Oh look! You made it to 2019!

Well hello my beloveds!

After my previous post I’d like to insist that therapy works. I am not a ray of sunshine, but we are pushing through. What sticks with me and something A Course in Miracles insists upon, is that you ought to accept that your thoughts are a singular narrative. There is more than one way of looking at things. The answers won’t walk in with trumpets and your celebrity crush in tow with a placard, but it’ll come- eventually. They always come in a delightful manner, and it is in seeing things differently that you know a miracle has occurred.

One Shahisa Mutali asked in November for tips and tricks surviving hard days on a comment on this post. I can mostly talk about what not to do. And that is drink. Apart from the hangover, aching esophagus and guilt from the abuse to your body, alcohol is not your friend when depressed. That’s one. Another thing is not to remain in your head for too long. I work from home and the silence is not entirely helpful. I’m learning to watch movies, YouTube until the dark cloud passes, treat myself- basically do anything not to think when I’m down. Because the voices in my mind get dark VERY fast.

What has also helped is having a spiritual practice. It helps me to know even when it’s hard, I’m not by myself in the struggle. Belief in God doesn’t automatically mean that the depression will lift and you’ll be bright eyed like nothing happen. Nope. Things will still be trash, but the awareness of a Higher Power gives you hope that’s crucial to survival. Quite literally. 😅

Of quiet days and nature

No seriously…
Which brings me to, “what do normal people think about?” I was explaining to a friend that mental health is the mind working against itself. It’s hard because there is no tangible evidence as to where it hurts. It’s just your emotions are in turmoil, you can’t shut your thoughts up and you still have to shower. Like why? 😂

What do normal people think about anyway? Comment below, it’ll be super helpful tihihihihi!

Moving forward

I realize that exercise is something I have to take up to fight off what’s left of the cloud. Or at least shirk it down to a manageable size. I’m considering signing up for a gym membership because jogging… And I need someone up my butt torturing me with weights and other things to remain committed. Yep. I am officially those January-new-beginning we-gotta-get-that-body people.

Other aspect I wanna take up are- I was gonna say meditation and mindfulness. Yea. Not there yet. Taking myself for lunches and movies sounds more solid. 😂

Your journey is probably different, but remember to do things that a loving friend would do for you, but for yourself. Nothing kicks self-loathing harder than doing nice loving things for yourself. If you’re in the pits, start small. Get a shower gel you’ve always liked. Buy that snack you crave and reminds you of childhood.

Fill your well. People around you can try and help, but only you’ll get it right. There’s more in you than you think. You just need to remember to be willing to look at things differently. Be kind to yourself, you’re still breathing- and that’s a pretty huge deal beloved.

Smile. You made it to 2019.

Happy New Year to you, warrior.

Christian heartchat: When suicide comes knocking

Between the sleep in my eyes and the stigma on this topic, believe me when I say it’s the last thing I wish to post about. That and typing and editing via phone is cumbersome. How autocomplete thought I wanted to say Cumberland (lol!) is beyond me. I only do so because I realize it’s not about me.

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Before early 2016 I can say my life has been cloudy, but the one that doesn’t make you sweat but does get you depressed as the day progresses. After doing something terrifically foolish, I understood how you can be a Christian and slide into the devil’s “DM.” If you’re ranking sins in your mind then that’s you scrolling looking for his handle. Stop. You’re welcome!

I had an honest conversation with God and asked Him to get me out of the mess because if He didn’t, I was so sure I’d ruin my life. It was actually a guarantee; you don’t need to get two warning dreams to know fam! He didn’t have to but He did, and from that point I said I’d focus on him. After that commitment depression became part and parcel of my life. That and other manifestations of self-hatred. It had been there before, the cloudy day, but it got progressively dark to what began to look like night.

Darkness fell less than a week ago. I’ve mentioned here having suicidal thoughts (or have I?) and there’s nothing as bad as a mind working against you. If you’ve been here it’s something you don’t wish on your worst enemy. Think of the person you strongly dislike. Now think of the one you’d use the word “hate.” You wouldn’t wish those oppressive thoughts on them. Trust me. The fact that I know someone I love with the same issue hurts me to my life’s essence.

