Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the world’s problems? I certainly have. And do you ever feel like you want to help but you’re paralyzed because you don’t even know where to start? You’re not alone, I’ve felt that too.
I’ve read a lot books on writing over the past two years, and a common theme, or a common piece of advice given, is to write what you know. I would take that advice even a step further and tell you to write what you’re passionate about. We all have our things, the interests that light a fire in our belly and push us to pursue what we love. For some of us it’s books, for others space exploration, and yet others it’s gardening. You catch my drift, right? The spectrum is broad—near endless, and the spectrum of world problems is equally as large. So what do we do to change any of it? How can we even help?
Well, we find our passion. We zero in.
In my life, mental health is a passion because of how my son has and still suffers. I’ve made it a focus of my heart to try and raise money and awareness because I believe awareness changes culture. In the area of mental health specifically, I know that awareness will not only improve the lives of people who suffer, but also improve the world around us as a whole. I believe that a large portion of the world’s problems could be drastically improved by a huge mental health movement and renaissance.
And right now, I celebrate the fact that your views and your passions will be entirely different from mine. Perhaps you’re someone who believes sustainable living is the way to change the world, or you’re someone whose heart leans toward education for under-privileged children. As I said above, the spectrum of passions is large, but that doesn’t need to be overwhelming for you. Do some soul searching, find your passion, then focus on that one, two, or even three things if you’re more ambitious than I, and go out and change the world.
The painting above was inspired by the struggles my son faces, and it’s available in my shop in several art print forms, the entire cost is donated to Tourette Canada to help support family’s who suffer and raise awareness for mental health.
Brittany was diagnosed with TS-plus at a young age. In her words:
When I was first diagnosed with TS-plus, I felt like I was drowning. But in a way where I was the only one under the water. Only I could hear my singing and everyone else heard nothing, saw nothing wrong. I didn’t have any friends and no one really wanted to interact with me. No one understood what I was going through even my family (outside my parents and brothers) never wanted to understand what it was. An extended family member I loved told me I had to stop my tics because it wasn’t ladylike and they were gross. That’s probably what made me want to hide to the most… But overtime I learned to use my music to express myself and find courage. I still try to hide it. It’s probably something I’ll never overcome. Now even though days can be a struggle, I am more comfortable with myself and I’m thankful for everyday.
Tourette Syndrome (TS) causes tics that are sudden, intermittent, repetitive, unpredictable, purposeless, nonrhythmic, involuntary movements or sounds. Tics can be either simple or complex. The most important thing to understand about the tics associated with Tourette Syndrome is they are the result of a neuropsychiatric condition. The sounds and behaviours are involuntary and are not being done by choice.
TS can often come with package of other syndromes, people can also have OCD, anxiety, ADHD, depression etc. While some medications are available to help with the symptoms they do not completely take them away and there is no cure.
This art was inspired by a song Brittany wrote. The painting is meant to represent a feeling of what can go on inside a person with mental health struggles, the reason the individual is pictured nude is to represent the vulnerability of that struggle, the hand coming down into the water represents courage and hope. Sometimes courage can be found in unlikely places and can take many different forms. In Brittany’s case, courage comes through her music.
First Part of Song
Second part of Song
There is hope and knowledge out there for those who need it, if you have any of these health concerns please know that you are not alone and that you should reach out to the available services; doctors, counsellors and people around you. You do not have to face it by yourself.
Along with our previous awareness art this new print is now available in our shop and soon we will have bookmarks and stickers available as well. All the proceeds from the sale of these items will be donated to Tourette Canada, tourette.ca . We truly believe that increased mental health awareness can drastically improve the lives of those who suffer.