Njoro

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Here is how I first met him. Let’s call him Njoro. Research on a mental health piece I was writing led me to a Dr Kigamwa, Consultant Psychiatrist at Nairobi Hospital, who – perhaps based on how distracted I was by his lovely lime tie and the mementos on his desk – invited me to do a quick ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) test, which I barely passed. And he then gave me the name of a psychologist – Lambert, on Theta Lane – who I went to see and discovered that he didn’t look anything like a psychologist.

“You don’t look anything like a psychologist,” I told him. I pictured psychologists to have long hair and woolen suits with things bulging in their pockets. He was youthful, slim, tall and wore a fitting well-cut suit. He looked like a well-to-do financial analyst who loved clothes a little too much. It also turned out that he was a psychologist for addiction, which seemed like an opportune moment to bring up my chapati problem but I thought it would have been a tad inappropriate.

Sadly, there was no couch to lie on in his office, just a chair stacked against a wall. He sat by the window, legs folded, jotting notes as I spoke. The setup was a tad disappointing. I thought I’d kick off my shoes, lie down on a yellow couch and talk to my socks as he sat over there with a severe poker face, like in the movies. I’d never been to therapy before. Ninety percent of what I do professionally involves listening to people talk about themselves and so it felt surprisingly refreshing to talk about myself to someone who didn’t know me. (Kinda). Turned out that talking about oneself seemed very selfish, but innately human. It was also quite surprising that he never cut in to talk about himself, as normal conversations usually go. I mean, you could be telling someone about a near death accident you had – your car flipped in the air twice and landed on a tree that happened to have a napping leopard – and most will chime in with a story of their own. “Oh yeah, reminds me of the day my cousin’s car plunged into a river and this crocodile with a nose ring slipped into the passenger window…” People seem to want to up your story with their own.

Lambert just sat there in his proper suit, smiling, nodding, sometimes chuckling at something I said, often asking open-ended questions, writing shit down. I told him a long tale about my grandfather, Jackson, and his guitar and he never once cut in to tell me about his own grandfather and his tractor. Which was perfect because I wouldn’t have been hot to hear about his grandfather, not when I was paying 5K for that session! But I will be willing to hear about his grandfather if we ever run into each other at a wedding.

I told him that it all made sense – this ADHD – because in primary and high school I seemed to have spent a great deal of time staring out the window during lessons. I was a dreamer, creating silly dreams in my head. I got nothing in the second lesson of the double lessons. Adulthood brought impatience. I get bored easily. I get angry fast. I have a thousand tabs on my laptop. I don’t queue – I go back. My leg always shakes under the table; tap, tap tap. I’m forgetful – I leave the fridge door open. I’m anal about time (never missed one single flight in my life) and don’t wait for latecomers. I hate itineraries – creating and following one. I love the Mourning Dove. (Not related).

But he felt that my ADHD was very mild and didn’t need medication. “But to understand ADHD better, perhaps you should attend one ADHD group therapy at Bustani (Chiromo Lane Medical Center)?” He suggested. Group therapy. What came to mind immediately was a group of people seated in a tight circle, in a grey-walled room staring at their shoes and being vulnerable. That Saturday afternoon I found myself seated in a circle in a gazebo at Bustani. It couldn’t have been a more eclectic group: There was a girl with a thousand bangles, a teenage boy with grills on his teeth (accompanied by his supportive parents who sat in and looked at him tenderly as he spoke). A middle-aged tattooed guy who refused to declare what he does, a guy with one lace-less sneaker, a waif oldish Somali guy with a nice watch that didn’t match his outfit. A sulky lady with black lipstick, a hatted fella who said very little – probably with the secret police, a guy with an old wrinkled t-shirt written in very small print that I had to squint to read, “My Life, My Rules.” A lady wearing Obama jeans. Then the therapist, a lady.

How it went was that you said your name and “something small” about yourself. Some talked more than others. Some hardly talked. Some talked in timid tones. Others were brave – staring into eyes. I heard wild stories. Folk who had abbreviated conditions; ADHD, PTSD, ADHD, BDD, AVPD, ATS, PPD, bipolar, and who medicated to create balance and equilibrium. I sat there listening to them and thought, damn, this is the very deep end; suddenly my inability to wait seemed extremely trivial. One thing they all had in common; they seemed highly intelligent and highly aware.

Now, the gentleman to my left was a bear of a fellow who when his turn came to speak said, “Guess what birthday present my wife gave me on my 30th birthday?” We all stared at him. I wanted to say, “A French kiss?”

“She left me,” he deadpanned. “Took our children and left me.” Nobody gasped. I suspected it would take a lot to make that group gasp. “I can’t blame her,” he added. “I was a mess.” Somehow, we started trading notes with this fellow during the session; he’d write something on his pad and pass it to me and I’d write a reply and pass it to him. Basically, primary school all over again:

“Wait, a minute – Biko? Are you the writer guy?”

“Yeah. What do you do?”

“I’m an energy engineer, a budding nuclear scientist.”

“Atta boy! You must be good in math and things.”

“I’m very good with math and things.”

“I sucked at math. Sucked!”

“Do you give autographs, by the way? If so, please?”

“I will do better. How about I autograph my book after this? I have a copy in my car.”

“THANKS!”

That’s how I met Njoro; he had been diagnosed with ADHD and Bipolar II. “Bipolar disorder is just the worst. It’s like the scrapings of ‘stew’ you get when you arrive late to a wedding,” he said. “It involves switching between two extreme moods of depression and mania, continuously. These changes happen over time though, weeks to months and stay there for extended periods as well.” I didn’t even know there was Bipolar II.

His marriage was over. He was running away from anxiety, abuse of alcohol and hard drugs, suicide ideation, thoughts of violence (“I’d have vivid violent thoughts of murdering my boss”), pain and anger…a cocktail of it. He had been in and out of rehab a few times, he told me.

I never went back to the group therapy but we continued to chat intermittently on WhatsApp. I found him extremely intelligent, quick witted and fun to chat with. He told me how he’d struggled to stay employed, his depression, how trouble followed him like a lost dog, how his marriage was “total bullshit, a complete farce.” How they’d kiss with the wife and hold hands in public functions and then drive home in complete silence. He’d tell me things that sounded like fiction. How one day, after drinking and driving for many hours, his ex-wife called him at around 4:30am and asked him, “Uko wapi?” and he was upside down, held by the seatbelt of his car that had overturned, and he was too drunk to crawl out so he lay there waiting for the morning light and a good samaritan. “I’m in a ditch, upside down, next to that supermarket 500m from our gate,” he told his ex-wife.

