Blogging, Followers, Mental Health, Mental Illness

PLEASE FOLLOW ME!😭🙏🏾

Hey everyone! I lost ALL of my followers while changing from my domain odysseyoftheodd.wordpress.com to idasharon.wordpress.com , I’d make do with a follow once more. Kindly help! Thank you.

Ida-Sharon.

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Blogging, Life, Mental Health, Mental Illness

THE WISH LIST.

I wish I did not act often like God were a figurine on the mantle or like He fits in my back pocket but rather like He is creator of the universe, and He loves me…

I wish I could shield myself from my own agonies and insecurities. From phones that do not ring, from snubbed emails, from the 6 A.M. alarm clock, from saying “no” but still feeling the responsibility to explain myself, from the malaise of bad company, from fair weather friends; the kinds that fly the coop as quickly as they can, at the first hint of trouble, from the frayed ends of the welcome mat…

I wish I could shield myself from depression, from Bipolar II Disorder, from mood disorders, from relapses…

I wish I could shield myself from false hope, from wet blankets, from naysayers, from rabble-rousers, from toxic people, from unnecessary tirades, from the losing team, from people with an agenda to harm, and those wild flowers meant solely to disarm…

I wish I could shield myself from romantic relationships that lead everywhere but the altar. I wish I could shield myself from relationships marred by arguments that feel like the brink of a break up. I wish I could shield myself from relationships characterised by constant gaslighting. I wish I could shield myself from relationships that make me second-guess my decisions. I wish I could shield myself from relationships that seem like love is a misnomer or a fictional concept. I wish I could mow the lands where people have lost their vows…

I wish I could feel more at home especially in the love of the most precarious sight…

I wish perserverence were solely meant to mould life into love of fine, gold or cold firing…

I wish I could make society destigmatise the conversation around mental health within the snap of my finger…

I wish I could make us all refer to mental illness as mental “trillness” 😎…

I wish I could make us all root for all the people affected by the scourge of mental illness…

I wish I could wipe mental illness off the face of the earth…

I wish I could rap like the enigmatic 2Pac. Or sing pitch perfect like the regal Whitney Houston. Just so I could give a concert for free and heal a soul or two…

I wish I could master Messianic oration like Obama just so I could bless the human race with gracefulness and mind blowing speeches that move you to tears and orchestrate you to leave your comfort zone or be your brother’s keeper…

I wish I could write like Chinua Achebe, the mercurial creature with his own unique quirk, aspiration and preference that still drives me to aspire to create my own stories. I wish I could shield myself from bland and boring reads. I wish I could only encounter riveting reads. And wordsmiths. The more arcane, the better…

I wish I could be half as compassionate as Mother Teresa…

I wish I could be a flaming charisma like my big sister Beryl…

I wish I could effortlessly be the prime purveyor of grit and the patron saint of resilience…

I wish I could be the kind of Kenyan who does not see politicians without the hedonistic desire to bury them in stones, the kind of Kenyan who watches the local news bulletin without being sick to their stomach, the kind who takes pride in their passport because of the country in it…

I wish I could fly an airplane just so I would satisfy my wanderlust by visiting spots around the world on a whim, validating my travel dreams, one bucket list city after the other…

I wish I could read minds just so I would get into private investigations and solve the myriads of crimes that wreck(ed) the world…

I wish I could experience osmosis just so I would go to libraries and transform my brain into the richest data bank…

I wish I could buy a bottle of confidence, just so I would take a case and put it in the pantry! I wish confidence were wine, because wine comes in bottles…

I wish I could erase all of my struggles with sadness, lethargy and the minefield of self-actualization. I wish I could remedy every regret and every bad decision. I wish I could take more chances, different chances, try harder. I wish I could sift through my life, alter details and discard parts of my history on to the cutting room floor until ultimately editing all of the pieces together to create my own picture-perfect story. I wish I could act it out all again before the curtains fall…

I wish I could revive seamless conversations from my childhood…

I wish the bountiful sky could let me bring some of its stars down and let me soak my soul in the joy of their illumination…

I wish I could be as prickly as the bougainvillea so I would not require a nod to harbour the blooming sight that wishes to protect the flower pod…

I wish I could catch a dream filled with love and awe-inspiring things and hold it locked in my heart until I get to see my Dana in heaven…

I wish I could become a vibrational match to each and every one of my dreams and aspirations…

I wish the whimsical beauties that are the butterflies darting and swooping as they frolic between the greenery while I look on dreamily, touch me by their pale gossamer wings and leave their magic on my skin as they restore my faith…

I wish we could acknowledge that we struggle with our faith because we see so many bring shame to it…

