Thursday, November 20, 2014

YoTM's Opportunity for Young People living with Epilepsy in Nairobi and Kisumu


One of the many publications by YoTM
Good evening beautiful people,

November is #epilepsy awareness month and I have some good news for y'all who would like to learn more about epilepsy and get more hands on experience. My good friends at Youth on theMove (YoTM) who do amazing work with young people living with epilepsy have a full year program which they would like young people (age 18 - 35) to apply for. (those living with epilepsy will be given first priority though). The programs are in Nairobi and Kisumu and will see the young people meet 3 days a week for full year (2015)where they will learn about living with epilepsy and discuss other issues that affect young people esp those living with epilepsy. (How many times have I said epilepsy in this paragraph lol).

Before you apply, make sure you can spare the year, can bring amazing energy to the group and participate in activities and sharing experiences. To apply (and for more info) contact Annie annie@yotmkenya.com and she will guide you on the process. Application deadline is 10th January 2015, the earlier you apply the better.

Also be sure to visit their social media pages to see the awesome work they do;
FB: Youth on the Move and Twitter: @moversKE

Pass the message along to others.

Sending love and light,
Sitawa

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Of high level advocacy, scaling #mentalhealth and disabilities on the regional level


At the Lion of Judah Monument, Addis Ababa - Ethiopia

It has been an interesting weekend for me...at the beginning of last week if you told me i'd be addressing a group of CSOs (Civil Society Organizations) from all over Africa at the UN in Ethiopia, I'd claim it for my wishlist but it happened. On Friday 14th November, a few minutes after 5p, I had the humbling and honorable opportunity to address participants from around 34 African countries at the UNECA - Addis Ababa.
 
The gathering (dubbed #TheAfricaWeWant #Beijing20)'s main agenda was to discuss the position of African CSOs to be presented before African governments who were meeting to review steps made after the Beijing Declaration of 1995. The theme for #Beijing20 is empower women, empower humanity...picture it. I borrowed from that theme and gave the story of my life and how by empowering myself as a woman with mental health info, I have been enable to empower humanity (the constitution of persons living with mental health condition/epilepsy and their families with info and support) through my organization, my mind my funk and our products like the FREE SMS line 22214, counseling services and continuous awareness drives. I was humbled to get a standing ovation from the participants.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Regulation Activity

MMMF Class; Taking my staff through Regulation and creating tool boxes
We had a lovely time today morning in the office discussing regulation and making tool boxes. I have blogged about regulation before and for those who have no idea what it is; well its simply being grounded,  able to focus,  when you the person is in control and not feelings or emotions being in control. For you to be at that level, we have to have some tools that you use to get to this point.
 
Here is a regulation exercise you can try out to establish the tools you have in your tool box;
 
1. Think of a time in the last month that you had an intense emotion (really angry, frustrated, scared). On a piece of paper, write down
a) the situation eg my girl left me, i failed to meet the cut off for a program I had applied for
b) triggers ie things about the situation in a) above that led to the intense emotion
 
2. Next we will map out energy on a graph, so on your paper, draw 7 horizontal lines and number them 1-7 (1 being the bottom most and 7 the topmost).
1 represents low energy, when your emotions are in charge,  overwhelmed, depressed,  lack of motivation,  self harm, despair,  suicidal
3-5 represent your window, where you are engaged, good level of energy,  emotions are manageable, person is in control, able to make clear decisions
7 represents high energy, panic, anxiety,  racing thoughts,  yelling, aggression
Based on the situation in 1 above how can you describe your energy levels when that thing happened?  Eg you were somewhere between 3-5 at your window then someone sent a disturbing text that first made you angry so you graph moves from 4 to 7 but the more you thought about it,  you become overwhelmed and didn't want to be with people so your graph went from 7 to 1.
 
3. From the graph,  how can you tell when you got higher or lower? What body (physical) things eg sweating, actions eg yelling,  fighting,  thought or emotions eg suicidal
Through the answers given in 3 above, you are able to see the things that can help tell you that you are moving away from your window...I know things are not well when I start twitching and my seizures increase.
 
4. What helped bring you back into your window? Eg did you go for a walk, sleep it out,
This is where you identify the tools in your tool box. Get a clean sheet of paper and divide into 5;
a) write the word mental
b) write spiritual
c) write relational
d) write emotional
e) write physical
With a different colored pen or crayon, write and/or things that help you come from a high or low in each of the 5 categories.  Eg spiritual can be meditation when my energy levels are at 7, relational can be texting friends when i feel low, physical can be jogging when feeling like beating someone up.
There are people who lack tools in their boxes. This group tends to have very high highs,  with ranging emotions or very low lows with self destructive thoughts and actions. Being aware of change in energy levels is important so is having tools to help regulate those energies. It is never too late to get some tools in your box.
 
Looking forward to seeing your tool boxes

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

My Juice Challenge

I love Wednesdays in Ngong because it is market day. Usually i love just walking through and smelling the produce as i soak into the different colours.  Today I took time to get some fresh produce for my #JuiceChallenge; should have fresh juice at least once a day.
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Its been a not so blissful season for me, my #seizures have been regular and that means a lot of meds...my #bipolar diaries are spilling with stories of things done and very toxic moments. Having employed new staff,  moved to a new space and activating my FREE #mentalhealth SMS line 22214, i have little to no down time.
 
I am doing a juice challenge not as a fast (I love my food) but to cleanse and detox and rid all the drugs that i have consistently put in my system since I was hospitalised in August and give my body a chance to reboot. For the next couple of days, I will share recipes and progress reports on my instagram page 
 
Have you juiced before? How was your experience? 
 
Do you want to take the challenge with me?

Friday, October 31, 2014

He said he'd come through today

He said he'd come through today,
So I cooked and waited.
He didn't come,
He didn't call,
He didn't text.

I don't know if he is ok,
Or if he thought it was ok.

If you see him,
tell him he said he'd come through today,
So I cooked and waited.
He didn't come,
He didn't call,
He didn't text.

I don't know if he is ok,
Or if he thought it was ok.
Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone provided by Airtel Kenya