As some of you may be aware, we facilitated the launch of "For My Culture"in February; a night curated by our friends at 4MaFriendz to raise awareness to Mental Health. As the important conversation of mental health is growing larger and larger, we're elated to be involved and jumped at the chance to shout out RXCMILLION. He's designed and is selling a T-Shirt from which the proceeds will be donated to https://www.mind.org.uk/.
We've also spoken to him. Continue reading to see what he had to say:
As a secondary school teacher, I find that I am forever wearing a mask. When teaching up to one hundred and fifty students a day, there is little time to let the pressures of life show. It’s a job that requires me to put the emotions of the students and their needs ahead of my own. Shouting, screaming, crying, and breaking down are things that I cannot do, especially if I want to avoid ridicule or questions surrounding my ability to do my job ‘professionally’.
The masks I wear, although necessary, are extremely heavy and exhausting. I’ve become so used to wearing it that removing it seems far more daunting than I could ever have imagined. It became a secret battle that caused me to create my own internal hell of perfectionism, anxiety and isolation. On the outside I looked fine, but on the inside…
And that’s the thing with mental health struggles, it isn’t something that is immediately obvious until the person either explodes or implodes – both are equally as damaging.
To make this internal battle more visible, I decided to create this t-shirt. The design is a picture I took of oil and water, two substances that famously do not mix. It reminds me of the different aspects of our lives and the things we try our best to keep them separate. We try to separate anxiety from our workplaces. We try to separate our feelings of inadequacy from our relationships. We try to separate our immense feelings of loneliness from our circle of friends. It’s a huge ship filling with water that we frantically attempt to prevent sinking with nothing more than a teacup. Eventually, the two worlds collide and the ship goes down, taking everything we love with it. I realised that even though oil and water do not mix, would it be so bad if I simply allowed them close enough to one another to see them side by side, out in the open? The result is actually quite beautiful. Hence the name of the design, Beautiful Contradiction.
The back of the t-shirt is a collection of words that do not belong next to one another due to their contrasting and contradictory definitions. That said, we are all made up of fragments that don’t quite fit. It’s what makes us who we are. We can be both fearful and strong. We can be both professional and emotional. We can be all the things we already are; perfect and a work in progress.