Travel Therapy: Capetonians


Coming from Namibia where my last post was about how open my peers were about mental health issues and anxieties; I was expecting not much difference with the people I would be meeting in Cape Town. This was an error on my part. 

The truth of the matter is that it is quite a taboo subject over there. Now I could try and hypothesis about the history of South Africa and the affect it has had on all its people. But I am no historian and fear I won’t do it justice. So I shall merely discuss the people I met and issues they faced. 

From a Londoner’s point of view living in Cape Town is the dream, you have the city, you have the mountains, the beach and the great partying. But there is certainly a dark shadow that casts over the city. When talking to friends I had met, they too were facing the everyday struggles and anxieties we face but on a different scale. It would seem as a male you are not supposed to talk of your inner trials and tribulations, it comes across as weak. And as a woman it comes across unattractive to feel low/depressed. It almost felt like everyone needed to have this outer shell that showed their mates they were totally carefree and fun. 

I had a friend who got such bad depression/anxiety he couldn’t even get into his car. So secretly his mum took him to the doctors. He saw a therapist for a while, but told no one, knowing that if he did he would be judged and that certainly wouldn’t help his deeply low feelings. 

Unfortunately this isn’t a lone story, I’ve had friends dealing with bereavement, breakups, unemployment and all have the same underlying issue, seeking help was almost tougher than having to deal with the issue itself. I was trying to wrack my brain to see how my fellow peers could change this, how they could all learn to be more open/ accepting of these issues. Then I saw a feature on tv about the caravan man! 

This guy, a psychology student, wanted to raise awareness of the situation young Capetonians face and wanted to offer help. So he drives around in his multi coloured caravan offering insight into the situation and free therapy sessions. Whilst I’m very aware one caravan will certainly not cover the number of people out there needing help, it is certainly a great kick start into tackling this situation. 

Personally, I love the idea of bright colours and bringing positive vibes to people. Who knows I could be coming to an area near you with my multi coloured van! 

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Travel Therapy: Namibia Part 2- How The Other Half Live

Continuing upon my 3 week tour, I had the pleasure of meeting young like minded Namibians along the way. We all sat around, joked, drank and shared cool music from our countries. When the conversation turned to more serious matters (yes by me!) I was quite surprised with what I found. 

I guess what initially struck me was the very apparent disparity between the haves and have nots. As per my last post – without an offering of a welfare system, the poor people have limited to no help with mental health issues. However, with my new friends I discovered any kind of therapy they needed was right there to be experienced for a certain price of course. I thought being a third world country they may not have access to CBT, NLP or any other dynamic approach to psychotherapy, I was wrong. There were many trained therapists in Namibia. 

But what they all seemed to share was the apparent speed in which they had been prescribed anti-depressants. My first question was to ask why a lot of them needed/wanted to go to therapy in the first place. Funnily enough, it was similar reasons to my fellow peers in the UK- anxiety with what to do in life, depressed about who they were, too much recreational drug use and just an overwhelming question of who they were and where they fitted in. 

I understand there is certainly a place for anti-depressants, and indeed have some friends who have needed them. But to be sat in a group and told about the frequency of how many times they have been prescribed meds, seemed a bit odd to me. 

It was clear the majority of them felt the anti-depressants were turning them into zombies and not actually solving their issues. Instead, they’ve learnt to talk to each other. This includes men, I could be making a generalisation here but I would go so far as to say that Namibian men (of a certain background) are a lot more content about sharing their feelings, being open and asking each other for help. Indeed aside from that, what I found totally refreshing was how open both men and women were to these kinds of topics; I even witnessed how healing it was to be in a large group where everyone felt comfortable enough to share their thoughts. 

This is something I shall try to bring back to the UK with me. So be ready everyone – group sharing shall be coming to a place near you soon 😬

Ever feel like your other half doesn’t quite get you? Or you sometimes don’t get them?

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You often feel that you’re living on a completely different planet to them, it’s as if you’re always doing more for them or that they simply don’t listen when you bang on about what it is you need to feel happy.

I’ve been reading this book The 5 Languages of Love. The idea is that we all have a language of love but when you’re in a relationship it is often the case that you don’t share the same language. In order to understand your other half better and for them to understand you, you need to know what both your languages are and what it is that makes you/ them feel loved. Once you’ve nailed this, you’ll be well on your way to a balanced/equal relationship.

The languages are:

Quality Time

  • This is actually spending time with them, not in front of the TV or at the cinema, but doing an activity one on one where you are sharing a quality experience. Apparently it’s at its best when you’re doing an activity that they love and know you don’t love as much, but appreciate you doing it for them. Beware, if it turns out they love S&M and want to chain you up and whip you, and you don’t feel too good about this, you don’t have to do it.

Acts of Service

  • When they do something for you that they know will make a big difference to you. Such as taking the bins out, giving a blow job, or making the bed. These things are not something they enjoy doing, but they know it makes a difference to you so they do it for you.

