Addiction, Mental Health, Wellness

Pills & Potions ( Breaking The Silence Part Two)

If you missed part one of Breaking the Silence please read that here before you continue with this post.

Now that that’s out of the way… Here’s part two: Pills & Potions.

It took me longer than I had anticipated to write part two of Breaking the Silence because to be honest, I have been struggling with some of the realizations and revelations I have had about the state of my mental health then and now. I think what has been hardest to acknowledge is that I was actually pretty depressed but ploughing through life not even realizing I was depressed yet being an occasional shoulder and clown to others when I was slowly but surely thinning away. FLIP!

 

That level of not being that self aware really hurt to admit. Flip. My heart event went a little sore typing that. 🙁

Anyway, I titled this piece Pills n Potions after Nicki Minaj’s song which happened to be released round about the time I was a seasoned pill popper and cough syrup guzzler in 2014. I used to struggle to sleep because of two things: Insomia and overthinking (these might be the same thing. Don’t ask me! It’s two things to me!) . I had an over active mind and for those of you who are new to me and my story, I always believed I was going to die at the age of 25, so during the ages of about 18 to 25 I was on a self imposed accelerated program to do and create as much as I possibly could before dying. My logic was, I am this incredibly multi- talented and multi – faceted person who is running out of time to release and impart every gift God had deposited in me. I was not tryna get to back to heaven half full because I hadn’t fully exhausted the gifts I was sent to contribute to my nation and generation. No ma’am, not me! I was and still am determined to leave this earth empty having poured out every gift and completed every assignment.

I am known for sucking out everything out of any opportunity I am given. Kinda like folk who suck out all the marrow from stewed chicken bones ( and by folk, y’all know I mean black folk!). Nehu, there is nothing I did not fully explore. When I was in corporate, during, between and after work I was building my portfolio as a social media influencer ( I used to go by the name RuTendo DeNise / The ToweRing Goddess). I was a columnist, Twitter champion, blogger, poet, I was at every event and covering it virtually, I was sneaking in and out of countries to model, taxi shuffling to studio to record music AND perform while being a features editor interviewing people, planning photo shoots, press releases, contributing spoken word to a weekly radio show in Tanzania while trying to find love and my identity. Gosh, the things I put myself through though. Geez!

I never allowed my body and especially my mind any rest. My reasoning was that at least when I die, my generation and those after me would have something to inspire them into pursuing their gifting and calling.  This was all well and good until my body and mind said HELL NAW!

I was so fixated on this crazy count down to my death time line that I ignored by mind and body’s plea that when I started experiencing aches in my body and couldn’t sleep, I started taking Paracetamol. Because I had an addictive personality, it didn’t take me long to start taking more than the prescribed dosage of tablets and boy did they make me feel good and temporarily healed! I would take anything between 6 to 8 Panados a day and nap during the day to work throughout the night. If I drank a lot (which was almost daily), I would ” cure” my hangover in advance by drinking Panado / Grandpa / Pain -Eeze rarely with water, but almost always with either wine or a cider.

As a child, I used to like downing nice tasting cough syrup for no reason. I eventually graduated from popping Panado to Ibuprofen and somewhere along the line, I got acquainted with some pretty dope tasting 9.9 % alcohol cough syrup and started taking large gulps of it  with the pills to help me fall asleep.

I thank God that I didn’t rapture anything but I saw my mum’s prescribed cough mixture the other day and thought hmmmm! I didn’t act on that hmmmm though.

I don’t know if I will continue with a part three of Breaking The Silence but I think this is enough for now. All this unpacking is both exhausting and relieving at the same time. I think I will take a little nap from it all. Besides, I have a sex, celibacy and soul ties post I am itching to complete and share.

Are you also a recovered pill popper? How’s that coming along?

Thanks for reading!

.R.

Inspiration, Mental Health, Sexual Abuse, Wellness

Breaking The Silence – Part One

Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars. – Khahil Gibran.

There are many things about humanity and human relations which make my heart sink. At the top of that list is our collective culture of silence over difficult and uncomfortable conversations and situations.I’ll get straight to the point and mention these difficult and uncomfortable conversations by name: sexual abuse and molestation, drug abuse, suicide, mental health and wellness. There are many, but the ones I have listed are what I have experienced from childhood right to adulthood. I do not like to generalize so there will be no statistics here. I am just a Queen who has overcome a substantial lot by the Grace of God. I am sharing my story because I realize there is a desperate need for more people like me to share their stories to get more people speaking and healing.

Photo Credit: Asteria Malinzi

Before I unpack parts of my story, if there is one thing you take away or remember  from this post, may it be on the importance of identifying, unpacking and processing whatever you have witnessed or experienced as a child. I find, and again, this is based on personal experience, that when we suppress and ignore things we have been through, there comes a time, usually when you are getting along with your life that all the pain, hurt, guilt and shame rise up and demand to be confronted. That being said, all it took was a poetic challenge titled #1738 in 2016 which both shook me to the core but also demanded I revisit my dark and not so glorious past.

