[New Poem] : Save Me

Save me, Save me

From them who want that

Vibrant me,

Happy me-

She is not me

Today.

Love me, love me,

All those raw bits

the sore bits,

Who I am today.

Heal me,

Hold me

While I hurt

For yesterday.

Forgive me, please

all these versions of whoever

is eaten.

My Insides devoured,

the whole of me,

A nobody,

possessed by her, the Manic fever.

F@#% YOU PSORIASIS!

Yes, I said Fuck you.

Excuse me as I vent. In my previous post I stated I was fat, in part due to my medication. What I didn’t mention, is that I’ve been suffering from worsening psoriasis for more than 7 months. Psoriasis that only infests on my scalp. Although I am thankful it hasn’t devoured any other part of my body, I feel like I’m victim of a penniless hate crime. Hate crime with my bold identity as victim.

I think the Psoriasis has worsened because of the increase in stress and alcohol intake over the past year and of course, the festive season. And yes okay, I haven’t been taking my pills as I should. I have a love/hate relationship with my tablets- I attempted suicide with pills, so the eerie feeling remains. Bearing non-compliance in mind, alcohol is often seen as a quick pick-me-up’er and so my binge-drinking has caused much cringing.

My sister in law noticed my flakes and before she threw out the dandruff card, I confessed to having psoriasis. I am on numerous occasions asked, ‘Het jy dan skilfers?’. That painfully translates from Afrikaans to, ‘Have you got dandruff?’, often I sense it’s embarrassing for them to ask the question. My sister-in-law smiled softly, in a sort of it’s-ok-don’t-worry look on her face. “Kim Kardashian has it. She used breast milk on her legs.”  YAY! Another suffering celeb I can relate to! (The first is Catherine zeta Jones.  Am I being sarcastic? I’m not sure, I’m dusting off these silver flakes off my shoulders after scratching profusely.

I’m bitter.

I wish they warned me about this potential crap on my head. I am aware that we can opt for change in a treatment programme to alleviate, but what the hell? We just came right with this set of pills! The ones that make me fat, remember.

*scratch scratch*

I’m upsetting myself. But I’m upset for obvious reasons, this condition is unsightly. That and, below the surface, I’m still trying to figure who I am as an Yvette, a bipolar. Redefining my identity, my limitations and goals. This skin condition messes with one of the most important parts of me I was proud to show the world. My hair, my afro. I used to say, my hair is an ‘extension of my personality’. I would look really dodgy during my depressed days and people still used to make comments on awesome my hair is and what I do with it. So now, I need to cover it, or when I don’t cover it, people stare at the flakes or at my pink sore skin, hardly able to look into my eyes. It hurts. It’s embarrassing and I feel ugly.

*Sigh scratch*

There are numerous types of ointments, shampoos, pills etc for the condition. I’m currently using two different types of shampoo and two ointments. The issue with that is that I need to use them everyday, wash my hair everyday, have the shampoo sit in my scalp for 15min before I lather etc, every single day. WHAT A PAIN WHEN YOU HAVE 3 KIDS AND YOU’RE TAKING SEROQUEL EVERY DAY THAT MAKES YOU SO SLEEPY!!!!!

*sniff*

All these side-effects are depressing me. And that isn’t a joke.

This is difficult. I’m continuously presented with challenges, it never ends. Sometimes I feel like, God or the Universe is trying to strip me of everything I know and start strong, alive new, fresh. Strip me of pride. Strip me till there is only wisdom and bone to carry it all.

If that’s the plan, I want new hair. The type that when I get out of a pool it stays down. And I want to wear a bikini.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

———–> Mrs H

I’m fat because…

I decided to take time out to write this post mainly because I’ve posted many pics on FB recently and those who haven’t seen me in a while are shocked to see that I’ve gained so much weight. Okay, I was also shocked to see how big I’ve ‘grown’. Most of you will know when you start gaining weight and the clothes feel tighter and tighter around the waist, it’s still bearable. Worrying, but bearable. But once you start having to go shopping for a whole new wardrobe because nothing fits, it’s not longer funny, nor can you bear the looks you get and comments you receive about your pregnancy glow when you’re not really pregnant. (That’s really not flattering at all).

