“Knowing that I could be the voice that I needed to hear when I was fifteen for someone else is truly humbling.”
A Dublin girl has taken to social media to share her experience of mental health difficulties in a quirky way.
Áine Marry from Skerries posts frank and funny cartoons depicting her struggle with depression and anxiety on Instagram.
The NCAD student has lived with these issues since she was a teenager.
She explained to Her that she simply created the Instagram account to track her progress as an artist.
To her surprise, she said, people began to respond to what she was doing.
“That was very humbling for me, to know that people were seeing my work and could relate to the struggles I was facing with my mental health.
“I’ve received some gorgeous messages from people telling me that they love reading and looking at my work and that they find comfort in knowing that they’re not alone. Those messages make it all worthwhile for me; knowing that I could be the voice that I needed to hear when I was fifteen and didn’t know how to talk about my mental health for someone else is truly humbling.”
For Áine, one of the toughest parts about sharing a personal experience so publicly was having the people she knew find out about her battle.
“I come from a very small town where everybody knows everybody and I knew that little to no-one knew about my struggle with mental illness, so sharing all of this on a public platform, when I knew the people I grew up with and went to school with would be able to see, was one of the scariest parts.”
She said many of those closest to her were surprised to discover what she had been going through.
“I’ve had some shocked reactions, with people telling me ‘Oh I would have never guessed you had mental health issues’ and ‘you never gave off the impression that you were struggling?!?’, which I find so interesting.
“It’s like, yes of course you didn’t know because it’s never something that’s been addressed and we as a generation have never felt like we could talk about such an intimate thing.”
Áine said that using humour and art has helped her to deal with her mental health.
“I’m still very much struggling with my own road to recovery and am still trying to come to terms with some aspects of my mental illness. My art is an emotional outlet for me when I don’t know what else to do. Instead of letting a negative feeling fester inside of my head, I’m able to turn it into art and add a sarcastic and somewhat humorous tone into the mix. Putting my struggles onto a page or into art helps me distance myself from my issues and recognise them for what they are, which then makes it easier to process them.”
You can check out more of her work here.