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For Black Women Who Are Used To Prioritising Others, What We Need Is To Reclaim Our Autonomy

There was a defining moment for me – well, actually, three – when I realised things needed to change.

I was ploughing through as I always did as a Black woman and the only girl in my family. Pushing through against all odds, ignoring red flags with health, working, running the household, in caring roles, being all things to everyone at the expense of self was what I had always seen role-modelled by the Black women around me. I, in turn, learned to push through no matter what, to not let anyone know I was hurting.

But the culmination of a bereavement, a high speed car accident, racism at work and infertility woes meant my body and mind was having none of it. I hit breaking point. Everything in my body said enough. It floored me, metaphorically and physically.

This was six years ago and I’ve been very intentional about how I take better care of myself ever since. Practising self-autonomy has been key to this.