Yessica’s Journey Animation Project
Yessica’s Journey is an animation project which began in September 2010 and will be developed over the next 18 months. The animation is about a journey through mental illness, psychosis and recovery and is based on my own experience.
In January 2008 I had a psychotic breakdown whilst studying for an Animation Degree in the final year of my course. I was diagnosed in 2010 with Bipolar Disorder. Whilst feeling very unwell I came up with the idea of Yessica’s Journey. I started to develop the idea further after being in hospital in 2009.
Whilst developing Yessica’s Journey, I sometimes felt like I was in a huge black hole with no edges, just sinking deeper and deeper into a bottomless pit, trying to find the edge, trying to find a way out. Yessica’s Journey helped me to accept what happened to me, it helped me to focus, it gave me hope, it gave me creativity, it gave me something to live for, it motivated me to get better. Without the help of my family I would not have been able to achieve any of this, I would not even be here. This project has given me the opportunity to tell people about some of my journey. This has helped me and I hope it will help others.
My journey has been one of fear, darkness and confusion interlaced with moments of excitement and euphoria - a bizarre yet amazing rollercoaster ride. But through that confusion I have found hope, compassion, an inner peace and an inner wisdom. This illness has transformed my life, a strange gift which I have learned to accept.
I believe I needed to accept my illness, accept my fears in order to move on. Many people helped me to achieve this but in the end it was down to me, I had to make the decision to help myself. We are all different and we all have different needs, what will work for one person may be different for someone else, the key is to never give up hope, be positive and keep trying.
The animation incorporates the New Economics Foundation, Five Ways to Wellbeing, which promotes mental wellbeing. The following organisations are supporting the project - Norwich and Central Norfolk Mind, Norfolk and Waveney NHS Mental Health Trust, Rethink, Wellcome Trust and the Bipolar Disorder Research Network at Cardiff University. I would like to thank them all for their help and support and for believing in Yessica’s Journey.
Norwich and Central Norfolk Mind have generously contributed funding to this project and I would like to thank Peter Gianfrancesco, Chief Executive, and Paul Daynes, Finance Manager, of Mind, for their help and support.
For more information on the project and a chance to see more samples of the animation please visit www.yessicasjourney.com.
Director/Producer and Animator of Yessica’s Journey