RAINBOWS

I have been reading through my notebooks. I found this and felt like I should finally type it out and share it. So here we go:

You ask me to see,

I am sorry my blindness makes you uncomfortable.

You force me to feel,

I am sorry my numbness affects you more.

You ask me yo smile,

I am sorry my darkness and sadness are unbecoming.

You quote scripture and point at my unbelief,

I am sorry my walk of faith doesn’t suit the packaging that’s appeasing to you.

My wins may not mean a lot, but come sit with me and maybe wear my shoes for a day.

I know you might see a lot of greys but hey I have learnt it’s one shade closer to the rainbows you easily enjoy.

I may be numb but it’s after toiling back and forth for answers. I am glad to rest and lay my burdens down.

My very existence is proof that God listens. So if you took a minute from making my pain about you, maybe just maybe it would be less uncomfortable and unbecoming.

Looking For My Will To Live

It’s funny. Mental illness feels like having so many people around you and yet still feeling so lonely. People choose to be alone but lonely, no one picks that.

As I write this I am tired. Every single bit of my being is and I honestly do not know what to do next. I will however credit myself for crawling to the bathroom and taking a shower (A shower ha ha wow that’s my win for the past two days.)

Mama was here yesterday on her birthday and she said a prayer for me. She always shows up on time. Either that or she has a good spy network that she heads.

I honestly feel like I have lost my will to live. Like there’s something wrong with me and I hate it. Oh today I was talking to someone about how I feel and they said to me,

“Well at least you are pretty.”

I honestly didn’t know my looks play a very pivotal role on my road to recovery but just like the sponge I am, I sucked it all in and just wished them a great night (with a few mosquito bites🙄).

Does it get better? Well I don’t know but what I am certain is I have seen brighter days that have had my heart full. So hey, I guess we keep going. For me this means hiding all sharp items, handing my medication over to be kept out of reach and to try and eat. (Though low key hoping I loose some weight the easy way.)

A Woman Scorned (Part1)

I am that girl who sits quietly and does more watching than talking. So today as I sat holding up my novel, I watched her.

Her brown top and shoes gave off the vibe that she was grounded. Her right foot stood out with beautiful African beads that had been carefully laced together to make her anklet.She did look thinner than I imagined. Don’t get me wrong, I had never laid my eyes on her physically but from my (ignorant) opinion it seemed like the years were taking a great toll on her.

She appeared to have lost herself in the daily doings of life. I wondered if all her dreams came true, if she still wanted to change the world or if she had settled to be like the rest that just hide their pain. Maybe her Mama was right yet again, advocacy paid in therapy sessions and ultimate brokenness.

The way she moved around the hospital told me this wasn’t her first rodeo, she had been here before. This was just another loss and yet another scar on her used to be beautiful black skin. She knew this so well, that the body never forgets even when the mind conspires to erase the memories. Maybe that’s why she seemed anxious.

… to be continued

NB: The images are not owned by the author and have been sourced from Pinterest.

On Fighting My Demons

It’s been exactly 14 days since I last stepped into a hospital. I never thought this would be possible with my declining mental health. Yes I have spent most of my 2020 walking down those halls. I am now on first name basis with most of the nurses in the APU unit. This is however an accomplishment I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

These days have been my very big miracle that’s had me dancing in circles. They have had their challenges but I have been grateful for them. I mean just last week as I tried to make my mental health awareness videos on tiktok, I came across one that freaked the life out of me. It claimed that “if someone was not getting better they were dying.” I would normally pride myself and joke about death not liking me that much but this one kind of hit home. Maybe it was because I felt that this time death was very close.

I wondered if I would have the energy to fight through the darkness one more time if it came knocking. Let’s face it, it gets draining to fight against a brain that wants you dead in a body that wants to stay alive.

