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Self-searchings of a talented young lady

10:46:00 PM

“You don’t see us, but we do exist”

A lot of young people with mental health problems live among us, but they are still hidden. Helpific had an interview with a young woman, who has felt since early childhood that she is different from the others. Nevertheless, she also feels the need for self-fulfillment, recognition, acceptance, and wishes to be useful to the people adding beauty and happiness to the dull everyday life.

Anneli states in the beginning of the interview that although she is suspicious of others at first, she considers herself to be quite social and admits that she likes talking to people. Later it turns out that the communication mainly takes place in the virtual world. The first impression is that she is a bit shy, but a friendly young woman, who is ready to open up the backgrounds to her problems and reveal her sad specialty. As a very private person, she does not want to use her real name, therefore after long considerations, we decided to call her Anneli.

We start our discussion from her childhood – the time from where we should have the best memories. After giving it a lot of thought, Anneli can only remember an odd sweet moment. The family relations at home were bad and it was no better in school. “All those 9 years, school was the place I did not want to go”, Anneli describes her school years. As a hyperactive child, she did not have the persistence and will to study sciences, which means that she was soon behind in those subjects and the disliking for school only grew. In addition, bullying was an everyday fact. “I was often alone on a bench, drawing on a piece of paper somewhere in the school”, says Anneli. It was a bit better in the other subjects – Anneli liked arts, biology, human studies, and computer studies. The computer has become her home and her castle – “When behind my computer, I know exactly what I am doing”, states the young lady confidently. Anneli still considers the lack of understanding from her parents and the mental and physical abuse worse than the bullying in school. “They had no patience with me”, admits the young lady sadly. When she complained about her distress to the school shrink, her parents were angry at her for bringing the problem outside of their home.

Mental health disorder does not limit creativity

There is no doubt, that she is a talented young lady going through a difficult road of finding herself. She has an activity she likes and a dream to commit to. As a self-learner, she has acquired the basic knowledge about animation and she makes drawings as a freelancer. For most of the time she has been unemployed and received work capacity benefit. Anneli is not afraid to use the term “mental health disorder” when talking about herself. She instantly tells her friends about her health problems to avoid any misunderstandings. During the years, Anneli has suffered anxiety disorders, panic attacks, fear of death, and from time to time old childhood traumas come haunting her. Self-destruction and suicidal thoughts are no strangers to her either. She is afraid of the company of strangers and does not tolerate physical contact with them. This is also the reason why Anneli has not found suitable work outside home. “I don’t like to work with people – I get very nervous. My moods can change in a second. If people don’t understand me and what I am talking about, I get the feeling that my opinion doesn’t matter to anyone.”

At one tough moment, Anneli was also in the hospital, where she was diagnosed with depression. Afterwards she did not wish to continue with the drugs she was prescribed for depression: “I don’t want to poison myself with drugs. Also, the drugs caused different side-effects. I have not taken any more drugs and I wish to find solutions to my problems myself.”

Anneli can share her sorrows and joys with her virtual world friends, whom she also meets face-to-face at an annual reunion. “I have found an ideal fandom (a community that draws together friends from a certain subculture), where my art is appreciated. Furry fandom is a group of people who like anthropomorphic animals, meaning characters who talk and walk on two legs. I can focus on life amongst positive people and among these friends I can feel myself the way I truly am.”, says Anneli. At one point she discovered handicraft and the possibilities there seemed endless. “It gives you so much inspiration when you see sculptures, animal costumes, paintings, and other things that are all done by people’s hands. This passion they have put in their work convinces me that I am a part of them 100%.”

Anneli drew a cartoon character of herself

Constant personal development and state support is necessary

As a sensitive and emphatic person, Anneli can feel other people’s pain very well. She would like to help everyone and make them happier. “I draw pictures for the others to make them happy. The feeling when someone finds pleasure in my drawings, is so good. To do something from your heart and to see that joy when someone’s life has changed for the better because of my drawings. I want to do what I love. It is sad to look at people who don’t love their work and are only doing it for the money.”

Even though Anneli does not like to think about money, and so far she has managed, she is still worried how she will get by – the work capacity benefit is small and one needs to constantly prove its necessity. She does not need a support person as a whole, but when dealing with the Social Insurance Board, help with communication would be necessary.

Anneli tries to mentally develop herself and she has always felt that she is thinking differently than most people. “I notice details and I find answers in a different way compared to most people. I feel that I am opening up mentally. When realizing something new while discovering yourself, you will start to understand the whole life around you.” Anneli compares this with computer operation system updates - when you update the system, all folders will also be updated with new information. She finds it very exciting to broaden her knowledge, understand the world better and to see it in a new light and according to this, reevaluate her own current viewpoints. Anneli finds that the most important thing is respect for each other and increasing the feeling of love.

She expects the State to primarily understand and that people with mental health disorders would be listened to more. Mental and physical abuse and its concealing at home should be condemned. Anneli also hopes for more work for people like her. “I do not know what will happen to me tomorrow, I try not to think ahead. I hope in the future I will be free from the effect of negative people and I will have found myself. I hope I will be able to illustrate children’s books, make cartoons, draw pictures, and my biggest dream is to create a video game.”

In conclusion, the young lady states that there is so much pain and wrong in the world that needs to be altered and she would like to bring consolation with her small activities. Anneli is secretly dreaming about making animal costumes for a theatre stage, “I would love to see more animals with cool costumes on the stage.”

“And I would love to have a cat – I know it would do me good.”

Text: Ene Kaju
Edited by: Katrin Suik
Translation by: Liina Martinson

© Helpific

animation drawing English fandom freelancer Helpific hyperactive child mental abuse mental health disorder spiritual opening support person work capacity benefit

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