Physical Touch

  • In bed snuggles, public displays of affection (not groping in public, just holding hands perhaps), concentrating more on foreplay then getting their rocks off. Or agreeing to sex at least once a week.

Gifts

  •  Yup that’s right, some people feel loved when they’re given gifts. This can be anything from a new Chanel bag or simply to a stone you found on the beach you walked on together or even a book that they thought you’d love to read because you’re so into global warming.

Words of affirmation

  • This is telling them how good they are, randomly telling them that you love them, complimenting them, and encouraging them in whatever they want to do, not what you want them to do though. This should be done daily, not once in a blue moon.

Take the quiz to find out your language. In the next blog I will be going into each language and giving examples of how you can talk yours to them and vice versa.

QT: How Many Dates Should You Have Before You Do The Deed?

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Question Time: The age old question of how long one should wait until you seal the deal. If you do it too quickly will you look too easy, will the guy be put off, will he simply dump and run? But also a lady has needs too, and it’s hardly like we are expected to be virgins before we marry. So what is the right answer that will give you what you need and also help you keep your man?

Some people say after 3 dates the acceptable time arises. Others say they prefer to do every base apart from sex for at least 8 dates!

Answer: You must look at it in 2 ways. Firstly, if you know you’re one of those girls who bones and falls in love immediately (slash becomes obsessive and crazy jealous) then you must hold off, in fact don’t invest your time in a man, buy a vibrator, much easier for you emotionally.

For the rest of us, I would say 3 dates is the perfect time. The fact is, you can really get on well with someone, but if there isn’t any sexual chemistry then you need to know sooner rather than later. Every lady has needs, and they need to be met, we aren’t just some holes for them to enjoy themselves with. In terms of going down, that’s more a relationship vibe, lord knows where he was the night before and you’re considering putting your mouth around it??? NO NO NO, Genital Warts + Mouth = ruined for life!

Lesson to Learn: Know yourself well enough to know what you can handle, if once you have sex you expect to marry the guy, then you wait (or perhaps see a therapist because hunni it sounds like you’re a bunny boiler), however if you’re more aware and wanting your own needs met, then crack on, sex first, rest comes later.

QT: How Do I Make It More Serious With Him Without Actually Having To Ask?

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Question Time: You’ve been dating this guy for a while now, you both seem equally into each other, but he hasn’t made that next step to make things more official. Does he see this as just a bit of fun? Is he still dating others? How do you find out where you stand without having to embarrass yourself and ask directly?

Answer: You never want to show your cards first, in fact with men the best way to get what you want is to be as indirect as humanly possible, but still lead the situation. So Get To Work!

First off you must continue the ‘cool, sexy, fun girl’ attitude, don’t start getting all clingy or moody, that certainly isn’t going to help trap him down. Then after a mind blowing night of fun, you check your phone in the morning and giggle to yourself. Turn to him pretending to look slightly awkward, and say that this guy has just messaged you wanting to take you out. You in fact aren’t that interested and you’re really enjoying your time with him, but you don’t want to put all your eggs into one basket, and if he isn’t on the same wave length that’s fine, you just wanted to make sure you weren’t being unfair to him as that isn’t your style.

Like clock work, the simmer of jealousy will turn to the boil, no way does he want someone else taking you on, especially after the night you just gave him. And voila, you have both just agreed to be exclusive.

Lesson To Learn: Don’t ask for what you want, men are like chess pieces, if you move them around appropriately you will not only end up winning but also still manage to keep that cool, chilled girl persona you worked so hard to build.

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QT: I’ve Met Him Through A Dating App, Will People Judge Me If I Tell The Truth?

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Question Time: You’ve met one of the dreamiest men and things are going pretty strong. However, the more you take him to mates parties the more the question arises of ‘soooooo how did you meet?’ You think that everyone will judge you for not being able to get a man the good old fashion way. Doesn’t online dating wreak of desperation? Surely there’s something wrong with you?  Do you come up with a lie to satisfy their needs of knowing, or tell the truth and risk everyone disowning you as a friend?

Answer: If your mates are that shallow, then the question should really be: should I sack them as mates??? Fact is, society has changed greatly and everything is online; we shouldn’t be ashamed of it, in fact people who can’t use digital should be disowned and sent back to the ice ages. What’s the difference between meeting someone online and meeting someone when you’re completely wasted at a party, surely the online one is better as at least you’re making a sober decision?

Lesson To Learn: If anyone chucks it at you about online dating, you simply ask them ‘oh were you kept up all night by your man too? Oh no you didn’t, shame, guess that’s what happens when you go for boring men to simply fit into the group…. At least with my one, we know we have the same passions (in and out of bed).

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QT: Everyone’s Getting Married, Where Does That Leave Me?

