Introduce yourself

“Hi, my name is Andy, I’m 22 years old. I currently work in a supermarket, but my passion is fashion and helping people.

I always wanted to help people but I didn’t know how. Recently, I discovered that I could do it through Instagram, because for me, following personal development pages has helped me a lot to improve my mental health.”

What prompted you to create this Instagram page?

“What drove me to create my Instagram account was having the worst year of my life, where for several months I didn’t even want to be alive anymore. I’ve had mental health issues for the past 7 years, mostly due to OCD, so there wasn’t a minute that went by where I felt good. I had good weeks and bad weeks.

An important part of all of this is that I had a girlfriend for 5 years who was amazing. She helped me with all my problems and was very understanding and always there for me. This girl was everything to me. She wasn’t just my girlfriend, she was my best friend. I loved her so much that I wanted to marry her. But a little over a year ago, she cheated on me and broke me completely. And overnight, I didn’t have that massive support that was always there, I felt alone and yeah broken. My mental health went out of control, I couldn’t relax for even a second for months and months.

But because of everything that happened, I had so much motivation to get back on my feet and help people who are hurting too. Because yes, many people are hurting.

I bought a laptop and started designing a t-shirt brand aimed at mental health, and then I thought I’d start an Instagram account. After about 8 months of constant struggle, after going to therapy for a few months and taking medication, I started Instagram and yes my journey is just beginning and I am very excited about it!”

What challenges made you realize the importance of mental health?

“The challenges that people with mental health issues face are literally normal activities of daily life. It starts from the moment you wake up until bedtime! You may have trouble making a cup of tea or breakfast or turning on the TV! It’s crazy how horrible it can be and to go through it myself and know that millions of people go through it and feel so alone because of it.

I just think it’s important for more people to be open about it, for people to feel normal because they are normal and it’s very common.”

How is photography a therapy for you?

“I just think photography is great therapy because you can really express yourself and be creative! You can show sadness, happiness, joy, laughter, you can show all the emotions in pictures and create a story through it all.

I use all of that to create an ongoing journey: trying to inspire people, trying to motivate them, trying to make them believe in themselves through my messages under my photos, that’s the most important part.”

How do you take care of yourself on a daily basis?

“I now have a daily routine that is brilliant for me. I have a diet for my body that is very healthy and good for my brain. I don’t watch a lot of television anymore because I have to be active.

I usually eat breakfast, work on my Instagram, then have lunch and go to the gym for about 2 hours, then go out and take pictures whether it’s by myself or with a friend, then eat and work on my instagram again and go back to the gym in the evening. Sport is very important to me because it makes me healthier, it improves my body, but most importantly my mind. Working out has saved me in so many ways.”

What messages do you care most about sharing with the world?

“The messages I want to share are that it feels good to talk about your problems, much more than to bottle them up. You never know what people are going through just by looking at them, you can only find out by talking to them. So yes, I think it’s important to ask your friends and family if they’re really okay and if they need to talk about anything. Even if they’ve always seemed really strong.”

What advice would you give to someone who is suffering but doesn’t know how to feel better?

“The advice I would give to anyone who is hurting is to stay strong! Never blame yourself or hate yourself for struggling with life! Just know that things are not always going to be that bad. The fact is, when things are bad, they can only get better. And what you have to do is just believe in yourself and love yourself and seriously believe that you can accomplish anything. Try to find something you love and focus on that. Talk to your friends and family as often as you can, it’s okay to cry and feel uncomfortable. Don’t be ashamed of this, just know that things will get better, stay strong!”