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Men’s Health Week

It is men’s health week.  If you identify as a man, it is time to take a good look at your health if you don’t do so already.  

Some important questions to ask yourself not just this week, but always, include: Am I eating well?  Am I sleeping well?  Am I moving regularly?  Am I getting enough vitamins and minerals?  

In my opinion, physical health and mental health go hand in hand.  If your physical health isn’t where you would like it to be, your mental health may be affected as a result.  I will use myself as an example.  A few years ago, I would say I was in my peak physical condition.  I was happy with how my body looked and felt and this helped my confidence.  These days, my physical health isn’t where I’d like it to be.  From the start of the pandemic, I have been struggling with depression and gained a lot of pandemic pounds.  Due to the decline of my mental health, my physical health suffered, and due to the decline of my physical health, my mental health has suffered.     

Recently, I have been making an effort to feel better.  I try to do activities that keep my mind occupied momentarily so that I’m not constantly thinking about how I haven’t reached my health goals, which makes me feel hopeless.  Some of these activities include: writing lyrics and recording songs, writing fictional stories, making & watching YouTube videos, and exercising.  I enjoy these activities and they have had a positive impact on me mentally and physically.  

What are things you do that have a positive impact on your health?

Trauma and Women’s Health

Women’s Health Week is this week and I can’t help but cringe when I hear it. I have struggled since a teenager with accessing healthcare, for several reasons. After some time in therapy, I learned that all of the reasons why I wasn’t able to access necessary healthcare, all came down to: trauma.

After explaining to several different providers the history of my trauma and how it effects me in medical settings, I was offered little solutions and supports and instead heard, “well keep going to therapy and it will get better,” or “it won’t feel the same as the trauma did”. The amount of insensitivity and lack of training around trauma that I have observed in so many practices astounded me. I thought if anything, OBGYN’s would be well-equipped.

So for years I went undiagnosed and untreated and eventually found myself in the depths of serious health complications that I had to face. About two years ago, after a horrific experience getting a pap smear, my diagnosis left me feeling shame, embarrassment, guilt, and worthlessness. In order to attend to my physical health needs, I had to put my mental health needs aside, which was a recipe for disaster. I spiraled into a severe depressive episode, started to have plans of suicide, and struggled to keep my addiction recovery strong. I had to get procedure after procedure, all under heavy sedation, which sky rocketed my medical bill, and brought old traumas to the surface. Not only was I now experiencing physical and mental health issues, but this situation caused a huge financial burden on me and the savings I accumulated over the past few years was back to negative.

I’m still struggling to find a provider that truly understands trauma and can respond appropriately and empathetically. My current provider tries to understand, but can be very dismissive and have a “no big deal” type of attitude. Attending to my physical health needs caused a PTSD episode as I continued to experience the traumatic events as if they were happening all over again. This caused strain in my romantic relationship, distance from friends, and secrecy from family. All the while, I struggled with keeping things private because of the transparent person that I am. I’m not at the point where I’m comfortable talking about what I’m going through, but I can say that I’m taking it a day at a time with gratitude at every step, even on the rougher days. I’m saying yes to self-care and I’ve established firm boundaries around my professional and personal life. As for support, I have people in my corner that I trust, and the one’s who question and don’t honor my boundaries, I have 0 desire to teach them respect or alter my reality to fit their comfortability.

2019 Annual Run in the Pub Fundraiser to benefit TurningPointCT.org!

Hi guys! I have something exciting to share with you guys!
On July 20th (a week from Saturday!!) from 11-4 there will be a fundraiser at O’Neill’s Irish Pub and Restaurant in Norwalk, CT. That fundraiser will benefit us!

Jimmy Booth (a very active and caring Norwalk local) has held this fundraiser for 8 years. This year he will support TurningPointCT.org!! Amazing, right?!
We are so excited.

Jimmy will be at the pub with some supporters running a marathon on a treadmill. This is all to raise awareness for young people’s mental health! There’s also going to be a raffle and 15% of the proceeds from all food and drinks bought that day will go towards our fundraising!!
That means if you are near Norwalk and want to support us, there are many ways to do it (even it just means buying some food).
I hope some of you can come and help us spread the word!!

Check out the event on eventbrite or facebook!

2018 Awareness Calendar

Hi everybody! To celebrate the new year, Turningpointct.org has made a calendar showcasing mental wellness awareness days to share with you!

Below is the entire calendar

Share with your friends, or enjoy it yourself! Some of the days may be familiar and some may be new!
We hope you all enjoy it!

Happy New Year!

Choosing to Walk Away

It is an amazing feeling to come to the realization that some things are just not meant for us. Whether they are prohibiting us from moving forward and reaching our goals, or they hinder us from being our true selves, walking away from things that are not meant for us allows us to grow into the best us we can possibly be.

In my personal experiences, the number one thing I’ve had to walk away from after realizing that they were holding me back were toxic relationships. Whether they were romantic ones or ones with friends, any ones I walked away from were hard. It is often difficult to leave something that you have become used to, but I knew that it was all for the better.

What things have you had to walk away from in your life because you knew they were not doing you any good?

"From the Outside Looking In"

“Everyone’s journey is individual. If you fall in love with a boy, you fall in love with a boy. The fact that many Jamaicans consider it a disease says more about them than it does about homosexuality.”

This is a quote by the very historic American writer and playwright, James Baldwin… In the quote, I replaced the term, ‘Americans’ with ‘Jamaicans’.
Baldwin in my opinion was first and foremost a human being BUT in his time, he was merely BLACK and GAY. The sociopolitical stigma and prejudice that encompassed the topic of color and sexuality forced him to migrate to France in the 1940s. Though still evolving, France was one of the more liberal countries at the time (and currently is).

Referencing back to the quote above, bear in mind that 20th century America represented the ‘Egypt’ of Baldwin’s lifetime and it does make you wonder what life was really like in America in the 1940s.

Still yet, we can look to Jamaican society for a firsthand experience.

On the other hand, America today, for people like myself represents the ‘Canaan’ of what France was for Baldwin in the 1940s.

A man without roots, without a country to call home. James Baldwin used his experience to unveil what it looks like beyond being BLACK,
beyond being GAY and even more, beyond being an IMMIGRANT, a line of thought that is still unfathomable to many people in our lifetime;
in this day and age.

Baldwin superseded labels – in my opinion, Baldwin was neither BLACK nor GAY, nor was he an immigrant,
he was a human being who was denied his rights.

I’ve been inspired by James Baldwin.

What does prejudice look like in America from the perspective of a French lifestyle?
What does hope look like in France from the perspective of an American lifestyle?

These are questions Baldwin may have possibly asked himself.

The following poem is by Warsaw Shire [the poet behind Beyoncé’s recent album] – she explains what she thinks of home amidst prejudice and fighting shame.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6t78c_5aR4