Healing of the Soul
A True Story
on Jun 21, 2023
In the early 2000s, my eldest brother Joe Kagigite and I used to argue a lot over the nature of American politics at that time. Joe disliked the then U.S. President George W. Bush who I adored. He would point out to me the demerits of the Bush administration but I would disagree with him vehemently.
One evening, Joe questioned me about senior officials of the Bush administration. He asked me something like, "Do you know who Donald Rumsfeld is?" I said no. Then he asked me, "Do you know who Condoleezza Rice is?" Again I said no, to which he blurted out in Kikuyu, "Then never argue with me again!"
Sometimes when I remember the people who have judged me and how I have behaved, I feel I should have questioned them the way my brother Joe did to me. I should have asked them, "Do you know what schizophrenia is? And do you know what bipolar disorder is?" If they answered 'no' to both questions, I should have blurted out to them, "Then don't judge me and how I lead my life!"
If you don't know my life history, I was diagnosed with schizophrenia when I was at the University of Nairobi in 2011. (Schizophrenia is a mental illness in which a person is unable to link thought, emotion and behaviour, leading to withdrawal from reality and personal relationships.) A psychiatrist at the university was right to diagnose me with schizophrenia given the way I ran away from home when I was unable to raise tuition fees.
Later on after I dropped out of the University of Nairobi in 2011, I developed symptoms of bipolar disorder, another mental illness that causes a person to change from being extremely happy to being extremely depressed. I would at times feel euphoric and then feel depressed, at times for no apparent reason.
To be honest, I liked feeling euphoric. I cherished the joy, energy and creativity that welled up in me during my moments of euphoria. The inexpressible joy would make me send silly messages to friends, set very high goals and go walking for miles without getting tired.
It is my low moments that I didn't like, especially the guilt, bitterness, insecurity and emptiness that I felt during those low moments. Sometimes, the guilt would become so much that I would fear venturing into the streets out there.
Well, I stopped seeing a psychiatrist a few weeks after dropping out of the University of Nairobi in 2011 because I disliked being put on medication. And seeing a psychiatrist regularly made me feel like a prisoner since it curtailed my freedom. I have therefore had to devise tactics of dealing with my bipolar disorder.
In the past three years, I have sought remedy in praying, meditating and engaging in my hobbies. I have been asking God to heal my soul of all negative emotions that have plagued me since I was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2011. Such negative emotions as anger, sloth, guilt, greed, worry, jealousy, timidity, confusion, emptiness, bitterness, insecurity and selfishness.
God has been answering my prayers. For how else can you explain that I have over the past five months been feeling peaceful in my soul? God is truly healing my soul, which makes me agree with the American televangelist Joyce Meyer when she recently tweeted:
No matter how wounded we are when we begin our journey toward wholeness, God has guaranteed our success as long as we don't give up. He gathers up the fragments of our broken lives and makes sure that nothing is wasted.Now that my soul is healing, I have promised God that if He makes my current joy consistent, I won't trek or jabber too much as I used to do in the past when I felt euphoric. I will just continue exercising for only one hour everyday and use the rest of my energy to develop my mind and soul, mostly by reading, writing, meditating, playing the piano and listening to edifying music.
God has truly been healing my wounded soul of all negative emotions that have bedevilled me over the past twelve years. And if He doesn't fulfil my desires to be rich and famous, His healing of my soul will be sufficient reason to give Him my praise and adoration. That's all I am saying.
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed the above story about the way God has been healing my soul, you might also enjoy another one on "Mental Health Awareness" which I wrote two years ago. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.
Sharing is CaringLike this story? Then share it on:
A True Story
on Jun 16, 2023
In his book "Be Inspired Before You Expire", motivational speaker Pepe Minambo says blessed are those who are inspired, for they shall make the world a better place. He opines that expired people are as harmful as expired products. We should therefore be wary of expired minds because they can contaminate our dreams with the virus of discouragement and self-doubt.
I couldn't agree with Pepe Minambo more on the need for us to be inspired if we are to achieve our dreams. Inspiration is the oxygen of success. But one thing I have discovered about inspiration is that it comes and goes. If we rely on it, we will never get anything meaningful done. And if we laze around waiting for inspiration to come, we will find boredom instead.
Personally, I have suffered from lack of inspiration more times than I care to remember. When I was re-applying to three top American colleges in 2009 for instance, I would doze while revising for the SAT exam. Since the colleges stated in their alluring brochures that they only admit highly motivated students, is it any wonder that they all rejected me?
Then in 2010, I would sometimes run away from home to escape the boring menial tasks Mum assigned to me. I would lie to Mum that I was going to Nairobi to teach piano. But I would just idle in a certain room in downtown Nairobi, boringly waiting for 7.00pm to reach and head back home. On my way back, I would count my steps while wondering when I would reach home to eat and slumber.
And then in 2011 after I dropped out of the University of Nairobi due to financial constraints, I requested my family to let me stay in Nairobi. I intended to spend my days at the Kenya National Library to expand my intellectual bandwidth. After my family acceded to my request, I happily moved to a hostel in Nairobi.
But alas! Instead of enjoying my time in Nairobi, I found myself over-sleeping at the hostel. And when I turned up at the Kenya National Library to study, I would often nod off on the table. I just wasn't that inspired.
One evening in 2011 during that time I was staying in Nairobi, my eldest brother Joe Kagigite asked me what I was doing with myself. Though I can't recall the response I gave him, I remember feeling embarrassed that all I was doing in Nairobi was sleep and wander around.
Yes, I have had numerous episodes in my life when I have felt uninspired. During some of those episodes, I have wished inspiration was some sort of a gas I could inhale to get myself happy and motivated. Maybe it is that same desire to feel happy and motivated that drives some people to alcoholism and drug abuse.
With time, I have come to find inspiration by pursuing my hobbies: reading, meditating, writing, listening to music, playing the piano, singing, composing hymns, jogging, walking and socializing. Pursuing those hobbies has transformed me from a plump and unmotivated dude to a lean and charming young man.
God has somehow seen to it that I have the resources to pursue my hobbies. He has provided me with the reading materials, electronic gadgets and social connections I have needed to utilize my hobbies. Sometimes, He has even availed to me things I never thought I needed till I got them.
As I pointed out in my previous story on this blog, I have here at home plenty of books, magazines and newspapers to occupy my time. I am glad that I now have the inspiration to read them. These days, I sometimes get so engrossed in a book or a magazine that I don't even notice time passing by.
And in the evening, I revel in taking a one-hour walk to my hometown of Kiserian. Believe me when I tell you that I become so stimulated by the thoughts flowing in my mind during the walks that I don't even realize an hour has passed after I arrive back home from Kiserian. Those evening walks are usually the happiest times of my day.
My beloved reader, I challenge you to also find inspiration if you are regularly feeling down in the dumps. Don't make the mistake of waiting for inspiration to find you. Inspiration, as someone observed, comes to those who are active and resourceful. A good starting point is to identify your hobbies and engage in them regularly. Ciao!
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed the above story on finding inspiration, you might also enjoy another one on "How to Get Your Mojo Back" which I wrote four years ago. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.