DO IT ONCE MORE

Dust up, wipe away your tears and do it once more.

I’ve healed myself, more than once, with prayers and determination
Bowing my head and crying to My Lord
I’ve stitched myself up.
And I’ll do it once more.
And again.
And again.

I’ve faced so much worse than a broken heart
Clipped wings and a shattered dream
But I got up once
And I’ll do it once more.
And again.
And again.

I’ve faced bigger demons
Than self doubt
Hurtful comments and a low esteem
I rose up once
And I’ll do it once more.
And again.
And again.

I’ve lived through worse nightmares
Human monsters and two faced snakes
I’ve slayed them once
And I’ll do it once more.
And again.
And again.

I’ll never give up, even in the face of fear
Doubt and hurt
I faced them once
And I’ll do it once more.
And again.
And again.

cursed

Cursed one

‘Ulolaaniwa’

He never wanted me

Never will

A father is her daughter’s King

Mine is my nightmare

A father is to hold you

Mine is to hit me

A father is to love you

Mine loathes me

A father is to protect you

I need protection from him

A father is the light in his daughter’s eyes

Mine snatched all the light away

A girl is blessed to have her father alive

Mine is cursed to have me alive

I was taught

From when I could understand

Stay out of his way

He’ll kick me if I don’t

Stay out of his sight

What new curse could he come up with today?

Let him not hear you

You don’t want to be hit

I wonder why

He could never love me

I’ve tried my best

1st in all my classes

Until he made me drop out

Wasting his money

Only to be married

An excellent cook

Until he burnt me ‘accidentally’

A voice like a bird

Until he had me caged

Silent

Silent tears

As I cradled my broken arm

No hospitals

So it never healed right

A painful reminder

Each and every day

That I am cursed

Cursed to be born

Cursed to be his daughter

Cursed to be a girl

Simply cursed for who I am.

blind

Love blinds

So people say

Well, it never did me

I just chose to ignore

Ignored when he raised his voice

Ignored when he broke the TV

Ignored when he threw words around

Ignored, but felt it each time

Then he first raised his hand

I ignored

He left

I cried myself to sleep

I chose to be blind

I held it in

Chose to ignore

For my little 2 year old boy

I chose to be blind

Until I couldn’t anymore

Then I tried leaving

But I couldn’t

Mama said

What would people say?

Baba said

Think of your son

Auntie said

I probably deserved it

Society said

A woman should persevere

And everyone saw

The bruised arms

The black eyes

But everyone chose to ignore

They all become blind

He is my husband

I love him

I should persevere

Maybe, I did deserve it

I’ll hold my tongue

Never ask where he is

Never argue

Never raise my voice again

Blind to his faults

Then came my little girl

One look at her

And I knew

I wouldn’t let her live like I do

I’ll show her what love is supposed to be

Not a broken heart

A twisted arm

Or a bruised eye

Her Mama will make her proud

And I left

For my walking son

He shouldn’t be like

The monster he calls father

Love is not this.

I choose not to be blind anymore

Society be damned

I am no more blind

This time I choose to be deaf

Let them talk

hurt

First time she did it

We both were shocked

I was hurt

Bleeding

And not just from the cut

The one she placed

Right above my eye

8 stitches

But the pain

Was not as much as

The one in my heart

I was hurt

She said sorry

She was angry

It’ll never happen again

She held me as we both cried

And I believed her

And it happened again

A screaming match

Followed by a thrown vase

Then a cut again

This time my arm

And again

A blow to my head

She took me to the ER

Laughed off with the nurse

Men and their competitive nature

Got beaten up trashtalking

Said his team was better

I couldn’t say a word

Disoriented

Confused

Hurt

And again

And again

Every time she’s angry

Every time she’s upset

Elaborate lies

Made up stories

Who do I tell

Who do I confide in

That the one I love

Hurts me the most

S.U.I.C.I.D.E.

Ssshhhhhhhhhh…

Don’t talk about it

Don’t even think about it

The more we ignore it

The more it’ll go away

Soon enough, it’ll all be forgotten

Killing oneself?

