To and For me: Self Care is the Best Care!!!

Marie Abanga
Posted October 15, 2018 from Cameroon
Self Care is the best gift to self
Culled from the web but vip
Culled from the web but vip (1/3)

It was in December 2009 that I was first told to seriously start to take care of myself. I was at an all-time low and my last son was barely 5 months old. That year was a very troubled one for me, having attempted suicide some 9/10 months earlier. The good side of all that low was my readiness to try another way now… This way I came to realize involved ME taking care of ME and I mean very Good Care. This has come to justify Self Care as being the Best Care to me lol.

Today, living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), I don’t joke with self care. I listen to and love my body, I don’t wait for any issue to get out of hand and maybe land me in the hospital or keep me bedridden for days. Some things I did to take better care of myself and which I would recommend to others, are the following:

1) Working out – this is VIP for me

I weighed 115kgs by 2009, had not worked out for like 15 years or more, ate like a ‘hoax’, hoping it will choke my ex husband up…do you visualize me at this point? And so on the 1st of January 2010, while the world slept after St Silvester’s shenanigans, while ex husband was yet to return from his jives, I stepped out at 3.30 am for my 1st walk. I had also decided to start a 30 days fast (had never done one before)…, and all my pain/hurt/and oh so so much, were in those first fearless steps. This is the origin of my love affair with determination + discipline and determination (my 3Ds) …8 years later, swagging between 70-77kgs, I have overcome so much and can now do so much. Working out is simply nonnegotiable for me now… I have still been through a few days in a stretch where I can’t work out due to a health flare up (whichever it is P for physical or M for mental; doesn’t really matter to/for me), but then I always know it shall pass, I keep at the self care and I go right back to working out once the spirit is back …

2) My health + holistic wellbeing are my priority

The same friend who encouraged me to work out, was amazed at all the medications I was on. I was taking at least 4 different meds for the RA and sleep issues+anxiety, although over all no improvement was being recorded. I look back today and think the over eating could have also been due to the side effects of those meds. Anyways, I heeded to his advice and started weaning myself off the meds with ‘vengeance’. I started searching for alternative remedies for my symptoms and after two years of meds, I was ready to try even cayenne pepper if it got to that. Eating healthy became an obsession. I have carried a lunch bag almost religiously since then. It was tough working on the sleep especially while still in a very toxic marriage, I just had to sleep during the day either in the office or at an aunt’s home near my office.

3) I reached out for professional help

The next and biggest self care habit I embraced was in knowing when to reach out for professional help, and then doing just that. You can only take good care of yourself so much. There comes that point when you need ‘professional help’. I had succeeded in salvaging myself from that ‘sham and shame’ of a marriage, and was finally in a place where I could start a healing journey. I was meeting Angels on my path and my Gentleman encouraged me to seek ‘professional help’ for all what I told him about me. No more energy to strive on without help, I first hired a life coach. I call that the best investment I ever made for ME. My Hero Jeff Moore, oh God bless him forever, helped me so so much. Next, I booked appointments with a psychiatrist and a psychotherapist. That was so much self care, self love, self acceptance and all things self… And come to think of all this Amazing work and Grace by which I have become a life coach and psychotherapist too!

4) I read and write passionately

In September 2012 I got the writing bug for my first memoir. I couldn’t sleep at night and seriously wrote each day from 12 am to 2 am – God knows how my brain didn’t explode. Lord, the writing was needed to calm me down some. It felt real good. I am so happy for that because today I have 5 books which I self-published in the past 5 years wow. In November of 2013, Blogging joined the mix by some curiosity, and that has been another big outlet for me to write down whatever and then process same whenever need arises. This has also led me above all, to network and read about people whose journeys are hmm… I have a great support system from the blogosphere, I became more aware of myself and my journey and its impact on me and mine, I even got more inspiration and motivation from all the writing. One super way writing and blogging help me take care of me is that, when am struggling or just feeling anyhow, I start to write and somehow start healing. It’s been simply amazing all that has happened since I started writing and blogging so passionately. I even rebaptized myself “merry marie” and have strived to live up to that one day at a time hahaha. I just make sure to find a balance and not let my gadgets or social media take me hostage lol

5) Finding Self-Love and My Me Moments

One of the pictures in the gallery show me in My Me Moments ambiance. I mean, what should I write again about those moments? Once I found the truest and best love right where I had failed to look all along – inside; once I realized my best friend (Ayo aka myself) and I could give each other as many treats as we wanted or needed; ah it’s been a great source of self care, rest, recuperation, re-bonding and re-bouncing…I am so comfy just being with me even in the company of others…call that what you wish, self -love is my own appellation.

