Review: Amy Vreeke: The Year My Vagina Tried to Kill Me

In total seven women from Keele went to see the fantastic Amy Vreeke’s show. Two at Friday’s show and five of us on the Saturday.

It was bloody fantastic (pun intended)

The one-woman show by stand-up comedian and theatre maker Amy Vreeke was absolutely brilliant and had the audience roaring with laughter.

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Punctuating great parts of comedy where Amy relived failed one-night stands, pants ruined, and calculated that she spent £7,500 extra on maintaining her vulva instead of a second hand Volvo she could have had for the same price,  the show also had more serious, emotive parts exploring misdiagnosis, painful sex, the person she was as she tried to handle it all.

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She was diagnosed with endometriosis in 2016 but it took 10 years of her presenting with many symptoms to many different medical professionals.

It took judgemental looks and suggestions that her lifestyle choices were less than ideal.

It took her concerns being ignored and her voice being silenced.

This show is a must see, follow her career, she is a talented lady.

Go and understand more about a disease that affects 1 in 10 women in the U.K. and do it in a way that has the entire audience laughing and learning together.

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Read on for some reviews by a few of the women of Keele who also went.

Phuong Thanh Bui: I have never had a chance to watch such an amazing show ‘The year my vagina tried to kill me’ by a talented actress Amy Vreeke.

This show was the combination of art, comedy, gender equality and women hygiene, and it was highly inspiring for me.

The idea to normalize the natural behaviour of women that society cannot talk about that easily while it is part of women nature and it is beneficial for women was highly appreciated for me and I think this show was a good introduction to make this goal a reality.

Sarah Briggs: Amy’s show explored the frustrations and misinformation around endometriosis with a refreshing frankness laced with skeptical humour that was effective at highlighting that sufferers are not alone, whilst raising the crucial and unacceptable truth that more conversations around chronic health conditions are needed to combat the misinformation that is so prevalent.

Amy’s wit and energy certainly achieved her objective to make a difference to people, whether as women affected by endometriosis or as friends, partners, or relatives in a way that a bathbomb and chocolate just can’t.

It was refreshing to laugh with others with tears in my eyes instead of feel like crying with frustration over a bowl of cereal…

How to make an emergency self-care box 🌻

Life is hard.

While we may be working like robots and juggling all that is thrown at us, we must to stop and breathe every once and a while.

Some of us are suffering in silence and because of that, our suffering, strengths, battles, hard-work and resilience go unseen and sometimes uncredited.

The topic for this month at W.O.K.E is the following:

“November 2018: Welcoming writing around the topics of challenges faced & visibility of Trans and Non-Binary people; anti-bullying and workplace bullying; unseen, unvalued & unpaid labour; carers and the pressures they face” (W.O.K.E, 2018)

The one thing which unites these topics is invisibility.

Not being acknowledged or appreciated can be detrimental to our mental health and in turn, we can forget to love ourselves, care for ourselves and take a moment to reward ourselves for what we know that we have achieved.

As this is often the case, I have created a step-by-step guide to create an affordable emergency self-care box for either yourself or for anyone in your life that you think is in need of some T.L.C. and recognition!

 

After all, WE ARE ALL WORTHY OF SELF-LOVE AND APPRECIATION.

 

(Disclaimer: While I have tried my best to find the cheapest way to create a self-care box, I understand that not all of us have money to spare. So if you do not, I suggest you write a letter to remind them of their achievements, their strength and their worth! You can can also do this to yourself as a reminder to look after and appreciate yourself even when you are running out of self-belief)

 

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So here’s how I made my self-care box:

YOU WILL NEED:

  • A box (or a spare cardboard box that you can wrap up with old wrapping paper and maybe decorate)
  • Small candle/reed diffuser
  • Origami paper
  • Origami instructions
  • Paper of any kind
  • Pen
  • Very small plant
  • Sticky note
  • Sheet mask/face mask

CREATE (AND DECORATE THE BOX)

To do this you can either buy a box from discount stores like Poundland, Home Bargains or Card Outlet for £1 or less.

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Or you can use a cardboard box and cover it with old wrapping paper!!!

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In order to make things easier for you to make your own self-care box, I have split the following sections into 4 self-care objectives for the contents of the box:

  1. Creating a calm space
  2. Distracting the mind
  3. Feeling loved and appreciated
  4. Remembering to look after yourself

STEP ONE: CREATING A CALM SPACE

The space around us can often dictate our moods which is why creating a tranquil environment is so important.

To do this add a small candle (or a reed diffuser if you or your friend live in a property in which they are not allowed to light candles).

I found the smallest ones pictured in THE CANDLE SHOP in Newcastle-under-Lyme town centre for £1.90. The second largest ones were in PRIMARK for £1, and the largest one was in HOME BARGAINS for £3. The reed diffuser was also £3 from HOME BARGAINS.

STEP TWO: DISTRACTING THE MIND

It can be hard to find a hobby and it can seem impossible to find time to do something for fun.

So add something to the box that will offer something fun and creative.

I choose to add origami paper from AMAZON for around £5 for 100 sheets and I printed out instructions that I found online at http://www.origami-instructions.com/

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STEP THREE: FEELING LOVED AND APPRECIATED

Make it personal! Everyone is different and everyone needs to hear different things in regards to support and reassurance.

So if you can, write a small letter to yourself or to your friend, so they can have a friendly reminder of how much they are loved and appreciated even when times aren’t so great.

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Place this letter where you will see it every day!!!

STEP FOUR: REMEMBERING TO LOOK AFTER YOURSELF

If you can’t get a pet, get a plant!

When life is hectic we can often forget to do the little things like drink, eat, get enough sleep etc. but having the responsibility to look after something else can often help remind us to look after ourselves.

To do this, add a small plant to the box and add a sign to it (a sticky note or something similar) to remind yourself or someone else to water the plant but also to drink themselves!!! I found this plant for £1 at MORRISONS.

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Another idea is to add something so the receiver can pamper themselves when times are tough.

I chose to add sheet face-masks which I found cheap at TK MAXX, PRIMARK and MORRISONS.

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Finally: PACK THE BOX!!

 I hope this ‘how-to’ has given you some ideas on how to spread love and appreciation to those who need it (including yourself). 

FINAL DISCLAIMER: This kit is not at all a trivialisation of mental health in any way. If you or anyone you know is in need of emergency mental health support please contact the helplines suggested through this link: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mental-health-helplines/

If you make a self-care box for yourself or a friend, why not tweet us or Instagram a photo and tag us?

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