It's so easy To shrug off the depression of others until you experience it yourself. I think I've heard it all from.. "you're just having a bad day" Or "what could possibly be so horrible in your life to make you this sad" When in reality, sometimes, it's nothing at all. Mine started at a young age. I was 11, the first time I ran away.
1 year almost to the day, after I was molested by a family member. (Family, now there's a funny word). Cue the first time I remember the darkness, the sadness, the heaviness. I was constantly told, I should have been a boy, by my father. Hello Shame, sorriness You see, I was pregnancy number 6 for them. All before me, boys! All but 1 (who is severely mentally challenged Aldo with cerebral) were born stillborn or passed of SIDS. And although I made it kicking and screaming into this world, sometimes I wished they had just let me go too.
I could do nothing right in my father's eyes, and mom was a typical 50's wife who didn't question what hubby said. By grade 8 I had already tried to commit suicide with pills, how I'm still here is a mystery. How I was able to make them believe I was just not feeling well, as I was beyond messed up on t3's x 100. (Eventually throwing up and sleeping) said so much to me. I have By 15 I was out of the house permanently. Still the darkness followed.
Not long before leaving home for good, I met a woman, who appeared to really want to help me. She seemed to care and it felt good. It felt real. Little did I know, I was being groomed for hers and her bfs adult friends. I was introduced to acid, pot, booze and sex. I was sent home one night, with one of their friends, who I was just introduced to that day. I still asked myself some days why the hell I went or participated, even though I know many years later I was a naive 15 year old who wanted to feel love so bad I was willing to talk myself into anything.
Through the years, I just learnt to "deal" with the darkness..to mask how I was feeling, because I was tired of trying to explain or better yet, defend my thoughts, my feelings. So I went to school, had relationships, raised kids but was never really fully present, as I didn't know who, what or how. I just went through the motions that were accepted by society. Because let's face it, in my 50 years and still today, mental health has such a stigma surrounding it, people are afraid to speak about it, for fear of being judged or having it used against them. Now don't get wrong, life isn't only filled with sadness and darkness, although some days it's hard to find light, it is there! It's always been there. Waiting, calling and waiting some more.
But once you find the strength to reach out for it, it's glorious. It proves that doom and gloom doesn't have to win. Life doesn't need to be filled with dread, worry, anger, sadness and even numbness. I mean, it's always going to be a part of me. How could it not, with everything I'd been through. At 28, I was diagnosed with bi polar and adhd and FINALLY, thongs started to make sense. The difference between life growing up, (which also includes my young adulthood right up to the here and now), and the present, is that..... I'VE learned to forgive myself and love ME. Read that again! I spent an entire lifetime chasing acceptance and love from anyone else, I forgot to learn to love me.
Once that became a part of my daily life, those crippling hands that held me back and kept me quiet, released their grip, became soft and caring. So please, reach out, to anyone! Seriously, if it takes talking to a complete stranger, to keep you here...DO IT IF you have no one to talk to, message me. I will talk to you for as long as it takes to help you get through but a dark moment.
Together we can all find our brightness, find the light outside of our own minds. So no matter what feeds your darkness, if we all step up, encourage, praise, build each other, we can crush the stigma. Let's do better before there's nothing better left.
#endthestigma #mentalhealth #depression #ptsd #bipolarar #bad #anxiety #ladyluckphotographystudio #ridgeway #forterie #mentalhealthmatters
From a young age, I grew up in a safe, loving home. Yet around me in the world outside my door, I was exposed constantly, to harassment. I was so used to having seeing men expose themselves to me, that I became afraid of the world. I was afraid to wear a dress. I hid my body behind baggy, men's clothes. One time in Mexico on a trip when I was 15, I was harassed so much I stopped wearing make up and doing my hair.
As time went on, I thankfully met some wonderful, respectful men who made me feel safe. Safe to be myself and express myself. I also did a lot of work therapy and work on healing my inner child.
Wearing this corset is my way of claiming my power. I wear this now after years of overcoming shame and guilt and fear. I wear it because I want to. Because I love leather and I want to be sexy and express myself. I'm holding my guitar and I feel powerful.
