Things I Learnt Travelling Alone

Now I cannot say I have mastered travelling alone, I have taken 6 solo plane trips and only 1 truly solo adventure that lasted 3 days. However, it really tested my set ideas on my mental health and my body. I spent the last year having panic attacks in lectures, crying when I ate food and having the wonderful diagnosis of both IBS and vaginismus. In my head, my body was weak and fragile. However, after 6 weeks of CBT and some introspection, I decided it was time to challenge this idea that I was this “petal” of a human being. It was time to test if I would crumble at the first sign of nausea, anxiety, or pain. What better way to do that than go 897.2 miles away (yes I did check) to Berlin, Germany for a 3-day excursion.

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Can We Blame Moving for Bad Mental Health?

I have moved to 7 different houses and 8 different schools, so it’s safe to say I know a little bit about what it is like to move. Now, I don’t blame these events for how I turned out, but there is an argument to suggest they could have moulded me into who I am today. I remember in high school, when I met my first school counsellor, her saying that she was surprised at how high my grades were considering my transitions. I can see where she is coming from because when you move, you miss school, you lose friends, and you must accumulate to new surroundings all over again. But does this affect how we are in the long term? Could I blame my neuroticism on all these moves? Let’s Find Out!

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V stands for Vaginismus

Despite this word sounding like something a doctor made up in the spur of the moment, this disorder is very real and very, very painful. It is argued to be one of the most common female psychosexual dysfunctions, with clinic prevalence rates ranging from 5 to 17%[1]. And sadly, I am part of that percentage. Since being diagnosed, the most common reply I receive when I tell people about Vaginismus is “that sounds made up” and “I’ve never heard of it”. Despite being prevalent in sexual health clinics, there is little talk about it in the general population. So I thought I’d share a little PSA all about Vaginismus, and how it hit my mental health.

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Fighting the Fear of Getting Sick

It is normal to check your chicken during cooking to make sure it has cooked through. No one wants salmonella right? The problem occurs where you check your chicken again, and again, and again. Then, even when the chicken is cooked, obsessing over whether it is truly cooked while eating it. Here comes the anxiety, the paranoia, to the point where you eat less, or just stop eating altogether. This isn’t just exclusive to food, because you can get sick anywhere, the stomach bug is one hug away! The truth is you can be hygienic, you can eat carefully, but you will never 100% avoid getting ill. Nobody will tell you getting ill is nice, but it is important to focus on how you cope when you do get ill, that helps you fight the fear of getting sick.

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How to Trick Yourself into Relaxing

Relaxing is something I only want when I can’t have it. Every time exam season came around, I would spend 24/7 studying, wishing I was doing something else. I thought about all the TV shows I would watch and how great it would be to sleep in. Only to find out that when I finally had the time to relax, I wasn’t the least bit interested.  I ended up feeling guilty for not being productive, not using my time in some sort of valuable way. I would wake up at 8am, because that’s what productive people do, but for no reason. I got less sleep and had more of the day to spend moping. Something had to change.

I should be learning, I should be working, I should be taking over the world. When what I actually should be doing is relaxing.

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Blogger Recognition Award

I’m only two months into the blogging game, so these awards are very new to me, nevertheless, I’m very excited to have been nominated by Navigating Darkness (@ItsNicoleCarman).

I never realised the difficulties that came with blogging into I threw myself into this world, therefore it is no surprise that there are awards like these, created by bloggers, to recognise and encourage their fellow bloggers to keep doing what they love.

It is a lovely pick me up for someone who loves constant reassurance!

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Why Don’t Black People go to Therapy?

Regardless of race, we all share one thing in common. Mental Health. We all suffer from mental health difficulties such as anxiety, depression, or schizophrenia. However, growing up in a mixed-race household, I know that black people often deter from seeking treatment, or even acknowledging that their difficulties are due to mental health issues. There are a number of barriers that come up, such as stigma, the psychologist, and racial bias which can prevent treatment. This is not a comprehensive list; there are limitations in education and services, as well as, doctor-patient communication that can further lower the percentage.

We cannot get through them all but here is a start.

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