Those who know me, know that I love to stand out in the crowd, i love loud colours, eye catching jewellry and my afro is done in funky style or I have a flower to catch you attention. So, why would i still want to catch your attention when I’m this big? Surely my sheer presence is big enough to do that? Like I told my hubby yesterday, I’m still Yvette, I may be fat right now, but FAT is not my name. I’ll wear that leopard print pants, even if it’s XL. There’ll be more spots for your to choose from. I’ll wear those bright technicolour tops, if I want to. I loving sharing my low neck line tops with the world because with an added bonus, fat increase the chest action. I do get pissed off sometimes when that size 16 skinny jean jeggings crap won’t fit, and sometimes after putting those sculpting pants on- who wouldn’t? But I appreciate that this body gave life, and it’s mine. I have strecthmarks for days, but those marks are witness to the magic of my little miracles.

So, I’m fat because I’m on Lithium and Seroquel (to treat Bipolar type 1), both known for the weight gaining effects. I’m not blaming my meds, but rather giving them credit where it’s due 😉 I do need to take steps to counter those effects, I realize that, and I will this year. I’m aware of it, thank you. Also, the lithium started tampering with my thyroid, so now I have a sluggish thyroid, which doesn’t help in the weight dept., either. I’m going to give banting a go this year, a serious attempt that is, so that I’ll feel more in control of my weight issues. We’ll see how it goes. I’m not going to make huge promises and goals, I’m going to take it as it comes (and goes).

So I’m fat because of medical reasons. but not solely because of that. I do feel great though. I’m at stage of my life where I’m comfortable with saying the f-word, for fat’s sake. I’m empowered because I won’t let a couple of extra kg’s get in the way of a really great life.

Cheers to size L, XL, XXL, etc.

Hello 2015, Hello size M!!!!

xoxo

Mrs H

twitter: @yvette_adams

My other blog site: southafricanbipolarmom.wordpress.com

Depression, the Good Teacher?

Many of us have suffered from depression, but too many have not spoken up about it. Either because we fear what others would say, or worse, in our attempt to voice our state: it’s too late. The illness, and that’s exactly what is, took our breath away.

There are varying degrees to the extent to which this monster can take over your life, more so it becomes part of your. One would think it becomes your life, but how can it, is it not death?

I’ve attempted suicide more than once, all attempts failed obviously. It would be pretty messed up if I succeeded and you could still read this post.

While I know of any many who did not survive their attempts – these which include pupils in school, to people from church and of course the likes of Robin Williams. Of course you knew I’d mention him, it’s 2014, he’s still relevant. Besides the fact of being a celebrity, he highlights an aspect of depression worth mentioning. People who tell jokes, make others happy, could suffer from depression, and thus suffer from any other mental illness. It does not take away from their talents, it just takes away from their ability to perform that talent sometimes. We think of depression as an emotion. It cannot be. An emotion is something we can control and illness we cannot. It has an ability to control you. It can consume you, especially if you do not seek help to manage it. Robin brought us smiles, but he could not control the enemy that eventually brought him to his knees.

In my experience with depression, I didn’t hear voices to do bad things. No. The shadow showed member in flashes of images on what I had to do. All day I’d walk around with ideas of how to end it all- none of thee complicated: just simples before and afters of what I did and the freedom of being gone would bring.
I’m happier now.

And I’ve had some to think about if this illness has anything more to offer besides endless images of death, and longing to be free of this heaviness that is depression. I came up with a few I’m sure many survivors have more.

It’s taught me that life is indeed short. You only realize this when you come close to giving your life away.
I’ve learned that just because I am depressed, it doesn’t mean I can’t express or experience happiness. When you’re depressed, every day is the end, so of course it’s going to feel like you’re unhappy forever. Every bit of the last life you live, sucks. But, more often that not, it’s not that last day, and you should realize that you do not want to live like that forever. I try to live like imagining every moment I live as the past, and be in that moment of appreciating every second ticking by and carry it through in the tasks and the love I give. When you’re experiencing psychosis this isn’t always easy. But it’s doable.

Most importantly I realize that mental illness does not make you less worthy of a person.
It has taught me to be the best I can be, regardless of illness.
It’s taught me go forgive myself too.
And to be kind to myself.