I wish Father Time could slow down so I can make many more monumental memories with my brilliant nephew Yul, and keep reminding him someday when I am gone, that I love him mightily. ❤️

I wish we could all agree unanimously, that after Hip-Hop & Rap, Ohangla is the second most timeless and tasteful music genre…

I wish we could all understand that a patriarchal society CANNOT become egalitarian without feminism…

I wish Capital Steez did not take his own life on the cusp of stardom…

I wish, consequently, that everyone would understand that people who commit suicide do not want to end their lives but the pain…

I wish, like Kid Cudi, more rappers were never afraid to bare their soul on wax, and give their lyrics a greater emotional potency that touches so many of us living with depression and battling suicidal ideations, in the most unheard of ways…

I wish I could understand why most of my heroes are either dysfunctional or dead…

I wish my loved ones never forget how grateful I am for being patient with me while I’m teetering between stoical and fervid…

I wish the brain fog understood that I am a wounded healer and I have the power to turn wounds into weapons and trauma into triumph…

I wish everyone knew they are imbued with heavenly powers and they can use them well for the highest good…

I wish these words could fly off this blog and into print and someone somewhere picks my soul up off of those pages…

But most importantly, I wish I could be me. Just me; my best me. Regardless of whether I am slouched in front of my computer or hanging out with my best friend. Because if everyone were extraordinary, who would be extraordinary?

But I am but human. A human with a bleeding pen in my hands. A leakage of me lost in a brown study.

💛

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Bipolar Disorder, Blogging, Life, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Mood Disorder

HEAVEN COULD NOT WAIT. ❤️

Friday 4th September 2015, 08:30 pm. She shuddered and expired. Heaven could not wait. 💔❤️

My eyelids turned lead heavy, my heart painstakingly hollow and my blood felt like acid. A sick joke? No. A death. Death. My grandma’s sudden death.

You see grandma was larger than life. She was my first country. She was beyond love. She was ahead of her time yet still on time. She had a demure demeanour that easily lit up a room. She was always wreathed in smiles. She was beauty and everything that pertains to it.

Laced with self-consciousness, intuition, veracity, willpower, tenacity, grit and LOVE. Obviously a senior citizen and your typical African (great)grand(mother), and as such, had some of the obligatory traits — spontaneous deafness, an unerring ability to stand right in the way and a bat-like sonar system that allows her to yell at you when you left one dish undone but stand ten toes down when she herself did that. She was nonetheless an absolute sweetheart in the grand scheme of things.

Grandma binged on love and affection. Authentic love and affection. A birth giver to stars. A magic maker. She had children, grandchildren and great grandchildren who would keep her on her toes; a wild ride to places she’d only see on telly. But I saw something striking in her liquid eyes, something that guided me from the moment I met her — her unflappable philosophy that whatever came her way she’d manage. And because she’d manage, we would, too.

Her relationship with God was a very skyward and personal one. She regarded Him as a friend. My own odd odyssey has been perhaps convoluted, my image of Divinity has somewhat shifted from that childhood vision (I believe due to my struggle with mood disorder), but the simplicity of those prayers remain! And so does something she told me when I asked her where God lived. She smiled at me very broadly and replied with a laid-back tone and somewhat aloofness, “In your heart.”

In her demise, I learnt that when the sled of death launches on you, when you watch the casket close on your loved one, it somersaults your mind forever. It brashly disrupts your mental, emotional and physical equilibrium. It brazenly reminds you of the frailty and fickleness of existence. Realization dawns on you how terrible it is to love something that death can touch. I still hear the sound of her laughter under the starry sky in the middle of June, I still see her snow white teeth and her beautiful wrinkly cheeks traced with tiny spider veins, I still find bits and pieces of her in the music I love and I still hold random conversations with her in my head 4 years after her passing, religiously. I still reminisce on everything.

I have learnt that there is no sanctuary for death; no respite, no silk cocoon you can wrap yourself to avoid it. Death is life and life is death and therein lies the metamorphoses, for both change and death are inevitable. Death can come fragrant as a dozen roses tied in silk ribbon, or it can slither in on the belly of a snake waiting for the right moment to strike or it can wrap itself around throttling your breath from you. Death is the cold cup of coffee you never finish as you write your last words.

I think what puts us on edge regarding death no matter how familiar we think we have become, is its finality, surreal because there is no grand finale, no crescendo that can lead up to the moment.