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Question Time: I’m in my late 20s and it feels like everyone is getting married and settling down to grownup life, but I’m no where near that, I’m not even sure what I’m doing in life? Cue anxiety and fear of being left behind….

From your smug friends who have just got engaged (you truly are happy for them but that doesn’t discount that they’re smug) to the ones who are popping out tiny humans. You start to get panicked, what if it will never happen to you? What if you never meet the perfect man, or what if the man you’re with isn’t 100% right? Will you ever have kids???

Tip: This is the time you need to stop, take a breathe and actually see the good points in your life. Don’t panic rush into a bad relationship or panic rush out of a good one, just WAIT. Remember the pros and cons list in previous blogs, write one of these. What’s great about your life and what could you change/tweak? Focus on those, not on everyone else’s lives and dreams, they’re theirs, not yours. You may have a bucket list to tick off before settling down, do it now, this is your time! Maybe you want to experience an Italian stallion or a silver fox once in your life, go go go because as you get older, these types won’t fancy you so much.

Lesson to Learn: With age gravity pulls everything down, and you’re still young and pert so crack on, time is running out to have this fun. Time isn’t running out to settle down and have babies, when you do meet the love of your life they’ll love you no matter how saggy your boobs are. So then you can look back at your life and feel content that you have truly lived it to the full before embarking on being a grown up.

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QT: Am I That Into Him?

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Question Time! Time has flown by and would seem that you’ve nearly got yourself into a relationship, but there’s a niggling feeling that you’re just not completely into him. With previous relationships you wanted to rip their clothes off, you thought of them all the time, you couldn’t even muster the will to eat if you hadn’t heard from him for one day. But this guy, well nothing seems to faze you, if you don’t see him for a week you’re not starving to death, if he doesn’t message for two days you hadn’t even noticed. What does this mean? Does it mean you should stop it now as it clearly isn’t going anywhere or do you continue going hoping that maybe one day you’ll become obsessed with him, love does grow and that?

Fact: You are merely talking about the difference between lust and love. One is a dangerous passion that has a clear ending point, the other is a mature and real life situation. Lust brings you crazy sex, deep feelings of obsession, jealousy and sometimes self hatred. Love offers you someone that equally feels as you do, someone who is there to grow with you and make you be the best you can be (if you think you’re in love and you don’t experience the above then GET OUT NOW).

So in short, if you question your potential new relationship by comparing it to previous lustful ones, it never stands a chance and nor do you for real found happiness.

Lesson to Learn: Everyone should experience lust once in their lives, it would be criminal not to. But when it comes down to it, the thing we all seek is love; a best friend, a partner in crime and a lover all in one. If you’re missing the insane sex part, revert back to: Where Has The Honeymoon Gone for inspiration, or failing that a glass of wine and rabbit time.

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QT: When Is It Acceptable To Show Him What Truly Lays Underneath?

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Question Time! You’ve been on quite a few dates, and you’re both really enjoying each other’s company. But you can’t help let some of your anxieties/jealous tendencies creep out. You know the ones, checking who he has recently befriended on FB, being slightly annoyed if he has partied until 7am (who was he with?!?!), him not messaging on a night out or even him choosing to see mates over you (aren’t you supposed to be the only one he wants to see right now!) You can tell it bums him out but you feel you’re close enough to share these feelings and if he really liked you, he would understand where you’re coming from…..

Answer: HOLD IT DOWN. Under no circumstances do you unleash any side of you that does not consist of fun, chilled, cool, sweet, sexy… The inner layer that we all have, some more severe than others (if yours is really bad – check out my therapy page) has to be kept under wraps until we know he has well and truly fallen for you. Don’t fool yourself that you’re there, if you’re not. When he declares his love for you (not during sex) then you’re there!

Lesson to Learn: It’s like catching a fish, if they wriggle too much some of them can break free, but if they’re well and truly caught, they’re not going anywhere.

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Not Meeting Anyone New??

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It’s got to that time in life, where you’re juggling work, mates, family, hangovers and quite simply you’re not doing anything new or cool to meet new people, more importantly to meet new lovers. Same old shit just a different day. You waste time bitching that you’re stuck in a rut but yet don’t actually do anything to get out of it.

It’s all very well us being SO busy, our diaries are just SO booked up and there’s never enough time to see mates. Well there’s simple ways around this.

  1. Introduce your mates to each other, so when you need to see them and catch up you can do it en mass, taking up just one of your precious evenings not the whole week.
  2. Round the troops, not the boring troops, the ones you know who are up for anything single or taken.
  3. Bring cool ideas to the table, if you’re a Westsider jet off to East and grab some edgy shit. If you’re a Southerner bring the team North and find some hidden door to a mysterious bar where no one is cool but everyone thinks they’re cool and get it on.
  4. Realise you live in one of the coolest cities, and to say you’re bored in it, deserves a slap.

Lesson to Learn: This is our hay day, our moment, the time we can fuck it and be free, so what you waiting for….

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