Robin Williams isn’t the poster child for depression, but rather the idea that depression can affect anyone.

Make your mental well-being, your responsibility and a priority.

Yve

Bragging rights: My eldest son who’s 7 years old

Ah ha! My son Cayden has delivered excellent school results this year. I’m bragging because:

1. I can.

2. Cayden is an extremely intelligent boy, albeit that all moms believe that about their children.

For his Grade 1 national assessments (known as ANA’s) here in South Africa, he achieved 95% for English and 100% for Mathematics. And to top it off, at his school awards ceremony last night, he achieved EXCELLENT achievement in all learning areas. I’m proud of him, not only for his results, but how far he’s come as a young boy. Many people who have met him or me know that Cayden is extremely energetic and is uhm, strong-willed. I know that’s my fault because I taught him from a young age, to question everything, and to understand why things work the way they do. This does result however, in difficult parenting moments, to say the least. Due to this fact, this year we’ve had several incidents at school where we had to be called in or other dramas occurred where both hubby and I felt helpless. I have mentioned before that it was indeed a difficult year with me being ill, and the premature birth of Cayden’s youngest brother. The previous year his younger brother, Alexander was born and the year before that I got married to Cayden’s step dad. So there were numerous, huge changes in his life, and I’m certain all of the above played a role in his worsening behaviour. After the birth of the youngest, I decided to focus on the family, on bringing us all together by being a stay-at-home mom.

And so far, it looks like it’s paid off.

On World Book Day we teamed my creative skills with dad’s engineering  skills and Cayden won. He won with an amazing Harry Potter costume. It was important to us that Cayden felt that he mattered. Yes, he thinks the world revolves around him, but it did. When I was a single mom, he was my world- so I can forgive him for demanding attention at every opportunity that presents itself.

Another thing I’d like to mention about Cayden, is that he has a sense of maturity beyond his years when it comes to reasoning, as well as interacting with others. I’ll give you two examples:

a) He went to a birthday party not too long ago. Cayden arrived at the restaurant and found the birthday girl. We lagged behind trying to manage the little ones with us. I looked at him and he handed his gift over to her and said, “Happy Birthday Lindie*.Here is your gift,” She took the gift and smiled and muttered thank you (as little ones do). As she leaves to go to her table, he says, “You really look pretty today,” She blushes and runs off (as big girls do), I was impressed and worried that he’s going to charm the pants off many girls later in life!

b) After the awards ceremony last night, we walked to our car. One of Cayden’s classmate’s walked beside us with his mother. Cayden asked enthusiastically, “Hey Chad*, I can’t remember what you got a certificate for?” The boy answered, “for my reading. I’m a good reader.” He was half shy, but sure of himself. Cayden replied, “That’s great Chad, you deserve it!” Chad’s mother smiled, almost in disbelief.

I could go on and on, and I should, but I won’t.

I pray that this little guy continues to grow into the man I always dreamed he to be. A changemaker, a charismatic intellectual, a leader, a gentleman. He inspires me to be a better person, let alone a good mom.

All of the above in any field of course!

P.S I changed the children’s names of course.

Writing Mentor- Memoirs and Beyond

Life’s too short to take writing too seriously. There’s no pun in that.- Yvette Hess 2014

As mentioned in my about page I mention that I’m embarking on a new journey: adjusting my vision for myself and my family. I want to write while I’m a stay-at-home mom. I’ve always written stuff, just never really created chapters that could fill a book. I know in order to do that I would need to improve my writing, drastically. How does one improve on writing without distorting your voice anyway? Yes, my writer’s voice. I know I have one, I see myself in all that I write- little clues that thread through every line; twinkles of my humour sparkle here and there. But how do I improve and ensure I have credibility? I didn’t study literature or complete a Bachelor of Arts in English. I just love words (like most people do). I just want more than that. I want to be good enough to be published.

Sometimes I doubt myself. Okay, often, I doubt myself. If I look at the upside though, I know I can guarantee my readers honesty. In a world where being authentic is more often than not, just a label stitched on blue-washed jeans, being real is invaluable. Can invaluable sell? Does it sell? I’m willing to spend some spare effort and a little time on exploring that. And I’ve started with Daily Post’s blogging courses to help me exercise my writing muscles.