So dear Dana, I know I walked into your sendoff significantly mortified and soul-sick and a complete cesspool of mental illness, but today, 1460 days on, as I type this, I’d like you to know that I’m consciously blooming into an orchard of sunsets. Not because it got better but because I got stronger. Because I’m a budding wolverine, by virtue of you having been a veteran wolverine. That is why I can’t help being a purveyor of stout-heartedness, courage, ferociousness, aggression and fearlessness. I symbolize everything that is threatening or threatening. I’m firmly rooted, built up and established in the faith. In the faith that if it is good it is beautiful and if it is bad it is experience. In the faith and the notion that everything will be alright in the end so if it is not alright it is not the end. In the faith that I must keep feigning strength until it is inked in my bones. In the faith that I am a gladiator and I must never lay down my shield.

Thank you for teaching me that my patchwork heart and my glitchy mind are all WORTHY.

You are cradled in my heart eternally! 💫

I miss you terribly! 💔

I love you mightily! ❣️

And to my other Dana, my maternal grandma Suzanna, woman of statuesque beauty, exquisite strength, courage and love. She was as alpha as they come. Strict, advocative and now peaceful and free as a dove. (She laid down her shield and gained her heavenly wings earlier on in February 2015).

So dear Dana Suzanna, you are the piece of my heart of my heart that is forever missing. Your memory is my keepsake from which I’ll never part. My life is a conduit of your love and the monumental memories that we made.

If love be quantified, mine for you is the numbers, walking to forever! 💫

I miss you greatly! 💔

I love you organically! ❤️

God bless the dead! 🙏🏾

Special regards to everyone battling mental illness and loss. I know the hardest part of living is just taking breaths to stay but let us hang tough. We stand alone, TOGETHER. 💪🏾

Love, light and healing. 💫

✊🏾

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Mental Health

SIX.

Wooow I cannot believe it’s been six months since I last blogged! Hello everyone!!

A lot has really happened in my hiatus and I must say it has been a whirling rollercoaster of experience. Of course I’ve been riding the rollercoaster of Bipolar Disorder without a seatbelt on. Highs and lows of bipolarity and everything in between.

You see, in these six months, my favourite nephew began first grade. I’m awe-struck. This little champ touched my life in the most unheard of ways. Some six years ago, on Thursday 6th September at 2pm, my beautiful big sister Beryl put to bed a dainty baby boy with perfect caramel skin, beady eyes, rabbit ears and a head half full of hair. I majestically took over the throne as the newest auntie and nurturer in town. (This was the first time any of my siblings had been blessed with a bundle). I have a soft spot for children and I’m obsessed with the naming norms. (I already know my future baby’s name yet there’s absolutely no bun in the oven yet!) Perks of being a badass woman. So I nicknamed my nephew the tiger shark. Yes, after shark, the animal. Because I envisioned him growing up with the attributes of the shark. (The shark is symbolic of being a terror of the sea, it is fierce in everything it does. It does not compromise; it aggressively pursues what it wants.) My baby, the tiger shark also has diverse names because we are a doting family and he was the first of our parents’ grandchildren so naturally we would adore him a little extra. I’d like to think the one I gave him stands out because I’m a Sagittarius, and we the archers don’t come to play at all. I’m eternally grateful to my shark for teaching me that motherhood (or babysitting) basically needs you to be a multitasking jangler of different tasks at the same time. There were times I had to sing, dance, rock my hands, use noisy machines like the blow dryer just to get him to sleep or stop crying. I’m not even chest thumping but my nanny game is out of this world thanks to him. Looks like I’ll become a par excellent mama in future! Well fast forward into time, our polyonymous baby, the shark, is a first grader and a responsible little man full of life and immense energy. Long live my tiger shark!

Selfie moment with my nephews. The tiger shark is on my left.

In these six months, my beautiful, super smart, strong willed and perfect level of extra mother, turned 60 and became a senior citizen and we threw a thanksgiving party for her. All hail mama, the lighthouse in my storm, our number one cheerleader, hype man & safety net in a chaotic world!

In these six months, my little sister Brenda turned 21. (Should I say I’m awe-struck again or is it becoming cliche?) Yes…or maybe no…but the bottom line is that just yesterday I was teaching her to write. To think that now she’s all grown and kicking ass! I’ll never let her know the quarter life crisis. Cheers to the wonder woman, my little sister who’s not so little anymore!

In these six months, still on family, my big sister Bridget, became a fierce feminist unapologetically. I mean why not? Because how does a patriarchal society become egalitarian without feminism?! Been a long time coming. Power to my budding powerhouse of a sister, my womyn, my lifeline, my hero, my heart!

In these six months, I noticed how much of a trooper my little brother Jim is. I can’t believe he will be clearing high school soon. Come 7th October, the whole squad will be legal. Happy 18th birthday and congratulations in advance, sweet Jimmy!

