Catharsis

Hey queens and kings!!

I’m so sorry for not posting last week but as some of you may already know I was in hospital, I can hear the sympathy crying now thanks you lovely lot. I was in two minds as to whether I should let you guys in on what’s going on with my health and not because I’m trying to be all stush and mysterious but because of the image I wanted to portray for #itshermelanin. As you may also know I want #itshermelanin to be a place that promotes a positive mental health community for women and girls of colour due to the stigma surrounding us when facing mental health issues that people of a different colour/ethnicity would be less likely to face. So I thought sharing something that could upset you or bring you down would bring more harm than good but then I thought of three things:

  1. Authenticity: I  want the voice of #itshermelanin to be as authentic and truthful as possible, I want you guys to view me as a sister.
  2. Catharsis: within the Dramatherapy discipline catharsis means to release a strong emotions and has the potential to be transformative.
  3. Testimony: when testimonies are done in a religious setting the purpose is to inspire others with the sharing of your experience, with the hopes that your vulnerability serves as a comforting arm for others that may be in a similar situation to you.

What do all of these have in common?

Authenticity, catharsis and testimony have a few things in common:

  • The acceptance of self – the chance for you to face something that you may have not been able to face before hand.
  • The acceptance of love – I still believe in the power of love and I don’t mean the type of love that people give to receive but I mean that unconditional love.
  • The acceptance of others – whether you like it or not, you doing one of these three things will make you a magnet to people who simply want to help or who simply need someone talk to, embrace them with an open mind.
  • Shame – this ones a tough one, no matter how much you DGAF (the F stands for fudge clearly) shame is an experience we all try to avoid so hard, letting go and let the shame flow it helps yo!
  • Loss – this one is slightly bitter sweet; you could loose a great deal and sometimes this hurts but with every great loss there is an even greater gain.
  • The chance to learn and grow – if you don’t to learn and grow this blog is not for you baby.

But don’t just take me word for it, here comes the catharsis of an authentic testimony (see what I did there, I know you don’t have to say it…I’m a genius HA!)

Why I was in hospital… 

I can hear the noses of the preeing ones twitching ahaha… Okay let me be serious. For those of you that can’t handle the grown discussion of a woman’s reproductive system I would advise you to finish here and for those of you that may be triggered when it comes to hospital visits, crazy emotions and blood I would also stop here.

Okay so now you’re all comfortable and ready to let me purge, come leh we do dis (patios). It all started in January I started to get stomach pains, irregular bleeding (yup I am talking about periods, deal with it!) and increased headaches. It then happened again in February and so I went to my doctors and he referred me to have a scan at the hospital before the scan could even come through the post, the pain became unbearable and to cut a long story short I was admitted into hospital. After the most painful and confusing weekend I had in my short 22 years of living it turns out that I have cysts on my ovaries (the mad crazy pain was one bursting), to write about it now still makes me uneasy and I can’t help but think about the 101 questions running through my mind constantly. Will this affect my fertility? What happens when I get the really bad pain again? Will this affect my fertility? Will my doctor give me a follow up appointment? Will this affect my fertility?

You see the pattern? My main concern was will I still be able to have kids? I do not have definite answer and I can only say ‘I think so’. I then also I about my God and how he has a plan for me regardless how my body want to try and play me, I also thought about my God kids, I thought about the endless amount of children in care (I’ve always wanted to adopt, so I felt like this was a confirmation for that) and I also just think about the NOW. Our tomorrows are not promised and so when we are constantly thinking about the future we fail to see the beauty of our NOW experiences. These statements have brought me to a road that I wouldn’t have been on if this happened two years ago, if this happened two years ago I would have turned to other means of coping but in all honesty my faith was a saving grace for me.

Just a quick update on how I’m feeling now greatful, it could have been so much worse and I’ve started to feel even more intentional. I’m just enjoying every journey God brings me on after all every mess has the chance to transform into a blesseing. My God, My god!!

P.s my symptoms are MY symptoms, if you’re worried because you’re experiencing the same go and see your doctor and be greatful. If you feel ready feel free to share your story with the #itshermelanin family or you can direct message me on instagram.

