Today’s guest blogger is Marie Abanga, whose blog can be found at https://marieabanga.wordpress.com/
Did you say my brother had epilepsy or bipolar disaster?
I remember asking my sister that question over the phone in June 2014. That was exactly or barely 2 months before that very kid sister to be precise (yes she indeed had the nerves) called me at such an ungodly hour as Belgian midnight (well that’s where I lived then while she’s in that your Americana country), to tell me my, I mean our, only brother had just been found dead in his kitchen leaning over his medicine box (what was I to make of that detail?).
He was 33 years. I had struggled with coming to terms with what was wrong with the only brother I had, of whom I was so hopelessly fond of… Indeed to imagine me a trouble maker and fight lover, to not have had even one single rub of tongues with that my brother: My entire family will tell you I could have married him if the law didn’t make what now? Incest or what will that be? Well I loved him yes am out… He was so gentle, had a signature smile, was so intelligent ah, witty in his way… gosh where will I find such a man to love me? I mean if I could find even a woman fitting that I would gladly swap… ok so back to my brother and that haunting search for an answer cause I had seen him depreciate more than any currency I could think of. I know he had fainting fits – which I just learnt like 4 years ago is epilepsy.
I went to the same schools with him until a certain level, so I saw him have his first seizure and several thereafter… I took care of him and stayed in hospital with him… he stayed in school until he had his A’Levels in flying colours before flying out to Germany to major in Mathematics and Computer Engineering. Before leaving however, we all started noticing a change in his personality and behaviour – simply put – that was the beginning of the bipolar disaster… Ha, could our hearts be more broken? He got lost in Germany and he was finally picked up and repatriated… I was there and we did our best to accompany him to all sorts of appointments; shrinking 1 here; shrinking 2 there; therapist 1 here; baba 2 there and even several other regimens I’ll spare you detail. Nada until the day he went to the cyber and played that magic called DV Lottery – guess they smelled his intelligence and he won. America here he came and settled down into a system only you out there best know about… America there he fell a few months after he received his US Passport… All I have to cling on to is a foundation created by mum in his honour called the Gbm Foundation for Epilepsy and Mental Wellbeing. I am the country Director and working with the foundation helps me heal and watch after my own mental well-being. I will combat stigma with every fiber in me cause I know how devastating that coward of a bitch is…
Marie Abanga is a dynamic mental health advocate amongst many other stuffs. In her own words, « lt is worth it and life has only been this tough but good. There is strength in what remains; Trying times are not times to quit trying ». She loves her offline and online family very much, as well as their cat Ella. Marie blogs about her thrilling life, emotions and mental illness over at : https://marieabanga.wordpress.com/