Agony! Mental Health at Work, Mystery Boxers & Drunken Advances

Asifa Lahore

Vada’s Agony Aunt, Asifa Lahore, takes on this week’s reader strife with the message: talking helps, shutting up doesn’t. Mental Health at Work, Mystery Boxers & Drunken Advances


I’ve had a rough year and it’s taken its toll on my mental health. I put on a brave face but inside I’m really struggling. I’m a long-term temp at work so they can get rid of me really easily. I’m scared of showing weakness at work, although I have a couple of times, and I’m scared of it marking me out as the weak link. I’ve spoken to my manager about it once but I feel like it’s changed the way they see me. I can’t afford to lose the job, but I’m really struggling here. What should I do?

This sounds like a very tough situation to be in. Nobody wants to lose their livelihood during hard economic times and worrying about this leads to constant anxiety and stress. You did the right thing by talking to your manager as it was important to make your feelings clear. I think you should be brave and bring up the conversation again as your mental health is important in the long run. My aunty Fatima from Bradford always tells me that a clear mind leads to a better life and I’m passing on this advice to you. See whether counseling is available through your work place. If not contact a charity called Mind who will point you in the right direction. Lastly when you feel you are able to work again, think about applying for a permanent position as the financial stability may lead to less stress in the future. Good luck and sip lots of Chamomile!

I live with my boyfriend and found some boxers in the bedroom that I didn’t recognise. They don’t seem new and I’m suddenly doubting everything. Am I being a bit intense? How do I work out whose they are? 

First of all, take a deep breath. You obviously feel deeply for your boyfriend so I’m going to make this simple. Talk to him. Your mind will play all sorts of tricks on you and you will tell yourself all sorts of stories so bite the bullet and just ask him. Chances are that there is an innocent explanation. Take some time to reflect on your relationship. It seems to me you may have trouble with trusting him. By communicating your thoughts on a regular basis and listening to his needs, trust can be nurtured and built over time but you will not know until you ask him. Be bold, be a man and go for it!

Hi Asifa! every time my friend gets drunk they come onto me. I just don’t want to go there, but don’t want to crush them and ruin a friendship. How should I play it?

Vada readers seem to have a big problem with conversation this week. Guys, it’s all about TALKING! Be honest with your friends. If they are making you feel uncomfortable with their approaches then simply tell them where the boundaries lie in your friendship. If you can’t quite find the courage then privately message via social media. I’m intrigued to hear that they hit on you only when alcohol is involved. It would be a good idea to address this away from environments where alcohol comes into play. Friends are a vital part of life and you’ll need to rely on them through the ups and downs that it can bring. Be honest about your feelings and let me know how you get on.

About Asifa Lahore

Asifa Lahore is a British Asian drag artist. She hosts and DJs at two of London’s most successful LGBT World Music nights, Club Urban Desi and Disco Rani. A fully out and proud British Muslim, Asifa is a pioneering figure within the gay Asian community and one of the new generation of drag queens on the London circuit.