Peace and love

Tisha Jayy xxx

 

 

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Balance

Hey queens and kings,

The irony of this post is quite funny, why you ask? Well as you know from my very first post, I have planned all of these blog posts in advance so every week I know what I’m writing about. Right now, as touched upon in last weeks post things aren’t great! So I’m here thinking how am I meant to give advice on how balanced I am when I’ve never been so unbalanced in my life! but queens and kings I’ve got something for you, so grab your gingerbeer and get comfy.

Full circle

As well as all the stress from university and placement, I am also having to search myself. Now, normally I would just have pretended I’d gone deeper into the experiences that have made me (whether it be painful experiences, amazing memories or inspiring situations) and then bury the difficult emotions that may come up as a result. This would create a false illusion in my head that I had dealt with those difficult emotions up until those emotions started to arise again, thus the whole ‘full circle’ heading. Yes I have written some great posts on things to do to keep shalom but I realised today that none of my post actually talk about admitting, facing and exploring difficult emotions (something that Dramatherapy helps with). None of my posts really talk about what fellowship/having that group of friends or one friend that you can spill all to actually does in regards to staying balance (something that my faith has taught me).

If I’m loosing you let me use myself as an example (no you will not be hearing some juicy TishaJayy gossip, umm hmm I see you). I thought I felt more comfortable alone, when in actual fact it’s just a safety net, I also thought that If I didn’t let myself get close to anyone or admit my mistakes to those closest to me it would protect me from being hurt and I also thought that opening up about the rubbishy times would burden the ones I cared about most (all this sound familiar?). Something that also fooled me into feeling ‘comfortable’ with being alone was the fear of being judged (trust me, I consciously thought I didn’t care but when I let my unconscious surface it was staring me on the face). All of this created metaphorical suitcases of emotions and fears I had been carrying around with me and filling up for years, I literally had chains that I didn’t know existed stunting my growth as a woman.

This all meant that I wasn’t able to be the authentic me; I read somewhere that a person has three masks: mask one is how they want the world to see them, mask two is how they want family and friends to see them and mask three is how they are when totally alone. I believe that our true authentic selves is a distorted mixture of all three, character traits or images we aspire to be, values we want to live by and vulnerability we want to be able to feel power from.

I had began to be stuck in a rut of feeling emotions I didn’t like because of experiences I didn’t like and sometimes had no control over. I felt them, I distracted myself from them and then unconsciously I buried and held on to them. I let them become a shadow over my life that I could not escape and every so often that would lead to an eruption.

The eruption

Now eruptions, historically meant destruction but for me eruptions can mean change. I would erupt (cry, shout, be ill or isolate myself) and not be able to sit with what I was going through. I would be itching for the eruption to stop and not give myself enough time to face it(historically). As of the past two weeks though, I’ve had some news that have caused a build which led to an eruption, I ignored calls and I went into isolation mode. Something changed, I realised didn’t want to be alone anymore, in fact I needed someone to talk to and I felt like God and therapy were leading me to this catharsis (the process of releasing, and therefore providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions). My friend who is basically my sister reached out to me even though I ignored her calls (I did text her to let her know, I just needed to be alone, she did give me time but clearly she was telling me time was up).

Change

After I ignored her call and didn’t text her all week (don’t judge, we usually talk everyday lol)

Her:Bruh, I’m trying to see If you’re alive and kickin

Me: I’m alive and kicking xx

        Just disconnecting xx

Her: Are you sure you’re kicking?

I’m like sweet baby Jesus why does this girl know me too well, well I was thinking that anyway. That simple text led to me spilling everything and I’m not talking about the things that happened within the last two weeks, I’m talking about the years of ish I had been keeping between God and myself. Bearing in mind this was all through text, I sent it and was like let me hop in this bath real quick and pretend I didn’t just lay out my soul to her. One hundred and one things were running through my head whilst in the bath: will she still be my sis?, Will she even want to talk to me? and I didn’t think all of this because of who she was but because of my own insecurities I had just let her in on. Then after about 30 mins in the bath I thought ‘This girl is going to turn up at my door innit?’*rolling eyes emotion*(low key feeling loved), my pops shouts up to me saying ‘Someone’s here for you’.