6) Going & Living Spiritual all the way

This was a gradual process, I mean not going religious but spiritual. I have come to embrace intermittent fasts, meditation, retreats, and courted some like Patience & Humility with love. The lessons I have learned, all I have given up, conquered and the new me who emerged in spirit, soul and body – God am Grateful beyond words. This was the next best investment in my self care.

7) Staying ever mindful of new habits and weary of all toxic stuffs

All I have learned and am now implementing, both personally and in my psychotherapy practice, have made me very mindful. I sleep as much as I can at night (often 9 pm – 4 am, turning all those gadgets off), I have my serene and safe space (my loo no shame lol), I don’t sweat the small stuffs especially at home with my 3 muskeets, I know my temperature and feel it, literally learned to walk confidently and speak in a proper way and tone. Today, I take my time to reply to any ‘perceived attack sms/emails’ (once took 7 days and another time 30 days, and others I ignore outright); in short I don’t go near anything toxic consciously. I have bashed my ego and ditched perfection, I am not fazed by food or fashion…I could go on and on…I have a great support system and I really appreciate all those in my support network. I realize taking care of myself will equally limit the risk of wearing them out when I need them.

I therefore do not hesitate to encourage others to give self care their best shot. I mean, even the medical doctor will advise their patient to do other things which will help them get well sooner and not just rely wholly on taking medications and staying in bed. For high functioning and sensitive persons like myself therefore, self care should really be the best care or else risk a big burn out.

This post was submitted in response to Caring for Ourselves.

Comments 37

Log in or register to post comments
jlanghus
Oct 16, 2018
Oct 16, 2018

Hi Marie,

Thanks so much for sharing all these great suggestions as well as your personal experience of what worked for you and what didn't. I'm so impressed by your own personal drive and discipline to lose weight and go off meds, though. That's brilliant. I hope that you limit your phone use, too. Us sensitives have difficulty with the EMFs, I think, and everyone probably, truth be told.

Have you ever tapped or listened to Solfeggio for PTSD or anxiety on YouTube? This could help with that. PTSD is no joke. And, have you tried CBD oil for the arthritis?

I'm glad to hear, too, that you encourage others to take better care of themselves as well. I think most people need reminding or a good place to start, too.

What is your favorite self care practice, and what is the best way for you to stay positive? I personally have challenges with staying positive.

Thanks, and good luck with your story submission!

Marie Abanga
Oct 16, 2018
Oct 16, 2018

Dear Jill,

Thanks so much for your feedback. You know, maybe it is the kind of trauma (s) I have had especially leaving my sons behind and us living apart for 4 good years, and yes my attempted suicide back in 2009 you know - but those thoughts help me stay positive. Today like this, I stayed home because I wasn't feeling fine mentally. Now, there was an incident in my son's school, his lenses were stolen yesterday and I just had to go there today, I braved it and left my room and home by 11 am, got there, talked to their dean of studies and came back home. I wrote some, ranted some and then reminded myself it could have been worse. I let go of all what I had been hoping to 'accomplish today' and congratulated myself for the headway on World Pulse - I mean I just joined and noticed I earned a badge already lol.

So, there are few unique things for each person, but it is possible. I appreciate the youtube resource you share and will check that out. I don't know about the oil too and wish I knew where I could get that from here. I use some local oil made out of palm kernel nuts and also shea butter. I am more disciplined with my phone and all the few gadgets around here because I don't need the extra stress they bring hahaha

Hugs,

Marie

jlanghus
Oct 17, 2018
Oct 17, 2018

You're very welcome, dear:-)

So, you're saying you have a lot to be grateful for and that you're able for the gratitude to be your baseline/foundation, then? That's cool if you are able to do that. To me building and staying in gratitude is like building muscle since it's not something that I innately learned. Would you agree or do you find that it's comes naturally to you?

Yes, CBD oil is supposed to be so healing for so many conditions, and naturally, too. I've used it for a short while for anxiety, but it's legal here. I'm not sure about there. What does your oil help with, the arthritis? I hear you on the gadgets:-(

Hope you have a good one!

Marie Abanga
Oct 17, 2018
Oct 17, 2018

Dear Jill,

Yes; gratitude is my baseline. Have kept a gratitude journal since 2016 and before then my life coach used to get me to write 3 things I was grateful for each day. These days in my journal I write like 3/4 when I wake up, and sometimes even 7 or so before I sleep.

No, gratitude wasn't an attitude I learned growing up that easily, but I have equally been more of the merry to life one than not.

CBD oil I really don't know about that o. I use local oils like that made from palm kernets, and glycerine to keep my warm 24/7 and some chinese balms and co. Keeping dem joints warm and circulatory helps me a lot.

