Dr. Anisa Shomo. Photo provided

Dr. Anisa Shomo

Cervical Cancer Thriver/Teal Warrior

Herald Beauty Contributor

I often empathize with The Color Purple quote from Miss Sophia played by Oprah Winfrey: “all my life I had to fight”

To achieve my beautiful dream of becoming a physician, I had to fight: racism, sexism, classism, capitalism, ableism, Islamophobia and many other “isms and phobias.” People are often surprised by how much fight I have in me. People who don’t realize how much fight you have to have in you to survive harsh places like Cleveland, East Cleveland, and most places in America really. Fighting is often a means for survival.

Fighting is what my first business is about. Dr Shomo Knows started from a place of wanting to advocate and fight for under-resourced communities, such as the places I call home. However, I know that must balance fighting and recovery. You can’t fight all the time. It’s too traumatic. You need moments of recovery for healing. Find healing in whatever brings you joy on your worse day.

My second business, Health is Love, started from the place in the pandemic when I grew tired of fighting and leaned into my healing. I sought healing in utilizing constructive coping skills. When I am frustrated, I talk to someone; go for a run; or go to the boxing gym. On days when I am sad, I watch comedy shows or listen to music. When I am in a social mood, I host a book club. Constructive coping is important for survival because health is about healing from trauma. I understand this more than most people realize because, in addition to fighting systems of oppression, I fight against my genes. People in my family are prone to depression, anxiety, substance use problems, cancer, diabetes, heart attacks, and strokes.

My family history reminds me not to lose sight of this. Working as a physician in America you have to fight an internal battle between walking in your purpose and remembering that you are only one human. You cannot be consumed by your purpose. You must advocate for your own health as well. Most people can relate to this sentiment so I will rephrase and repeat: Fight for your health! Schedule yourself in your busy calendar!

Check out the Health is Love “14 Day Coping Skills” Course that includes 14 Coping Toolkits and a 14 Day Coping Skills Calendar. Website: www.HealthisLove.co

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