I was sexually molested by both men and women from the age at eight.  Everything I have been through is directly linked to what happened to me when I was a child. There is chronology in the way pain and self harm manifest. In hindsight, this is probably what has been the single biggest influence on how my relationships have panned out. This is because my view and perception of relationships and pleasure were distorted before I had a full appreciation of what they both entail.

When I was about between the ages of 14- 16 I began to self harm. I used to inflict so much pain on myself and it is only now more than a decade later I realize I was merely transferring what I felt on the inside outside. I used to scratch and cut my arms but would wear my jersey and long sleeved clothing to cover the scars every single day. In the thick of October heat I would be covered up, sweating and refusing to address what I was desperately trying to ignore. I suppose I couldn’t adequately articulate what it was I was mentally trying to block out.  This was also the season I tried to commit suicide for the first time. I attempted to take my life several more times after and thankfully I was a dismal failure and you get to hear my story!

It is for this reason that I am certain God hand picked me to live to share my story so that the silence is broken. There are too many people walking around with collapsing souls because they either cannot speak up and get out of mental bondage or have exposure to stories like mine for them to realize they are not alone.

To be continued…

Health, Intermittent Fasting, Obesity, Weight-loss, Wellness

I went from 138kgs to 113 kgs in 11 months!

I wasn’t always a  fatty boom boom / dhafdhunda / manhafu/ giand / you know!  When I was born, my mother says I was both long and skinny. I remember the first six years of my life I was tall and lanky. When I turned seven, our father got promoted at work. Everything and everyone got an upgrade! This meant our lunch boxes received a major glow up! They went from Plain Jane (margarine and sometimes peanut butter sandwiches), to Beyoncé (toasties, pies, spuds AND chocolate flavored milk) real quick!

The Plain Jane Lunchbox Era. Age 6. Grade One

 

From age seven, I started gaining weight. I was addicted to pies and pastries and spent all my pocket money on junk food and fizzy drinks. I was spoilt, stubborn and sassy so whenever my parents or anyone who cared tried to warn me about my weight they received the mother of tongue lashings!

The Beyoncé Lunchbox Glow Up Era. Age 7. Grade Two

Over the last couple of years, I have inconsistently tried many products and diets trying to lose weight quick. So how have I lost 25 kgs in 11 months? My why changed.

Initially when I started my weight-loss journey, I was set on transforming myself from giand to having a “revenge body” to stunt on everyone that mocked and or rejected me for being obese. I would envision myself with bad a** abs, toned long legs and never ending wardrobe of things that actually fit and look good on me. My decision to lose weight then had nothing to do with me wanting to live and lead a healthy lifestyle. I just wanted a quick fix to address the rejection and ridicule I experienced because of my body. My why changed from wanting to have a thirst trap body to wanting to lead a more healthy life. 

July 2018 – 138kgs vs June 2019 – 113kgs

 

This is what I have been doing to lose and maintain my weight-loss

1. I stopped drinking alcohol: I used to drink frequently and it was usually a combination of ciders, wines, spirits, craft beer and lager. After a boozy night, I would “cure” my babalaz (hangover) with either an early  morning drink or junk food.

2. I rarely drink fizzy drinks, boxed juices or cordials: Once in a while I will have these but my beverages of choice are tea, kombucha and tonic water.

3. I stopped smoking weed. If you’ve ever smoked weed, chances are you’ve felt ridiculously hungry afterwards.  Weed has tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC, which is the main psychoactive component in marijuana. This makes food aromas more intense, which increases your perception of flavor. So not only are you convinced that you’re ravenous, but things smell and taste better than they do when you’re not high. ( Mentalfloss.com) I used to be a stoner and so I ate everything anything I laid my eyes on because it all tasted amaaaaaazing!

4. I don’t take sugar or milk in my tea, coffee or cereal.

5. I fast ( both religiously and intermittently). I’m Christian and as part of my spiritual journey, I pray, fast and mediate on The Bible as led by The Holy Spirit. I only seriously understood the importance and significance of fasting last year. That’s a post for another day, but during this season, I was introduced to intermittent fasting and I have not looked back ever since.

6. I walk and exercise as and when can. I don’t have a strict regiment I am currently on but I walk and do light cardio as and when I can in this season.

7. I am trying to be kinder and more patient with myself: I realize that I did not gain weight overnight and that I made some poor choices along the way but everyday I work towards living a sustainably – healthier life.

I lost most of my weight due to intermittent and religious fasting but please be sure that you are lead to fast and you also do research on which fasting would work for you. Also, when you break your fast, be sure you break it with healthy food and not junk food!

Are you also on a weight-loss journey? What’s your why? Please share your story in the comments section!

.R.