“Do you know what she did?” he asked me.
“No,” I said.
“She went to work.”
We chuckled.
“I give her full marks, there are many things I could say about her, but the one that is most true is that she is a certified bad-ass,” he said. “Just to expound, she’s the type of lady who will listen to me park my car and tell me ‘Dude, check the bearings on your CV joint…front left. I can take it for you’.”
He talked of the drugs he has taken; antidepressants (Sertraline HCL) and Methylphenidate, that he said was “straight from Jesus’s pantry. “When he said he is the way the truth and the life, he also forgot to add that he is the plug!” he said. At one point, he was taking 84 tablets every single week. As his mental health deteriorated, everything around him seemed to crumble like a pack of cards. “It was the long nights drinking and chopping the drugs in the toilet in the club, and sniffing through a rolled up note. Then dancing and drinking the whole night.” he says. “There is an overwhelming sense of euphoria when you are on drugs, which we would go have in the toilet after every two hours. Before long it would be morning and the club was closing, so we’d move from Westlands to a famous club in Kilimani, Now the drugs would be wearing off and I’d be headed for a serious crash. So I call my doctor and I tell him I need to see him. I take an Uber to his clinic when he opens. He looks at me and says Njoro how are you, what brings you in so early? I tell him, ‘Doc, I’m drunk and possibly high. But most definitely high.’ He looks at me with a mixture of disappointment and amusement at how shitfaced I am. This time my eyes are teary from fatigue, I have a cold chill and shiver and my mouth is dry. I may have overdosed a little.” He takes a pause. “We discuss the events of the previous night at length and finally I tell him, ‘Doc, I have no regrets abusing street drugs because it felt really good’ and he says, ‘Of course it felt good, that’s why they are drugs, but we need to stop this cocaine business, okay?’ I say I will try. That was a normal life for me.”
He has a psychiatrist and a psychologist. The psychiatrist is a fatherly gentleman, the age of his parents he says. He likes him because he is compassionate and they discuss his mental health like equals and he explains his medication and why he needs to take them. He’s on a plethora of medication from mood stabilizers to antipsychotics, currently he’s taking 101 tablets a week. The meds work by taking the edge off his most extreme thoughts. (“Not long ago I threw a man who tried to rob me over a bridge,” he said nonchalantly.)
He’s able to compose himself emotionally better than before. “However, these meds have taken over my body. I am an emotional zombie, incapable of experiencing extreme joy or rage, guilt, jealousy, inspiration and reward for a decent job done,” he says. “I know my drugs are helping, but goodness, I hate them. I am living in someone else’s body. And the side effects: weight gain, hand tremors, loss of balance, balding, acne, increased thirst, trouble peeing, sensitive vision, just to name a few. These drugs are trashing my organs and every month I do an organ function check.”
The psychologist – “she’s a sea of tranquility” – helps him figure out new thinking patterns that undo the negative behaviour he had before. “However, of late, I have started pushing back on some of the tenets of CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy); like working on the things I have control over and letting go of those that I do not. That applies to a vast majority of cases, but not when someone has your children and is voluntarily making your reunion next to impossible. At that point, I lose my calm and refuse any solution that suggests I accept the situation as is.”
The other day we were talking on the phone and I told him I was watching these series of interviews on YouTube called “The Soft White Underbelly,” where a guy named Mark interviews drug dealers, pimps, gang members, crack addicts, prostitutes, rapists, transgenders, homeless people, strippers, porn actresses, heroin addicts, and I tell him that I noticed that more often than not, he reveals that these interviewees problems stem from their childhood. He was quiet for a while, hearing my question before I even asked it.

“I had a great childhood.” He said. “Awesome, even. Grew up in South B – great loving and supportive parents. As a child it was clear that I was way ahead of my curve. I was constantly reading Time and Newsweek magazine and obsessed with space shuttle launches. I was watching Larry King…all these before I was six years old. Do you know that by six I knew that DNA was Deoxyribonucleic Acid! But you know what?”

“What?”

“I think my brain has a way of blocking trauma and I think there must have been something that happened in my childhood that I have refused to remember. My memory is very good. I remember most things that happened to me but anything between four and eight years are a bit hazy. Do you know how I know?”

“How?”

“Because my mind has refused to recall what happened to me when I was stabbed at 22.”

“Stabbed? As in, with a knife?”

“Yeah.”

“Who stabbed you?”

They were a big group, coming from a graduation party in Loresho. It was dawn, approaching 6am. They had stopped by the Oil Libya at Westlands for smokes and coca cola. When he was at the counter paying, he heard a commotion outside and coming out he saw this guy chasing a chick he knew. He was shouting that he was going to kill her and one of his pals was trying to stop him as the girl ran in between the parked cars. “I was a rugby player, I’m a big guy, I felt invincible, so I went for this guy, he was a big fat fellow,” he says. He pushed the guy against the car and suddenly he felt the guy stab him on his abdomen; once and then a second time. “It felt like I was peeing from the wrong place. I could feel the warmth of blood as blood oozed out. The guy simply walked away. I staggered away from my friends, as if to hide, the way animals go to die alone. My intestines were showing from the gash, and I clutched it as I fell between the parked cars.”

His friends rushed him to Aga-Khan hospital. “They said I’d need to get in theater immediately but I needed to pay some money to be admitted. One of my friends – high – asked them how much and they said, 400, so he gave out a thousand bob and said, “Do you have change?”

We laugh at that.

“I have PTSD as a result of that experience. I have harboured such violent thoughts since that experience. I once saw that guy who stabbed me in a supermarket, he must have been with his wife. I started looking for the section with pangas. I wanted to go over and hack him right there, before his wife. Thankfully, I didn’t. I was with my wife and I just broke down in tears.”

He then adds, “This PTSD is very familiar. I think it’s happened to me before from my childhood because often I’m very protective of children. I’ve noticed that I’m very hyperconscious when I see anyone taking care of a child who isn’t their child. I’m always watching those kids as if they were mine. I’m overly protective of kids. When I’m watching news about a child who is suffering, I switch it off. I suspect that something happened to me when I was a child and I have blocked it.”

“Like what, sexually molested?”

“Yeah.”

“By who?”

“I don’t know. But I suspect something happened because I’m also very hypersexual.”

“Describe that, you want sex all the time?”

“Look, I don’t want to get into it in detail but before I learnt of my bipolar, I’d get extremely raunchy. I’d be willing to risk it all just for a quick lay – social standing, group integrity, random/spontaneous partners and no bearing on the consequences until after the fact. During the episode, it all seems worth it. The thrill of the chase. However, as soon as the mania ends, there is a deep regret.”

“Right.”

“I learnt that this is a side effect of bipolar disorder, hypersexuality or an increase in sexual drive, urges or fantasies that usually accompanies a manic or hypomanic episode. I have been dysfunctional in my life especially during the marriage. Long before I was diagnosed with bipolar, I noted there would be spells of increased energy, destructive vibe, and over-ambition.”

“Over-ambition.”

“Yeah,” he said.

People like to use the word “depression” a lot and sometimes I feel like when someone is very sad it’s easy to say, “I was so depressed.” I once interviewed a gentlemen who abused drugs, was depressed and tried suicide once, and I asked him to describe depression for me. He said, “It’s like being at the very bottom of this deep dark well, looking up at the light and there is someone who keeps pacing around the edge of this hole and you are shouting at them to help you but they never look down, they can’t hear you.”

“How would you describe depression?” I asked him.

“Apathy to everything including yourself. You wake up and look around and you ask yourself why? Why did you wake up? Why are you still here? What’s the use of being in this room? Of wearing this shoe? Of walking out of that door? It’s the lack of flavour or colour in all spheres of your life. Nothing matters. You start reading a book and you ask yourself; so if I finish this book, what then? You have a complete lack of care of what is now and what is to come. You are numb then you feel the pain of numbness. You feel like a hindrance to other people, to happenings. I have been there twice and when that happened, I wanted to end the pain.”

“What stopped you?”

“I was scared.”

“And this pain, can you put a face to it?”

“A face to it?” He tested those words, weighed them in his mind. “When someone is in so much pain that they numb everything, they seek extreme stimuli to make them feel alive again. This is what I do, I will engage in extremely risky behaviour, taking drugs, chasing skirts, getting into fights. Interestingly, I can tell up to a month in advance that I am on the slippery slope of a relapse. And you know what, I love it! In a manic frenzy, you are invincible. The energy cannot be depleted. Sleep is for lesser people. And time stops, there is no past or future, only the now. The feeling in itself is addictive. I have got into so many fights in this state, and lost about half to 60% of them because I always go for bigger guys. I have also got tattoos done in this state. And I do not see myself stopping this cycle.”

“No?”

“No,” he said. “I don’t.”

I asked him what his state of mind is now.