In these six months, not more than a month ago, my little cousin came into this world. She’s a piece of heaven. Whoever said newborns look like grumpy old men was lying. She’s officially the youngest in the Ngollo clan and she set a new standard. Buffaloes will be the new cool when she’s all grown and set for wedlock, she’s beyond cows. I said what I said. Lol.

In these six months, my eldest sister, Beryl, is still the most awe-inspiring.

In these six months, my dad is still my heart in human form!

In these six months my best friends are still the realest. S/o to Lenna, Carol, Nancy, Millah, Shiko, Sharon, Dolphin, Dadah, Bobby, Timss, Fred and Jacob. It’s beyond love and there’s no two ways about it.

In these six months, the weather took a drastic turn! April came roaring like a lion. Cold like the heart of b*tch. I felt like the hailstones pelted right through the roof and into my soul. Cold weather catapults me to oblivion, shuts down my reflex and affects my productivity. Bright beautiful sunny days like today breathe life into my well being and whisper words of beauty to my aura. I love to welcome and sock up the sun rays because too soon the cold will graduate to thunderstorms and I will sulk.

In these six months, however, one thing was constant: circular insanity! Aka bipolar disorder, my old friend, the pain in the brain. Actually the reason I didn’t blog was because my fingers lost coordination. Gross! But that was an unfortunate and severe side effect of one of the psychotropics I’m on. The other reason was because mental illness is uncultured. Mister Bipolar Disorder just told me don’t write. Squint your eyes, tilt your hear to the east, feel the breeze that comes by, if you don’t, too bad…run a mile, text your boyfriend, sleep, eat, go to work or just bite your nails but don’t blog. But it’s joke on you mister, I know you’re a demon and I will slay you. You are uncultured, why do you leave me to stay on my cool sometimes when someone’s dead but let me lose my cool when I can’t find my pen? I know why. It is definitely not because I’m more acquainted to the idea of death than the idea of losing a pen, but because mental illnesses or mood disorders especially bipolar disorder is a maze in itself, it is as though there’s a switch in your brain that flicks unrhythmically and unannounced. Circular insanity. I’m not sure if that’s an overstatement but I’m sure mental illness is still the largest elephant in the room. I nicknamed my mind “the minefield.” My mind is a minefield; an actual minefield of self actualization and lethargy. But today as I type this, I feel like I’m revamped and my energy is on steroids and I have reached a dangerously awesome level of might and will power. Woohoo!

In these six months, still, one thing was constant: the blogosphere! This is hands down the best place to be online! The beauty that is oracles and wordsmiths. The beauty that is penmanship. The beauty that is artistry. The beauty that is forever unmatched and undefeated. The beauty that is the write direction. Forgive me if I’m going to get all sappy when I talk about how much blogging has impacted my life. I constantly find comfort and independence in a riveting read. You fellow bloggers (and readers) inspire me to get outside my bubble, move beyond my insecurities, accept my disability all while offering compassion and sympathy for others. To love freely and unconditionally. To keep LIVING my dash. To build safety hedges to protect my sanity. To reset my mind, body and soul without a heads up. To LIVE. Thank you is an understatement!

In these six months, in the next six months and beyond, love, light and healing to everyone battling mental illness. Be steadfast. You are not a victim but a survivor setting the world on fire with your truth. Today and everyday, me and our fellow survivors need your light, warmth and raging courage. Here’s to grit, here’s to strength and resolve of character, here’s to resilient dynamism, here’s to the only pill popping throng of chronic illness survivors whose illnesses aren’t visible to the naked eye, here’s to the beauty of the strange!

💛

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Mental Health

DESTIGMATISE THE CONVERSATION AROUND MENTAL HEALTH.

I have not been able to blog for several weeks because my depression has been a witches’ brew of guilt, anger and bad religion. Lethargy had drained and numbed me to life itself. Things had successively been going wrong leaving me feeling like the butt of life’s joke. But that’s not my burble for today.

Today I’m going to respond to something that cut me to the quick. I’m going to do it with dignity and not resort to name calling but I must say it was a very close relative. He tried to shame my dad for “having a bipolar child” and told him that “he needs to get his head checked urgently too. ”

Okay. Can I be honest? Lay my cards on the table? I have to write this so everyone here can get a good look at ignorance and audacity in an overtly heightened state. Nothing is ever worth demeaning a person’s existence, much less a close relative. Society needs to destigmatize the conversation around mental health. We cannot do this by talking? Straight forward isn’t it? No.