I wish for everyone that reads this to claim their power. Don't let anyone make you feel like you can't express your true self or be who you are. 🖤🤘🏻🤘🏻🤘🏻🤘🏻🤘🏻
I felt different from an early age. I felt things deeply and my thoughts were as reflective as the words I wrote in my childhood journals. Although I could easily shape shift my way through any situation, event, party, or circumstance, it always left me feeling less than, incomplete, and longing for something I couldn’t put my finger on.
I spent a good portion of my life wearing many masks. I had a mask for the various people groups I mingled with. I had a mask for any academic or professional room I walked into and I had a mask that I wore when I looked at myself in the mirror. This wasn’t because I was a manipulator or con artist, it was simply because I did not know who I was. I didn’t know who I was supposed to be because being the “me” I wanted to, didn’t seem to jive with what and who everyone else was being. Since I seemed to carry this weighted desire for external attention and approval, I mastered the ability to be what anyone else needed me to be.
I believe it is safe to say that many people spend their adolescence, early adulthood, and even mid-age not having any idea who they are. It seems to be the proverbial quest to be on a journey of discovering who we are, what our purpose is, and why we are here. Some people take it in stride yet others go to great lengths and voyage through internal muckiness to unearth the depths of who they are. I have rarely been able to take much of anything in stride so I chose the latter.
A decade of searching, healing, messing up, failing, regrouping, soaring, falling, and climbing has lead me to one very valuable conclusion and one simple yet frightening choice. I had to either evolve or I could repeat the same cycles that kept me chained to a version of myself I didn’t even like. In order to evolve into the fullness of who I am, I had to get comfortable with alarming idea that not every person, place, or thing is meant for me and I am not meant for all of them either.
Although this is a fairly basic concept for many, it took me years to come to terms with it. Any person who was conditioned to be a people pleaser knows that this is a difficult concept to accept yet in doing so, I liberated myself. I found myself falling in love with the person I always knew I was; the person who was clawing to get out of me for the majority of my life. The more I practiced being true to my beliefs, my heart, and my soul, the more I didn’t want to be for everybody. I just wanted to be for the ones who accepted me for all of the different angles I can embody on any given day.
‘Authenticity’ gets thrown around as a trending hashtag on social media but for the ones who genuinely learn how to embrace themselves authentically, they know the power and the greatness that lives inside of their bones. It is from this space of acceptance that they can walk confidently into any room, bare faced and whole, in full awareness that they deserve a seat at any table they choose to approach…even if they have to take deep breaths before they do.
Courtney Tudman – Poet/Writer
I can’t put into words how grateful I am to Jennifer (Lady Luck) for giving me such an amazing experience! I had such a blast during my photo shoot. She made me feel so comfortable and relaxed. I have always believed in staying body positive….we all have rolls, scars and oddities. When I was younger, over 20 years ago and 35 pounds lighter I modeled professionally. The reason why I stopped was because I was told that I was too fat. My response was “WTF!”
I ditched modelling and I have been happy with my decision ever since! My rolls, my scars and my slightly crooked nose and teeth are who I am. I am proud of my accomplishments and strength. I have no time for anyone who doesn’t accept me for me.
Jennifer made me feel so beautiful inside and out.
Recently I found out that I had a few cancerous moles. Two have been removed and the last one on my stomach is scheduled to be removed August 11th 2021.
Never in a million years did I think I would have done a topless photo, my trust in Jennifer allowed me to do so, and capture a photo of my remaining mole before removal. I can’t stress it enough how important it is to do regular body checks and breast examinations.
Early detection is key. My daily affirmation is: Stay strong, stay positive, stay happy Another reason why I wanted do a photo shoot with Lady Luck was to showcase the lingerie that I sell as a advanced pure romance consultant.
Jennifer really captured the elegance and beauty of each piece. Thank you Jennifer for an amazing day. I will definitely be doing another photo shoot in the future.
As far back as I can remember as a child. I struggled with my weight. I became my own worst enemy.
