Thursday, 29 November 2018

Mental health,a view from my mind!

Stigma and discrimination have long been attached to anything that is remotely related to mental health issues worldwide. Mental illness is a disease that causes mild or severe disturbances in thought or behaviour resulting in inability to cope with life’s demands. It doesn’t matter if its depression, schizophrenia, psychosis, bipolar, eating disorders, OCD or Post Traumatic Stress, the list is endless. The belief is that it’s not really a sickness but something one can get over if they tried hard enough.
‘Don’t judge me unless you have walked in my shoes’  I have found that its easier for people who have not yet suffered from anything related to mental health issues or have someone close to them suffer from it who take the issue so lightly. Mental health to most is just something to laugh over or something they associate with that homeless person. It’s something to be shunned; it’s for weird people, people who can’t cope with life, weak people. Take that stigma and discrimination that’s on a world scale, that’s coming from educated people who society deems, should know better. Who should be looking at the world without any blinkers regarding mental health? Take that entire stigma and add to it people who have little knowledge about depression or psychosis and attach anything that they cannot relate with to witchcraft or black magic.
I’m a Journalist now and I feel my story of surving, yes surviving mental health can encourage someone. I talk about mental health whenever I get the platform, I could write a book what we had to face on a day to day basis and I will. I grew up in a society that simply didn’t understand issues around mental health. My mother is Psychotic, has been for more than forty years; which is more than my entire lifetime.  She was a young bride and lost four children whist she was still young, which I believe was a contribution to her condition. Having lost her mom at an early age and raised by a not so loving step mom; she didn’t have anyone to talk to or counsel her.
Psychosis is manageable if you take medication, but my Mom has been in denial and continues to be in denial despite numerous efforts by family and friends to try and make her understand that sometimes she acts beyond the “normal”.  Telling her she is unwell only seems to make her condition worse as she has convinced herself that the voices in her head are her normal and everything and everyone else are simply out to get her. Over the years I have watched her slowly deteriorate from having an episode once per five years, to twice per year, to “crazy” being her normal everyday behaviour. Trying to get help for her condition has always been a nightmare because of her denial and the current state of medical facilities in my country. Her denial has meant that we have had to drag her screaming and fighting to the hospital everytime she has posed danger to the community. Our medial car facilities do not really cater for people with mental health issues, in the country there are only two proper state facilities that cater for people like my mom. These are both found in the two largest cities and those of us who leave in smaller towns are stuck. We have to make use of hospitals that are ill equipped to take care of mental health patients. Patients end up being strapped to their beds so that they don’t pose a threat to other patients; they are subjected to inhuman treatment.  Not only has this but there lacked a genuine sympathy to mental health patients.
Psychiatric nurses that I have been exposed to thorughout my long journey with my Mom lack compassion. None ever attempted talk to my mom; she was just treated like a child who didn’t know anything. They perpetuated the stigma attached to mental health because one would be taking you to her office for counseling, upon meeting up with a colleague they would laugh and say they were the ‘mad’ nurse for the day all this in our presence. We were just a joke to them and the so called counselling sessions were just two minute ordeals with half hearted attempts at understanding my mom or her situation.
Living with someone who is Psychotic is a bit like living with someone who has multiple personality disorder, one minute you could be conversing nicely  and the next she will be trying to hit you with a brick or anything that she can put her hands on. The reason? She could hear how in your heart, you were busy insulting her, calling her names. So growing up you had to learn to read Mama’s mood which was a bit hard considering how erratic her moods are. If you placed your shoes facing the ‘wrong’ way, it meant you wanted to kill her. If you made too much noise washing dishes (which was a given because we used steel plates and pans), you were communicating with the devil to harm her other children.  So growing up was a constant battle not to do anything to provoke mom. Then came the times she would just disappear and you would have absolutely no idea where your mom was.
Yes, it was difficult living with my Mom but she is my mom and I love her to bits. So you can imagine the trauma, the heartache of not knowing if your mom is alive or dead. At one time, about three years ago we went for four days and nights without knowing where she was. You can't eat, you can hardly sleep; every sound you hear you think it’s her coming back or the police coming to tell you that they found her somewhere dead. Then the other time when I was younger when she disappeared for a whole month and was later found in a different city at a hospital, after she had been involved in a hit and run accident. You can well imagine how difficult it was growing up and not having your mom around in as much as she was there. We basically had to mother ourselves and build a cocoon around ourselves so that her words and the words of the world would not hurt us. My mom in her element had a tongue like a sailors’, she could hurl insults and say obscenities that would make one cover their heads in shame. When she was okay our home was a no cuss zone, it was a challenge having to deal with different shades of my mom.
Her sometimes violent behaviour has meant that relatives have distanced themselves from us. We have had to deal with, to cry and to learn to stand up for ourselves on our own. To learn that no one else would stand up for us; if we didn’t do so ourselves. Basically, it has been me, my sister, my two brothers and dad against the world. Our ordeal has made us stronger, it has taught us to laugh even in pain, and I am able to lift someone up who is growing through trauma even when my heart is breaking because I learnt throughout my life to not let pain break me. Yes, there have been times I have almost given up but being the eldest girl I had to endure for my siblings’ sake. I’m a little broken inside because I have had to deal with societal misconceptions, with constant fear, with being pointed at as the crazy woman’s’ daughter. But I’m all the stronger. I always say I dont know how my mom or dad or how we managed to survive and get an education, not have succumbed to depression or suicide because it’s been hard. All I can say is God has been gracious; He gave us strength in our weakness.
We have established a support network where we can feely talk about mental illness. I'm an advocate against mental health discrimination, we can overcome!
.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

