Today is different because i get to discuss food and talking about it is every foodies favorite past time. My little sister calls me a local g because i’m very patriotic when it comes to the food and music. This local has many foods on her list but let’s get into the top two:
Sweet potatoes and Groundnut Paste with Dried Tilapia: Did you salivate reading that because i did…kinda. Let me put it out there that half the people i know hate sweet potatoes because of the sweetness. I love them because sweet and savory equals happiness for me. That’s a meal i can have and not eat the rest of the day. Also i love that sweet potatoes can be baked, make amazing fries even a pie. Need i say more really!!! Big shout out to my amazing Grandma *also my namesake* she grows the best potatoes I’ve eaten and the farmers in Northern Uganda. (You’re welcome)
Kalo and Ggobe: This is my staple food (do people still say that) kalo is a mixture of cassava and millet flour, that’s the mix i like other people would disagree but to each their own. You must be thinking that’s a tonne of carbs but once in a while isn’t bad at all. Ggobe is a local name but its a combination of okra and greens whose name i know not in English. *sorry Grandma* Those two go well together and they are best eaten with a natural fork read fingers. I like to add peanut butter for an even better taste.
I’m thankful for having easy access to locally grown food. Food tastes different when it is fresh not forgetting the meats and fish too. Don’t forget to thank the vendors in the market and the farmers too for putting in the work. (If you know any)
I’ve always been passionate about writing and not once did i care if i was good at it or not. Before i got tech savvy i’d write something about everything in my diaries or cute notebooks. The aim at the time was to keep my friends entertained, make them laugh and forget about school for a bit.
Surprisingly i took a two year break from writing because i was not feeling it anymore. I’d read articles and blogs of other accomplished writers and tell myself…..”you could never be as good as them”, “they have their craft figured out but you don’t” and so many other demoralizing things my impostor syndrome brought up. One day during this lock down, i had a self-therapy session and had a walk down memory lane. I remembered the joy writing brought me and couldn’t quite put my finger on why i stopped.
Alas, i realized it was a chronic illness I have and had chosen to forget about that brought me to that point. Another interesting fact is it’s because of the same illness that you are actually reading this piece. I have a disorder called Endometriosis in which tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside the uterus. For a long time i looked for people like me to hear or read their stories, how they live with it and survive the hardest times but in vain.
This brings me to today’s challenge. The goal of this site (which i literally revived 2 weeks back) to bring more awareness on endometriosis, how to live normally with it and give hope and encouragement to fellow victims, parents, siblings even partners to victims. Generally i’m here to normalize it and encourage confidence because we can’t forever feel down about this incurable illness. Personally I’ve given it so much control over my life and i’m using my site to change that and do better. I’d very much like in the long run to meet people with the same or similar interest because i find it unfair to only share my experience.
Beautiful people of the world, how are you holding up during these tough times. There’s so much going on in the world right now but i’m grateful for being alive and i don’t take that for granted.
So, Afrobloggers has a June challenge dabbed WinterABC challenge which i’ve decided to be a part of. I’m already worried about being inconsistent but i’m going to push through because i love to prove myself wrong.
I recently revived my blog and started writing again after a two year long hiatus. Finally decided to look for what is on the other side of fear because why not!!
On this first day, I commit myself to sharing informative and interesting write ups with you during this challenge. Afrobloggers gave us a topic for each day and i’m excited to share my perspectives with you. I hope you’ll read and enjoy.
Before i forget, the challenge is for twenty two days (22!!) and all bloggers will have a post up throughout the week except for the weekends. (Afrobloggers just had to put me on the spot like that) This is going to be very theraputic and exciting because i get to share and read work from fellow amazing writers.
At the start of the week i was very excited about planning for the sequel of my story infact i jotted down a few things but my anxiety has been all over the place so i didn’t get to finish it. I made a promise about showing up so i’m going to get to work regardless of how unprepared i am, after all procrastination is the fear of success.
The most annoying thing about having endometriosis is the numerous medications we have to try only to make the illness bearable. In the months before my diagnosis i simply took Ibuprofen which is the common pain reliever for menstrual cramps and it worked just fine. With growth came body changes which is why i’m here spilling my menstrual medication secrets.