“I genuinely believe that my best days are behind me and now I am just waiting time out,” he said. “Usually this is impossible to tell from the outside because I try new things, I laugh, I joke, I take care of myself. I get tattoos. I make people laugh. They say Njoro is a cool guy, because they only see my outside, what I show them. However, when my next episode happens (hypomania), the façade is eroded away. In truth, I live for the moment. I am in constant pain. The pain of losing the love of my life. The pain of losing access to my children. The pain of not being able to fully trust my mind. Thus, in order to survive, I must numb that pain. I do this through pretence, ignorance and cognitive dissociation.”
He paused for a bit as I made a mental note to Google ‘Cognitive dissociation’.
“I am terrified that one day I will go about my business as usual and at the end of it, take my life.” He continues. “It will make sense to me, and I will be at peace with that decision, if it is possible to look back on it. I have nothing to live for. I am broken, defunct and in pain.” Long pause. “Losing my family was too much to bear. As I share my stories on social media and people commend my bravery, I always feel like I am signing off. Getting things off my chest. As long as the source of my pain is not being addressed, I continue to slip further and further away from reality. I am so scared for my future, as I can see myself being fully delusional. I continue to function “normally” in society for now, because that is all I know. But even this will become too much to fake soon enough.”
“How badly do you want to get well, on a scale of one to ten – with ten being you really want to get better?”

“Maybe a 5.5?”

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249 Comments
  1. Damn what a ready. I hope he gets better, I hope the 5.5 makes sense to him and turns around to be better. Depression sucks. I SOMETIMES FEEL exactly that, but I live for my parents, my son, my partner, my siblings. Because of the love they feel for me, because of how they feel about me, look up to me. But honestly I feel like oneday I will slip. So I understand this guy, we will get help.

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      1. I am in unbearable pain right now,just recently I fought with my regional manager about some silly issues,he demanded an apology letter and I told him to go fuck himself and I quit,so I lost the job,and I really loved a girl,I thought she loved me too,only to get her cheating and she wasn’t remorseful about it,and told me blankly that she never loved me all this while,well I know I should let go but I just can’t,I am really hurting,I think about her constantly,I can’t sleep,I wake up in the middle of the night just thinking and asking why she decieved me,why this happened to me,why this time,I have heard a rough childhood,one time I could be extremely happy,the next moment I am really really sad,I have been sick constantly,contemplated suicide several times,and I think I should end it all now.

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        1. That’s okay…what you’re feeling. The pain. One day she will be the last thing you think about. Give it time. Be your own best friend. Time heals. Believe in the love of God.

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        2. Kogs,the feeling you currently have is totally understandable.I’ve been there not long ago and up until now I’m surprised by how I even got out of it.It’s gonna get better I promise ❤️.At the moment,let yourself feel every emotion and deal with it then once yo done,get back up because you a tough one. Hold on buddy.
          Also I’m here to talk to if need be.(love,from a stranger)

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        3. Logs you are win the middle of a heart break and it’s devastating. We’ve all been there wondering if we would ever get out of it. But guess what,we did!! As for the job, you did well by yourself standing up for yourself. People can be toxic. You’ll get another job in no time. Keep pushing

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        4. Don’t fret about it. At present that’s how it feels. Set short term goals, a day at a time. Celebrate little wins like eating 3 meals a day, taking a shower, cleaning up your room. As time passes on it will all get better i promise. I have had 2 devastating break ups before i met my husband….and trust you me she is not worth it

    1. I understand him too, his kids at least could give him some grounding, but that has been taken away from him. I hope Gee you try get some help too.

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  2. 5.5 shows there’s hope, get well. What a story! God, love n support from family and friends will keep you sane. Just hold on, dont lose hope dear.

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  3. This is heart wrenching and at the same time so beautifully written! Njoro, may He look down upon you with favour.

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  4. Njoro sounds okay with his situation, I don’t understand why he would be attending therapy whereas he doesn’t want to get well.
    Njoro is broken, if he is past 35, I don’t think it would be easy to Mend Njoro.

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        1. Ebu mwambie! You cannot be drizzling shit on people’s contributions, that is simply unacceptable!

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    1. Perhaps because even when you’re broken, really broken. As in, past 35, on 101 pills a week, you still need to survive the pain today, and therapy seems to help him cope.
      Also, 5.5 is a Bipolar mind’s estimation if its chances… it may be right, or wrong.

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    2. WTH would you say that? I think anyone can change at whatever point in their life as long as they want to. Njoro wants to get better and his 5.5 rating puts him in good stead to do so. Not sure who you are to think he can’t

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    3. That’s the meanest thing you could ever fucking say. No human is beyond repair. We don’t give up on each other until God says it’s time for you to go. A 5.5 is a bit over 50% even if he said 1%…we should still be on his team. This is the weakest response ever. Hii ni mashaitani talking Njoro if you see this waste mans comment, jua ni shaitani tuu. I’m so annoyed.

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    4. Who makes you the decider of Njoro being over 35 can not be helped? It’s people like you in society who make people not talk about their struggles.
      But hey you may be projecting your hopelessness on to his situation.

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  5. I feel for that guy.. living life not knowing what his condition will make him do next.. I once dated someone who had schizophrenia and it’s hard to deal with.. I understand the ex wife too.. Hopefully he will get closure on what happened during his childhood..

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  6. Whew!
    That was so heavy
    Thankyou for sharing your journey with us.

    I’ve learnt that people really have it rough and depression is not a word that we should throw around. When he described what he means when he says he is depressed I felt like I have misused the word depression a couple of times and for people going through depression it is insensitive. Thankyou for this Biko.

    I wish you all the best Njoro and anyone else having trouble with their mental well being

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  7. This is one of the most depressing and scary pieces I have ever read from you Biko. It scares me because I understand his pain and worse I can relate to it. to someone in my life. Maybe he should try hypnosis, get to face what happened when he was a child and his mind will stop running away from that truth. I pray he gets better. I hope his wife will read this and at least give him access to his children. I can’t imagine the pain of knowing you are going to hurt someone you love and you cannot stop yourself at all because the feel good high is just too tempting to resist….and the guilt after.

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  8. I would love to hear a psychological discussion of if harboring thoughts of death, suicide ultimately make you depressed? Is it not something most people go through?

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  9. Glad to read and see the open-ness around mental health in Kenya. That we are embracing it as a real disease and not ‘a white man’s illness’ or ‘going mad’.
    At 30 years, i know what it means to see your dad struggle with schizophrenia. Struggle to accept the illness and that he is bound to dugs all his life. Watch him at 70 years, still struggle with hallucinations and insomnia.
    I have learnt to never take mental peace for granted.

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  10. This is scary….scary because these are the people we show a middle finger when they cut us off in traffic…..i hope he doesnt carry a panga in his car!

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  11. This is one of the stories you finish reading and you start writing and nothing is written! You open your mouth to speak and no words come out!

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  12. Njoros love for children is the X factor here, if his therapists strike a tenable children-custody deal with the ex wife he will pull up from the dark hole. If that does not happen am afraid the timeout will come sooner

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  13. Jeez I guess some people really have it rough with mental imbalance, it’s good to thank God and appreciate when you can control your mental faculty.

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  14. Just wondering if Biko can reach out to Njoro’s ex-wife, on Njoro’s behalf. Explain the pain she is causing him perhaps? So they can reach an agreement on how and when he can be seeing his children. To ease some of his pain. I feel for him, seeing as his actions are borne out of a medical condition.

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    1. Or even just to get her side of the story. Might shed more light on her actions. As its said, ‘there are two sides to every story…’

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    2. I would never blame anyone for leaving based on these circumstances. Caregivers have it soo rough in the hands of bipolar patients, they are constantly on the receiving end of abuse. I have worn that shoe ( not funny), and I have seen friends go through it as well. It is not any easier for them. I even know some who ended up bipolar after years of lack of self care and always being the ones to ‘give’ to their spouses living with this mental health.

