With March being Bisexual Health Awareness Month, I’ve not only been excited, but I’ve been more cognizant of my own health and what I can do to improve it in my everyday life. Recently, my boyfriend and I have a booked a summer trip to Austin, Texas to meet some cool internet people we follow and I realized today I wanted to get in shape for this trip. Luckily enough, we had already planned a grocery store trip and I was going to strive to buy healthier food. On the exercise side of things, we’ve already been going on more walks. When I’m feeling ready, I hope to put some real work into the gym. By feeling “ready”, I mean mentally. Now I’m not a big gal, but I’m definitely not a super healthy weight for my height either. However, I do suffer from depression and anxiety as well and I’ve noticed one of my triggers is not being “good enough” at the gym. Meaning, not being consistent enough, not doing enough work, and eventually giving up due to these insecurities. It’s silly and I know I’m beating myself, but I want to make sure I am ready to be kind to myself mentally before I fully commit to the physical part. Part of that is starting small by diet changes, not a full diet, and going on walks. Which is exercise, but not as vigorous as gym time in my opinion. I hoping more walks and less naps will promote my physical well-being and my mental well-being for confidence in myself to keep working towards a better me.
While reading up and researching resources for Bi-Health Month, I found an interesting article from the Human Rights Campaign about health disparities for bisexual individuals. According to the studies that they cite, bisexual women have a higher rate of cancer, heart disease, and obesity than heterosexual women and just women overall. A lot of this comes from a lack of preventative care necessary to treat these health issues.
On the mental health side, the studies show even more disparities. The guide quotes a study as, “…bisexuality [being] delegitimized by negative stereotypes, such as ‘bisexuality doesn’t exist as a sexual orientation,’ ‘bisexuals are sexually promiscuous,’ and ‘bisexuals are confused.’ [Also] that heterosexual , gay, and lesbian individuals may all have negative attitudes towards bisexuality, indicating that bisexual individuals face double discrimination”. Biphobia and erasure is something every bisexual individual faces and its negative effects definitely contribute to our mental health, issues, and risks. Compared to lesbian and heterosexual women, bisexual women have much high rates to abuse alcohol and drugs, have health related issues due to this substance abuse, and have a higher rate to consider suicide if they are not open about their bisexuality.
Considering this statistics, I want to be careful about my own bi-health. At the moment, I do not have the resources for mental health therapy, but I am aware of my triggers, practice self-care, and know when to give myself a break when I need it. I know I cannot win everyday and part of that is being at peace with this possibility. I am ready to grow into the person I need to be. Part of that is the physical changes I need to make and the other part is the mental challenges I will face everyday. I’m hoping to learn more about myself in #20BiTeen because I’m convinced it is my year.