Notes: On Mental Health

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Drying and dying [2018:EO]

The world marks October 10 as the World Mental Health Day. It aims to raise awareness about the mental health issue. By raising awareness about mental health, people who have mental health problem could get help as soon as possible because they are aware that they have a problem. And I know very well how useful this help can be for one.

As you might have been aware that depression and anxiety are two of mental health issues which have been openly discussed on the Internet in these last few years. Prior to that, people used to hide those problems. They felt that it is embarrassing and they felt ashamed about it because many tend to bully or mock those who are suffering from depression. As a result, many who are suffering from depression do not get help and it could get worse for some people whether some would turn to be an alcoholic, sex addicts, smoker, drug users or even commit to suicide. 

It happened to me a few years ago…

After a piece of bad news broke in 2009, I have always been sad. I was afraid that I would not have enough time to fulfil my dreams. Since then, over the years, I tried to race with time to do as much as I could. Yet, I always felt that I only did a little and it was never enough. It made me upset. I often got home cried and felt miserable. Yet, I thought it was just a simple sadness. I thought I was just being a drama queen.  

It took me years to realize that it was not just sadness as I started to get suicidal thought or suddenly become hysteric. It even landed me in the hospital several times. Since then, I knew I had a problem and I decided to seek help. Yet, I could not seek help from friends or family. I felt that they would judge me or preach to me. So, I built a wall, kept a distance from people and I tried to seek helps from professionals. It was not easy to find the right one. They offered me various solutions including anti-depressant consumption, therapy section, engaging in a religious activity as well as being physically active. I found it hard. Later I figured that exercise was the best solution among others. Yet, it requires self-discipline. 

I vividly remembered one Monday morning when I felt down and my body feeling week because I did not exercise for nearly a week because I was being lazy. That day, I realized that wonderful effect of exercise toward my mood. Since then, I always tried to make time to do it even only for 30 minutes on a daily basis. I forced myself to run even it is only 4 am and many are still sleeping. As time passed by, I become an addict, addict of exercise.  Happy with the result, I maintain until today even with various adjustment. Frankly, I did not really care about the aesthetic result of exercise as my priority is to feel good about myself in mind, body and soul.

Hence if you have a problem, don’t be ashamed to talk about it and seek for bits of help. Share with those who have similar problems, they might be able to help you or they actually might not be able to help you. Nevertheless, it is all about your willingness to acknowledge it and get help. While for you who know anyone with mental health issues, please try to acknowledge it even only by listening to them. Never ignore them especially if they are the loved one. 

Ride the bus

Notes: Playing Around with Your Genital? Get Yourself Tested!

Many people love to play with their genitals. It gives us joy and satisfaction. Unfortunately many of them (or us) do not like to talk about it openly in public. Well, I do understand. Talking about sex is considered taboo in our society as we are living in a society, which is full of social norm and also religious restriction. But in the end of the day, we are human and sex is one of our basic needs.

Why do I want to talk about sex again here? Well, few days ago I went for Voluntary Counseling Test (VCT) HIV at Ruang Carlo, St. Carolus Hospital. It  is not that I am playing with my genital uncontrollably but I miss to have a discussion with HIV consular about sexual health awareness. It has been for ages since the last time I did it (getting myself tested and having discussion about sexual health awareness).

This …. somehow brought back the memories to my days in  Yogyakarta. Once in three months, two of my best gay friends and I always went for a regular HIV VCT  in PKBI Badran, Yogyakarta.

I vividly remember when  I did the HIV VCT for the first time in 2007. The consular asked me what I would do if somehow the test result came up positive? I must say that it was a really good question! I was confused, I did not know what to say because I was not sure what I would do if the test result came up positive. “Well… I think I am gonna run away. I am gonna disappear but I don’t know where tho.” I said to the consular.

Anyhow, the regular HIV VCT has really created a sexual health awareness in myself and made me understand the important of latex a.k.a condom. For me as a woman, latex is not only to prevent pregnancy but more importantly to protect ourselves from sexual transmitted disease. Why? I’ll tell you why… it is because we never know how wild our sexual partner out there. They might claim to be loyal or have been using condom while fucking around but we never really know the truth. Would you trust them easily? No!

For me, the worst nightmare is having sexual transmitted disease such as Syphilis, Herpes, Hepatitis, Gonorrhoea and also HIV/AIDS. If you want to continue your life, you have to treat those disease. Trust me, it is not gonna be fun at all because you have the obligation to be discipline in taking medication and seeing the doctor.

Anyway, I don’t find talking about sex openly in public is taboo. It actually helps me to create sexual health awareness between me and my friends to remind each other the importance of safe sex. As many of us might have been aware that we cannot  go around fire expecting not to sweat especially when latex is not one of your best friend.

But ay…. HIV/AIDS  or some sexual transmitted disease is not only caused by playing around with your genital but also blood transfusion and also sharing unsterile needle.

So….. Do you play with your genitals a lot?  Do you have many sexual partners? And… have you ever got yourself tested? Well, if not…. get yourself tested buddy! Whatever the outcome of the test is, it is better to know earlier than later. Trust me! Don’t be afraid….

Ride the bus