I’m looking for a mentor to help me with a writing project I have. I want to write a memoir, and as young as people think I am, my years are full. I’d like to document my happenings and lessons- put pen to paper, and encapsulate memories in little pockets of wordblobs. It’s going to be messy and emotional and raw. I think it would be wonderful to read, and for me, it’ll be comforting to physically close every chapter.

If anyone is keen, let me know how you can help or how you have experience in helping others to achieve their (or your own) writing goals.

I’m taking it all in my stride, so there wouldn’t be pressure either way. 🙂

Catch me here:

@yvette_adams

yvetteyadams1@gmail.com

[New Thought]: Sustainble thought leadership vs Drastic challenges to the status quo

I’m in the process of assisting a student where I studied a few years ago. The piece I’m doing forces me to recollect the work I did as a student leader. With time, and age, one often does much introspection on whether or not the contribution you make to society is worthwhile, let alone worth anything at all. Well, at least I think you should be wondering about it.

My aim as a student leader was to drive change. I never saw myself as a student leader though (these student leader creatures were known to be fame and power hungry mini-politicians). Rather, I saw myself as an individual wanting to challenge any injustice, or just save a fellow student from hardship or any discomfort. I wanted to be an enabler; enable the so-called underdogs to achieve and live the dream. To not only allow others to make a way for themselves but also to ensure that this new path became a standard for the next set of travelers. My passion did not begin and end with students at the University of Cape Town, it also included the minds of the people who have ever interacted with, because of and never had the chance or dare to dream of setting foot in the University of Cape Town.

A huge task for anyone I think. A big dream for any student to attain.

Was I successful? Nope, not entirely so. Did I receive recognition? Yes, definitely. Did I yearn recognition for it? No. And those who really know me, know this is God’s truth.

Success in leadership to me meant transforming the very conservative university to a wonderland for any deserving inquiring mind, for more than one semester. I wanted more than just the quick thrill of establishing a ‘ground-breaking’ new student- parent society; I wanted more than just making people think differently for a moment during debates; I wanted more than for people to just know my name.

I wanted more than just to cause waves.

I wanted my student-leader comrades to more than just cause tidal waves. Even if they were entertaining at student assembly.

I wanted and still want to be the force that created the waves themselves.

Then we, in term and in turn, do not have to fret about our successors and continuing the good work, the right work, the needed work.

But what my stint in leadership proved to me, was not only that patience is a virtue, but rather that when you’re afforded the privilege of leading, you need to lead proactively, thinking for the next few sets of leaders’ in mind, what issues they would grapple with, you attempt to solve or provide ways on how to solve them, now (not when they start their term).

It’s truly a draining role. And in student leadership, you’re balancing your studies, your own life and of course your passion to change the whole wide world.

Is it possible to do all of this, successfully?

Yup. I didn’t get it right, but yes, it sure is possible. I think of people like Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh; Erik de Ridder, Melvyn Lobega, Trevor Mcarthur to name but a few. They’re people we can look up to.

One day I hope that our leadership efforts would evolve sustainable winds of change, that the yearning to improve our fellow man’s current circumstance, to self sustainable hubs of ever-developing movements.

Sustainability, in every way, is a thought leadership we should invest in. And it starts at home, in our minds, in the mirror. This frame of thinking should accompany the audacity to challenge, challenge everything.
The status quo would just be a number and not a challenge that ever resembles our past, fueling our need to break the barrier; fighting ‘because of’, but rather ‘building on’.

Just because leadership requires hard work, and working with our hands, it doesn’t mean we need to get ‘dirty’.

Although this piece mentions student leadership specifically, I do need to point out that there are leaders and opportunities to lead across a broad spectrum ventures. This includes the business world. Be the best, fail, be the best at getting up again, smiling after every punch.

Be good at every opportunity to get up from every fall.

Thanks what I’m good at.

Sustaining many an injury, I keep getting up. I feel the pain with every punch, but I smile with every step forward.

And so I evolve, redefining my ideas and experience of leadership and people and opportunity.

So what’s my next step?

What’s your next, my leader?

-Yve-

[New Post]: Wishful Thinking

I’ve been blogging in my mind. I’ve been writing ‘my book’ in my mind. I’ve been surviving life, mostly in my mind. I think this is a good thing- because my mind is not always a wonderland.