The way I spoke to myself daily. I was crueler, more intense and surely damaging then any person in my life. Along the way there were many individuals who added to the noise. Not leaving much room for
Life had a way of giving us exactly what we need, especially when we are not aware we need it.
The reasoning is not always clear. Its surely not always easy.
In 2018 I was involved in a MVA which I was ejected thru the windshield. Resulting in a closed brain injury, among other bodily injuries. Subsequent to this in 2010 I was diagnosed with a brain tumor in
my frontal lobe, the same area where the impact of the windshield met my skull. Coincidence.
That is yet to be determined.
In 2013 my marriage of a decade ended in betrayal, deceit and unimaginable events at the very hands of the same individual who vowed to protect me, to love me. In sickness or in health.
With no career, chronic illness, a brain injury and brain tumor. No marriage, loss of assets from divorce.
Hitting rock bottom was inevitable. In retrospect.
In 20015, unexpectedly added a 3rd baby to my life. A miracle in every sense of the word. Now a single mom to 3. Struggling had become normal life.
In 2016 a batch of cookies changed the projection of our lives. After comments about how delicious these decorative sugar cookies were, I brainstormed and devised a plan to take this hobby perhaps and market it, with the intent to make some money so I could provide for the kids, and not rely on the food
banks to feed us.
Fast forward to 2020, I now have a multi award winning brick and mortar bakery which in a few months is celebrating its 3rd year open. The ironic thing is I don’t even like to bake. I love the art of decorating.
Food is simply my canvas. I am now able to provide for my 3 kids.
I am able to employ others and I can give back to the community who gave me so much on my darkest days.
A lifetime of being overweight, with diagnosis of Asthma when I was 7, Combined has taken a toll on my health. In addition to the other chronic issues. At the age of 37, in 2020,I found myself in the ICU every couple months. The last few admissions, I had required Bicap and assistance breathing on a ventilator.
It was in March 2020, the same time Covid was really making it entrance into our lives. I was once again admitted to the ICU and placed on a ventilator. At 368lbs, 5’7 I was morbidly obese and my lungs were struggling. My respiratory team flat out told me, I am going to die. This weight. Being this unhealthy with the condition of my lungs. I will be on a ventilator and one day they will not be able to take me off. This was my light bulb moment.
I reached out to a private surgeon in Toronto, shortly there after and begun the process for bariatric surgery. I had saved a small nest egg from my business. With the intent to purchase a home again. I realized without taking care of my health. Finding wellness. There was no point to purchasing a home.
As I would not be around to pay for it, let alone enjoy it with my 3 amazing kids. I took the funds and invested into me. I booked my gastric bypass. On June 1st 2020 at 368lbs I began my pre OP regimen. And on June 22 2020 I had my surgery.
The date of this photo shoot is Nov 24th, 5 months post OP. And I am celebrating a weight loss of 100lbs.
I am not at my goal. I am half way there. I choose to celebrate my accomplishment as I continue my journey to health and wellness. I choose to document this milestone. And I now choose to publicly share my journey. I have struggled since I was a child with weight. I will continue to struggle with weight all my life. I have chosen to not allow this to define me. I have chosen to invest in me. I am worthy. I am on my journey now to health and wellness. I am on my journey to learn who I am, as Lisa.
These photos allowed me to let down the mask I wear. To show you me. Raw, real and me. The day spent with Lady Luck, I for the first time felt comfortable in my skin. The photos captured will forever be etched in my memory.
These serve as a symbol of celebration of life. A celebration of losing 100 damn lbs. Also a reminder of for the future me, to see myself at 268lbs. I do not know what the future me looks like. I am excited to meet her.
Each day is gift
This is my 2nd chance.
- Lisa Allain - Owner of Talent 2 Design in Welland, Ontario
Hello! I’m Adam. I’m a 27-year-old gay male (he/him) with a passion for empowering others and spreading kindness across the Niagara region. I am proud of my sexual identity and advocate for many minority groups and have come to build myself up over the years of love and self-acceptance. I would like to share my experiences over the last 13 years of discovering my identity that resulted in this photoshoot.