I am waiting

Dear Hubby,

I long for you each and every day
Though i long for you,i do not let my longing consume me.
I wake up and go on-i work,i pray and i wait.

My Mother told me,a woman has to work,use her hands to provide for her family.
Be of noble character.
So dear hubby-i work.
I am what they call an independant woman,i can provide for my family,i
can do my own hair,i can pay my own bills.
Yet still i long for you.

Though i am independant,Mama did not forget to tell me and i know the
Bible says i should submit to you and i am still waiting for the day
when you come and complete me.
I know you will love like Christ loves the Church.
I await for you my dear hubby.

Yes,life has not always been a bed of roses,
My heart has been broken and i have realised i need God in my relationships.
So for you i wait.
I pray for you each day,that God grants you wisdom and keeps you.
They tell me that age is not on my side and i should settle for those
that are there.
But i choose to wait for you my hubby and i am still waiting.

Some call me fridgid and too old fashioned and some 'Miss Holy'
Because i choose to wait for you and remain single till the day we meet.
I refuse to waste my time or someone elses` time who is not you.
For i know you are worth the wait

For me marriage is forever and you my hubby are my forever
For you are from my Lord God,my saviour the one who is always mindful of me.
I know in the fullness of time we will meet.
I'm still waiting for you.
I work,i pray and i wait.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Don't love me when I'm gone!

Love me sweet, love me tender
Don’t love when I’m gone
Don’t love me when the sweet abyss consumes me.
Don't want to haunt your dreams but your every waking moment.
Be with me now, hold my hand
Keep me in your loving arms
Don’t love me when I’m gone.

Love me sweet, love tender
Don’t love when I’m gone
Don’t remember to pick up the phone when I’m gone
No, there won’t be my sweet voice, only the realisation it’s now nothing but a number
Don’t love me when all you can say is I wish
Love me now; don’t love me when I’m gone

Love me sweet, love me tender
Don’t love me when I’m gone
Don’t wish you could have told me my eyes were beautiful
Or that you love the sound of my laughter
Or that your heart skips a beat when you see me
Love me now, out loud not with your regret.

Love me sweet, love me tender
Don’t love me when I’m gone
Don’t miss me more when I’m no more
Miss me now and be with me
Don’t shed tears of sorrow when I’m gone
Shed tears of joy now when I’m with you
Don’t tell God He should have given me another day
Here I am yet weeks pass by
Love me sweet, love me tender!
Love me now.

®Renie

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

I was paid for in full!

When I received Jesus Christ as my Saviour and Lord it was at a time when we were taught about FAITH. Faith is being sure of what we hope for and being certain of what we do not see (Hebrews11 vs. 1). All the men of God who were teaching at that time put their emphasis on God, on Jesus Christ, on the Holy Spirit. They taught us to have Faith and believe in the Lord; they taught us about prayer, about interceding with God about our lives, not giving up on God until the end no matter what happened.

They taught us on the power that is in the name of Jesus Christ (Philippians 2 vs9-11).
We were encouraged to have a deep, intimate relationship with God and to know that Jesus hears us when we cry out to Him. We had to have fellowship with Him through reading His word to an extent that we could have conversation with Him. It was a beautiful time of learning more about God. Somewhere along the way things changed, I cannot even pin point when they changed but they did. It has become almost taboo to hear about Jesus Christ in church. We no longer hear about Jesus our Healer, the Holy Spirit is no longer talked about as our Comforter. It feels like somewhere along the line the Son of God, the first born of Creation lost His Majesty and was replaced by “mantles and Prophets”.
Where we used to hear about Faith and God, we now hear about something else. We are now  told that for things to go well with us ,we have to have some sort of divine protection e.g. Anointed oil, wristband, towel etc. People are even afraid to go out if they do not have any of these items with them lest harm befalls them because they do not know the power of Christ within them.

