Mental Health is a Bitch Sometimes

The Mental Institution

I’ve been trying to collect myself.
I’ve been told to take it easy.
But self care turns into isolation.
I feel like
I’m not worth it.
I looked at myself in the mirror and wonder if the pain will ever leave my face.
I make wudu and ask god to forgive the mistakes I’ve made.
I hold my hands up high and make dua and cry to allah to help me find happiness again.
I’m broken and still need fixing.
My new canvases are there unused and still in plastic.
The love I had for creating is gone.
This keyboard laughs at me with dust and a full battery.
It feels like the more push myself towards dreams, the faster I want to run away from it.
I’m stuck.
I’ve been in the same spot for hours and I can’t move.
The only thing moving is my thoughts.
And I’m here, creating, erasing, creating, rereading.
Without art I would have lost access to my most honest thoughts.
Thoughts that my mouth can’t say.
So I’m silent.
But, here I am creating, existing, and telling myself:
“You are worth it, you are beautiful, your work matters, and above all, you’re still alive. And that’s a beautiful thing.”


Marinna Shareef (Artist) is a 20 year old Trinidadian multidisciplinary artist who specialises in manipulating both digital and physical media to portray her everyday feelings. She is inspired by the magnitude and mystery of her emotions that she experiences as someone who deals with bipolar disorder, using visual imagery to organize her thoughts into a way that she can better understand.

The Mental Institution
Acrylic Fluid and Resin on Stretched Canvas.
The above piece was inspired by the collective chaotic thoughts that occur within a mental institution.

Instagram: @mahrinnart
YouTube: MarinnaS

Ladan Abdi (Author) is a Somali-American painter and writer born in Salem, OR, raised in Corvallis, and currently living in Portland. Her artwork represents her love for her culture, religion, nature, and warm colors. Ladan’s hope is that others can relate to her experiences and hardships through her writing. She has performed poetry for events, fundraisers, and art shows in the Portland metro area. In 2018, her artwork will be featured in the new Virginia Garcia Hospital in Beaverton, OR. On social media, Ladan posts art related on topics related to identity, self-love, mental health, and healing.

Instagram: @flowers4ladan
Twitter: @afrocan_dream
Tumblr: afrocandream