It all started once I hit high school in 2007. I did not feel ready nor equipped for the exposure of relationships, sex talk/education, and the depressive episodes when I did not feel “quite right”. Sure, I had many queer friends as I performed in a local theatre group since I was 10, but I had never really considered anything about my own sexuality. I had a few female partners in high school, but it never truly felt natural and there was something so they only lasted a few months each. I was angry and upset at myself; many of my high school colleagues threw around the word “faggot” and “gay” in such a derogatory way, and here I was slowly realizing I was becoming what they hated.
Many folks ask me about my coming-out story every now and then, so I have attempted to compartmentalize it into three stages. The first stage for me was coming out to my own self. It took the majority of my high school career to officially recognize my own homosexuality and to treat myself right. As mentioned, I had many depressive intrusive thoughts and found it difficult to see myself in a loving way. I remember I would wake up and have 10 seconds of complete bliss where I was “normal” only to have the reminder of my sexuality crash down on my brain and my emotional well-being. This was the stage where I felt the most alone. Mental health was briefly talked about, no school office had rainbow stickers supporting diversity and inclusion, and I had no safe space to discuss my experiences with someone who had been going through the same or similar feelings.
Feeling alone at this stage, I decided to reach out to my close supports in my family and in my school. Stage two consisted of coming out to my parents, brother, and high-school circle. This stage was mostly positive as I had no negative reactions regarding my sexual orientation. The only tricky part to this was keeping track of who I had came out to, and the growing concern that other friends could find out through word of mouth and be upset I didn’t come to them first. My depressive thoughts went down and I felt better about my own well-being, but I had increasing anxiety due to this awkward transition and navigation of social situations of who knew and who did not know. Granted, I was slightly flamboyant in elementary and high school, and when I came out to certain people I had mixed reactions; some called it since they first met me, and others had no idea.
I felt confident in my family and friends that I felt comfortable enough with coming out to the general public, which was my last stage. One of my best friends (Dayna H) was kind enough to make me a shirt that said the word “proud” on it in the rainbow colours. I wore it confidently on my last day of high school, ready to combat any negativity from anyone. Fortunately, I was only faced with kindness and support from my school peers, teachers, and acquaintances. To this day, I still have not received any harsh critiques from my closest supports to strangers regarding my sexual orientation. Flash forward a few years later; I started to become more aware of the social injustices that were happening outside my own ecological perspective. I heard the heartbreak in one person’s voice because their parent did not at the time accept them for their gender identity/trans I saw the uproars with the USA residents protesting their right for marriage equality. I witnessed homo/transphobia happening in the queer community itself. Acknowledging these discrepancies helped develop a sense of who I am and what I stand for. It also was the catalyst for my career, working with vulnerable populations. I was even able to complete my undergraduate thesis observing gay-straight alliances (GSAs) and their impact on the students and school itself.
Jennifer and I discussed the importance of this photoshoot and what it truly meant to grow as a person. We wanted to portray the multiple components of queerness and my experiences with it through boudoir. The flowers represented the beauty of being part of the LGBTQAI+ community in such a delicate and impressionable way, symbolizing the need for nurture and love. The crown represented the embodiment of my progress, being able to wear it with pride and strength. The dirt represented the trials and tribulations of getting to the place I am now and focuses on how the journey is just as important as the destination. Jennifer was able to capture many components of my queer growth, including self-awakening, joy, strength, and masculine/feminine play.
I would like to thank my family and friends for their continuous love and support. I would not be half the person I am without them. The Mythical Meadow Flower Shop constructed the beautiful floral crown by hand (a huge thank you to the team there) and provided the rainbow roses. Jennifer was fantastic in setting the scene and making me feel comfortable in my own skin. She has a way of empowering others in such a kind and professional way. I would truly recommend Jennifer to anyone who wishes to feel beautiful and loved in their own skin, and I cannot wait to work with her again. I am so grateful for the opportunity to express myself in such a fun and artistic way with her direction and compassion.
