Last week Dr Marjorie started this conversation and today we continue the episode.
The Sickle Cell Community Consortium powers the Vitamin SC3 podcast. This new broadcast features different weekly themes for the sickle cell community, their families, supporters, healthcare workers, and allies. Each week, episodes of the Vitamin SC3 Podcast will air with a different theme in mind.
Today's show is hosted by Dr. Marjorie Brewer who spoke to us about mental health on her segment Self-care is Healthcare.
Dr. Brewer's guest today is Ayoola Ogunyimika also known as Her Silence. Ayoola is a self titled artist, poet, writer, and extraordinary creative, She loves using her artistic abilities to express herself. Ayoola chose “Her Silence” as her poet name because she speaks from a place of solitude. Her Silence is a poet born from the trauma of complacency. Her Silence no longer allows the wavering doubt that has filled her head to stop her from speaking words of love, demise, acceptance, and control through poetic catharsis.
Ayoola's experience as a Nigerian first-daughter fuels her art, which has been instrumental in her growth as a creative. Àdùkẹ́ Adé or AA are her art tags which bares the same name as her art business. Àdùkẹ́ means a daughter we love to cherish/pamper, and Adé relates to royalty/the crown. Her goal is to find creative autonomy in her holistic mediums as an Art Therapist with a speciality in Narrative Medicine.
Dr. Brewer and Ayoola touched on some important topics such as:
- Going on a self-healing and self-care journey as a young adult in college (Timestamp 7:23)
- How has accessing your voice can have a positive impact on you as a person? (Timestamp 21:00)
- Learning how ask questions and speak up for yourself. Sometimes doctors are only looking at your lab work so sometimes you will have to educate them. (Timestamp 22:00)
- Learn to be responsible for yourself and honor yourself during hospital stays (Timestamp 26:15)
- Building community with hospital staff (Timestamp 28:00)
From Her Silence
I hide all my prose in my gap
Griot like my two front teeth
All my pain lays dormant beneath my tongue
For that I am grateful my stories keep a song in my mouth
You know me by my vulnerability, admire me for my strength, why shall I fear this blood I did not choose, why would I gift myself shame I did not inherit. My relationship with my body is and has been very dysphoric. I have HbSC and my body has survived many hurricanes and tsunamis and the shifts of the earth beneath my feet. Because this genetic blood disorder causes me almost daily pains and more frequent medical crises, I’ve learned how to grow and nurture a relationship with my body. I remember almost every Sickle Cell crisis I’ve ever had in detail. I think there’s this grieving process we don’t allow ourselves when living with our bodies. When I became intentional with mine everything changed, and that alone is scary. The thing about chronic illness is, it’s on a timeline that forces you to change your daily routine and relearn your body. Something about the process of recovering from the hospital is so empty and lonely. You have to relearn how to feel at home and safe in your body along with allowing yourself grace. Now how do you do that? Having a level of respect for yourself that you didn’t before, to begin, and admiring your ability to get things done alone while being carried on the back of your community. Community support is so important to me because I am a pouring faucet, more times than not I have to stop the flooding and allow others to pour into me as well. When my community herds around me, I am protected, abundant, and grateful. I am a vase, passionate about the emotional, mental, & physical healing work for black individuals living with Sickle Cell. I create to survive, to allow my bones some catharsis; I fell inlove with the need to express my creative mind at a young age. I thank that little black girl for the warrior spirit she had to keep going and harness the healing vitality of movement through prayer, poetry, art, dance, sound, and love.
Her Silence is a published poet that was born from the trauma of complacency. I chose Her Silence as my poet’s name because she speaks from a place of solitude. I am a prolific artist, poet, singer, writer, and overall creative who centers healing and Sickle Cell advocacy within my differing creative mediums. My experiences as a Nigerian first-daughter fuel my art, which has been instrumental to my growth as a creative. Àdùkẹ́ Adé or AA are my art tags which bares the same name as my art business. Àdùkẹ́ means a daughter we love to cherish/pamper, and Adé relates to royalty/the crown. My goal is to find creative autonomy in my holistic mediums as an Art Therapist with a speciality in Narrative Medicine.
Follow Ayoola's journey and artwork:
Her Silence is on Instagram @artby_ayoThe next episode of the Vitamin SC3 Podcast drops next Monday
Please tune in next week for a new episode we will be hearing part 2 of the Self-care is Healthcare segment with Dr. Brewer and Ayoola.
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