This makes staying an intentional choice you take on every second, minute, hour and day. The fight teaches you a few things about life, like you just can’t cancel a year because it hasn’t gone how you wanted it to. You learn to be grateful about the little things people take for granted. You see more opportunities than failures at every turn because the opposite will take you to an early grave. You learn to be kind to yourself (Most times you are all you will have in your corner).

Yes my symptoms have overpowered me yet again. So tomorrow I will be back to walking down those halls. It won’t be from a place of defeat. It will rather be from a place of gratitude to my body for trying its best to hold me down for the past 14 days.

Hey Chad,

It’s like we knew you. Not just on our screens, because you were more than that. You were a man who had seen tragedy and pain and still pushed through.

You had us dancing around in circles having hands crossed and shouting Wakanda at the top of our voices.

The true delineation of black excellence. You taught us that there was strength in being who we were. We learnt to be brave and kind.

Even with death knocking at your door , you gave of yourself wholly. I refuse to say that you lost the fight to cancer. I believe it lost itself to you because though you breathed your last, you ignited the spirits of many warriors on their journeys to healing.

Long live king! Indeed you never yielded till the end. May you keep resting in power! (Please say hi to Paul and Stan for me ♥️)

INSIDE MY SUICIDAL MIND

The thing about trying one too many times is that you learn to be better and more successful with the next. This self drive is great but sometimes it’s not one you need especially when you are trying to end your self.

There’s a 99 percent chance that we will all be non existent one day. It’s day three and my brain is convincing me to try again. The weird thing about this is I think this time may be the charm. My heart is in pain. It feels heavy literally. My body is exhausted and my will seems to have taken a stroll.

I really don’t know why I am trying anymore. I wake up to do a lot of human activities. I am good at fitting in. I know what to do, you know with the social cues.

I have done great for myself. I believe I have tried. Today I am imagining the speeches and how they would run. Lol I think I’ll chuckle at the ones that will claim their undying love for me yet they did the bare minimum while I breathed.

Maybe like Samson my silence will speak more than my words. Maybe then they will listen.

(Two weeks after I am still here, I fought with all I had in me. So if you are at rock bottom right now, please don’t give up. I love you.)

ON BOXES AND LIFE

Sometimes it hurts too good that you don’t want to let it go. It’s painful but it’s yours, it’s all you know and have grown to embrace. So when change comes to shake things up, you fight.

In the words of Elizabeth Gilbert, “We settle for living in misery because we are afraid of change. Of things crumbling to ruins… I looked around at this place, at its chaos, the way it’s been adapted, burned, pillaged and found a way to build itself back again, I was reassured, maybe my life has not been so chaotic, it’s the world that is and maybe the real trap is getting attached to any of it. Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation…we must always be prepared for endless waves of transformation.”

I have found myself here again. My foundations being broken and shaken. My heart so heavy and my mind mostly unsettled. Just the other day my therapist gently said to me; “Rita, maybe there’s nothing wrong with you. Maybe the world has everything wrong with it and finds it hard to understand you. That’s what happens when it fails to fit you in a box like the rest.”

.

The truth is that I don’t really like boxes that much so its on me to remind myself that I’m enough and worthy of good things.

My Daddy is My First Guest Writer. Enjoy!😊

Words are such beautiful things, here’s what my father (Stephen Barasa) had to say about the woman I’m glad brought me to this world:

“I support my daughter Rita (Rita Vigilante). That’s how I became an Arsenal fan. While at it, I have led a nomadic soccer life. When we win, we celebrate, when we lose, Rita leaves the club, and I follow. They win again, we return. I keep following just. And there appears to be no end in sight for the on and off, especially that Arsenal long abandoned their winning ways.

The recent experience though is one I will live to remember. Arsenal was on the pitch and they were doing extremely badly. If they lost this match, relegation was guaranteed. I was at the Emirates that day, extremely angry at their pathetic display so I determined to do something. Heaven knows how I got onto the pitch but in no time, I was playing centre forward, furiously attacking every opponent in sight. Aiming at the goal, and with the whole wide world cheering, I summoned every ounce of strength and sent the killer shot that delivered the winning goal. Lots of shouts in celebration broke across the pitch, making me a soccer star and hero of the day.