That only happens in the West

If you ever feel like doing it

Probably because you don’t believe

You lack faith in God

You have no hope in life

Stop thinking about it at all

It’ll all pass

And you’ll move on

So forget about it

And Ssshhhhhh

Never bring it up again.

The amount of times I’ve been silenced on suicide and mental health astonishes even me at this point in life, never have I seen people be so ignorant and treat a matter as taboo, even when it happens several times in their community as they treat mental illness and suicide. It looks like staying silent on the matter is just increasing the rates by the tens and thousands.

In 2017 , suicide rates in Kenya raised by 58%.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that close to 800,000 people commit suicide every year, which means one person every 40 seconds.

Kenya is ranked as 6th in Africa for the highest number of depression cases reported.

For ages 15-29, suicide is the second leading cause of death.

And get this, males are at a higher risk of suicide than females.

Toxic masculinity, where men aren’t allowed to feel, talk about their feelings or express emotions should stop.

We have big issues to address in our community, and instead of treating it like a serious matter which needs attention, we push it aside, sweep it under the carpet and hope we never have to ever talk about it.

Suicide is not a single thought, of I want to die.

It’s walking up in the morning wishing you had died in your sleep.

It’s feeling no will to continue living, barely surviving

It’s wishing you never have to explain, why you always tired and down

Wishing you’d just fade away and no one would notice

It’s trying to escape the suffocation

The drowning, the exhaustion

It’s thinking you don’t have anything to live for

No one cares

No one ever did

No one will ever do

It’s not wanting to cause pain

Not wanting to be a burden

It’s feeling left out

Like no one can understand

They never do

They never will

It’s feeling too much

Then nothing at all

Craving the lightness of just being a soul

It’s the depression talking

The misery setting in

And anxiety rooted within

It’s the dark thoughts clouding all good

That even when you try to remember that there is hope

It disappears

Cause in the end we all are alone.

That is what feeling suicidal is to me

That even when you want to hope

It runs fast leaving coldness

It’s losing one’s self to

Numbness

Darkness

Drowning

Cutting

Jumping

Hanging

Swallowing

Hopelessness

one small act and it’ll all fade away

No more pain

No more dismay

No hurting anymore.

But see, all this is a LIE. PEOPLE CARE.

Even when we think that it’ll all end with us, it doesn’t.

We still have mountains to climb

Sunsets to watch

Drinks to enjoy

Rains to dance in

Oceans to explore

Cultures to experience

We are yet to love and be loved

To care and be cared for

And it all begins with me

And you

You mean the world to someone else

You never are alone

Stop with the depreciating jokes

Every morning

Tell yourself

You are strong

You can make it

You can make it

You can make it

Then strive for it

Strive for a better day

Strive for a real smile

One day at a time

Just one more day at a time

Smell the fresh earthy smell after rain

The warm coffee scent

The rich chocolate taste

The feeling of the first morning ray

The sound of the chirping birds

You never are alone

Seek help

Lean on others to support you

To family and friends dealing with people struggling with mental illnesses and suicidal thoughts, talk about it, don’t shun them away, and later wonder why they never said anything, why you never noticed and that you were always there. If you can’t handle it, ask a professional to intervene.

Be a good listener, listen well.

Offer emotional support.

Encourage them to seek help.

Remind them that the sun will rise again.

NEW BEGINNINGS

What better way to end the Mental health awareness month, than a promise and a pledge to myself.

A promise I intend to honor and a pledge I vow to keep.

I was asked my opinion on self harm once, why do people do it? Why do people get addicted and does it ever stop? Self harm, is an addiction, because pain is addictive. Why do people do it? In my opinion, it’s the pain you can control and one you can see. It’s a method to cope, a very terrible one. Is it addictive? Yes, it is. Very much so. It usually starts as an impulse, a small jolt to keep one in check, for some, to remind them that they still feel, that they still are alive, an impulsive decision at a moment of weakness. Slowly, one depends on it, as a distraction from any emotional pain, physical pain heals faster, but emotional ones fester and poison, if not treated. Then it becomes an addiction, an obsession, a false sense of control.