Sorry for the detour, I just find context super important.

I’ve been reading a lot about mental health so when for the first time the thought manifested into dialogue in form of a plan, I knew I needed help. And even in that awareness I was aware that God was still with me. I was on the phone with a close friend and after she prayed for me I said “I can see God even in this. But right now I am not okay, and I need to get help.”

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Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship. And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].

ROMANS 12:1‭-‬2 AMP

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What you’re going through is not normal. It is equally not of God.

Giving yourself up to God is a logical act of worship because He gave His son for you. A life for a life almost. So taking your life is out of question. Also note that it gives no prerequisite as to how you come. It says all of yourself as “holy and well-pleasing” to God. If Paul did anything in his lifetime was let us know that we only achieve that status in Christ. If you’re in him, even as you are, God sees you as worthy. Paul was a murder- what’s you’re excuse for refusing what the word says you are? Being conformed to this world for me was entertaining the thought of going through with the narrative playing in my mind to take my life.

I love an example given to me. It’s like playing Temple Run with suicide. Even when the gorilla catches up and kills you or you fall off a cliff, the screen refreshes and you’re back at it. You “die”, but when morning comes you’re back to running, fighting, coping. Does that sound like life in Christ?

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Which brings me to my second point; get help. There is such a thing as rubbish “help”. It takes the form of alcohol, the friend that’s messed with your self esteem for years, non-responsive parents, a pastor or priest with no counseling experience, that overly religious relative. Amani Counseling Center and KAPC in Kenya are excellent places to start. If you don’t have financial resources, I get that. Reach out to a supportive friend or relative. They might not understand, but they might be willing to help. I don’t have a list, but sort professional counselors.

Again, get help. Those thoughts are NOT normal and shouldn’t be with you for life. Don’t cope, don’t fight alone. Read as much as you can about what you’re going through- it’s hands down affirmed my belief that information is power.

Not your typical festive post. I know. But let your gift to yourself in 2019 be a sober mind, won’t you?

Merry Christmas

Things fall apart and quiet seasons

Joseph and Moses

Somewhere in the corner of my mind, I found it humorous that I can relate to these two characters in the bible. When you have a big mouth and are out here looking like you want to save the world, the Lord will humble you so hard. By the time you’re getting back up, He’s the only person you will give credit to.

I don’t take this platform lightly, that’s why I will take days, weeks and months before I post something. I am of the opinion that if it’s not my life, I have no business writing about it. In the space I am in, things are falling apart (they probably already have, there’s the odd rock sliding down the debris) and there’s now a silence. Joseph in a pit. Moses in the wilderness.

I might need to take issue with my high school (International School of Uganda) for using holocaust, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and an existentialist book as part of our set books. When I think back, there’s a phrase that comes to mind that the atomic bomb survivors talk about- the silence that followed the bombing.

People, these were my set books.

When I was meant to be focusing on who was bulling me, why I was in a rubbish relationship and why I couldn’t get above my average-ness-ness, I had a set book about people’s aches in pages to read, understand and analyze.

But again; the silence that followed.

Before the tears, agony, fear and all expressions of despair, there is a silence. It is almost like you’re listening to see if you’re still alive before you can assess the carnage. If you’ve seen footage of war survivors before the tears come, grieving what they’ve lost, there is a moment of silence; a moment of taking it in.

The mourning for what you’ve lost in your life is eventual but take stock first so that you know what you’re truly crying for.

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I had a moment last evening with friends where I called Christians who plaster scripture over things stupid aka “having or showing a great lack of intelligence or common sense”. It’s especially for those who throw scripture at you with the aim of conviction, only to bring judgment. Remember Job’s friends? I’ve done it, foolishly so, for a while, but after seeing how the only result it yields is a rift, I’ve come to follow Christ cue. Have you noticed how you feel no judgment over his interactions with sinners?

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If everything has crumbled all around you, take time to make an assessment. You won’t know what to rebuild if you don’t know what’s in rabbles.

Cheers my friends.