Suddenly, yes indeed suddenly, a furious Emily – for that’s my wife’s name – shook me like with all her strength, nearly throwing me off the bed; ‘You, ggwe’ Stephen, what’s wrong with you? Why are you kicking me?

It was then that I realized the whole thing had been but a dream.

Dreams come and go.

This one came and, unfortunately went, taking with it my hitherto, excellent record of zero domestic violence. Also, it denied me good money from the English premier league. Two weeks later, I am still explaining to Emily how indeed it was but a dream. I keep telling her we would be rich by now.

Ladies and gentlemen, now you know why our 8th July passed without a shout. Will you please join me in thanking Emily for cooking obusuma nengeeni for this rather cantankerous Musamia for 31 long years! ”

No sorrow;

“There is no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.”

The past few weeks I have been doing a lot of watching and it really wouldn’t sit well with me if I continued to stay silent about a great injustice I and many others fighting/struggling with their mental health face.

I have chosen to use both words (struggle &fight) because they are the very essence of what we deal with and I don’t feel the need to pretend to make you comfortable. It’s our truth some days it’s a fight while others it’s a legitimate struggle to keep afloat. If our truth makes you uncomfortable then you need to check yourself because you are the problem not us.

You do not get to tell someone doing the best to stay how and when to talk about their journey. It is not your story to tell! You do not get to advice them out of a treatment plan because it makes you uncomfortable. You haven’t even walked a mile in their shoes or greater yet had a single form of contribution to them getting actual help.

When someone is ill we pay close attention, we advise them to take medication. We do not advise them to go to a pastor to perform a heart surgery. We carefully look for the most skilled surgeon, we hold fundraising events if they cannot afford this care.

Tell me, why then is it entirely the opposite when it comes to mental illness? Why must we struggle with our symptoms, suffer to get a diagnosis and to afford treatment while at the same time being asked to be apologetic about our process. Why is it when we decide we are done fighting we are charged with the crime of committing suicide?

You make it hard for us to exist and don’t want us to stop existing at the same time.You say whatever you want or feel and justify it with culture, scripture or whatever you deem fit.

One out of every 4 people you are around struggle with mental illness. In Uganda 10 out of one hundred people lose their lives to suicide every year. One person every 40 seconds loses their lives to the same around the world.

You can help these people and change the statistics by being a supportive community that educates itself about mental illness and health. That supports those on their journey to healing. I hope you check yourself and stop the stigma! Otherwise you are playing a big part in the one who loses their life every 40 seconds. You killed them!

Mirror mirror on the wall… (Part 2)

Desperate:

You can say I was desperate for another to complete me or save me. I haven’t yet distinguished what I was exactly. When I met him I had currently run from the arms of a man that loved me.

Little did I know that I was running from a safe space to a full blown war. With each passing day he won me over. I don’t know what happened really. Let’s just say one moment my walls were up and the next I was falling into the arms of the one I loved. I tried to quickly get my self together but it was too late. I had sold my soul to the devil incarnate.

I read a lot of stories where women marry their abusers and are willing to die for them or where they speak out about the abuse and are not believed because their partner has an amazing public personality. What can I say, if you didn’t know his true nature behind closed doors, you wouldn’t believe what the man he really was.

The barking, the insults, the blame, the forced sexual gesture, the love bombing, the manipulation. The sworn silence. Oh my beloved. He indeed would have killed me and claimed I enjoyed every minute of it. Well in hindsight he almost did. He pulled the trigger that almost sent me to my grave!

“If you are silent about your pain, they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it.”

Zora Neale Hurston

…To be continued

NB; The images are not owned by the author and have been sourced from pinterest.