Thanks once more for your comments and all the encouraging you do for us all out here

jlanghus
Oct 18, 2018
Oct 18, 2018

Hello:-)

That's awesome! That's a great practice, for sure:-) Yes, it's funny how some people naturally have this disposition:-)

What oils helps with circulation? Maybe I could use those.

You're welcome, dear:-)

Hope you have a great day!

Marie Abanga
Oct 18, 2018
Oct 18, 2018

Dear jill,

You know we all human have different personalities and all that lol.

With regards to oils, I am no expert and what I use is local prescription not doctors. Maybe not even found where you are too, what can I tell you.

The bottom line for me is for everyone to find what works for them, and to take super care of themselves.

jlanghus
Oct 18, 2018
Oct 18, 2018

Hello there,

Yes, of course, but what makes one person naturally positive and another not?!

Yes, that makes sense for everyone to do what works for them:-)

Marie Abanga
Oct 19, 2018
Oct 19, 2018

Dear Jill,

In psychology, we will look at the brain lol. Look at biological and chemical factors, look at environmental factors and natural predispositions etc lol.

Yes you got it with regards to finding and doing what works best for you and leaves you healthy in the process.

Hugs

jlanghus
Oct 19, 2018
Oct 19, 2018

Hi Marie,

Yes, of course:-) You will find that I'm a very deep thinker. I like to question and delve into most things.... especially if it's spiritual or spiritual related.

Hope you're having a good day!

Marie Abanga
Oct 19, 2018
Oct 19, 2018

Dear Jill,

You are welcome. I am a deep thinker too and love trying to understand most thinks.

As for spiritual stuffs, I however can't understand it all and just content myself with my own experiences if you get that. I think it is such a personal thing and even if explained, it may not be felt, understood and acted upon the same way. Don't know what you think of that.

Have a great weekend

jlanghus
Oct 20, 2018
Oct 20, 2018

Yes, of course. There is a lot to learn on spirituality, and most things, really. That makes sense. It's really like that for a lot of things; unless we experience, we may not be empathetic to it or even understand or relate to it.

You, too:-)

Sarah Dan-Legogie
Oct 16, 2018
Oct 16, 2018

Hi Marie, your decision to take care of your spirit soul and body is the best thing ever! You have inspired me to look inwards and also take the bold step to find myself and give me love. This is self love and you are on the right track. Thank you Marie.

Marie Abanga
Oct 17, 2018
Oct 17, 2018

Dear Sarah,

Thanks for the comment. I mean when I got there, I seriously looked at myself in the mirror and exclaimed: " Ha Ayo, is this what you had to be doing all along and you thought it was for others to do for you?"

Take the bold step, don't be scared of any skelotons, be gentle with yourself, the routine and perseverance will pay big time.

When you share your own journey, I will sing+dance with you. In the meantime, stay inspired+motivated sis.

Hugs

Maya Iwata
Oct 16, 2018
Oct 16, 2018

Thank you for sharing your personal story and strongly encouraging women to engage in self-care. As they say in airplanes, put the oxygen mask on yourself first. Love the diagram about all the components of self-care listed including curiosity, kindness and patience and the seven steps you recommend to others. Continue to take care of yourself and as a famous author wrote- "Don't postpone joy."

Marie Abanga
Oct 17, 2018
Oct 17, 2018

Dear Maya,

Thank you for the comment, not only do I love the name Maya (I mean after Maya Angelou, who wouldn't right? hahaha), but the quote you share is spot on.

We deserve it and owe it to ourselves. You can only give what you have - or else is fake and can send you crashing hahaha

Maya Iwata
Oct 18, 2018
Oct 18, 2018

So funny that you mentioned the poet and activist Maya Angelou. When I tell people what my name is and how it should be spelled, I say like the poet and author, Maya Angelou. :)

Sis. Salifu
Oct 16, 2018
Oct 16, 2018

Dear Marie,

Its another trilling story, and its very true that in such situations we need to keep ourselves very busy and you did exactly that both spiritually and physically. Congratulations on your books!
are they online? Will like to read more about any, What are the titles ?, may be will try and see if I can find one online!

AYo(aka your new self) what is the meaning of it (Ayo), has it got any relation with you identifying your new self? Oh its okay now, or else you will not finished answering my questions.

Greetings
Lisbeth

Marie Abanga
Oct 17, 2018
Oct 17, 2018

Dear Lisbeth,

Thank you. Ayo is my nickname but also a significant one traditionally for people with my 'surname - Abanga'. In the letter I wrote to myself posted before this one, I explain some more about Ayo.

Now my book are online on the amazon, plenty lol. Type Marie Abanga books or send me a message when you are ready and we can take it from there sis.

Yes, taking care of myself is so important and I realized I couldn't ignore any aspect of my being (Soul, spirit and body).