      She may have had it rough and sought to leave for her own sanity.

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      1. I was just thinking they could reach a safe arrangement on how, ocassionally, he can reunite with his children. Not for her to come back. Because i imagine she may have gone through a lot of sacrifice and pain. I don’t blame her.

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        1. Agreed.

          For the sake of the kids, there needs to be a compromise for sure. A father whether sick or not still deserves to have a relationship with his kids.

          Also, Bipolar disorder is also genetically passed down and the sooner they deal with this possibility the better for them all.

          This is a tough call. I feel for them all

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  15. Quite incisive, interesting even coz when you come to think abt it, mental health and artificial intel are the buff of the 21st century. Some of these guys in the neighborhood you see walking around with a calm composure, cutting the image of success are in truth walking grenades with devils eating them up, abt to explode. Sadly, they’re being overlooked as they slowly build their momentum into an avalanche of destruction, unaided, overlooked, ununderstood, unappreciated

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  16. That crocodile with a nose ring??
    Hahahahaha, made my morning.

    Njoro is right, he was abused. The mind blocks very traumatic experiences. Does he want to know? He can try hypnotic therapy, only if he’s ready to face that monster. His parents most probably know what happened, they’ve chosen not to tell him about it.
    I really feel for him.

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  17. Wow…quite a story! Thank you Njoro for baring yourself to us.
    I think as we grapple with matters of health during this period, it is important to reach out to those ones with invisible challenges. I remember one time telling a friend to pull himself together, but thinking back at his challenges with depression, and how he had gone as far as having the mercury in his fillings removed, (as there’s some relation to mercury in the body) how much further would he go to make himself feel better?
    I believe battles can be overcome if you take a day at a time, and applaud yourself if you meet the goals for the day, for every small win is eventually a big win. Trust that God loves you and cares for you, and that you’re not an accident, that He has a plan for you. That your ex walking away doesn’t make you less of a person. That this is just a season of separation from the children, but there’s hope you’ll be re-united with them someday.
    My prayer for you Njoro is that ” You may prosper in all things and be in health, even as your soul prospers.” (3 John 1:2). What is the soul? The soul is the source of the personality; the mind, judgment, intellect, and love. *Watchman Nee – The Spiritual Man.*

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  18. I am a trained psychologist who hopes to practice one day. And i hope that when i do, just like Njoro’s psychologist, I will be a “a sea of tranquility” for my patients.

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  19. First i must say big up to todays story.I relate with this 100 %.This mental issues are real and the most affected are not the ones on it but the family members.It can drain every single energy left out of you.I have watched loved ones trapped in it.Sometimes if not handled well can be a cycle.Lets not talk about the costs incurred trying to help the patient during docs visits or the rehab process …the 5k per visit is impossible leaves me wondering what happens to families who cant afford it.A question for Njoro..Will it really make it better to have your children live with you knowing that you have this issues,exposing them to it might affect them if not today later in life.Like i said if not managed well can be a cycle at all levels.My heart goes out to all family members whose loved ones are trapped in this trauma.

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  20. Just like for physiotherapy to be effective it has to be uncomfortable and hurt, so does psychotherapy.
    Nothing stays hidden forever. Njoro needs to explore the uncharted waters for him to be able to find peace. I wish him well.

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  21. I’ve had a close relationship with someone who had bipolar II. We met when i was about 23 years and he was 38 years. We met while he was taking his medication during which time bipolar patients seem to function normally to the rest of us. To them, at this time they feel the medication is in control and that they are unable to enjoy life. To a person without bipolar, they seem a little bit off but you can’t put a finger on what the issue is. I for example couldn’t understand why he left what sounded like a high flying job in the US after staying there for 13 years to come back to Kenya. I later learnt he had a manic phase that got his parents to prevail upon him to come back home. He also seemed scared shitless whenever his mum called. He would step aside and you could overhear him explain where he was, what he was doing in a sweet soft voice. Or he would just not pick up the phone. I would later learn that his mother just worried about him because of his condition.

    I was there for one of his manic phases. It was rough. We would be walking and talking calmly and then boom, he would go ballistic especially if we encountered a white person. His outbursts were never directed towards me until one day he locked me in the house just because i didn’t want to accompany him to where he was going.

    He was getting robbed all the time because he walked by himself all hours of the night and thinking he could be best buddies with everyone he met on the road. He would show up at our house without notice and start playing his guitar outside. This became almost an everyday affair and it embarrassed me so much that i told him to stop coming.

    All this time he had not told me clearly what he was suffering from. He would trivialize the condition and not mention it by name.

    One day i got a call from some of our mutual friends that he had been mteja for 3 days and no one could trace him. His mom was worried sick. He re-appeared after 2 days and taken to rehab. It was only after rehab that he explained the condition to me and i was able to research on it. Unfortunately, i don’t know what kind of therapy the rehabs in Kenya provide because he was never the same. He said he felt like he couldn’t think, the medications created a brain fog, like he was reacting to everything in slow motion…

    In conclusion, i fully understand Njoro and also understand his wife’s need for separation. I pray he can be able to get treatment that is not too suffocating.

    86
    1. Save for the 38 year old, I could swear you are describing my ex. Everything here from the manic episodes, making every stranger a friend, giving away all he has, running away and phones off to playing guitar upside down, sleeping in tunnels, grandiose living, etc

      EVERY THING YOU DESCRIBED Is so familiar.

      Bipolar disorder is so disorienting, and as you say, the wife can never be blamed for leaving. Playing the role of a caregiver is a full time job as you are constantly on the receiving end of abuse. Some spouses who are care givers end up being bipolar at the end of it all.

      I pray he gets better, and his ex wife, I hope she is going through counseling as well.

      12
    2. God help him. I think white people abused him so much it got to him. I always tell people not to trust them shits.

      1
  22. A perspective that scares
    but dawns out to be a reality
    indeed depression isnt something we all perceive through “normal thoughts”
    it’s Deep
    5.5′

    3
    1. I suffer from bipolar. Generally, I feel my mental and social capacity has gone down. I am on medication that is normally revised depending on the mood swings
      Sometimes I do not feel like waking up
      Sometimes thinking is burdensome
      . I’m 56 years old. Llie is a real struggle. Sometimes I forget my sentences halfway. When I have the manic episodes it’s a big challenge to my husband. I get berserk and my husband takes me to hospital. My mental health has improved since I accepted my condition and take my medicine as prescribed
      I now look out for the triggers. I ensure I eat well and have enough sleep. Ì try to exercise.

      38
  23. Really appreciate you Biko for addressing this. So well put. Pray for all you Njoros out there. May the good Lord bring healing to your lives.

    4
  24. Biko, you and I are polar opposites!!! Waah!! How can you live the fridge door open!!!

    Anyway, I really admire this man for accepting his condition. I know someone with this condition (bi polar and manic depression) and has refused to get help…the consequences are devastating to a point that their closest family members wish the person could be gone for good.

    What can be done?

    5
  25. What a hard read. I recommend ‘I’m Telling The Truth But I’m Lying’ by Bassey Ikpi who has gone through something similar. Peace to Njoro, I hope he is able to live for himself.

    2
  26. What Njoro says there is truly what some of us have been through, the drugs, that addiction to the pain, a longing to go back to the cave. There is a fulfilment that one gets in the deep dark well, and someone knows they are actually going down into it. I read a book on depression Sunshine something, I can’t remember the title, and God used that book to bring healing to my life. I hope Njoro finds hope and healing for his life. Mental health isn’t a light matter at all. May God see him through this. May God connect him to people that will not only give him drugs but will actually trust God with him for his total healing.

