At the Calgary literary festival in October, I was honoured (and stressed!) to be part of a panel with Alicia Elliott, author of the incredible essay collection A Mind Spread Out on the Ground, and David A Robertson, GG-winning author of comics, novels and kids’ books. The sold-out event was called Honest Talk About Mental Health, and it was moderated by the fantastic writer, broadcaster and mental health advocate Shelagh Rogers. We talked about portraying mental illness in our writing and comics, as well as our experiences with mental illness in our own lives. It’s the first time I’ve discussed my struggles with anxiety in front of an audience. We laughed much more than I anticipated. And in spite of how nervous I was to do it, I was fine! You can listen to a 25-minute edited version here on Shelagh’s CBC Radio show, The Next Chapter.
That experience gave me extra inspiration to keep digging into my Therapy Pony project on Instagram, where I’ve been exploring depression and anxiety, among other things, in stories about ponies, mice and birds. I’m just following where my characters go and trying to be open to whatever comes. I’m finding out that this is a way for me to finally write/draw about experiences and feelings I’ve wanted to explore for a long time. These are a couple images from a recent comic, Dance Lessons, featuring anxious Mouse.