Choosing to be and share the hope through this Covid-19 outbreak Confinement period

Marie Abanga
Posted March 29, 2020 from Cameroon

I am not going to talk about what Covid-19 is and what the stakes are medically and scientifically. We propbably have enough of that out there.

I want to not only share how I was impacted as a person, a single mother of 3 boys, a person living with a mental illness (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), and a community organizer; but above all about the hope I am finding and sharing through it all.

As a person I was also so scared I thought that was it, am dying sooner than i thought I would lol (can this ever be a forecast? hahahaha). As a single mother of three active boys (16, 13 and 10 with the last being the most hyper hahahaha), I was dead worried if I will get it covered from all angles for them and for us, while getting them to understand and collaborate - especially with the confinement of sorts imposed by our government for prevention and safety measure (it's about protecting yourself, protecting others and stopping the spread of the virus). As a person living with a mental illness, wow I was triggered to auto pilot with hyper anxiety and nervousness and even anger. I was once confined to my room with my late brother in my father's house for two years intermittently by my step mother and so any sort of imposed confinement on me doesn't go down well. Limiting my freedom triggers an over or under irrational reaction from me and I go on auto pilot to protect myself and deal with whatever threats I perceive at the time. Fortunately I know much more about triggers and tools for getting better than I did years back. As a community organizer, I almost felt so helpless because it was like a lot of what I was working on was paused. I was looking forward to participating at an important conference in San Diego California on Tackling Stigma and finding Hope in the summer, and all three abstracts I had submitted (for two workshops and a presentation) had been accepted, and this was cancelled. Some events planned for example the 1st #MentalHealthMatters open day in my country scheduled for April 29th may not take place and my partners from Australia and South Africa wouldn't be flying in anyways. Well, add to this living in a community which is still so cynical about the outbreak and living like all was well and disposing of filth like whatever---arghhhhhh hope was about to fly out of the window...

But, I quickly pulled myself together and stepped up to face my fears and assess the situation, accept the challenges and needs, then decide to do something about it. What I do best is communicate and spread messages of hope. This I have been doing through blogs and vlogs on my different social media platforms. Beginning from home, I have frequent briefings with the boys while trying my best to have us all stay healthy and happy. WHO has a few suggestions too on what we can do in addition to all the preventive measures in place, to stay healthy and happy.

I am sharing the links to the different videos I have done so far for those who want to listen to what I have been sharing with all my authentic and vulnerable self. I do it because it matters to me that when all is said and done I can be proud of the life I lived, and of the legacy I leave behind.

This story was submitted in response to Dispatches from the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Comments 15

Log in or register to post comments
maeann
Mar 29
Mar 29

Thank you for sharing Marie these videos helped us understand your work and being passionate. Be safe and be healthy.

Marie Abanga
Mar 31
Mar 31

Dear Mae Ann,

Thank you. It is much calmer now than it was two weeks ago. I am keeping myself going and my boys too, it is not easy but am up for it by grace.
All the best to you too

maeann
Mar 31
Mar 31

Oh thats good :) let's continue to bring positivity.

Tamarack Verrall
Mar 29
Mar 29

Dear Marie,
So many plans have shifted, some major ones for you. Thanks for these videos, each of them carries important messages, reassuring for anyone under stress that this is normal, and important for anyone not taking your government's warnings seriously, to be careful and stay home as much as possible. The 2nd video is a great introduction and invitation to join us here on World Pulse. Best wishes for staying safe through this.

Marie Abanga
Mar 31
Mar 31

Dear Tam,

Thank you so much. Indeed, the best we can do is do our best to stay safe, healthy and happy the most we can. Panic makes all the above near impossible.

Best wishes for you too

Hello, dear sister Marie,

I am sorry to know that this community quarantine triggered a situation in tve past. I understand truly, dear. I am so proud of your resilience. Yes, please keep on creating those videos. Let us pray that it will all end soon. :)

Take care always and stay safe, beloved. :)

Marie Abanga
Mar 31
Mar 31

Dear Kaye,

Thank you for your comment. Yes, that's how it went down for me but I am grateful to be back in the space I am and being able to strive and even thrive as much as I doing during this period.
I really wish you the best with your family during this period
Light and love

You are welcome, dear sister. :) I wish you the same, too. Thank you so much and please stay safe. :)

otahelp
Mar 30
Mar 30

Mental health has been labeled so many things and ignorant people have termed them mad or better still cursed by the gods. thank you for sharing more insight into what mental health is. Keep up the good work. Trust you do great within this period and your loved ones are safe too

Marie Abanga
Mar 31
Mar 31

Dear Sis,

Indeed I don't take my capacity and courage to raise awareness and advocate for mental health lightly especially using my own personal experiences.
All the best to you and yours sis

Amazing!

Marie Abanga
Mar 31
Mar 31

Yes ma

ARREY- ECHI
Mar 31
Mar 31

Dear Marie,
Thank you for this beautiful write up. I can imagine all the frustrations that come with forcefully altering your well mapped out plans through no fault of yours.
Having met your three soldiers, I can only try to picture how the youngest soldier is taking this along.

Sorry about the triggers the confinement is bringing on and glad you are doing your best to keep things under control.
Keep taking care. Hopefully soon, this too shall pass.

Love and hugs.

Marie Abanga
Apr 02
Apr 02

Dear sis of mine o,

Thank you for the empathy. Well, Acceptance and mindfulness has helped a lot. The muskeets are trying their best and the youngest is trooping on. I laugh more at his shenanigans than otherwise. I think he is coping his own way too lol.
Light and love
Marie

sarah_2
Apr 13
Apr 13

Hi Marie,
Love all the videos.....I believe that all this will end soon and all our shifted plans in serving humanity will be accomplished.
Keep it dearie
Love-kisses-hugs

Related Stories

Catherine De Freitas
Dr. Adesoye Tosin
Thelma obani 2020