Why Did The Brand Start?
[TW: mental health, mental illness, suicide]
In my mid 20’s I was dating a girl called Elle.
Elle had it going on! She was young, well-travelled, a vocabulary like no one else, had the most incredible family, great groups of friends, just finished her degree, and was just about to start her career. However, in a matter of months, Elle went from being the loudest person in the room, to at times not having the motivation to get out of bed or get dressed for the day. Elle was sick and overcome with mental illness, Elle couldn’t live with the pain any longer. Despite her best and bravest efforts, in 2014 at 25, Elle died from suicide.
A few weeks after Elle’s death, I was sitting in my room getting ready for work and I was looking at a pair of runners she had left in my closet. I started to cry, this wasn’t unusual. A lot of my time in the car, falling asleep, waking up was spent crying. However, this time I decided, I was done with the sadness. I didn’t want to have that sick to my stomach feeling anymore. So, I stopped. It was almost as easy as that. Elle was never forgotten, but I had decided that I was done with grieving, and I unknowingly and prematurely stopped grieving. I decided I was done with therapy after a handful of sessions, I thought I was going to be fine, and I told myself just get on with it.
What I didn’t realise at the time, that suppressing that sadness, would mean it would come out in very different and very unexpected ways.
Over the years, naturally, I moved on with my life. I moved overseas, had new partners. But most importantly I took myself back to therapy. Originally this was to talk about some relationship issues, but this was also a chance to properly grieve Elle’s death.
Ignoring sadness was coming out in different ways and it was mainly anger. I was particularly short tempered at work and with partners. My therapist, along with my own research and self development, was able to unpick this constant bubbling of anger and appreciate that being angry is OK, being sad is OK, it’s how we react to those emotions which is important. No longer did I see emotions as good or bad, I saw them as normal and treated them all with equal importance. It was this realisation that helped the sadness come back in, the anger be acknowledged and regulated and of course, the happiness and joy continue.
This brand is for Elle, thank you for being you. You are loved and missed.
Mental health doesn’t discriminate, it can affect anyone. If you are reading this, this is also for you.