My first medication trial was herbal/organic medicine which were a powder mix that healed over ten different illnesses and an iron supplement that was really tasty. Remember the school nurse from part 1, she was so hard on me but it was for the better. I had to be at the school dispensary at exactly 7am and 6:30pm respectively to start treatment. The powder mix tasted like matcha green tea which by the way has no definate taste so you can imagine the struggle. Later on in life (not that long ago) i learned it was medication suitable for people hitting their midlife crisis years. At least i can say it made my body feel refreshed but i was not amused with the idea of a teenager taking old people medicine. Whenever The Red Cross team was in school for the blood donation drives, I’d be excited to donate but the nurse was always on the look out. Three failed attempts and to date I’ve never donated but I understand now that you can’t give much from a glass half empty. The herbal medicine was effective for only a year and a half but I am grateful because it made me hopeful.
Luckily, the first trial did not have side effects because many “artificial” medicines are known to have them. My gynaecologist prescribed pills which are my second and current trial whose name i will not disclose in today’s wrtite up. I will share all the available options only after thorough research and with guidance from the professionals. One fact about them is they work by mimicking the effect of a missing hormone in the female body, to sum it up my whole hormone community is a lie. The said pills are also a prescription for breast cancer patients and it scares me a lot that we have to borrow medicine for other conditions to simply make our pain minimal.
Some of the side effects i’m struggling with include but are not limited to;
It never occured to me that one day i’d wake up sick and never get better. The truth of the matter is there is no cure for it and for most of us it is the most hurtful thing.
I am a sufferer of endometriosis. I didn’t want any young women to go through what i went through. I thought that people should know about it.
Today’s take away is if you have a sister, girlfriend, wife, workmate you name it, that has mentioned they have menstrual conditions kindly reach out to them or nudge them a little to speak up. They may not be aware of what they are actually experiencing. If you are a victim do not be shy to share your condition with people you trust. Talking about it makes you more aware and confident with time.
I’m hear to help however i can so do not be a stranger even for males that may need help understanding the practicalities of the illness. I gatchu!!
Side Note:Shorter write ups are fun to read plus they keep you on the edge for the next part. Untill next time.
Seven years ago i was very excited to start my higher level education but i had no idea that one week into the school term I’d be paying my gynecologist a visit over a chronic illness i didn’t know existed.
On my visit to the doctor, very odd tests were done and i was asked if I’d aborted before because what they were seeing was unusual. During the review he opened what i call a doctor’s dictionary and introduced me to this new word Endometriosis. I honestly wasn’t paying attention until he mentioned it has no cure and the only hope to improving the situation was giving birth. I got scared and thought at that age I’d have to get pregnant for this to go away. I remember how scared my mum was when she broke the news to my dad. My adolescent mind was racing on about how i was going to be a young mom and stuff while my mum was making phone calls to priests and other religious people she knew to start praying for me. (As would any African Mother)
There’s no cure not even in the first world countries so we are really even on this one. Anyway, there are particular pills ladies like me can take but that helps to reduce pain and balance a few hormones and that’s it. My doctor prescribed them and literally banned me from the hospital, no see me in two weeks time or visit in a month. He left me to battle it out with pharmacists asking why i need the medicine and other similar annoying questions.
During my short stay at home during the school term, we visited a doctor that specializes in herbal and organic medicine. That medicine is just as bitter as Aloe Vera or worse and i started treatment with special supervision from the school nurse. There was no skipping with that woman, she’d send over five different people to inform me that’d been summoned. I always referred to it as torture and a curse from God because why would He send me a chronic illness moreover one that was incurable.
Flash forward to the present day, i know now that the nurse just wanted me to be healthy and get better just as she’d promised my mother. The strict supervision during my treatment is why I’m not as badly off but that is a story for another day. Over the years i started doing more research about the illness and started looking for women, ladies or young girls like me. The pain i was feeling when it was that time of the month, before and after was excruciating. I thought to myself, there should be other females out there like me and i want to know how they deal with this awful pain.