    6
  27. I’m an aspiring medic, but have never really understood depression, but reading this has really opened my eyes ..
    Thank you Biko

    6
  28. My heart goes out to Njoro. Seems from the story that something happened to him as a boy that culminated to all this. There’s deep seated anger, bitterness and pain. I pray that he gets to remember the source of his pain, and that God provides loving people to walk with him through it. I’ll say a prayer for Njoro .

    3
  29. “I’m anal about time (never missed one single flight in my life)”. The jokes came before the serious stuff.
    I don’t know how to react to this story, his experiences are out of this world.
    Am enrolling for an online course on psychology.. Always felt intrigued by the human mind and behaviour.

    1
  30. Was diagnosed about 2 years ago.
    Njoro sounds like an angel to me.
    You are way way better, I assure you.
    Biko, I like the script.

    4
  31. I am glad there are places you can go for Cbt, dbt and meds in Nairobi when I left only mathare was known. I am a psych nurse in an psych ICU, I love manic patients. They are very intelligent, creative and carefree. Njoro I hope you get a cocktail that will stabilize you without as much side effects. ! Biko watch modern love on Netflix if you haven’t first story is female version of Njoro.

    9
  32. 5.5? Mmhhh, I really don’t know, honestly. As long as you do not lose hope, keep the faith alive. You will heal.

  33. Despite the pain, you are on the right track getting the help needed. You have everything to live for, deep down in your heart, you know that your children and family are not better off without you. It will be just a transfer of the pain(which hurts so much) from you to them with the loss of a son, father and friend. You were created for a purpose, live to fight another day. Focus on surviving and lean on your creator (God). Your children and family need you to survive.

    1
  34. Another mirror of the ‘real life’ many of us don’t think exist. You make good points Biko, especially about the intelligence bit…most mental disorders carriers are the smart chaps of the society everyone look up to as they serve us their facade. I dare say intelligence is a form of disorder,like many of those nerds we read about who made the greatest discoveries.

    It is a shame though that no one really knows where to run to and many at times end up getting consumed by their own selves. A note to anyone facing mental issues (we are the majority btw), I say a day at a time. We might not fully run away or defeat it but we can thrive in all our struggles….

    Hang in there Njoro.

    9
  35. sometimes the things you write are not just a good read Biko.
    this one felt as if you were walking on the corridor headed to the not lit chimney where i have been warming myself for the last 18 minutes.
    Again speaking in third party mental voice.Good job.

    1
  36. (“Not long ago I threw a man who tried to rob me over a bridge,” he said nonchalantly.) It’s like a light switch how one alternates between two extreme moods wow ….

  37. You can add a contact number for someone who goes through some of the things you have written about.

    For the person who relates to this post though may not know where to find help, treatment or support.

    1
  38. This will be the second story that I love, first being the one where you wrote about your mum that I will forever remember, then this one. NJORO, you will be in my prayers from now henceforth. You should realise you are stronger than you think. I once saw a quote that said, ” getting up every morning to fight the same demons from yesterday is courage my friend” Don’t give up, you are almost there you just don’t know it.

    7
  39. I never imagined what is behind the way most people are. But today, this Tuesday, I got a glimpse of what may be the reason some people are the way they aree. ‍♂️

    Thank you Biko!✊

    4
  40. Whoa!
    That was heavy
    Thank you for sharing this… 5.5 is good enough
    love and light to Nioro and everyone else battling this

  41. Njoro, I can’t imagine your pain but as a mental health professional I’ve met and seen worse and it does get better. The fact that you are able to talk about it, identify triggers, recognise bad behaviours and attend therapy means your 5.5 is on the rise.

    I’m glad Biko you wrote about this because we all know mental health is a big problem, and worse people don’t like to talk about it lest we think of them as less. But talking about it is therapy in itself. Keep at it.

    I write about mental health on my site – http://www.thingsihear.co.uk

    3
  42. This took me back to Daniella steel’s book ”His bright light”.

    I really wish him a good recovery, noone deserves that kind of life.
    Aki his ex-wife should have some humanity and let him meet his kids.

    Take heart Njoro

    1
  43. I am pleading with you Njoro, never stop fighting to stay alive. I know it’s hard. I know death looks like the better option but don’t stop fighting. 5.5 is good. Keep hanging in there. I am so sorry it has been this tough. Sending you love and rays of light. I am praying for your sanity. Stay alive Njoro. FIGHT.

    2
  44. I empathize with this guy’s struggle with bipolar. I wonder if he understands how dysfunctional he comes off to his immediate family. I get the sense that his wife is protecting herself and the kids from the pain he’s caused and will continue to cause if he doesn’t get better. The way to getting them back in his life in some form or another is to work on himself. At the moment the pain he is feeling is that caused by his fear of pain, which is worse than the pain he is trying to numb. He ought to sit with his pain.

    9
    1. She had to leave to protect herself and her children. Does he want his children to grow up knowing this is normal? I dont know the gender of his kids but does he want them growing up in that environment. He doesnt sound remorseful, but in a very dark pit of anger, bitterness and resentment. May he seek God because only Him can meet his deepest needs. No human can fulfill that.

      Marriage has a way of burning us so bad and those who get through end up with a strong marriage and while it breaks others. Njoro’s past & seemingly buried issues were brought out which is what’s needs to happen anyway for healing. Ofcourse the mental struggles make the battle that much harder.

      God is his answer. Praying for Njoro.

      9
  45. Biko,you have a brilliant way of bringing up an issue as serious as these mental disorders. I suffer from bipolar 2 and I can totally relate to what Njoro is going through.I wish a story such as this would get out there so that we can get more support and understanding from the society.Bustani has been of much help to me although its expensive. Again thanks for sharing about this condition.

    4
  46. There is light at the end of the tunnel…..thou’ risk for it if it is worth a shot….after all it makes you happy

  47. I lack words, honestly. This is a reminder for me to be kind to people, for everyone is fighting battles. And Njoro, wherever you are I pray the good Lord’s grace over you.
    I don’t even know if my words are appropriate now but from the bottom of my heart, i wish you well. May you find hope and strength. You haven’t come this far, to just come this far!

  48. So many people walk around, silently living like Njoro…something happened to them, they may or may not know their back story, that triggered their current mental state.
    But how good a friend am I such that I can be still and listen to see, hear and experience another’s pain? Only an open and non-judgmental mind has the eyes to see and ears to hear. And if for nothing else, to acknowledge that their reality is seen, heard and hopefully, understood.

  49. . I have nothing to live for. I am broken, defunct and in pain.”
    This made me really sad.
    May you find true happiness and peace of mind,we need you.
    Sending you love &hugs.

    1
  50. Wife: Cheated on, left with the respnsibility of mother and father. When he was upside down, drinking all night and drugs… etc

    That wife should be left alone to raise the children in peace. They all deserve nomalcy. Kids dont get a second chance at growing up. An addict ALWAYS misteats their children knowingly or unknowingly

    An addict will always cry wolf. But has no feelings whatsoever for the pain he causes. He will say i want to see the kids… on that day.. dead drunk . Kids end up depressed.

    DoNT raise your kids in an addicts house. The cycle continues. Been to that Lavingtons medical centre. Husband an addict, depressed smart etc
    He eventually tried to kill us. In a manic state. Last we saw him almost 1year ago.

    Kids had to be treated for depression.

    LEAVE THE WIFE ALONE to raise the kids away from the madness. As long as he has not changed, he should not destroy another life. The rest need peace.

    17
    1. While acknowledging that the children could be ‘damaged’ by being exposed to the effects of this illness. It’s also extremely important to note that despite how selfish the actions might seem, the illness is largely to blame and not the victim of the mental illness. The same way you couldn’t tell a man who has undergone amputation to run.

      It’s a very irresponsible thing to say, but if you’ve ever felt completely out of control of your own mind and actions because your mind is literally trying to kill, you wouldn’t be so quick to pass judgement.

