Photographers, artists, poets: show us SELF.
I try to maintain a sense of independence, because I think it’s always important to be self-sufficient and to trust your judgements… most of the time. I have also learned that to rely solely on oneself can have adverse effects on your health.
I am first and foremost a massive worrier. It’s genetic, matched with me being the child of African immigrants in a western country – I was brought up with parents who tried to adapt to culture more reserved than their own. This manifested in me in so many other ways; I became anxious, wanted to please everyone I met, allowed myself to feel inferior to others. When that I got bullied, I asked for help and it was resolved, but the damage was done.
As I got older I experienced serious migraines from self-inflicted stress. Looking back I could have handled things so much better, but it was always so easy to get myself into such a state that would cause me to feel ill. When my mother was diagnosed with mental illness it was common place for me to deduce that I was clearly exhibiting early signs of depression and paranoia.
It’s easy to dismiss when it’s happening to you, but when I decided enough was enough (i.e. ending up in hospital after my immune system shut down), I realised that in most instances – one of the common reasons for my unhealthy bouts had a lot to do with the fact that I hadn’t listened to the little voice in my head that was doubtful, or the butterflies in my stomach. These were all flashing red signs that told me to ask for help, before the voice became a pounding throb and the butterflies morphed into bile.
I won’t lie to you and say I don’t get flustered about things; however, in situations things are genuinely difficult, I am patient. I give myself a chance to make mistakes but, mostly to avoid them, I just ask for help.
It’s always a delightful surprise to find how willing people are to help.