Mental Health Check In

Mental Health Check In

September 10th was World Prevention Suicide Day, and we are soon approaching World Mental Health Day on October 10th. However, I can not help but think about the anxiety/depression that creeps in on an individual when suicide becomes the only option they feel they have left.

I have struggled with both anxiety and depression on different levels since I was young. It’s almost as if they feed on each other. I have also had a series of suicidal thoughts at some point in my life.

Anxiety is crippling, and depression makes you feel like you are sinking. It’s not even enough to describe them like this. Each person who has experienced anxiety and depression can probably give you different adjectives that portray their experience.

There is an array of things that can cause crippling and sinking. It could be trauma, loss, abuse, rejection, rape, and so much more. This is definitely a sensitive topic for many. Many people tend to shut people out when they experience Anxiety and Depression. They feel hopeless. It’s as if you are in this bubble that you cannot get out of.

Some days are better than others. Society tends to stigmatize mental health and attribute it to other factors while disregarding core reasons why someone may struggle with their mental health. It is disheartening because that leaves room for people to work on their own and cause them not to speak.

I would like to challenge you and the people you have around you. Make a habit of taking the time to review your state of mind after each day. Journal your thoughts, speak to an older person, or even a friend, try to integrate yourself into a community that holds you accountable. But don’t do life alone. Human beings were made for relationships. You are not alone, and you are loved dearly.

Yours truly,

Debbie.

Road Tripping into September!

Road Tripping into September!

There is something delightful about road trips. I’m not too sure if it’s the new environment, fresh breeze that goes through your hair when driving, or maybe it could just be the fact that you’re taking a hiatus from a busy life. Whatever reason it may be, you should probably go on a road trip like yesterday.

This past weekend I got the opportunity to travel to a different location. Let me just say, I was excited! 2020 has been one long year, and this break was needed. By 10:30 am, we were on the road 100 km from the capital city of Nairobi. I made sure to carry water because the heat was no joke and some fruits, too, just to keep my sugar levels on lock.

Yum

Now when going on a road trip, there are some essentials to make sure you have a worthwhile experience. Be sure to wear comfortable clothing. At some point, we were going for a hike, so I had to have some casual sporty gear. Carry your sunnies, a nice fitting cap, sunblock, and once again, don’t forget to hydrate. Your phone camera or an actual camera will come in handy when you want to capture the beautiful scenery on the way or at your destination.

I got to experience different things at my destination. Like, walk through a bridge that reminded me of one of the scenes in ‘Jumanji the next level.’ You will probably have to watch the movie to understand. I also got to play with baby goats- yes, you read right- baby goats, at least when they were not trying to run away from me!

G.O.A.T

The trip back was tiring due to crazy traffic, but when I look back to that day, I can’t help but smile. I am also quite happy because September is my birthday month, and in about two days, I turn a year older. Where my September babies at? (They are honestly so many people born in this month). I’m super grateful for life and everything it entails.

Confidently getting into my birthday month

Do something nice for yourself that will bring you joy. Happy New Month.

Yours truly,

Debbie.

Creative Mind Block?

Creative Mind Block?

Having a mental block is probably the least favorite thing for a creative or just any other person who wishes to get something right and expertly done. When it comes down to it, it feels like trying to push a truck full of material with your minimal strength, and still to no avail.

This has been me for the past two weeks!

I felt stagnant, stuck, and stopped! The same thing.

I have had a constant conflict between the urge to create and produce content and my current limitation of not knowing where to start or even what to do. I’m sure this sounds familiar to you. Too many have been in this boat, but the hope is that it does not sink.

Building the energy even to write this post took a lot. I struggled to get my thoughts in order or yet write this post way before time, but here I am, giving what I can. More so, I hope I can encourage you to pick up that pen, art brush, notebook, blank blog page, and let yourself feel. Whether it’s the confusion, pain, uncertainty, I hope you allow yourself to express those things in the most vulnerable way. That’s how authentic art comes about if you ask me.

But if we’re more honest, there are many times where we’re entirely blank. Yup, it’s not pretty at all, and I was partly here. I’ll recommend a few tips to help you get back up.

  1. If you have been overworking yourself, I suggest you take a breather to get your creative juices flowing. E.g., taking a nap, a walk, listen to your favorite album, call a friend, watch a good movie.
  2. Write down the stuff on your mind on a blank piece of paper. You’ll be surprised that by doing so, one of those many things could inspire you to create something awesome.
  3. Don’t give up on yourself. Only you can create what you can create. The reason it will be authentic is that there is no one like you in the world, and that makes it even better.

All the best. I believe in you.

Yours truly,

Debbie.

‘Ngozi’ is Skin in Swahili

‘Ngozi’ is Skin in Swahili

Also known as the largest organ in the body

Skin, no matter how rough or smooth, makes us stand out

Skin, in its different shades, identifies our ethnicities

Skin, so authentic and created by a perfect author

Skin that makes you think of the consistency of white and dark chocolate

Skin that still finds a way to heal even when damaged

Skin truly makes us unique

But man(human beings) sets humanity apart by putting negative emphasis on skin

Man looks at the beautiful different shades and says one is more superior than the other

Man, according to society prefers lighter to darker skin as if it equates to more value

Man creates a barrier between humanity because the skin is of a different yet authentic shade

Man has put skin on a pedestal and caused suffering and slavery amongst many minorities around the world

But skin whether dark or light, black or white, is still skin

Crafted In different textures, shades, and elasticity to show how creative our Creator is

Therefore, the skin is not the issue, but the heart of man is

Ideally, it would be great to live in a world that looks at the skin as a beautiful organ -something to celebrate rather than a dangerous threat.

But for now, love your skin because your creator was intentional when creating you.

Yours truly,

Debbie Onzere 


(Feel free to replace the word skin with Ngozi as you learn a new word from a different culture)

All You Need to know about ALITFEST20 Poetry Grand Slam Competition

All You Need to know about ALITFEST20 Poetry Grand Slam Competition

The Abuja Literary and Arts Festival 2020 is back again and organized under the Abuja Literary Society. However, due to Covid-19, the festival’s famous poetry slam will be hosted online this year following the safety guidelines.

Only poets who have been finalists in other Slam competitions are eligible to apply. Former ALITFEST Grand Slam winners are no longer suitable, and any videos published elsewhere are permissible as long as they abide by the ALITFEST Slam video guidelines.

The Slam will have three rounds, and contestants must prepare and perform three poems. No props or music is allowed. Just you and your audible voice. Each poem is used only once in the competition. The first poem is strictly one minute, the second poem 2 minutes, and their poem also strictly 3 minutes. Do not go past those times.

Deadline for submission

Submissions run for a week. They open on Sunday 26th of July and close by 11:59 WAT by Sunday the 2nd of August.

Successful applicants will be notified by 9th August. If you are not communicated to by then, your application was not accepted.

Awarding of prizes go as follows:

1st Prize- N200,000

2nd Prize- N100,000

3rd Prize- N50,000

People’s Choice Award- N20,000

Attached is a downloadable link where you can get more information concerning submission.

You don’t want to miss out on this wonderful opportunity to share the beauty of words interwoven and intertwined to produce what is; poetry. We can’t wait to see you online. All the best.