It sickens me to the depth of my heart to see Media romanticizing it, making it feel cool or Writers making it feel almost as normal as breathing. It is not. Believe me, self harm brings in guilt and shame, and having to keep it a secret is worse. The relief is short-lived, before you have to deal with whatever is troubling you. Instead of solving any problem, you just let it be bottled up inside, hiding it in the closet and sweeping every problem under the rug. It only takes sometime before it bursts, opens and blows up in your face.

For someone affected, they do not wish for that upon anybody. The guilt of asking your loved one to stop an addiction, you know the harm of it all to well. The hopelessness when something goes wrong, and it’s not in your hands anymore. The despair, when you see someone you love go down the path, you struggle to leave. It’s not worth it.

It’s not the way to do it, get help and confide in someone, it gets better. Life does get better. Asking for help is  hard, I know, trust me. Leaning on someone, letting one take care of you for once, or letting someone in. It’s opening the doors to you chamber of secrets, everything dark and ugly, sometimes and expecting them to love you the same and see you the same. Trust, giving someone the power to hurt you but believing in them to not to.

Talk to someone you trust, let them in and believe in yourself.

 

Even in the dark

When there seems to be no light

And the weight of the world 

Burdens your shoulders

And a little voice 

Says you can never do it

Exclaim with power and conviction

“I can and I will

For with every sunset, ends a bad day

But every sunrise, begins a new day”

You can and you will

Life does get better

Trust and believe in yourself

Just like I do in you

I may not know you

But I understand the struggle you go through

I may not know your full battle, 

Or see all your wounds

But in the end

I am human like you too

Tell me so I can help

Speak out and I shall listen

Beyond what the eye sees

Is a soul I am in love with

For all the scars and struggles

A beautiful soul

That I can’t help but be in awe of

Life does get better.

This promise to myself, is that I shall try my very best to not succumb to the little whisper.

I am stronger than that, braver than that and wiser.

I promise not to judge by the scars on somebody’s arms, not by the burns on your feet, not by the wounds on your fists, or the bandage on your head. Not by anything at all, I promise I will try to listen, to look at you and love you, maybe even love you more.

Often, we ignore others’ cries for help because we are too blinded by our own struggles. We often lose so many to fend on their own, we let too many people down, we failed so many people, but now is a good place to start. Right here and right now, pledge to be a source of comfort and solace, to lend an ear and to see beyond the walls and masks, to see for who they really are and still love the same.

And for those still struggling, life gets better.

 

Monsters and Nightmares

I’ve lived through nights I wish I hadn’t

I’ve wished for death even by my hand

I’ve carved my skin, deep enough to feel pain, deep enough to let go

I’ve witnessed nightmares even while awake

I wished for the ground to swallow me up

I’ve wished for the room to close me in

For the last breathe to leave my body

Just so I could escape this world

I can still feel

The hands on my neck

Squeezing, with no aim to let go.

I can still feel

The wandering hands on my body

Leaving a slimy feel

Painful, aimed to hurt

I can still see

The darkness of the corner

One that was safe

Only it wasn’t hard to be found

I can still smell

The dust underneath the bed

My refuge

Before I got dragged out

The nightmares that I live with

All remind me

Of a beast I’d wish to forget

Only he never left.

These are tears of a rose.

From nightmares and monsters.

It starts slowly,

Like a horror film,

Then comes the screams of a little girl,

Held down, head on the cold floor

Tears streaming down her face

She refuses to look at him

Her gaze falls on her little Barbie doll

She barely is 6 years old.

She can feel the pain

Feel the anger

And my screams merge with hers

Only, they were mine all along.

Silent cries for help.

Nobody comes to help.

The absolute terror,

When anyone grabs her suddenly

She hates the feeling of contact

For all she knows

Is to never trust anybody

Men and women alike

She is safe from nobody.

The anxiety

Like dipping in cold water on a freezing night

Like drowning in sea water. eyes wide open

Like suffocating, just like his hands on her neck

She sees her nightmares every time she closes her eyes

Sees her monsters every time she opens them up.

She wants not to be touched,

Believes not in love

Never had faith in trust

Never hoped for a better life

How do I let her know

Not all beings are monsters?

How do I stop myself,

From whisking her away in my arms

To hold her tight in my arms so she could cry

To have her in my embrace till she stopped sobbing

To hide her in my heart

So she can know of the love I have for her

How do I tell her?

