My Name is Abbie
I live with bi-polar disorder and anxiety.
But I am NOT ALONE.
“didn't take my meds last night. My head is a carousel I can't jump off of. I want to sleep but I'm wired and if I shut my eyes my head is a thousand horses around a track. Please mind, quiet down. Head, stop spinning. Heart, slow down. It's safe to exist right now, I promise @abbrosy, Instagram.”
Launching a community-based fundraising campaign for youth mental health has its challenges. Early on we realized that it wasn’t going to be easy to feature the stories of real young people and families touched by this cause. Unlike many of the other advances in health care that we campaign for, mental health is still riddled with stigma, and these young people are so very vulnerable. We wanted tell real stories, but were challenged when it came to giving the campaign ‘a face’.
We discovered Abbie’s work on Instagram. Within a few seconds of scrolling through Abbie’s feed, there was something about the moody tones of the photos and her exquisite way of capturing both the raw emotion and the beauty of a perfectly imperfect moment.
“A photographer for the lovers and fighters. Of emotions, heart, and soul.” This is how Abbie describes herself on her website bio. There is a level of depth about this young woman that far exceeds her 23 years.
Reading her Instagram feed, it becomes apparent that indeed, Abbie is a fighter. We are fighting for the same thing.
We learned it was not ‘a face’ that we needed, but a feeling.
We asked if she would be our campaign photographer. She said yes. And then she agreed to share her story.
“Emotion seeps through my art. I feel very deeply, always, and fight to remain raw and soft through life. My greatest ambition is to love as many people on this earth as I can until the day I die, and the fire that drives me is peace, equality, and safety for every life. There is so much beauty in the rawness of the world.”
Together with the Canadian Mental Health Association – Kelowna, we are raising $2 million to open Foundry – Kelowna, a new integrated care centre to support youth and families living with mental illness and substance issues. Everyone knows someone. This is a cause that touches us all.
Please give to support our young people, and the future mental wellness of our community.