Most people start the transition from childhood to adulthood looking to the future at a world of possibility. I on the other hand transitioned by a diagnosis of Bipolar II Disorder. But I cannot be shamed because I wear it like a crown. I’m the prime purveyor of tenacity and resilience.

“End mental illness stigma” is a phrase we hear often. The word “stigma” technically means “a mark of shame” and in the context of mental illness advocacy, we mean the unfair mark of shame others assign to us when it is revealed we live with different mental health conditions. It can also be shame we assign ourselves when we feel like there is something wrong with how our brains work, and decide to keep our thoughts hidden from others. However this idea of “ending the stigma” only scratches the surface of the real shame, micro aggressions and acts of discrimination people who live with mental illness sometimes face.

I’m lucky that I got a proper diagnosis and my psychotropics seem to be working like a shaft of light into my weary, befuddled brain. My minefield mind is on a hiatus. Medication can be a godsend. But this doesn’t happen overnight; I hereby encourage my fellow survivors (because to me they will always be survivors rather than victims) to persevere, have grit and hope that the right antidote to this darkness can be found.

Well September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Society should stop making mentally ill people feel bad for their symptoms. We are flaky. We are sleepy. We are grumpy, aggressive and forgetful. We lash out. We cry. We over think and over compensate. We are sorry. We are trying. We know we are in limbo between too sick to be healthy and “not sick enough to be healthy. ” S/o to everybody battling an invisible illness! ✊🏾

Yours with the crazy rollercoaster life,

Sharida.

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Bipolar Disorder, Life, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Mood Disorder

MEET IDA-SHARON. 😊

Hello everyone! It’s been a hectic few weeks of trying to get my brain meds to comply. Whew! S/o to my minefield mind (I nicknamed my mind the minefield of self-actualization and lethargy! 😭) for finally behaving. At least long enough for me to publish this blog.

My name is Ida-Sharon. (I’ve grown up to really really love the inspiration behind my double-barrelled name!) S/o to my parents, the realest MVPs for giving me this mighty name! Lol. My common nickname is Sharida. (When I was young I almost lost my reflex learning how to spell my real name Ida-Sharon, my teachers would sometimes change the order to Sharon-Ida which I almost frequently spelt as Sharida! My siblings binged on mockery; that’s how my sweet nickname came to birth!)

I’m in my twenties, mostly weighing around 55kgs depending on the seasons and phases. Lol. Standing at about 5″2. I have 5 siblings: Bill, Beryl, Bridget, Brenda and Brian, and one nephew (my favourite person) and the cutest gosh darn dog (Bruno) you will ever meet! My father is my lifeline and my mother is dynamite, a bundle of stardust. My siblings are the reason I don’t fret.

I speak about 5 languages including German, Swahili and Luganda. I think polyglots are quite alluring!

I’m bipolar. Scratch that. I have Bipolar Disorder. Bipolar II Disorder to be specific. But I cannot be SHAMED; I wear my Bipolar Disorder like a CROWN. I’m a conversationalist, very doting and a purveyor of resilience. A firm believer in the notion that everything will be alright in the end, and if it’s not alright, it’s not the end. Born into strength, I’m endowed with the spirit of the concrete rose: beautiful and delicate yet full of grit and tenacity that strikes more firm than its thorns.

I experience life through emotions. I am the patron saint of soulfulness. I feel colours, see love, smell achievement and hear a smile. I find bits and pieces of who I am in unexpected places. I fear having my voice muffled; my instinctual nature shunned. I value my freedom and the interpretation of who I am. I’m sensitive and creative. I’m a music lover; I wake up and go to bed with music. I’m intuitive and compassionate. I’m that girl dancing to the beat of her own voice. I’m all that is of this world both seen and hidden. I have unintentionally broken hearts and had my heart broken intentionally… Love is life’s biggest contradiction. I’m passionate and imperfect. I’m a playful spirit with an old soul. I find comfort in independence as much as I do in a riveting read.

I love being a woman (we are the world’s most passionate / compassionate nurturers). I love my faith; I love who I am and who I will be. I refuse to apologize for who I am. Apologies are just words and words are transient. I’m open minded and willing to try just about anything. I believe life is my textbook and day by day I will breathe in a page and be taught.

I’m just living my dash while rooting for everyone affected by the scourge of mental illness.

A few of my favourite things / people :

  • Smiles that heal the world.
  • Sunglasses.
  • Colour blue.
  • Tupac Shakur & The Outlawz. (They are my spirit animals. Everything they do resonates with me on a personal level).
  • The Psalmist.
  • The Blogosphere.
  • Beards that connect.
  • Philosophy.
  • Riveting reads.
  • All things anti-establishment.

Love,

Sharida.

❤️

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