Friend, if i tell you my pain is nothing compared to the stories i read as shared by different women you have to believe me. Some utilize most of their leave days from work to stay home because they can barely walk, one medically hit menopause at the age of fifteen, another quit her job because her colleagues complained about her working from home whenever it was that time of the month. Plus so many others you can check out this one https://www.healthline.com/health-news/personal-painful-ordeal-of-women-with-endometriosis-061815
The symptoms differ for every female and that’s why some get diagnosed a little later when the condition is ugly. Let me get back to why I’ve decided to write about this. This illness has so much control about pretty much everything in my life. My body physique for starters, i have a hormonal belly which is hard to shred, bad digestion process so i have to watch what i eat, anxiety and depression because i grow fat from stress and people will call me out on it as if i shove 10 butter cream cupcakes down my throat everyday. The hormonal imbalance has me loving someone today and hating them tomorrow and last but not least the intimacy situation. It’s such a load to carry but i handle it with patience and faith that it will get better.
During the lock down, i decided to study my body and assess my life from the past seven years and i realized my endometriosis situation has been controlling me the entire time. If I’d known that a while back I’d have handled life better but we make our choices and that’s not me saying i regret it. I’m proud to say my mental health is stable and I’m happy, extremly thankful to my unpaid therapists at least all our hours of talking have helped me realize what the root cause has been. I even know where I’m going with this blog journey and my life with this unfriendly illness of mine.
The story does not end here, we are going to go deeper into this chronic illness and i’ll share my experience because it feels like i’m reliving some parts. This is part one of my story and i hope you stick around. These stories need to be told and we need to be heard to find one another but most importantly to get help and offer it to those who don’t even know they need it.
Today i will skip the boring order of defining what anxiety is, what it does and all those related things the internet can easily provide.
I am simply going to tell my story regarding the topic at hand as a result of a conversation that helped me see my anxiety differently.
A couple of weeks back i was put in a situation where i had to speak to a lady much older than i am for the very first time. My thigh did that thing where it always vibrates so much I can’t stand for long and as usual i ignored it.
She asked me to relax and stop being timid before i could even greet her. Normally i have a number of poker faces lined up before i get to associate with people I’m not familiar with. My serious/confident face was already off before i could get into character (such a party popper).
I took it upon myself to check whether I’ve been down playing my anxiety with these faces as well as ignoring my thigh vibration situation (has happened many times….i thought it was thing 😂) and the test came out positive, in summary people I’ve been living in denial.
You must be thinking that’s such a personal matter why would she want to put it out there for everyone to know.
First off, i am growing tired of explaining myself and making up the lamest excuses. Secondly i want you to check yourself and get help before it’s too late. Its really frustrating to have to look for drugs just so you can calm your nerves.
My anxiety test results came out stating i am “The Hero“.
Despite dealing with high anxiety you want to remain in control and therefore you bravely cope with it even when it seems the most difficult… All by yourself!… that’s bravery!
You are the kind of person who demands more of herself and therefore you don’t easily show your anxiety to others. But you have asked too much of yourself Warrior… without knowing that pushing it down won’t make it go away.
The above Italicized paragraphs are a sample of my results in detail and to be honest i was neither surprised nor happy.
My anxiety is not the kind that will have me getting complicated panic attacks or on prescribed medicine. (Thank you Lord) I laughed at my anxiety symptoms because for years i thought it’s just who i am but to my dismay I’ve been torturing my body, mind and soul.
Some of these symptoms include but are not limited to, a hyper active mind, depression, isolation and the mother of them all being social anxiety. They have deeper explanations but i won’t bore you with the details. In case you are interested in finding out more, we can discuss over a cup of coffee or whatever.
Here are a few ways my anxiety gets the best of me;
Someone asks if they can call me (anxiety: NOO!!! Leave me alone, can text just fine why do you need to call me), making social plans with a group of friends (anxiety: that was a terrible idea, you should consider cancelling), when I stop over thinking things (anxiety: only until I say you should stop over thinking but until then keep the thoughts coming. Brain do your thing!! 😈)
So I’m always having inner battles with anxiety and it’s an endless back and forth with it.
I really am grateful for how i keep fighting it any way I can, sharing my story is one way and I feel so relieved.
Transcendental Mindfulness Therapy is a new meditation technique I am going to try out. I have no idea what it is but am going to learn and hopefully bring back good news.