      Practise compassion.

      6
  51. Njoro,
    My heart goes out to you. I am so sorry for all you’ve been through, especially losing your family. I 10/10 wish you well.

  52. The fact that he knows that he needs help is greatly appreciated. A good number of men are walking around in depression and are ashamed to admit it. I pray for you Njoro.

    19
  53. Witty yet scary read and even more scary is realization that you have someone in your family that fits the description but they refuse to accept the condition nor seek treatment. You live waiting for their next episode; not knowing how severe it will be or if they will still be alive. It’s sad but prayers to all Njoros out there may God deliver healing to you and provide you with support system more so during these pandemic and isolation period

    1
  54. “Your comment”
    I’ve stared at this statement for quite toooo long with a lot of unrelated thoughts.

    It shall be well mate.

    1
  55. While conducting your research, did you find out whether it’s true that depression and narcissism have a close correlation? I really believe that they do and I’m yet to be proven wrong.

    25
  56. Omg a whole Energy Engineer … Such a great mind. May God help you get back on your feet Njoro. Start over please…..

    1
  57. Fix yourselves before bringing children into this messy world. Don’t extend the curse into the next generation.

    22
    1. Also don’t marry when you don’t know how to hold it down. Divorced at 30? WTF? Kwani you were married at 12 and two kids later you realize that this marriage thing is a scam.

      19
        1. Who liked your mess of a comment?! Really Steve, in this horrible horrible world there’s nothing *worse* than a woman “over 35 without children”. What’s the point of your education if you can come of Bitange Ndemo’s internet and write that..

          5
          1. Have I touched a nerve? You must be the women I’m referring to then. Women who are old and I mean from 34 years and are single and have no children. I said it.

            17
        2. I’m 25. Anyway, it’s my fault for engaging an internet stranger. While you’re entitled to your opinion, this is literally a story about depression, mental health and redemption. But you’re here passing ignorant judgment on an entire group of people. If your words are unkind, why put them out there?!

  58. It’s almost scary how much I relate. But I’m comfortable with where I am, as I am with where Njoro is. Perhaps that’s just how some of us are.

  59. It’s crazy how people go through a lot and we only experience their ‘outward’ emotions. Be Kind!!❤️❤️ May he get better.

    1
  60. It’s kinda calming, when one of your “stories” relates with my life. Shows I’m not out here alone living a double life. Where you feel like giving life the middle finger but you switch off the “button” and act “normal” to the society. Some days you have your suicide mission written out in your mind. Every precise detail and how wrong it would go and if it went wrong what you would do to right it. How to live everyone satisfied and no one blaming themselves if you took “your” life(why do we even call it taking your life?, how do you take that which is already yours?). Other days you feel at the top of the world and everything is in alignment. Your Chi energy is at balance and you seem to have achieved peace of mind( Every piece of mind sewn together to work as one). At this point you have suppressed every feeling that makes you unhappy sad or unworthy but deep down you miss the feeling. That’s the only thing that embraces you best and you always feel at home when those thoughts are in you. You don’t really want them but you there is this deep craving for pain. Yet you would not want anyone realising it. That time death feels like your only way out but you have a lot of buts and what if’s. What if the struggles don’t end after this? What if this is just a glimpse of what is ahead after death?
    Sorry for bothering you with all this Biko. I meant to say thank you for such “stories”.
    God bless you.

    6
  61. ♥️♥️♥️.
    Read this story cause I saw my fathers’ name. Stayed because it talked about something I’ve battled with for a large chuck of my life. To be honest I don’t know what saved me, for a long time I was convinced there was no real reason to live and contemplated suicide every waking day. I got better, I am better. And I guess that’s why I don’t believe death is the answer ( a year ago, I believed it was, suffering every day, having your mind slowly kill you isn’t any way to live. Dealing with overwhelming sadness,your health slowly deteriorating cause food has lost it appeal, turning to drugs,sex, dissappointing those around you,knowing your potential and not being able to make anything of it, it’s not something I’d wish on my worst enemy) but now, I guess I’ve seen that they can be light at the tunnel, and you get to enjoy some rays of sunshine.

    I was at a 1 and I got through it, 5.5 is a big win. You seem like a lovely person despite what you’re going through, it might be something that you’ll battle with for the rest of your life, but the times its laying low, make sure to enjoy it all. I hope you get to have a relationship with your kids, ♥️♥️♥️.

    8
  62. i disagree. kids need stability and this guy right now is highly unstable.suicidal , depressed and manic. i get why his wife is keeping the kids away. his behaviour is unpredictable. he loves his kids and would never hurt them i get that BUT he can willingly hurt himself and that will affect his kids. I had a neighbour who the dad shot himself when they were at school. they came home to find their father lying in the sitting room with half of his head blown off. can you imagine the trauma.?.he says he is at 5.5 that is not good enough to let him near those kids, sadly.

    11
    1. Njoro sounds selfish. He NEEDS to want to get better. Exposing his children to the kind of life he is living is extremely dangerous to his children and he will pass on that trauma to them. I can’t blame his wife, she was probably traumatized as well. I don’t believe she left out of the blue. Before a woman does that, there must have been so many underlying issues, and we can see a glimpse of it from this article. People need to change their mindshift on single mothers. They are the who have chosen to take responsibility for a man who has refused/obligated his duties.

      Someone here has mentioned narcissism. I feel like Njoro could be a narcissist, on top of all his other mental health challenges. No empathy, a high sense of self importance, discarding people, using them for sex, finding supply from someone else. Who are his caregivers now? It must also not be easy for him/her/them.

      Get better Njoro. Want it so bad and it work on yourself.

      9
    2. My thoughts EXACTLY. Children need stability. He has admitted to having manic episodes, knowing that he is an a slippery slope and not wanting to stop it. He say that his kids are his lifeline yet his wife still took them and left meaning nothing changed after they were born. Sometimes loving someone means letting them go. Something to consider Njoro. Am sure you don’t want your precious babies to grow up damaged.

      1
  63. People do not have children with damaged people, it doesn’t matter how good looking they might be at that moment.

    21
  64. I would like to share this on our blog please, can I? We promote mental health and a candid talk like this one we consider healthy.

  65. It is great to say the least when you realize that you should fix yourself because you understand that sometimes you are the problem.

    24
  66. Njoro is holding up, Njoro will make peace with his demons, they’ll sit on his bed and think…… You really did go all out huh….. And on that day, Njoro will sign off one more time,….. For the last time???? Probably…. Only time will tell

    1
  67. Thank you for sharing this. I can somehow relate to this post. 8 years ago i recall getting robbed on my way home by two thugs and one on a motorbike after coming from watching a movie with my friends. I got a little bruise and they went away with few of my stuff. I still get a little traumatized remembering that day. I thank God everyday for the gift of life.

  68. Having such a heavy heart after reading this. Mental disorders are real but may He experience God in these dark times

  69. The guy literally reminds me of Rick Sanchez from Rick and Morty, he’s cursed with intelligence and the constant knowledge of his existence is pain to him .
    Wishing him all the best as he finds his reason to live. Life sucks but best believe you’ll always find a reason to smile/live(p.s I hope my comment is one of the reasons )

    3
  70. I love soft white underbelly. Some stories on there are mortifying, other are just out of this world like the guy that wants to morph into a dragon. I still think about him to date. Anyway, I hope Njoro makes it to the light at the end of the tunnel and emerges victorious. Biko please bring back the IG bible stories.

  71. This guy would make a great plot writer..or movie director. Too much fiction.
    I call bull on this story. Or parts of it

    1
  72. …”Interestingly, I can tell up to a month in advance that I am on the slippery slope of a relapse”… This statement describes me but something funny is there is nothing you can do to stop it from happening.

