There’s no better ‘pick me up’ than the aroma of a deliciously prepared food. I mean, let’s face it, food is an integral part of living. But then, not just any food, I’m talking about the kind of food that makes you shed tears of joy. One that makes you wonder at the ingeniousity of long dead homosapiens about the discovery of certain foods. I believe, y’all know where I’m going with this, (cues internal drumroll) – Jollof rice!!
It’s quite popular in most West African countries, especially in Nigeria. Here in my beloved country, any attack made on Jollof rice, equates as an attack to all. It is our national duty to defend the delicacy that has been there for us throughout the ups and downs of several special occasions ranging from birthday parties, weddings, naming ceremonies and so on. Any form of special gathering without the presence of this food, is considered an abominable act. Let’s not forget the day, Lai Mohammed (a politician in Nigeria) tried to drag the respected image of the Nigerian jollof through the mud. He was not prepared for the kind of tongue lashing he received.
I know it’s been in existence for a long while but then, thanks to social media platforms like twitter and instagram, we get to sing praises of this ‘legend’. It even led to Jollof wars on the internet. Jollof rice has gone from being just a food prepared at parties to become what speaks to most people on a ‘spiritual level’ (permit my theatrics). I mean, just picture a steaming hot plate of jollof rice, blessed with the presence of their royal highnesses,fried chicken and beef; let’s not forget to add fish to the mix and probably, a spoonful of coleslaw. A typical cloud nine kind of feeling, I tell ya!
📷: @trybbe on Instagram. You should check out the page.
I don’t know if sometimes, you also feel like you’re tired of everything and overwhelmed. It’s more like some sort of lethargy sneaks up on you and bam! you lose the zeal to live. One moment, you’re happy and the next, you’re sad. Or worst still, you’re attacked by bouts of anxiety and you’re disillusioned about everything. This indicates that your stressors have been pushed to the wall, which leads me to chronic stress syndrome
Chronic Stress sets in when your stressors have been mismanaged. It might also be a result of experiencing a traumatic event. Some people experience burn out at their jobs, they just start losing touch with their initial source of happiness. It’s a serious issue that needs to be addressed immediately as it takes severe emotional toll. People suffering from this syndrome are prone to insomnia, anxiety, depression, weakened immune system and even heart disease. Its like the queen of all “burn outs”. And it’s like you didn’t even ask for this. You didn’t ask for your neurons to misbehave ; as too much of acetylcholine is associated with depression and too little is associated with dementia. I think the most scary feeling is not having any form of control over what’s happening to you, your body, just to watch it happen. It’s like being a visitor in your own home; to be held hostage by your own body and being hopeless to stop it. Well, almost hopeless. Certain activities like exercising, you know, physical activities that serve as therapy. Also, there are psychiatrists that can help with this. And here is where I make a special shout out to my fellow Africans, especially Nigerians, ‘see therapists!!!’ We’ve got to let go of the belief that ‘only the mentally disturbed consults a therapist’. Mentally disturbed in my country consists of people walking around in tattered clothes and drug addicts only (sighs dramatically). We’re human beings with blood in our veins and neurons that occasionally go crazy, so kindly lay down the idea of ‘blacks don’t crack’ for a bit and open your eyes to the larger picture. And see that, either Black or Caucasian, y’all crack.
And Merry Christmas, everyone!!
I’ve heard it’s mostly a black people thing to argue the fact that they are not depressed. However, it’s way worse in African nations. I come from a country whose cultural and religious beliefs have staunchly made people disapprove of ‘psychological babble’. It goes this way; when they hear about someone committing suicide, they say ‘ise aye ni o’, meaning ‘it’s the handiwork of the devil’. If you’re from Nigeria and you’re reading this post, I’m sure you’ll understand. My country, my country, a place where Diablo is blamed for every intentional and unintentional misdeeds committed by humans. It’s so bad that sometimes I go, ‘poor Lucifer’. And believe me, the situation isn’t helped when all you hear the pastor preach in church is how you must bind, cast and annihilate the devil with fire and brimstone and yeah, let’s not forget the witches (here comes the internal sighs). And believe me once again, that’s putting it lightly.
Now, let’s go back to the issue of depression. A lot of people get depressed, it’s a recurring psychological phenomenon which requires you to get help. I will like to swerve my attention to postpartum depression which is quite rampant among new mothers. Most of them, after childbirth, the low morale sets in, the inability to visualise a happy future for their babies. Some don’t even want to have anything to do with the baby they’ve been looking forward to having. It’s been discovered that most women that suffer from this depression always end up killing their babies, most of them, through ‘burking’. I recall having a conversation with my late Mum, about a woman in our area. After each birth, she acts like a deranged woman and was kept away from the new baby and her older kids. And as usual, people said ‘awon aje lo n ba finra’, meaning, ‘the witches are responsible!’ I remember explaining to my Mum why I think she’s suffering from postpartum depression. She looked at me like I was crazy and told me that something like that doesn’t exist and that only the ‘devil’ (an eye roll and a sigh) is responsible. I’m telling y’all, the case of cognitive dissonance in Africa and Africans is way over the top.
So, I think all I’m trying to say is, maybe we should reach outside the constraints of culture and religion and realise, we’ve got problems. Come on, I don’t think the devil can it take any more. Hell, what am I saying, I’m sure he’s quite depressed right now.
This past week has been crazy and so fast paced.
Hey, you know when you’re feeling kinda sick and you decide to check up your symptoms on Google. Then Google blows it out of proportion, then you get it in your head that you’re terminally ill- to the point of exhibiting other symptoms you saw on the internet. I have been a victim to that several times. Hey, I know that’s it’s in my head, it’s quite psychological but still, I’m none the wiser. There was a time that I had a mild urinary infection but got it into my head that I was pregnant (this is where I yell an internal “I’m not dramatic”). I consulted my old friend, Google and “confirmed my fears” (eye roll) Excessive peeing, nausea, spitting, I did all of that. Even when I saw blood stains on my panties, I convinced myself that I was spotting (was on my period, I know, you can roll your eyes again). Yeah, I got over my it when a godawful itching started and got myself checked.
I’m sure that at one point in our lives, we’ve been victims of an overactive imagination. It isn’t strange to feel that, although in some cases, it can be extreme, like we have in the case of those suffering from the “factitious disorder”. I’ll talk more about this in my next post.
P.S. Not saying you shouldn’t consult Google. I mean, it’s the best website to use if you want to stay informed.
Apparently, I’m going to ramble on this first post. So, WordPress won’t let me shine, that’s why I had to add an extra ‘i’ to my name. It’s Ashabi. This blog will cater to a lot of topics. Poetry, emphasis on creative writing, psychological issues. Boring topics, the not so boring topics and a bunchload of criticism. Also, you’re allowed to vent, I’ll be your personal therapist.