Of Mental Health

mental health awareness

Mental health is a mostly avoided and greatly misunderstood topic in African countries. Some of the beliefs are steeped in years of cultural practices that make opening up difficult, when you read and hear the stories people have to share, you realise people struggle by themselves.

Generally speaking, when you speak of mental health it is assumed you are referring to the kind of mental illness which leads to one being committed to a mental asylum under heavy sedatives or roaming the streets in ragged clothes in deep conversations with the unseen. Word on the street is this caused by anything from genetics, stress, taking drugs, committing murder or adultery, witchcraft, as a sacrifice in a money making ritual or forsaking  your ancestral kin.

If you randomly ask someone about their mental health they will look at you as if you just asked them if they are crazy……..

We all have that or have heard of that uncle or aunt whom nobody really talks about who occasionally gets whisked away to get treatment and medication, when the moon is a certain way. I remember reading something a long time ago about how the moon affects lunatics not exactly quite unlike the way of werewolves.

They say Lunatics comes from Lunar…. (The lunar lunacy effect)

Moon howling

Even William Shakespeare had something to say about this in Othello:

“It is the very error of the moon.
She comes more near the earth
than she was wont. And makes
men mad.”

Othello Act 5 scene 2

I have an uncle, he taught me Latin when I was six years old, I thought we were speaking gibberish and I indulged him because as I understood it he got headaches. I only discovered when I went to a Catholic boarding school that I could recite the Lord’s prayer in Latin. He is a genius, he studied at a university abroad, on some scholarship in the 70s, smoked some weird stuff and never got quite got back to himself.

The last time I saw him, he was trying to build a resonance machine, which would vibrate your brain cells at the natural frequency of a genius mind and if you had not studied mathematics at high school level your brain would blow up, leaving a world of only intellects…….

Conversations with him are always intriguing, I understand what he is talking about sometimes, maybe because I know how resonance works; someone else just listens and decides he speaks gibberish, when he actually speaks fluent German. No one quite talks about it, I don’t even know what he studied. Sometimes I worry I have those genes, a crazy genius who might take a bad trip and never come back?

Then we have the silent killer Clinical depression which has a list symptoms indistinguishable from what people generally call being moody, sad even lazy and yet battling darkness at their core. Its easy to look happy, when everyone wears a mask. I have seen people who refuse to accept that depression is an actual medical condition and not some made up excuse to be sad

Smiling Mask Sad Face beneath

No one seems to take it seriously right up until the time someone ends their life. Then suddenly people are trying to understand when you got such dark thoughts or how they didn’t realise that the extent of your depression was not just sadness but something deeper darker…..Needed treatment/therapy not just telling some one to man up or be positive or simply try harder

Unfortunately no one ever really knows whats going on inside you, the case of The Strong Silent Man.

It’s Ok to say “I am sad and I don’t know why”……… nothing to be ashamed about. You could even write it down, it’s a form of therapy, some of the best writers are really tortured spirits and paper was the only friend that listened and offered no judgement.

~B

Day 14 of my blog everyday challenge

if you are in Zimbabwe and need to contact someone you can try The Samaritans.

Samaritans – Bulawayo
PO Box 806
BULAWAYO
Contact by: Face to Face – Phone – Letter:
Hotline: (9) 650 00
24 Hour service:

Harare Samaritans
PO Box UA 267
Union Avenue
HARARE
Contact by: Face to Face – Phone – Letter:
Hotline: (4) 726 468 – (4) 722 000
Hotline: Toll-free: 080 12 333 333
24 Hour service:

The Samaritans
MUTARE
Hotline: (20) 635 59

Or Find other free organisations in the post by The Quarter Wife

If you know of any other please add them……. What are your experiences with mental health like?

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Of Coffee and Edible Water after Easter on Independence Day

tea

If you were having coffee with me I would say hello to you hope you had happy Easter holidays. Did you do anything interesting, visit family, hunt for eggs with the Easter Bunny, or go to church and celebrate The Risen Lord. Regardless of your beliefs and faith on Easter I find you hope you never get swayed by the corporate monster, out there to make a quick buck, commercializing every single reason we have to buy a gift or anything really for any occasion clouding up everything till you find you cant go home until you have bought a mother’s day or father’s day, valentine’s day or anniversary gift, cake, presents, Christmas trees, hot cross buns, Easter eggs, spending hard  earned money on meaningless trinkets and  meaningless gestures. Ok, fine maybe that was a bit harsh, its not meaningless and there is nothing wrong with gifts and gestures, and I for one wouldn’t mind getting a gift; even for no reason, actually especially for no reason but they must come from the heart and not because some big corporate splurged a lot of money in advertising and marketing and it’s all inception and subliminal messaging for you To Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy.

But hey the corporate monster just like progress is a multi-headed beast that needs to be constantly fed with innovation.

If you were having coffee with me I would ask you if you saw the April Full Moon, also known as The Pink Moon. I don’t know why it is called The Pink Moon, it was most certainly full but not pink in colour. Here is a fun fact, Easter Sunday falls on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox. (which occurs March 20)

It still feels like the weekend today, Sunday to be precise but its Tuesday, that’s because today’s another public holiday, it’s been a holiday studded past five days whoop whoop…

Today is Independence Day for Zimbabwe.

Happy 37 years of…… sovereignity.

They call us the Born Free generation because we are fortunate to never have witnessed oppression at the hands of colonial overlords or the blood price that was paid for our sovereignity. Sovereignity is a tree just like liberty it needs constant watering, with blood of patriots and traitors alike. I would like to believe no leader ever sets out to rule with iron words, firm fists and tyranny but the old adage holds true power corrupts and absolute power, well absolutely…. and here we are 37 years later and sovereignity feels a lot like oppression  simply changed skin colour.

If you were having coffee with me I would ask you if you have taken a walk outside and thought to yourself someone should do something about this and then kept walking….. Yeah I do that. Just the other day I was looking for a bin to throw litter in, while walking in the city, I noticed all the different kinds of bottles littering the street thinking yeah people need to recycle or something….. and I kept walking.

Everybody expects somebody to do something and in the end nobody does anything

Fun Fact; Empties is really a word, it means a glass bottle empty of its contents. You might be familiar with bottles that come with a deposit refundable when you return the ‘empties’ or those who wont sell you takeaway beverages without an empty to exchange with. I had always wondered who came up with that word or if it was just street lingo but had never looked it up not until yesterday. When your bottle has a deposit you are less likely to just toss it away without a second thought.

If you were having coffee with me I would ask you what you think of edible water bottles. I would watch you look at me trying to wrap your head around the idea of an edible water edible. I know I have crazy ideas but fortunately that one isn’t mine.

skipping-rocks-lab-ooho-water-bubble-designboom-04-12-2017-newsletter-818x600

A company called Skipping Rocks Labs has introduced water, packaged in water drop shaped bottles that are get this Edible… made from some organic algae, dipped in ice. How cool is that?  The idea is quite an interesting and innovative take on that recycling and littering problem I mentioned earlier, especially for those who want water on the go…(hello jogging #teamfitness I see you) I don’t know about the practicalities though like you cant have your water and drink it too hahahaha. What do you think

Thanks for dropping by and have an awesome week

~B

PS If you are a Christian you must live each day as if Christ rose today and is coming.  Amen

Photocredit Designboom