  73. Bro, keep your chin up. It will get worse before it gets better. I hope with Covid here with us some of your reckless behaviours are things of the past, you can’t be sleeping around and exposing your children to this dreadful virus when you get to meet with them.

    25
  74. Very well written. Superb. The Psychologists should read you taking on their job and doing such a wonderful job explaining all these things…

    1
  75. This is so sad and very true. So many are suffering in silence and it’s so sad to know how hopeless most feel even those who are going through therapy and treatment.

  76. Where’s Peter Wess? It’s been a minute since I saw his comment. And Bumblebee? She just disappeared with no warning. Any ideas where they are Biko? I miss their seasoned comments and insightful analysis of every story.

  77. The battle is first won in the mind. I watched this video https://youtu.be/Q18TgL4RTvE from you tube and I believe you too can manage bi polar. Mental health are usually accompanied by lots of negative energy and hopelessness but I believe with prayers and lots of resilience, it can be conquered. Your best days are ahead. All the best and God bless

    2
    1. Easier said than done. We do a day at a time. Appreciate every day you dont trip. Planning ahead is the perfect recipe for relapse.

    2. Njoro needs to watch this clip and get that guy as a mentor. Not his cocaine, alcohol abusing or fucking every other girl people he is finding solace with.

      If he has boys, is that the role model he wants them growing up knowing and model in future? If he has girls, would he want them treated the way he is behaving? He sounds like a 16 year old boy unfortunately. Njoro does not want to take responsibility, and this is with his admission that he doesn’t see himself stopping the cycle. So either he is very deceitful or just doesn’t want to change his behaviour. Simple.

      Pity party watu wawache.

      6
  78. wow i read this so fast i had to re-read….since starting this blog i try to look at people differently, trying to see wat could be underneath the facades we put up.these articles have made be more conscious of others when am not riled up with my own b.s.

  79. Hmm..while we feel compassion to those struggling with mental illness, it is important not to ignore our own boundaries to be accommodating even when they are being harmful. Full stop. Reading from other peoples examples as well, lets not minimize the difficulty of those who have had to live with a mentally ill person , This might turn peoples stomachs but some people take up the language of mental health to enact their bad behaviour. They use it to give them an air of authority and shield themselves from accountability. For example, they blame others for their violent outbursts – “you triggered me”. One can feel isolated when dealing with a mentally ill person to talk about their behaviour to others. When they can feel you pulling away from the relationship, they talk about suicide to engender your fear and sympathy. Njoro admittedly says he doesn’t see himself stopping the cycle. He’s willingness to get better is also not very encouraging.

    I’ve seen quite a number of people lose their children because of their behaviour. Njoro, if you are serious about your children and/or family, get serious about your treatment plan and management of your illness. There are many people with bipolar who are managing their illness.

    8
  80. This story reminds of Silent Planet’s Everything was Sound album. Very deep in the message of mental health.

  81. I’ve read many comments on here that call attention to Njoro’s selfishness for wanting to be part of his kids lives. While I agree with the fact that the kids need stability that the disease might interfere with. I wonder if we ain’t realising that ontop of the illness taking his sanity, it’s has also taken his wife and kids from him.

    The kids are going to grow up, and by the universe’s grace become adults, and it’s important to have the mental health discussion with them. It’s important for them to know that their father is ill and how this illness affects him and them. The interesting this is, bi-polar can be genetic and could easily be passed on to one of the kids. Unless the plan is to shun everyone that has the illness, we should all be learning how to deal with the disease as victims or friends/family of the victim.

    Bi-polar has no cure, while we talk about someone working on themselves before they are re-united with their kids it’s good to note that. It’s also good to note that sometimes the symptoms are managed in a way that gives a window no matter how small to let that person see their child. Supervised visits can be explored if possible. Which I guess is only possible if both parties recognise that it’s going to demand work from both parties and be willing to do this.

    I don’t know Njoro personally, but I know how angry I get when I see the effects of the illness on my own relationships. On top of being sick you’re expected to be sorry for all the pain you’ve caused. And you are sorry, really sorry, you’ll mess up big time and feel so unworthy of forgiveness and sometimes this will be the reaction that the disease will use to lock you in so you find ways to battle it. And then other times you’ll be so happy and over confident and people perceive this as a lack of empathy(why people relate narcissism to bi-polar). But again, you are not in control. I think while telling the story we forget to say that this mood swings do not exist in isolation.

    It’s always going to be hard in someways but I believe that with compassion on both sides we can combat the effects of this illnesses.

    8
    1. I am glad for Stacia’s comment. I read the article and liked it very much for it reveals what some of us go through. The lack of knowledge on MH issues seen in a number of comments made is worrying to say the least, and made me feel quite irritated and I stopped reading them. Mental conditions are not trivial for us who face them, we can not simply “man-up” or “ignore” Its tough but with realization one seeks knowledge to overcome…this is what Njoro in going through from what I read in the article.

      1
      1. Jesus bro, Jesus is the key. connect with him. Everybody around you is just reacting- catching feelings, rejecting you, pulling away, disowning you. They’re just reacting coz they are getting affected and they don’t know how to handle it. Other people can stay Godless -but you and I my friend can’t. Whatever youre carrying in the spiritual realm is too precious. The devil will not rest .Pray and read the bible, cry to him. Hawa wengine wote wanaweza kuambia tu pole.
        I have been in your shoes. Still am but not in where I was before. Sasa hizo supervised visits alafu? uchungwe kuona watoto wako? It will just add to the emptyness. Pray and fast. Only the love of christ will save you. That I promise you rehab will brainwash you into helplessness and magnify your weaknesses. You are not powerless in Christ. Ask Jesus for help bro. Izi zingine ni painkillers. Only the son can set you free. If the son sets you free , you will be free in deed.
        Your story reminds me how far I have come. It is a spiritual war. Na ukiingia iyo jeshi unaingia special forces, hakuna kubahatisha. The devil will do all he can to prevent you from knowing your true identity, your destiny is great bro. Do not yield. Take cover . In Christ, you will be a testimony, you will fall a few times some major, coz the more you try to get out the more he will put up a fight. Don’t give up. Yours is a fight pharao vs God for the israelites,, pharaoh wont just let go easy. Brace yourself bro. Ukigive up you die with a whole generation that you were to impact.

        7
        1. Matthew 6:33 comes to mind. There’s no battle that God cannot defeat. Cast your cares upon Jesus. He will strengthen you and help you.

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  82. Am a nurse by proffession,used to nurse manic patients and they are the most intelligent people i have ever met.in 2015 my school took us to psychiatry unit in eldoret MTRH for experience,and i happen to have been so attatched to one who was bipolar.Do you know in 2018 he sent someone to greet me,,do you know how that felt like..ooh heavenly..he said greet the tall dark lady with a diastemma…whenever i feel heavy in my heart when nursing patients..i remember his words.May it be well with you Njoro..there is always hope

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  83. “It will make sense to me, and I will be at peace with that decision, if it is possible to look back on it. I have nothing to live for.” I resonate with this so much. It has gotten to a point where when I’m feeling overly anxious, I just think, ‘Nothing matters, so why should this? And if it becomes too much to bear, I can just die. Simple.’

  84. As a life coach O would like to engage him for 12 sessions. 4 sessions a month for 3 months

    To complement his current treatment. Cheers
    Coach Mary

  85. Empathy is a very hard thing to truly honestly feel. I read this all robotic, largely unmoved. I understand why the ex would protect the children from all that. But Njoro, my asshole-ry aside, I hope you get better – that you’ll want to get better. I recently read Nick Hornby’s A Long Way Down; it’s a dark comedy told from 4 suicidal strangers POV (they met on New Year’s at the same spot atop a building from whence they intended to jump). It doesn’t have a happy ending but the 4 strangers live, by promising to stay alive another 2 weeks, another 3 months, another 6 months. If you die, your story ends just like that – there’s no glory, no love, no bravery. So live.