I thought it would be easy to blog a few posts, ‘quickies’ as I termed them, but not once did I find the time for a quickie. Okay, I lie, I’ve had lots of quickie time, but not once did a surge of energy, a waterfall of words and time to blog a quickie, (nevermind blogging fourplay of intros and conclusions) merge in to one published mini splat of words. Ulgh.

But I have so much to tell!

My dad always used to say, if you want to get up early, you will. Surely then if I REALLY want to write, I would, right?
I’d write a book.
I’d write a song.

Then why why why can’t I find the time to write, if what my dad said is true, that is?

For the past couple of months I’ve been battling from not being able to sleep to headaches, psoriasis, stress, my own body issues (duh), severe back ache. Been popping several pills to alleviate some of the above. Last week, I woke up and couldn’t open my eyes, and my mouth was frozen shut. I tried hard to open my mouth to tell my husband I could hear him. The torment passed after a few minutes. I couldn’t help but wonder what’s happening to me. It’s scary when your body starts to crumble.

Alexander (16months old) and Gabriel (5months old) have this new gimmick where they cry at the same time. They cry for and because of one another. It’s enough to drive anyone mad or more mad. Then there’s Cayden whose been misbehaving in class. His teacher is at her wit’s end, but she understands it must be crazy at home and all he wants is my attention.

Mine. My attention. Attention I can’t even give myself.

What was I thinking? Me? A stay at home mom? Do all stay at home moms feel trampled on? Like this is way, way more challenging that a job. I was in consulting in the IT audit arena. There were deadlines, politics and drama, but nothing and nothing as intense as this! But you know what, I still this- being-at-home-gig better than work. Well sort of. This gig is rewarding, just not financially rewarding.

Maybe it was wishful thinking to resign. But I’m still tired-eyes, I mean, starry eyed. This is the biggest leap of (true) faith i’ve had to make yet. Guess that’s what comes with the package of parenting, take leaps of faith. Praying that what you’re doing would benefit your children. Even if that means sacrificing your career for a few years.

I’m still a woman, a writer, a (student)leader, a visionary, a change-maker, an entrepreneur, a VOICE. I’m all of that, wrapped up in a MOM box.

Tied with a bow of course!

-me-

Graduation- what it meant for me in 2013

Tonight I sat watching my eldest son graduate from Grade R(Reception grade in the foundation phase) to Grade 1. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I watched him sing with his fellow classmates, “and we’re so glad to see you here.” He had seen me in the crowed earlier and pointed at me, but in such a way that I could see it was more than just hand movements for the sake of the song. He was so glad to see me there, share in his moments of growing up and experiencing with him the absolute joy of being a child and feeling the pride that one feels when your parent shows genuine interest in what you do and who you are.

I’ve never experienced graduation, not my own anyway. One day I will, but absolutely nothing can replace that thrilling experience of seeing your child graduate; achieving their goals of exceeding to the next level, starting a new chapter and celebrating that climax of overcoming all challenges that lead up to that point. I could not celebrate that moment of pride, love and absolute joy without a huge lump in m throat.

As a mother, in that moment, you’re experiencing and re-experiencing numerous sad, difficult and joyous and painful and troublesome moments all in every breath and clap of the hands. One thinks of the times they were ill, when they didn’t want to get up for school, the smart things they say, the argument you had the other night with them, their shoe sizes, the note you forgot to sign in the homework book yesterday- in every breath, with every clap.

One thinks of all you want them to be, for the world, but mostly for yourself.

I cannot believe how my son has grown, and how far we’ve come, him and I, on the journey of life. Before, as a single parent, all those moments that tracked through my mind were all mine. Now, I share them with my husband. I’m sure fathers have their own thoughts, dreams and regrets, but tonight- I was proud that my son, our son, shone, like a star, so bright and specifically, that I was there to witness and live in his moment.

I still have a lump in my throat.

I still see his smile; I see his joy; I feel that as much as I’m proud of him, he’s even more proud to have me as his mom.

“Cayden, you are more than a responsibility to me. You’re an extension of who I am, and I’m so proud to call you my own.”

Love you lots and lots and lots.

Your mom,

Mrs H.