“I’ve always suffered with anxiety. My Mum has told me the various things I used to do when I was a little girl due to it, most of which were probably a little odd to others eyes and not the behaviour of the average child. When I was in Year Two my school teacher made me so anxious my Mum had to stay in my room every night until I fell asleep, so it’s always been something I’ve lived with in varying degrees since I’ve been small.
Most of my life through to my early 20s I muddled on with it, not really knowing what it was or understanding it fully. It wasn’t until my mid-twenties when it really hit and I had to face it and deal with it for what it was – debilitating. Due to some not very nice life stuff happening I became depressed and with it my anxiety sky rocketed. I finally went to the Doctors and was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. I began taking medication and started to cope a little better as each day passed. Then in my late 20s I started a new job, which unfortunately triggered another dip in my mental health. Varying reasons were involved but it ended up with me being signed off work unable to go back due to the severity of my anxiety. It was at this point that I knew I needed something else to help me climb out and this is when I began therapy. I whole heartedly believe that therapy saved me and changed me. It made me more aware of my feelings and behaviour patterns, as well as being able to see the possible reasons for other people’s actions. I think the best way of describing it is that it made me more in tune with myself. I still suffer with anxiety quite badly and have had a few extremely difficult periods with it since, but therapy gave me the awareness and tools to better cope with these feelings and for that I am forever grateful.
It was therapy that helped me start the work I do now as a writer/designer. After my sessions I would come home and write down the things I was learning and the things I needed to remember. I found it was not only helpful, but also cathartic. I’ve always had a need to be creative and this was giving me the perfect outlet. I began posting them to my Instagram and other people began to connect with them too and basically I haven’t stopped since.”
You can follow Jess on her Instagram.
We are so excited for our segment called Meet the Mental Health Artist where we will share a story from a Mental Health Artist, where you’ll hear about their journey, how they got to where they are now and how creating (whether through music, graphic design, writing, painting etc) has helped/helps them through different mental health issues.
As well as this, we will have IG Stories Takeover in the week of when their story goes up with each artist, where you will be able to see more of what they get up to/behind the scenes, ASK any questions you may have about their creative media/work/inspirations/healing etc & get answers from them and generally, find out more about them, what they do and tips they have for maintaining their mental health.
Jess will be doing an Instagram Story Takeover on the 24th of March on our Instagram account, so make sure to tune into our stories that day – and if you miss it, you will be able to catch up with it in our Highlights on Instagram.