Be inspired always sis

Hugs

Marie

Olutosin
Oct 17, 2018
Oct 17, 2018

Thanks sister for encouraging us to care for ourselves too. You know that women have been trained from childhood to care for others, thank God we are begining to learn this, Loving me always seem like selfish until I decided that without me, loving others will be impossible. So I just started loving me with a passion. It made a huge difference, I can now love others, the way I love my self.
How could I have loved others without practicing the idea., I always ask myself. Loving me makes caring for me and others easier. Another thing is that, I have also accepted myself as the only place, environment and all that "house" me, so it needs care.
I am happy that you shared some tips with us too :)

Marie Abanga
Oct 17, 2018
Oct 17, 2018

Dear Olu,

Thank you for sharing the snipet of your journey. I once told someone I didn't mind 'selling fish - being sel-fish lol'. I am more alive and loving when I am more in love of/with myself and this is my true north.

Together in sisterhood

Marie

Adanna
Oct 17, 2018
Oct 17, 2018

Nice one Marie.

Self care is very important and I am glad you joined World Pulse.

Thank you for sharing.

Love,
Adanna

Marie Abanga
Oct 17, 2018
Oct 17, 2018

Dear Ada Ada,

Thank you. Hope you no mind me calling you Ada Ada. I love humour too so much. Taking life so seriously can only add stress oh.

Word Pulse had been on my 'to check out list' for a few years now chai. Glad I finally did. See the sisterhood and networking already? Papa I thank you.

My pleasure sharing always

Hugs

Marie (Ayo) anyone can do

Adanna
Oct 17, 2018
Oct 17, 2018

Not at all Marie, I love it! It made me smile as I read your reply :)

Lots of love and hugs,
Adanna

Jacqueline Namutaawe
Oct 17, 2018
Oct 17, 2018

Oh Marie these suggestions are a God send I know they will work and actually do work when we stick and adhere to them. Your personal experience is a powerful story of change and inspiration; what worked and what did not... it is awesomeness at its best. Keep it up. Thanks for the inspiration to the sisters on here.

Marie Abanga
Oct 17, 2018
Oct 17, 2018

Hi Jacquie,

Karibu and Asante Sana. Yes they do work and I am a committed lady , have always been in life hahaha. God's Grace is amazing and sufficient and I am happy to share it all.

Let me pay you too a visit now

ARREY - ECHI
Oct 17, 2018
Oct 17, 2018

Dear Marie,

Thank you for speaking your truth and for the incredible self care technics you have applied and shared with others. There is no gainsaying that self care is the utmost importance for each and everyone of us, especially for women who have been thought to care for others while neglecting themselves.

Courage sista. Congratulations for the books, I think I need that discipline to get my own books going lol.
Keep going sis and keep impacting as you work on new discoveries for self and others.
Arrey

Marie Abanga
Oct 17, 2018
Oct 17, 2018

Dear Arrey,

Thank you. I know you know how vip self care is especially when you live with a medical condition which could confine you to the hospital at any time.

Please get going with your books, I mean start by drafting just one and I know your story is a powerful one - with hardly any on sickle cell surviving out there.

Thanks for the encouragement and inspiration.

Ngala Nadege
Oct 17, 2018
Oct 17, 2018

Hello sister
Thanks for sharing these suggestions ,your experience will greatly help

Marie Abanga
Oct 17, 2018
Oct 17, 2018

Dear Nadege,

Thanks for reading and encouraging. Let me visit you too sis. Be inspired and motivated

Obisakin Busayo
Oct 17, 2018
Oct 17, 2018

Dear Marie,
Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us. This is indeed a great piece!

Love
Busayo

Marie Abanga
Oct 17, 2018
Oct 17, 2018

Dear Busayo,

Thanks for reading and encouraging. My pleasure always

Hugs all the way

Marie

Ngwa Damaris
Oct 17, 2018
Oct 17, 2018

These seven steps are just so amazing :) Thanks

Marie Abanga
Oct 17, 2018
Oct 17, 2018

Dear Damaris,

Thanks for reading and encouraging; my pleasure always

Rosylyne Nabaala
Oct 18, 2018
Oct 18, 2018

Thank you for sharing this with us dear now we know how to care for you and I etc.

Marie Abanga
Oct 18, 2018
Oct 18, 2018

Dear Rose,

My pleasure. Thank you for reading and commenting

Jane Frances Mufua
Oct 19, 2018
Oct 19, 2018

Thanks for this beautiful article. I have learnt a lot from it.

Marie Abanga
Oct 19, 2018
Oct 19, 2018

Hi Jane Frances, my pleasure. Glad you found some inspiring and motivating stuff in the post.