As I bring an end to the torture you’ve endured while reading this, I ask that you take note of your behavior most especially when it seems unsual. My anxiety stories with emphasis on the social one are endless but I can’t be on the internet sharing my dirt.
Before I go, I feel lucky to share this with so much confidence ( the irony😂) in a society that’s too judgemental. This is my way of saying no to anxiety and not letting it define me, do not be afraid to speak up. Let’s start now, we aren’t growing any younger.
Journaling is a practice of keeping a diary or journal which explores thoughts and feelings concerning events of your life. In my teenage years I kept a diary to help me keep track of things happening in my life just so I could have a word album to help me reminisce. This went on and on until I started transitioning to adulthood. Keeping a diary seemed childish but little did I know what was coming my way. By then I had no idea what depression was or the kind of effect it has on people that don’t act upon it quickly.
Every day after I put an end to my diary entries my mind became a library filled with a lot thoughts and it didn’t do my mental health any justice. It’s important to note that until recently mental health was not considered a major issue. So during that period I had no one to confide in and writing was the last thing on my mind. With the help of the internet I learned that depression that’s unattended to can turn out to be quite messy and it’s when I learned about journaling to help improve mental health.
Having lost control of my thoughts and emotions my life seemed so stagnant and confusing. This resulted into many anxiety attacks and depression phases. A journal is a helpful tool in managing your mental health and it is one of the best healthy outlets in which you can express yourself and keep track of your emotions and feelings.
Journaling helped me control my symptoms and improve my mental state by:
-Helping me prioritize my fears, problems and concerns
-Tracking any day to day triggers of depression and learning ways to control them
-Availing a 360 dimension of positive self-talk and identifying negative behavior and thoughts.
There’s no specific method for journaling but here are a few tips to help you get started:
–Write every day; Set off a few minutes each day and write in your journal. Schedules tend to be tight but healing starts with you literally starting.
–Use your journal as you see fit; some people like to share their journeys but if you are not comfortable then keep it confidential, what matters most is your progress.
–Keep it simple; in the beginning I focused a lot on what book and pen I should use and honestly there was no writing done. Start with what you have because as you progress the journaling essentials come naturally to you.
–Write anything and everything; do not be picky on what you write, it’s your journal and you are in charge of whatever you put down on paper.
It’s safe to say journaling has helped me get my mental health in check because I do not look at it as medication but rather my relaxation time. I always look forward to it and am always eager to know whether I moved two steps ahead or back, my thoughts or innermost fears and more. Choose a comfortable place and favorable time let loose and pour your heart out, look at it as a reward for a better mind, body and you.
I’ve come to realize those 3 words simply mean volunteering and as many of us know it’s the motto of the InteractClub. It’s been a year and a couple of months since my long time friend Mildred managed to have me inducted into a RotaractClub. To be honest I was reluctant to join because I still carried that mentality from high school on what Interact was all about and the standards we had to to meet to survive in the club.
Misconception is not word enough to prove how wrong I was about Rotaract. To begin with it’s a whole world of its own with people that are devoted to engage in leadership, help the under privileged at no cost whatsoever, have massive fun but most importantly make beneficial networks. Those that have been a part of it for more than two years say it’s addictive and if that’s true I want to be an addict too.
Serving the community through volunteering requires extreme selflessness and devotion. For me it was a challenge to leave my comfort zone and I must say every step out of it (the comfort zone) has helped me become a better human being.
If I could, I’d share my few experiences with you but the post would become so boring, if it isn’t already. Although I’ll tell you this, the family health camp I volunteered at last year left me wishing I’d loved sciences more. The lessons I’ve got are a story for another day because they are many and I know you need them.
Rotaract is turning 50 and I thought it best to share my little journey so far with you this week which is also dubbed Rotaract Week.
Special appreciation goes to the amazing Mildred Nabawanuka, I will not stop thanking you for this opportunity. To all the readers, this is my way of encouraging you to engage in voluntary work. It may not necessarily be Rotaract
but whatever form it takes as long as you’re able to put a smile on someone’s face and give them hope for a better tomorrow then GO FOR IT.