That she’s beautiful

Absolutely amazing

How do I give her hope?

For a better tomorrow.

How do I tell her?

That tomorrow, The sun will rise again

It’ll be better

So let the rain wash away

The tears in your heart

Let His Light, heal your wounds

Believe, and let Him fade your scars.

Have hope in your Lord.

TILL I LOVE ME

Shallow standards of beauty are what I grew up seeing.

Perfect height, weight and assets to complement.

So anything other than that was not beautiful.

It simply could not be beautiful.

I always wondered about it.

For I see beauty in a smile,

Beauty in tears,

Beauty in pain

And beauty in a storm.

I am astonished by strength,

Intrigued by bravery

And inspired by courage.

I see beauty in a stroke of a painter’s brush,

In a paragraph of a writer’s book,

And in the words of a poet.

I see beauty in almost everything I encounter.

What I did not see, was beauty in me.

I fell in love with the passionate souls that choose to believe in their ability to create art.

I wonder what would someone find beautiful?

Plain brown eyes. Dull skin and messy hair?

I look at the mirror every day and wonder how anyone would think that I was beautiful.

Not only in my appearance, but for who I am too.

Would someone like me when I ramble on?

Would anyone see beauty in what i write?

Would anyone see the pain in my words and choose to stay?

Is there beauty in who I am?

I wish I had an answer. I don’t.

And even if somebody said yes, I probably would not believe it.

Not right now.

Not until I believe in myself.

Until I love me.

I am learning, to love myself for everything I am and what I do.

For my weird habits and silly rambles.

For who I am.

And also, for how I look.

Until I love me. I shall continue searching for these answers.

Or maybe once I know. I wouldn’t need any answers.

When I find one thing I like,

I’d find a thousand more to hate

Little things to always pick on.

For I will know the truth.

Until I forgive myself

For all that I have done

For all the mistakes I wronged myself

For the pain I put myself through.

Maybe then I’d learn to forgive others too.

I do not see this at all.

I justify all the wrongs I have faced with what I see in the mirror.

I look at the reflection and I don’t see someone who deserves to be happy.

I see broken pieces

I see shards

I see secrets

I see lies and sins

How can someone live with a person like this?

Till then, when I learn to love me all

All the broken pieces and cracks

Then, I wait for.

I do sometimes,

Like the happiness behind a smile

When I smile and my reflection smiles back.

For then I know, I can still be happy.

The nights I fear most,

Is those I feel nothing

Never ending numbness

No hate

No love

No pain

No hurt

Those I fear.

When I force myself to feel.

Worry not,

I have not despaired

For the Believers, there is no despair

I hope the day comes soon

When I love picking up a pen and writing again

When I feel the warmth of a loving gaze

When I smile from my heart

And let it show on my face

When I can say

With assuringly

And truly

I love me

For my self

For my being

For who I am

For what I do

For what I’ve been through

And for all that I’m about to be.

Till I love me

I WILL FIGHT

One swipe and it shall be gone

One press and you’ll stop feeling

One choice, it’ll only be a second

Is it worth it though?

I feel it when I lay on my bed

Disruptive thoughts

Am I worth it?

Am I ever going to be?

I realize that,

I’ve never been someone’s first

Not first priority

Not the first choice

Or have I?

I’ve never been needed

Never been chosen

Never someone’s best friend

Never someone’s number one

Or have I?

As I lay there

I forget

I forget of two parents who love me

I forget of the siblings I grew up with

Because at that moment

I want to be selfish

Uncaring

I want to feel pain

So I let myself forget

I forget of My Creator

Who blesses me and Loves me

I forget of my Prophet

Who loves me,

Cried for me before knowing me.

“Ummaty, Ummaty”

“My People, My People”

I forget about everyone who cares

Trying to trick my self that no one does

So when I pain, I justify it

Nobody cares anyway

You don’t matter anyway

I’m wrong

I hope to be wrong

I will fight for that chance

That hope for tomorrow

I will fight to live

I will fight to survive

I choose to be brave

I choose to be strong

I’ll fight.

And when I forget

I’ll fight to remember.

Even if it’s a fight against my mind

I will fight.

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