Thank you for listening to my story.
Lori Burke is a full time International artist originally from Horseshoe Valley ski area north of Toronto. She now lives in a small waterfront town in Ridgeway Ontario Canada. She is self taught, honing her craft through research and courses. Her great grandmother was a well known artist painting and showing into her 80’s. Lori draws from her inner voice and is guided by intuition as she expresses passion and movement in every piece of her work.
She has won several awards and has participated in many competitions. Her international exhibitions include, opening night for NYA Gallery , 1st Dibs Gallery in New York NY. She recently exhibited with Mona Youssef Gallery in Carrousel Du Louvre, Paris France. She sits on the board of the Fort Erie Arts Council as well as volunteers her time teaching art classes to the patients at the Walker Family Cancer Center, St Catherines Hospital.
Displaying in Canadian and US galleries: Laguna Art Gallery California, Gallery 104 NY, Preston Gallery and Roam Gallery in Ontario. She also participates bi-annually in the studio tours with the South Niagara Artist Association, of which she is a juried member.
“Curator On The Go” recently interviewed her for a podcast highlighting her creative journey.
She is currently Licensing her work with "Icanvas" based out of the US.
This month she will be the featured artist at 'Noodle Gallery' located at the Alton Mills Art Centre in Caledon, ON.
Her work will be displayed at 'Arta Gallery Distillery District' March 5-10th, as well as 'Gallery 1017' April 24-May 8, both located in Toronto, ON.
Throughout my life I have always had a passion for painting. The creative process itself captivates me and I am drawn to create with fingers, brush or palette knife. I love abstract, contemporary, mixed media while using acrylic, gesso, paste and ink stains on canvas as well as wood and metal. My focus is often the drama and tension between colour and light. Whether I’m painting an abstract, sky scape, city scape or water scape, I am inspired by natural elements; water, sky, earth and wind, all of which I draw on during my creative process. I 'feel' my art and let my instincts guide each direction as the piece evolves on canvas. I'm an ‘intuitive artist’ with my ideas developing in dreams and strong impulses that I feel must come pouring out. I love and live to paint and am humbled and grateful daily for the opportunity to do so!!
This is it. The picture that epitomizes my struggle with mental health. The days where my head is so loud that I can't think straight. I want to cover my ears and and hide away from the sounds that exist only within my mind. My heart races like I am being chased and my breath comes up short and fast. My throat closes up and I am unable to speak. It's like trying to expel glass from my mouth, just to say anything. I feel that there is very little of me left, the blue of my mental illness seems to consume me. I lose my smile in those moments. For days or months, the muscles sit unused in any true way. I can force a smile if I need to; to keep the questions and well-intentioned concern from flowing at me, but it's fake.
I reached this point a few months before the pandemic and finally went to see the doctor again. This isn't my first time of reaching the point where I felt the water closing in over my head. Depression often feels like drowning to me. So, I went in and started to talk. Each session was tears and frustration at the things that I can't move past. It was homework when I have finished school, for now. It meant group therapy and facing the terror of being open with people face to face. I forced myself to be very honest with myself and slowly, bit by bit, I was able to advocate for myself. I was able to get the treatment that I needed to slowly bring the smile back to my face.
The reason why things got so bad this time is because I forgot to be gentle with myself. I forgot to make time for me. My world got flipped on its ear and I forgot who I needed to put first, once and a while. I let myself get so caught up that it wasn't until my session and Jennifer pointing it out, that I had never really smiled for one of my sessions with her (there had been three, prior to my cheer session). This person who I call my friend hadn't seen me truly smile in the whole time that I had known her, to that point. The smile that is in these pictures is true, because I learned how to make me a priority. It's because I have learned to lean on people, when I need them. I am teaching myself how to admit that I need help and that I am not a burden for simply needing a hand.
With the pandemic, this has become a daily exercise. I remind myself when I get up in the morning, that things aren't the way that I would like them to be, but that is ok. I am safe and the people that I care about are safe and I am worthy of love and help. Most of all, I remind myself that it can't rain all the time. One day this will all be over and I will have survived, because I am strong enough to make it through anything, even when I don't feel like I am. I have a mental illness, but that is not who I am. The blue will always be there, but I choose not to let it consume me.
