Create a sequential narrative through a series of at least 6 images, where the order of the images can not be rearranged to tell the same narrative. Use inspiration from a song or movie.
In this sequence, I aimed to create a discussion about the unspoken normality of mental health issues, by sharing my story and it impacts on my life. As a society, we love to put up a front and show the world that we are untouchable but the reality is even the strongest people struggle with all kinds of mental health issues.
When I was 15 my best friend passed away from suicide, while his family and close friends knew he struggled with depression no one was aware of how extreme his pain was. This was my first encounter with grief and losing someone I was so close to in such a traumatic manner was excruciating.
I decided to show my struggle through the stages of grief I went through. It started with disbelief and denial, more than anything I wanted to reject the reality of the situation, hoping it was all a bad dream or some terrible joke.
Afterward came the anger and guilt, I was so angry with myself for not seeing the signs. I spent months replaying what if and if only scenarios in my mind. I felt as if it literally had “blood on my hands” for not seeing the indications.
Next was isolation where I truly started to believe that life was meaningless and nothing held any value. I distanced myself from friends and family and didn’t want to do anything since nothing mattered to me at the time.
Then came depression which lasted several years for me and was by far the hardest stage to overcome as I was being forced to deal with all the emotions and pain that I had been denying.
Eventually, I did pull myself out of it, and I was able to accept the reality of the situation, the loss will always be painful but there was no longer resisting what happened.
When starting this projected I asked myself what I truly cared about and when it really comes down to it, it’s all about mental health and making sure that my loved ones and I are okay. I realized why I am so passionate about this is because I never want to go through anything remotely similarly the loss I had experienced. The greatest lesson I learned from this experience was to have immense compassion for others as you truly don’t know what others are going through but being able to feel loved and welcomed lessens the isolation you may feel.
In Logic’s song 1-800-273-8255 he references this feeling of isolation and words it in a way that many can relate, “they say every life precious but nobody care about mine”. I’ve realized that because of the stigma around mental health people hardly ever spoke about it which makes it incredibly difficult to reach out or take comfort in others and I hope that creating a conversation or even bringing out my story lessens this idea that struggling with mental health issues is uncommon.