you in your place. That’s a given. Or just ignore you and act like you never existed in the first place. Again, it’s that genetic condition.

That said, I can say I’ve been legit hurt very few times in the past three years. Hurt in the sense that I am unable to get over whatever it is. And even then, I sit down and think about it until the pain is gone.

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I like to think of pain as teachers. Salt only hurts you when you have an open wound, and even then, it’s a cleansing agent.

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Next time you want to blame someone for making you feel a certain type of way, be a grown up about it and own your emotions, yes? After, sit, locate the wound and heal. From there, your actions will flow from a place of wholeness that even the person who triggered you will fall back.

Growth baby, growth.

PS: Same principles apply when you feel hurt by God.

Someone needed to read that.

PPS: I’m not a pro at this. So please don’t come after me when I write a triggered post on social media!!!

Also, therapy works.

Cheers.

The voices in your head

Therapy works.

Moving on.

I’ve been seeing a counselor for more than a year now, and I realize that most of the voices in my head were other people’s voices that I had internalized.

I’ve had an incredibly good week where I have nothing to complain or be sad about, all thanks to the unpacking of the negative voices in my life. I realize that they come in the subtlest of ways, and from the most unlikely people. For me, I realize that I generally come from a toxic clan, and as I continued to seek therapy, I realized that a lot of my insecurities and pains come from them. The rest is just my foolishness.

So before you think you are crazy, or believe the voices in your head, look at the people around you. What are they saying about you? Is there a similarity with your inner voice?

Beloved, you’re not a horrible human being. Someone made you believe you are and you lived up to their ideal.

Find your way back to the true you.

Cheers.

“I wish I was that dog” and other thoughts

Have you ever looked at a bird, monkey lazing around in a zoo, a slothing cat meme, a baby or other creatures (😁) and thought to yourself, “I wish I was that __”?

If not, you’re free to leave. Clearly we don’t share the same wavelength of life 🤪.

That was me this morning when I was in a matatu heading for my classes. Adult learning is just something else. I had snoozed the alarm, struggled to get out of bed, and even had my mother pray for me because the levels of “I DON’T WANNA!!” were so high I thought I was in the wrong career path.

Like perhaps my calling was to stay in bed for ever and ever, wasting away… and drifting off into the afterlife where things are perhaps better than this life…

Yes, I was having a depressive episode.

Now that the day is coming to an end, I no longer feel like that. I was walking home listening to jams after seeing my friend and her new born baby in hospital and when I began to wonder what was wrong with me in the morning.

Heck, I even walked past my ex’s house when he’d just driven in and I felt no inclination to call out a greeting or give him a call. Jesus heals I tell you! 🥳

What’s the point of this post?

Your feelings are valid, but they need to be overruled if you’re to rip the good things in life. Next time you’re wishing your were something or someone else, just say a ‘noted’ to that thought and continue about your life, ensuring you’re doing the big and small things to make it the best.

That said, all the best. I’m saying this after stopping life and spending two days in bed because depression.🙈

Image result for cough cough gif

*cough*

This too shall pass.

Cheers

“and that was the last time we talked” and other stories

There is this one guy, at midnight, sent a message saying “I’m so horny”. His profile picture was his son. And that was the last time we talked. #FromFriendZoneToFuckOffZone

There is this other guy, he told me he wanted to make me his blanket. That was the last time we hang out. #NoThanks

There is this other ninja who told me his girlfriend goes through his phone. I thought it was a joke and called to talk about why his earlier statement about Africans being stupid is problematic. He didn’t pick but she called me back, using his phone. That was the last time I had any form of respect for this ninja. #WeakAssHuman

There was this other time, my friend’s girlfriend read our messages about random ish, and now I am apparently the reason why they have issues in their relationship? #IKnowIAmFlyButGirl #HeLovesYouBitch

And then there was this one guy, who dumped me before we even started dating. That was the last time I told a guy that I like them first.

There was this other guy that only called me during the weekends. I told him I was with my boyfriend all weekend that is why I couldn’t pick his calls. And that was the last time he text. #Phew

There was this other married guy I was having a conversation with at the hotel bar, and he kept looking back because he expected his wife to show up. I have him my number (I block people like a hobby), and then he told me to send him a photo. That was the last time we talked. (here I was thinking I could have connections to the World Bank.)

And then there’s this ratchet guy, he asked my cousin if she fucks campus kids. He soon found out the answer (I had to throw that in. Worst pickup like ever!)