In nature, there is a balance. If this balance is offset for any reason the effects are felt all throughout the food chain.
Some things die and other things thrive. Take a forest fire for example. A natural occurrence that has been happening since the beginning of time. The fire destroys everything in it’s path. Animals must move on or die. Their habitat destroyed they must find a new home.
These forest fires are necessary for the forests to survive. Yes the fire will destroy homes and habitat but it will rejuvenate the forest and bring new growth.
Our world is changing right before our eyes. And this change is going to affect everyone differently. Some people will flourish and see unprecedented growth. Others will lose their job or be forced to close their business.
I’m here to tell you that, believe it or not, that could very well be the best thing that could happen to you. I know, this is hard to believe as you see everything you’ve worked so hard to build go down the drain, but it's true.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret.
Once you have lost everything you receive a wonderful gift.
A chance to build the life you’ve always wanted.
Adversity brings growth. And believe me you will grow.
I know from experience because It happened to me….. since I turned 40 I have had to rebuild my life, not once but twice.
And it was the best thing that could have happened to me.
In 1989 there was a stock market crash. It is referred to as Black Monday because it destroyed so many people’s lives. I was one of them. I left my job of 13 years at General Motors to start my own business. It was a Dating Service before Dating Services became mainstream and business was actually very good for 3 years. So good I had just opened a second office. After the stock market crash my phone simply stopped ringing. My income stopped that day. People just don’t flock to an expensive dating service during a depressed economy. There was no government relief in sight.
I turned to the only comfort I knew of at the time. Drugs and Alcohol. Trust me when I say this is not the route you want to take.
It was years…..actually 7 years before I finally figured out the formula that inspired me to re-start my life.
What’s the formula?
40 + 40 = 80
In my book, It’s About TIME,I share with you the magic of this formula and how to make it work for you.
How that simple Formula made me feel young again and gave me the unprecedented gift of a second chance.
In It’s about TIME, rediscover your youth and take the Fear out of Change, I share 20 years of my life to demonstrate just how easy it is to survive tough times.
I’ll show you exactly what it's like to start over.
The steps you MUST take to start building the life of your dreams.
So simple, yet so powerful…40 + 40 = 80
Find out what it means.
For years I worked hard to rebuild my life. I was at the point where I could take a stab at starting another business. I had been working on an invention and after 3 years and 2 market studies later I was ready to launch my business.
Two weeks before our big launch at a major Trade Show in Las Vegas, two planes flew into the New York Trade Center and changed our safe comfortable world as we knew it. Three years of research and development out the window. We didn’t even get our business off the ground. I lost everything once again and was forced to claim Bankruptcy for a second time.
Fortunately, I had the formula to help me to not only survive, but to thrive during those hard times.
Here I sit almost 20 years later, happily retired, married to the woman of my dreams, living my life the way I want to live it and on my terms. I want for nothing, except to be able to hug my grandchildren again.
40 + 40 = 80
Find out what it means and how you can use it to turn tragedy into contentment.
It’s About TIME, Rediscover your youth and take the FEAR out of Change.
Available at Amazon and all other book retail outlets
Or you can send me an email at email@example.com and I will send you an autographed copy
About the Author
Ray Frigault was born February 11, 1955 in Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada. He graduated high school and went straight into General Motors at the age of 18. The ticket to a nice easy life for most people but not for Ray. He was never satisfied with his job at General Motors. At 31 years of age, after 13 years in the St Catharines GM Foundry, Ray quit General Motors to go start his own business, something he had always longed to do. The Business was called The Humanist Institute, a Dating service before Dating services became mainstream. It was a business that allowed Ray to pursue his acting career because he was able to schedule his appointments around his auditions in Toronto. The business did very well for a few years but a stock market crash in 1989, shortly after opening a second office, created the perfect storm that led to an early end to Ray’s business career. To top it off, his agent moved to China so the auditions stopped as well. His life slid pretty hard and fast from that point. He not only lost his business and his agent, he lost his family, his house his dignity and every penny he had ever saved.