  86. Njoro could get supervised access to the children, and the rating might get to a 9.5. I insist on supervised because he might be given the kids in those days he is on his lowest and God we don’t want harm to them too.

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  87. Tell him he is not alone. He will get through it. Its sad because many people do not understand and judge instead

  88. Get well Njoro.
    Growing up a neighbor had depression and we were unable to interpret it, instead we sad he was moody. When their father uped and left his sister became super depressed and eventually ended up in an institution. I pray your absence doesn’t affect your children, it might look okay now, in the long-term it can manifest into a situation that can break your heart.

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  89. After the “I am no.1″comments are done building our nation,Hop Mr. Njoro (or Niko) recommends this… Please check out a psychologist Jordan Peterson. I have learnt after a while from him, we all get dealt with the cards we get. Accept your cards and don’t ask why. And with those cards, u are never a victim. NEVER A VICTIM!!. Now,I take what I get, good or horrible, and I make LIFE from it all. I think Njoros best days are ahead.

    1
  90. Njoro wants to justify his actions in the name of mental health. He must be willing to change and nobody will do that for him. He has a behavioral problem.

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  91. Such a sad story. God knew in the beginning that marriage had to be present for Him to be able to build a society that would last. It is the first thing that God created through Adam and Eve – the first married couple. May God cover them all and heal them especially the children.

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  92. Most heartbreaking narration ever.Feel like i want to meet Njoro and hug him so tight. Never let go keep him safe and keep him happy. May peace and comfort find him someday and may the pain go away soon.

  93. I hope he seeks Jesus. He will help him. The minute he said he’s taking pills, yeah, I knew it’s bad.
    I also identify with his wife real strongly, I’m incapable of babysitting a grown man. I just can’t.

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  94. It is funny and edgy at the same time.
    It is more painful when it is relatable and near to home. Some times, you have no idea of how to help your sibling, and apathy becomes your reality.

  95. Am a nurse and also have a brother with bipolar I have seen patients with mental illness and for Every single one of them it’s a different story as to why they are like this you can never get tired of listening to this and wondering and wishing if there was a way you could help

  96. Some time in April, I remember having a conversation with a friend, who was feeling a certain way and didn’t know why, I remember telling them how brilliant our minds are. With a powerful need to subconsciously protect us from certain things that might cause instability to us, hence hide them from our thoughts. So, yes, you can feel that something’s wrong, but can’t put a finger on it. That’s one way our minds does it’s thing, and unless something major triggers that memory, we might never remember what happened…. Sadly, nothing can ever be completely solved or treated lest the root cause is dealt with. It’ll be like constantly wiping the floor whilst the leak is not sorted, doesn’t quite help.

  97. I’ve been to suicidal points before, but remembering how I, my mum and bro have struggled up in this life to where we are, how my bro says that am his role model, how I’m the “man” of the house… I just can’t do it. Just picturing my family in pain at my funeral due to suicide scares me. If my family were to be eradicated today, I’d soon follow them.

  98. Unputdownable piece!!!
    Again dude

    But Njoro☹️
    So much happening in this young man’s life.
    5-5 ain’t bad at all.
    With support from loved ones, i.e, a strong support network, he’ll get there.
    That, and HOPE. It is a beautiful thing

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  99. Speaking from a psychological point of view, a child mirrors. Njoro needs to be conscious not to damage his kids and that can only happen by working on himself.

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  100. Hi everyone,, I can definitely relate to all this. Was diagnosed with ADHD. I can relate to being scared of your next move, the future and dark holes. You’re smart ,exposed but you seem to be running on a mill. Two steps foward, six backwards. The stigma and the helplessness. And the thoughts of ending it. Or rather when you feel like fighting on and then you crush. the abnormality of life and the reality of your life being a cruising subaru which has lost controls and you cant do nothing. Well – If you can relate, there is a way out. Rehab wont do nothing youll still be a fugitive, therapy is just a pain killer.
    The only war is spirituality, If anyone has heard of Vincentian Retreat Centre or Prayer house or whatever church you go to but it has to be deep. It can only be handled from the inside out. Ive also heard of Teens challenge by winners i think. You have to find a new Identity in christ . It sounds impractical but that is the only thing that works. It wont work like mara moja- but it works. You have to experience the love of God. Only Love can fill that hole. For people like us heartbreak can kill. You cant fill that hole with substitute love and appreciation from a woman coz you will expect soo much more.
    It will be hard and confusing at first but its not like your life is working out anyway. Rehab will only remind you how powerless you are. If youre catholic pray the rosary when youre in that hole mother mary helps. If youre not make that sincere prayer to God cry out to him. I know sometimes even the tears aint there. Pray. Talk to him like he is infront of you , that is when he is closest to you.
    My heart goes out to anyone who is going through this the ones in the out of control Subaru and the mothers, fathers , siblings and all those who feel like its hopeless. Stop paying for rehab,, or pay for the season but eventuality only Ultimate LOVE from Abba Father can sort it out. The pastors wouldnt understand, priests wont, siblings and even the therapists and doctors can only treat the symptoms but only God can stop the pain.
    Vincentian Retreat Centre is in thika and has retreats every two weeks.. Go and attend.. dont speak for three weeks. speak to the priests. theres is vincentian prayer house at Amboseli in lavington. or you can go to youtube and search “DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE” they have services every evening from 8;00-10;00 Pm everyday during corona.
    For the ones in the subaru, everytime the engine starts I have found refuge in The Holy Eucharist go tho the adoration chapel when youre angry or feeling down and cry and vent to Jesus, if you feel like sleeping well and good. You will wake up feeling fresh.
    Percentage of recovery 9.5% , pole pole tu . But the peace is mad. Dont give up. Pray/ Fast and all will be well. Don’t give up.
    @ KOGI, no woman can love you the Way God can. Find God fast. Humans dont have that kind of capacity. And with God everything is possible, all those years eaten away will come back. Those dry bones will fill up with flesh again, You will be cute again, you will gain muscle and you will smile genuinely again.
    God have mercy on all of you in the Subarus and your loved ones. Remember – when youre in that hole he is standing beside you, vent and cry. He will never leave you alone, he is your (real) father and mother. You’re never alone and he will never judge you even when you smell like alcohol and cigarettes, even when you’re in a brothel . Even when you’re in a cell, your value doesn’t decrease in his eyes. He knows why you do the things you do.
    Just remember you’re never alone and 1000days to him is like one day, He will bring beauty to that image in the mirror, he will replace the wood you have with bronze, bronze with silver and silver with Gold. The others may laugh and judge but that relationship is as personal as your struggle hao wengine ni spectators na ma ‘Edgar Obare’ to judge and to accuse.
    Take heart, remember youre not alone…… One Love!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  101. When Njoro tells his Doc that he doesn’t feel guilty for doing street drugs because they make him feel good… I totally understood it. That sense of indifference is a struggle that can literally change the way you look at life.

  102. I’m young… So I’m probably overthinking things… But I think I am or will grow to be hypo maniac… I think I need to talk to someone… Thanks for the article

  103. This piece hit so close to home. He has blantly explained what it feels like to be depressed and I can relate.
    Honestly Biko, you have done justice to his story . Cudos

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  104. Hi Biko,
    Thanks for highlighting the plight of many through this story. My heart bleeds at what this gentleman has gone through.
    Please ask Njoro to reach out to me if possible on [email protected].
    Thanks.

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  105. Thank you Biko for the article. We are many suffering from mental issues and were it not for the psychiatrists, therapists and the group therapies some of us would be on the edges of psychosis. God is great that am here.