Yet my Bible tells me God did not give us a Spirit of timidity but of a sound mind (Romans 8 vs. 15). I have no problems with mantles, yes in the days of Paul they used handkerchiefs and things happened. But they did not make little gods out of these towels because they knew the higher power within them. They did not cease to function without the towels or without Apostle Paul.

They knew they could call on the name of Jesus and He would show up for them. But now the Prophets seem hell bent on making people dependant on them and not on Christ. It appears from the teachings as though the Prophet is the go between, like he mediates on our behalf to God. As if I as an individual am no longer worthy to go before the throne of grace and talk to God and he hears me.

Whatever happened to the Almighty God, to the Holy Spirit who is supposed to be with us where-ever we go? What happened to the omnipresent God who paid the ultimate price for us on the cross? Why does it seem like we are replacing God with all these “things”? Again I ask, what happened to Jesus, to being encouraged to seek a relationship with Him? Even the word that is being preached we no longer magnify the name of our Lord Jesus but that of the Prophets. Yet, Jesus Christ is the one who paid for us in full, He paid the ultimate price for our salvation.

Remember He is a jealous God and never meant for us to worship anyone, trust in anything other than Him (Exodus 34 vs. 14, Deuteronomy 5vs 9).

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Adorn the Spirit man


It’s amazing how much we rely on our carnal minds when it comes to the issue of meeting our life partner. Often times we are driven to think that the major way to attract that person is if we entice them. The biggest enticement these days especially for us women seems to be “the less we wear, the more we will get noticed” and we are running with that. I was reminded of the story of Ruth, of how she came to be with Boaz and how he first noticed her. She was in the fields and you can imagine the attire she was wearing whilst gleaning grain. Her hair must have been a mess, not to talk of the work clothes she was putting on (I’m not saying do not be well groomed).
Then another story is that of Rebekah at the well when she met Abrahams’ chief servant who was on a mission to find a wife for Isaac. She showed kindness when she could have simply walked away. What is striking about both these women is that when they met with their destined partners they were not preoccupied with “self”. They were serving, showing kindness, love and loyalty. They were engrossed not in self or the outward appearance but were busy demonstrating their inner good. They were displaying the fruit of the spirit which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

May God help us to realize that the inner man needs much more adornment and time spent beautifying it through the word of God and communion with the Holy Spirit. That when the inner person is beautiful it will shine through more than anything else will and will lead us and direct our paths so that we do not miss our destiny.

God is raising up worshippers


Worship is coming to a place of intimacy where nothing else matters but your love and affection for God. It is our highest calling as a people, just simply exalting our maker. We have reached a time where God is calling upon and raising up true worshippers.

 People who are able to exalt the name of God even when things are not going well for them. People who continue to say Jehovah you are awesome in my life may your name be praised even when they have no rent money or their career is not going according to plan.

Worshippers who will talk about the might and goodness of God to others even when sickness is crawling at their door. People whose lips are constantly offering praises.

Worship is all about God! Are you ready and willing to worship God in truth and in spirit?

Revelation 4vs 8-11

YES!! you are doing the right thing!



They are said to be slowly going extinct but I know they are there. Seems the respect they were once given is also slowly eroding and if you dare to admit you are one you are looked at with disbelief or laughed at. Yes, I am talking about VIRGINS!

 The in thing these days even among Christians is having sex outside of marriage. The whole idea of waiting seems absurd to many. But I just want to encourage someone who has chosen to wait that you are indeed doing the right thing. Do not let society or your body dictate what you do with your purity. Abstaining is not easy, but what good thing ever came easily?

 Some say being a good girl does not pay but to you who is waiting remember that is exactly how the world wants you to think. Think about Josephs’ predicament for a moment, when Potiphars’ wife was throwing herself at him. Someone would have probably told him to sleep with her as he would not lose anything by doing that. But what we do not see is that we would be going against the will of God, our Father. The One whose opinion matters above everyone else’s’ opinion.

Do not be weary, do not become faint even when your body cries for relief I know you can hold on. Not through your own willpower but through the Holy Spirit who continually gives us strength .It’s not easy but it’s possible and in due time you will enjoy sex as God intended.

Galatians 6vs 7-9

 
For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
 
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.