As he was approaching 40, drugs, alcohol, mental illness and poor choices eventually got the better of him and he was ready to throw in the towel. However, on his 40th Birthday, Ray made a dramatic discovery that gave him a whole new outlook on life. His goal since then has been to write about that experience and share some of the wisdom he had acquired. The University of Hard Knox, of which Ray is a graduate, is a very well-known school. The lessons learned are hard won and never forgotten.
With a renewed zest for life, Ray went on to begin his third career as a Casino Dealer in one of the biggest Casinos in North America. In his 21 years at Niagara Casinos Ray worked his way up from Table Games Dealer to Supervisor and on to Pit Manager. He even had his own gig as a Learn to Play instructor where he would teach visitors how to play the various table games in the Casino.
In 2017 Ray took an early retirement from this job, that he absolutely loved, sold his house, bought a trailer and started writing. He has begun his 4th career as a writer with his first book "It’s About TIME, rediscover your youth and take the Fear out of Change", where he chronicles 20 years of his life following his great epiphany. Ray plans to live out the rest of his days going from one adventure to the next. Travelling, writing and sharing his stories with whoever wants to listen.
It's About TIME is not just about time. It’s about Ray. It’s about 20 years of his life. And it’s about time he wrote it.
It all started when three women decided to get together to create one single photo that would speak more than a 1000 words and do their part to end the Stigma surrounding mental health.
Especially during times like we are experiencing now.
Times like we are experiencing, now, a time when we more than ever need to pay even closer attention to our Mental Health.
"If only we could take out our brains"
I'm fairly certain that every one who reads this, that has struggled or is struggling with any form of mental health struggle, can say at one point in their lives they wished we had the option to take the brain out of our heads when needed.
If only there was a little latch on the back of our necks where we can crack it open and just pop out that nagging brain whenever we felt we needed to turn it off, shut it down, shut it up.
Or! Maybe even we have spare ones set aside for those super rough days.
You can take out the one that's causing you trouble, put in a little jar and plug it into something so it recharges and corrects and resets itself and then when it's good to go, you can tradesies!
For now the one you've got is the only one your gonna get, so do what ever you can to keep it healthy.
Because it is (Ir)replaceable just like YOU are.
- Jennifer McCready ~ Owner and Photographer for Lady Luck Photography Studio
Jessica Misner - Owner of Mirror Mirror Hair Artistry and JessicArt
I am fortunate to only have to deal with every day stress and worry. I am usually able to "force" myself out of my own head.
But not everyone can.
I've seen people I love struggle daily with severe anxiety, depression and addiction. I've lost friends and family to their battles. I've seen pain that no one should ever have to go through alone.
IT CAN GET BETTER.
I can't say it enough. No matter what your mind is telling there is ALWAYS someone there for you. Someone willing to talk or cry with you. Someone willing to hug you and just listen. Someone who's life would never be the same without you.
I hope that one day the stigma around mental illness is gone. That nothing will hold someone back from seeking help they deserve. From knowing they aren't the only one and that they are stronger than their mental illness. That there are people who love and care about them.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Brianna Schwenker - Registered Massage Therapist
Making a physical, visual representation of anxiety has been a passion project for Jen and I for so long. One day while chatting she said “don’t you just wish some days you could claw your brain out of your head” it’s was like lightning struck! Somedays that is EXACTLY how anxiety feels. Sometimes your brain JUST WONT STOP.
It keeps you up at night, leaving you exhausted the next day. It paralyzes you with fear when the phone rings. Somedays you feel cold and blank, someways you think and feel way too much and through all of it you put on a mask, you cover up the invisible hurt so you can appear a little more normal, feel a little less “crazy” or “irrational.” Some days the incomparable Liz Taylor’s worlds are all you have to get through the day “I’m a survivor-a living example of what people can go through and survive"
If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, please call COAST.
Toll free 1-866-550-5205 ext 1
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