*Disclaimer: These posts were written last year (2017) Visuals shot (2018).
I write to release
Self Care Sundays is a 3 part series on my journey around mental health. My understanding of depression and anxiety. My deep need for self love and radical self care. I had a lot of my friends and followers ask about my decision to receive counselling. What have I gained from it? As someone who is currently on my healing journey, it took a lot out of me to repeat the story. As part of my healing journey, I deem it necessary to share. I have to document it.
I had no shame in receiving counselling. It was something I had been seeking for 3 years. I speak proudly of my sessions and use my Instagram captions and tweets to relay this. Fuck the stigma because that shit saved my life. A lot of my friends and followers felt safe in asking me questions, they felt more open to the idea and reflected on their own childhoods. I acknowledged my health beyond the physical level.
‘Counselling for the mind is like a gym class for your body. Both are acts of self love’. Mulan itoje
Health is dimensional, your physical, emotional and mental health are equally as important.
In 2014 I wanted counselling, which I applied for via the NHS. I tried on 3 occasions with no luck. By 2015 I decided to blog, to release, to motivate myself, a healthy coping mechanism I developed to assist getting on with it…it being life. In 2016 I lived with a few individuals who were racist and classist. I experienced covert and overt racism, the ignorant bubble I lived in was bliss…it popped in my face and by 2017 I started to see the world for what it really is. It was not the first time I had experienced racism but it was the first time it was in such close proximity. To walk into a room and not know which part of you would be picked apart simply because of the colour of my skin caused anxiety. I began to shut myself away in the hope that these people would leave me alone. At the time I did not have the language to describe my flatmates violent behaviour. It was also hard to accept the majority of their views were based on the colour of my skin. I was fetishished whilst simultaneously being feared. It was an altogether horrible experience.
Naturally everything came to a screeching halt, a mental block, I could not write anything publicly or in private. My body had had enough, my mind was tired and my spirit weak. I got lucky in my search for a counsellor, someone I met passed on details of their counsellor and they turned out to be the best counsellor for me. I felt the cloud begin to lift and my thoughts became clearer. I felt the pain…I allowed myself to feel the pain and stopped holding back my tears.
By mid 2017 I had purged my life of anything negative, from friends to family to clients. Culture vultures wanting everything about me except my black skin and all the stress that came with being born black. I began to make conscious decisions in regards to the people I had around me as I learned to love myself.
Self awareness became heightened, I remembered who I was, the greatness of my being and the fact that nobody can be me or tell my story better than me.
I hope you enjoy reading about my journey! x
Tog Danika Magdelena
MUA Giselle Ali
Hairstylist Lu’s Curls
Stylist Amie Wolfe