Yup, my amazing friend had drove over to see me, to hold space with me. That single notion ‘hold space with me’ is so powerful. I have never told anyone but God about the things I told her and I was so afraid of what that would mean for our friendship/sisterhood. As I reflect, I realise that I was a afraid of one of the very things I want most in the world and that is to be loved regardless of all my flaws.

FIN

So my advice to you on finding balance is my lovely ItsHerMelanin family, find faith in something (for me thats God), find iron that sharpens your iron (friends/family) to confine in and then live authentically. To my girl, who has been my iron from the day I met you, thank you Mo Mo and I only pray that I am/can be the same to you…

Peace and love

TishaJayy xx

My course structure

Hey Queens and kings,

I hope your week has been full of blessings, lessons and hard work. As for me, my week has been ok, basically my body has been failing me but I’m still smiling. You know the drill grab a ginger beer or two, check out last weeks post if you have not already and then come back and join me, as always I will wait.

oh you’re back,  hey boo boo!! so my course structure *currently rolling my eyes* HAHA!

Structure

For many practical reasons but also reasons that don’t make any sense, structure seems to create calm. Structure gives us westerners the illusion of safety and it highlights our dependancy on controlled outcomes. Education seems to have an over riding macro structure but also micro structures that are for different institutions (primary schools, secondary schools, colleges etc). Therapy and faith are exactly the same, even though some might not like to admit it (yup I just threw Le shade).

My course

As most of you know I am a trainee dramatherapist and currently studying on a two year programme. During my first year (now) I have been on four modules; practice studio, theory, placement and experiential. Practice studio is where we take apart and facilitate dramatherapy sessions, theory is where we discuss theoretical standpoints, placement is where we are prepared for the placements we do but later develops into supervision and experiential is where we …..hmmm to be honest it’s a lot of things but in a nutshell it is whatever we make it.

The second year (my next academic year) is a lot more independent and I can only imagine it’s so much more intense. We will have four modules; theories, placement, experiential and Independent scholarship which will serve as a triple module. The Independent scholarship is a huge research project that is for me to research into a subject matter that I am interested in.

Hidden extras

The title sounds a little dodgey but it’s really not meant to LOL. For me, a lot of hidden extras from the course were to do with self reflection and YES I am going to be the black girl who goes there …MONEY! So money, the one thing I hate; I would recommend having a part time job whilst studying for your masters. Especially because we have to pay for our own therapy and fund the course ourselves (if you do not apply for a student loan). Self reflection, this one is probably the biggest, whilst I’m a person who loves to observe and hear the story of others, when it comes to myself I HATE it. During the first three months of doing my masters I faced such ugly parts of myself through self reflection but I also faced parts of myself which I didn’t realise existed but loved once I found them.

The support I got/get when it came/comes to money and how to safely practice self reflection was amazing. Support came from of course the uni lecturers but also other students on the course. Something that surprised me was the support from my family and not because my family support is lacking but because I didn’t think they would get it. Oh boo boo how I was wrong, for some reason the more I progressed on the course, the more I was able to express myself to my family and the better we bonded.

Lack of socialising -so during undergrad 40% of the course was socialising (kinda false), with this postgrad everything changes! You hardly see family let alone friends but if you have ‘iron that sharpen iron’ type of friends then they will understand. The friends you meet on the course almost turn into a weird family that see each other once a week but also know your deepest secrets and flaws. What’s even weirder is how natural it is and I know, I know this could just be unique to my year group and course but hey it happened. Yes we have our ups and downs, yes some people get on better than others do and yes it can be draining but it is 100% worth it.

Graduation

I cannot wait, even though the process is the main part, I still am so eager to get to graduation. It’s like when you’re a kid learning to ride your bike and you want your stabilisers off so you can just GO GO GO! Yeah, that’s how I am feeling.  On that note it’s time for me to finish off an article I am reading but first let me leave you with a verse that has been on my mind all week:

“Be still and know that I am God” – Psalm 46:10

peace and love Queens and kings

TishaJayy xx