Meeting Our Authentic Voice
Hello. My name is Jasmine.
I first went mad in Africa in 2004. Since then, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve gone mad. My madness got so bad it culminated in catatonia; I couldn’t move or speak.
But I see madness as a state of mind, and minds can, and do, change.
To me, my crises are a creative malfunction, and catatonia the logical progression after years of being silenced, and self-silencing.
It follows, then, that my healing requires creative expression and speaking up.
Hence, I’m meeting my authentic voice and sharing who I am through my creative projects and writings.
Hello. What brought you here?
Rare is the human who will take my hand and converse with me about madness, melancholia, and malaise.
Lend me your ears and I’ll tell you secrets of the underworld. Then I’ll listen to you. Together, we can speak of monsters and ghouls that haunt us both.
Our work together is to recognise our madness, so we can speak our truth.
The clinically insane see deep into what’s often hidden and ignored.
They’re forced to see.
With our feet grounded on the earth, we learn the antidote to madness:
We reconnect with who we are and meet our voice.
Madness can then be seen and spoken of as part of human experience – all horrific, telling, and beautiful in its many guises.
Let’s shine a light on the truth of madness so that we may be less alone in our sad, mad story.
I invite you to be part of the art of conversation on mental health. It’s not easy. But, with a healthy dose of terror, a little TLC, and a bit of creative flair, we’ll find our way out of the darkness. And back to ourselves.
What part can you play in the art of conversation on mental health?
What creative projects or writings can you engage in to help you meet your authentic voice?
Photography by Jasmine Powell