There was this other guy, who has a wife and two kids, and he asked me to be his girlfriend because he loves me. And now my anthem is “I refuse to be the other woman!” #MarriageCounsellingIsImportant

And also there’s this guy, we haven’t talked for perhaps three years, and after spotting me in my neighborhood, he thought we had a future. I got blue ticked when I emphasized “kuna venye…”

And then there’s this boyfriend of mine, who after an argument, told me he had struggled me and buried me in his dreams. Now you’re good.

And yes, today is the day that no fucks were giving.

Being strong is not a compliment

I’ve just seen a quote about strong women not playing victim or pointing fingers. They stand and they deal. Well… They also have breakdowns. You cannot be strong and not have a breaking point.

Everyone breaks, and it looks different for everyone. When I sought treatment for severe depression, that was my breaking point. Lowest I have been in my life- in a blue dress wondering when I’ll be able to go home.

We need to stop telling people to be strong because we aren’t meant to be warriors all the time. Stop and throw a tantrum. Call someone a bitch. Text your girlfriend and tell them hell has broken loose. Cry! But for fucks sake stop being strong all the damn time!

Carrying my family weighed me down. I was never meant to be carrying that load in the first place. Before you take your strength for a heroic thing, consider all the monkeys you’re carrying that aren’t yours. Now, think about who’s circus you’re in.

I was strong. I tried to be. But I’ve learned that I can’t break again if I make my life about me. If I love myself. If I have compassion. I’ll journal, I’ll say fuck yous, and I’ll rant. After I’ll go on with life. I’m not in the business of being strong anymore.

I’m in the business of eating life with a big spoon. Strong people suffer. I’ll pass on being called strong. I’ll go with savior any day.

On emotional health and being cold- hearted

If you know me, then you’re aware that emotions and I are on different paths. Once in a while we meet and it’s a mess. However, when we get back on our own paths, I am good for a while. Or so I thought.

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What is “depression” in your mother tongue?

I didn’t and still don’t know what it is in my mother tongue . How then do you explain something you don’t have a word for? We’ve all be in those situation where words fail you and you wishing you could crack open your skull and go ‘see!’. You’d want to point ‘here’, ‘here’ and ‘there’ so that people can piece together what you feel.

It’s annoying.

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I come from a long line of men and women who don’t know how to express their emotions or cannot do so appropriately. On my dad’s side, people are cold as ice. Aunt Emily, if you read this, let your siblings know I said so. I’ll tell your brother myself LOL!

On my mother’s side, it is nine women who have a hard time expressing themselves appropriately especially when overwhelmed with emotion. I’ve had extensive conversations with mother and my aunt in Chuka and they tell me I don’t even know the half of it.

My cousin’s aren’t better either. Humor is poured on everything intense with no regrets or care. Opening up to who? Why? For what? Even with those I talk to, it’s clear that they and I don’t handle emotions well.

(Stops to stare at the dirty laundry I’ve typed out. Moves on because I know someone somewhere can relate.)

So I have this ice cold personality coupled with an inability to handle extreme emotions well. I either become aggressive or drink myself silly. Yoga, deep breathing, mindfulness and meditation: Worrathose???!

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I’ve just had a conversation with my life partner* about how I just realized my inadequacies in the areas of emotions and self-expression. Like I would say I love him, but not really meeeaaannnn it even though I did. Like, you get?

It’s like telling someone that you care about them and then that’s it. Sure, you’ll do things to show you care but it’s more of ticking boxes off a checklist society has given you. You feel nothing when doing it; at some point it feels like a chore because your heart isn’t there.

Cold-hearted. And that’s how I’ve been going through life. Sigh.

It sucks to think that I’ve never loved properly because my emotional health was non-existent. But now I’m looking forward to healthier relationships all round. But it’s a journey.

(*If you ask about him, I will ignore you.)

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Friends: I love/ miss you

Me inside: What am I meant to do with that information?

Me outside: Aw! *pauses for several seconds* I love/miss you too!

In essence I am writing this to shed light on the topic of emotional health. Secondly, it’s something I have to work on. Because it is ABSOLUTELY horrible!

How bad?

During one of my therapy sessions my assignment was to go look up feeling words. You know, like words healthy people use to describe their emotions? Because my vocab was wanting in that area (in a lot of areas but you get my point.)

How do I feel right now? Relief. I’m now less shity of a human being.

Grow and bloom my friends,

Cheers