A True Story
on Feb 14, 2021
As I narrated in my previous story on this lovely blog of mine, I used to suffer from bipolar disorder - a mental illness that would make me feel overexcited at times and depressed at other times for no apparent reason. Although I disliked the phases of depression, I enjoyed my moments of excitement because of the way they made me feel energized and overactive.
Whenever I felt high, I would sometimes laugh boisterously over some old silly jokes. On one evening in 2016 for instance, I felt high in spirits and sat down on the floor of my room and began laughing uncontrollably - something that worried my sick mother. She thought it abnormal for me to laugh that much while alone in my room.
Another tendency I had when feeling high was talking too much, often jumping from one idea to another in quick succession. If I didn't have someone to talk to, I would turn to my phone and call or message my friends. Some of my friends got irritated by the silly messages I sent them, a proof that the book of Proverbs is right when it says "when words are many, sin is not absent".
Besides laughing and talking too much, I would also have delusions of grandeur during my moments of excitement. I would, for example, imagine myself addressing the Kenyan parliament on an occasion aired live on TV. And I would imagine myself delivering the speech with the clarity and eloquence of Ronald Reagan, one of my favourite American presidents whose 1981 inaugural speech I loved listening to again and again on a computer during my high moments.
Perhaps the worst deed I did in my moments of excitement was visiting places. I would go to my former schools to greet teachers, to the churches I once attended to catch up with old friends, or to the homes of neighbours and relatives to swap stories. And whenever I found myself with an extra reserve of energy, I would walk and walk in my neighbourhood for what seemed like endless hours with the vitality of a lamb.
On mature reflection, I now think that all the laughing, talking, thinking and walking that I did when I felt over-excited was a chase after fantasies. And the book of Proverbs warns us that he who chases fantasies ends up in poverty. Luckily for me, I had my family providing for my needs - otherwise I would have ended up in want.
I am now of the opinion that instead of going to visit places when I felt overexcited, I should have stayed at home and used that energy to develop my mind. How? By reading, writing and playing the piano. Or by improving my web-design and computer-programming skills. Had I used my energy that way, I would have become a better person - physically, emotionally, spiritually, intellectually and financially.
Having learnt from those mistakes of the past, I have for the past one year worked hard to control my enthusiasm. I have restrained myself from walking and talking too much when feeling excited by channelling my energies into my hobbies. And my efforts are bearing fruit because I have not been feeling depressed as frequently as I used to do.
I have vowed to keep controlling my enthusiasm as the hands of time keep ticking. The Bible calls it self-control and it's one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. By practising self-control, I hope to become a productive member of the society. Just like the way a farmer grows vegetables for sale, I will use my energies to create something that will improve the lives of others - something like a great story or an inspirational song.
My dear reader, if you go through moments of depression and over-excitement, you suffer from bipolar disorder. And trust me, you won't go anywhere with such fluctuating moods; they might even lead you to misery and poverty. So I urge you to control your feelings like the way a diode converts alternating currents into stable direct currents. (Pardon my use of engineering jargon.)
A great way of controlling your feelings is by engaging in a hobby that gives you a sense of achievement. It could be writing, singing or tinkering with machines. And if you have no hobbies to work on, you can seek medical attention as there are medicinal drugs for people suffering from bipolar disorder. But let seeking medical attention be the last resort. Ciao!
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story on practising self-control, you might also enjoy another one I wrote more than two years ago on "Imitation is Limitation". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.
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How I Was Once Robbed
A True Story
on Feb 9, 2021
I still remember that night in 2011 as if it were yesterday. That night, I was feeling high in spirits like teenagers in a rock concert. In my excitement, I switched on my Dad's computer here at home and began listening to Catholic hymns. The hymns moved me so deeply that I sang alongside the computer recordings. As I enjoyed the hymns, Mum came into my room to find out why I was singing aloud. She found my behaviour abnormal.
Mum must have annoyed me for interfering with my excitement because as soon as she began talking to me, I picked a bottle of water, left home and went to a neighbouring place where I continued talking aloud to myself. I really was feeling high, but not as a result of taking drugs or alcohol. It was a natural high I felt occasionally due to bipolar disorder - a mental illness I used to suffer from before Jesus healed me.
Unbeknownst to me, there happened to have been a man who was observing me that night as I talked to myself while moving about like a hen that had just laid an egg. When I eventually spotted the man, I approached him and greeted him cordially. But alas! The man suddenly turned hostile towards me.
Although I was dressed smartly in a tie, the man mistook me for a thief. He thought I was plotting to steal from someone or commit a crime in the area. I tried to appease him by informing him I was a resident of the area and that my home was not far from where we were. But he still couldn't take me at my word. He continued interrogating me in a stern, harsh manner like a policeman.
What's worse, he thought the bottle I had in my hand was an alcoholic drink. I told him frankly that it was water. And when he couldn't believe it, I asked him to smell it. Even though the bottle didn't smell like the alcohol he thought it was, the man was still convinced I was a criminal. After he threatened to take me to the police, I became alarmed, for I feared what had occurred to me a few months before might happen to me again.
You see, a few months before that night, I had run away from home. When I was finally caught, I was forcefully taken to a clinic where I was diagnosed with a mental illness, injected with a drug that drove me to sleep and admitted to the clinic for a week or two. It was such a heart-rending experience.
Not wanting another similar admission to hospital on that night the man found me talking to myself in a place not far from home, I was ready to do anything to let him make me go back home scot-free. So when he asked me whether I had any money in my pocket, I readily gave him all I had - a mixture of coins and a note that amounted to about Ksh. 85.
Encouraged by my submissiveness, the man also asked me for my phone. I gave it to him, hoping that he would leave me alone. When I handed him my phone, he took out my SIM card and inserted his into the phone. After he inserted his SIM card and started dialling something on the phone, I became worried that he might call someone in authority. But guess what! All he did was slap me in the face while commanding me to disappear from the scene.
I obeyed the man and ran back home where I found my parents preparing to have supper. Trying to appear calm, I joined them without mentioning a word about what had transpired to me. A day or two later, I felt bitter in my soul as I pondered on how the man had easily robbed me of my money and phone while thinking he was doing right. I thought to myself that I should have acted more courageously by being tough on the man as he was on me.
Because the man interrogated and robbed me at night, I didn't make out his face. So I never recognized him if I ever met him again in broad daylight. Given how embittered I felt, I am sure I would have challenged him to a fight if I had had another encounter with him. Thankfully, I have long since gotten over that bitterness. But I will never forget the sly and cruel manner in which the man took advantage of me and walked off with my money and my most prized possession: my phone, that is.
NEW! NEW! NEW! If you missed my social media update three days ago, let me take this opportunity to inform you that I have produced a new song that is available in the videos' section of this blog. Just click on the "videos" link on the menu at the top of this blog to access the song.