06 Sep What’s the deal with the Mental Health Prints?
Two years ago I got a diagnosis that changed my life. I had finally given in and gone to see a therapist. I was sitting in his office, a mess of tears and fear. Knowing there was something wrong, but not knowing how to explain it. All I knew is that it was a battle for me to get through the day. On the outside I was happy and fun, but on the inside I was constantly fighting my own brain.
“You have OCD”, he said. I was floored. I always thought people with OCD were super clean and afraid of germs. Definitely not me. Turns out, there are many kinds of OCD. The kind I had was a type of perfectionism, but more about making every moment the best possible moment. For example, I couldn’t just drive to the store. I had to find something on the radio that was meaningful to me and then I would purposefully think about something that I felt was accomplishing something. I couldn’t just “be”. Preparing to drive to the store could take 30-40 minutes. It was exhausting.
For years I felt like there was something wrong with me. WHY couldn’t I function like a normal person? Why was it SO hard to do simple things? I felt like I was battling myself every second of the day. After I was diagnosed with OCD, I was able to get proper treatment to combat it. Today it is WORLDS better. It’s always going to be there, but I’m able to fight against it so much more. I feel a freedom like I never knew I could have.
I know I’m not alone. I know there are millions of people out there with undiagnosed mental illnesses who feel alone and trapped. Who wonder why it’s so hard for them to just live their life. That every moment feels like a life or death battle in their brain. I feel for these people. My heart breaks for them when others tell them to “get over it because it’s just in their head.” For the men out there who are told to “suck it up” and ignore their feelings. These people are hurting, and could get SO much relief from a diagnosis and treatment.
Helping these people has become my goal in life. This is why I have a line of prints that are geared toward mental illness. This is why I donate part of my proceeds to Mental Health America, whose goal is to provide help for people with undiagnosed mental illnesses. Because there is a battle going on that nobody else can see. And it’s up to those of us who found a way out of the darkness to help spread the light. The other day a man bought my “if there is a way in there is a way out” print to give to a friend who was starting therapy. I was over the moon. THIS is why I do what I do. And I’m just starting out. I hope someday to have 100 prints that could provide some ounce of hope to people who are suffering. I feel like I’ve been given a gift of freedom and now it’s my responsibility to share it.
If you are suffering alone, make sure to get help. It’s out there, all you have to do is grab it.