If you find yourself feeling upset and violated enough to be googling “was I raped?” at 2am, the chances are you probably already know the answer to that.

He is naked and on top of me, and I am saying, no, you’re not wearing a condom, you need to stop.

He doesn’t stop.

I keep asking him to stop.

He whispers in my ear: It’s ok, I won’t come inside of you.

As if my only concern right now is getting pregnant.

I lay there thinking, is this rape? Am I being raped?

I don’t struggle. I don’t shout. I am terrified if I do this, he will do something that makes it unequivocally rape.

This is not “rape” as it is depicted in mainstream media. It started…

This morning, I reached the milestone of 500 consecutive days of meditation. Yes, ok I am showing off a little bit — I’m proud of that achievement.

In the last 500 days I have spent more than 280 hours meditating. This was not my first rodeo though; I had previously meditated every day for a year, and then purposefully stopped meditating every day because I found that keeping count of how many days I had meditated meant that sometimes I was meditating only to keep that streak going.

Last September, I decided to give it another go. I figured that…

When someone has hurt you, it can be tempting to hold feelings of anger and resentment — perhaps even revenge. But perhaps you could forgive them instead.

We have all been in situations where someone’s words or actions have hurt us. That could be something large or relatively small; it could have been physical or emotional. Whatever the details, everyone knows what it feels like to be hurt. And we all know that this can leave us feeling angry and resentful long after the incident is over.

Whilst it can feel like we are entirely justified in our anger and misery, it doesn’t really do us any good. In fact, there’s that well used, usually mis-attributed quote, Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the…

Mental health is being discussed more and more in the mainstream in recent years, and the discussion has widened so that it’s not only for people who have “serious problems.” More and more people are beginning to realise that you don’t need to have a diagnosed mental health condition in order to prioritise taking care of your mental health. In fact, much as we all need to look after our physical health, mental health is something everyone needs to be aware of. Actually, the two are linked.

Taking care of your mental health is not only about taking big steps…

In the UK we are now in our third lockdown — and this one is during the winter, a time when a lot of us can struggle with our moods anyway. I decided early on that I would need to do as much as I could in order to safeguard my mental health in order to keep plodding through this very unusual time.

Here are the things I’m doing to take care of my mental health during lockdown:

Move your body

Yes, ok I know everyone bangs on about exercise but honestly, it does help. I find that if I have done some…

When was the last time you walked barefoot on the grass?

I posted on Instagram recently about how grounding is important when in the middle of a global pandemic — but as I was writing the caption for my image I realised I had a lot more to say on the matter — and so I decided to write a blog post.

Walking barefoot is good for us in so many different ways. When we lived in a flat with no garden I would make sure to find a park to visit as often as possible so that I could put my feet in the grass. Now that we have a…

Recovering from a nervous breakdown is a long process. When you’re stuck in the midst of it, it can feel like there is no way back to normality, and nothing will ever be the same again.

I had a nervous breakdown in 2010, and for the first weeks I was unable to concentrate on anything for long enough to even consider reading. As I began to recover though, I began to read more again. I realised that although medication would get me up and moving, able to perform basic daily tasks, anything more than that was down to me. …

Things have been fairly strange for everyone lately, but any time of stress or uncertainty can take its toll on our mental health. Now more than ever, it’s really important to keep an eye on our wellbeing and to do what we can to protect our mental health.

Here are some tips for protecting your mental health during hard times

Many of these tips are taken from a series of videos I created entitled “Tips for surviving social isolation.” If you would like to watch the whole series of 18 videos, take a look at the video section of my Facebook page or my IGTV channel.

Routine is Key

It sounds so boring to say…

I recently finished reading this book by Bronnie Ware; she was a nurse caring for people at the end of their lives, and wrote this book listing the top five things most of her clients said they regretted. The book is about so much more than that, and definitely worth a read.

For me, reading about what people wish they’d done differently serves as a good cautionary tale, and has made me think about the way I’m living my life right now… Will I regret some of my choices when I reach the end of my life?

There are five key things people say they regret as they reach the end of their life:

1: I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

The thing is…

Like anything, being a single parent has its good points and its not-so-good points. For me, it’s just my life. I don’t often sit and think about how hard it is, or I would never make it out of bed in the mornings!

For the most part, I just get on with it. My daughter’s father left when she was around 3 weeks old so really, being a single parent is the only experience of parenthood I have had. I think this is actually a good thing for me as I have nothing to compare it to. …

Vicky Charles (Single Mother Ahoy)

Single mother; blogger; all round good egg. Survivor of several things, many of which are written about here.

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