Meet Keep Going-ER: Illustrator & Creative Jael

This is Jael From South London & Her Story of How She Keeps Going…

Throughout my childhood through to my adolescent years, I was suffering for serious mental health issues that I wasn’t even aware of till 2 years ago. I had no idea that the trauma I had experienced as a child, hindered and shaped the young woman I am today.

In my late teens, I suffered from a mental breakdown and at one point my depression made me suicidal. The one thing that was stopping me from ending it was the promise I made to my dad years before he passed- that I’d be great some day. I never forgot that day and cherish it as one of the greatest reasons to keep going.

Whilst going through therapy, my therapist asked me- “what really keeps you going, what stopped you from ending it?” My passion to create saved me. I knew I wanted to make my dad proud so I put all of my love and effort into creating. The one constant in my life was my ability to create. That was the only way I could escape my reality. Some people turn to alcohol or drugs when they experience deep trauma, but I turned to work.

Coming from an African background, you’re conditioned to believe that mental health issues are only for crazy people, so for so long I didn’t even recognize what I was actually going through. Through my trauma, I’ve developed the ability to bounce back and keep pushing no matter how I’m feeling which is why I’ve been able to open so many doors for myself.

My illustrations are a type of therapy as I’ve been able to narrate my story and let everything I’m holding in out. Thankfully, I’ve had the amazing opportunity to work at and with some amazing companies as a result.

Keep Going Now…

Jael

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