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Just because you worry doesn’t mean you care

‪”Don’t use your energy to worry. Use your energy to believe, create, trust, grow and heal.”
—Unknown
artwork by SAU

I wish I could simply tell you, “Hey, this is just a gentle reminder that worrying is not the same thing as caring — worrying is the disempowered version of caring. Please use it as a superpower to acknowledge a threat but don’t abuse it, otherwise you’ll end up paralyzed by fear. Worry is meant to be transmuted into care (action) – it serves nobody when it just stays as worry. Worry is the base/raw material that we get to alchemize into valuable action.”

But this Gentle Reminder may take a little bit more to explain, I’m afraid, especially since most of us have been conditioned by our cultures or our households to use the powerful tool of WORRYING in such a disempowering way. This, for a lot of us, is one of those things we learn while growing up that we later have to UNLEARN for our own sake. It’s something I’ve started unlearning recently and the growth I’ve so far found from this unlearning is what I want to share with you today.

Worrying ≠ Caring

worry /ˈwʌri/

verb

  1. feel or cause to feel anxious or troubled about actual or potential problems.
    “he worried about his soldier sons in the war”

       2. (of a dog or other carnivorous animal) tear at or pull about with the               teeth.
      “I found my dog contentedly worrying a bone”

A monkey with the superpower of fear

Weird question but: have you ever wondered why do we worry?

Take a moment to consider that. At the evolutionary level, what could have possibly been so advantageous about worrying that allowed our species to survive? What could possibly be so valuable about our species’ ability to worry that all of us come equipped with this… thing… that makes us freak out when we consider unfavorable outcomes or circumstances? 🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️

My simple answer would be something like this: it seems likely that we began to develop the ability to worry so that we may perceive threats (actual or potential) and be able to act upon them. Our ability to worry and act upon our fears may have very well been key in surviving and thriving on the planet through millennia.  

When I see our ability to worry as this superpower that allows us to minimize the risk of pain, it actually sounds like an amazing technology that the human animal comes equipped with – doesn’t it? 

Somewhere along the way, however, we may begin deploying this superpower in a disempowered way. This happens when we only associate it with anxiousness, helplessness and, perhaps more tragically, with caring. Far too often we erroneously use the weight of our worry to measure just how much we care. And this inability to distinguish worry from care brings about sooooo many unnecessary problems. From draining cycles of overthinking, to anxiety, to paralysis of action, to insomnia, to feeling disconnected from this very moment because our minds may be somewhere else, worrying about something that’s not even right here, right now in front of us.

Our superpower of worry, it seems, is a double-edged sword if we don’t learn how to use it. That’s why a conversation I recently had with my therapist — about the difference between worrying and caring — has brought about this important Gentle Reminder that I cannot possibly keep to myself: worrying is NOT caring – there IS a difference.

artwork by Shikhar Gaur

Hi, my name is Jova and I’m a recovering worrier

I used to worry all the time. About my future, about my loved ones’ future, about the state of the world, the state of the country, the state of my community, the state of my household—the state of my room! 😱

Goodness – when one goes down that rabbit hole, you realize that you can literally worry, right now in this moment, about SO MUCH. There are things that I’m not even aware of in this moment that, as soon as I open up my news apps, I know I can certainly worry about. I can bring my body into a state of worry at any single moment. We all can.

 

And, despite the discomfort it brings, worrying can also feel oddly good; to have something to worry about. It shows that we care, right? 

Well, that’s where the unlearning begins.

 

Why the distinction between worrying and caring matters:

 

The sooner we’re able to understand and deploy this nuanced emotion, the better equipped we’ll actually be to act upon the challenges we individually face.

 

Unnecessary worrying undeniably fed the stress and anxiety levels that I would feel on a daily basis. Worst of all, I thought that I couldn’t help it; that I was simply born with this gift/curse to worry about everything and everyone. On the one hand, I was glad that I “cared” so much about everything and everyone and, on the other hand, I didn’t understand why it had to be so painful. 

 

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be painful if we learn to distinguish useless worrying from valuable concern.

 

Here are some interesting questions I’ll invite you to consider as we untangle worry from concern & caring. This is something I’ve been meditating on that has supported my unlearning process:

 

Can care exist without worry?

Can we care about something without worrying about it? 

What would that look like? How would that feel?

Is worry a prerequisite for caring?

artwork by Klegs

Here’s the tough pill to swallow 💊

I can worry all I want but it would not bring about progress.

Worrying is not progress.

Caring is.

Because caring implies action. And only in action can there be progress.

Far too often our ability to worry fools us into believing that we are actually doing something productive about the thing we care about. But that’s not entirely true – especially if the worrying is prolonged way beyond its purpose.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m NOT saying to not worry about anything at all and stop giving a sh*t about the things you care about. That’s definitely NOT my point nor today’s gentle reminder 😂 

What I’m saying is this: worry effectively.

Remember, worrying IS valuable – it’s a superpower! The ability to perceive a threat to that which we care about is a lifesaver. But the purpose for summoning that fear is so that we may come up with ACTION. That’s where the real value is. In turning that fear into action for that which we love and care about. The fear found in worry is balanced with the love found in a caring action.

artwork by Mary Pelc

Remember this mantra: CARE BUT DON’T CARRY

It is possible to care about something without carrying it like a burden.

If I begin, right here in this moment, to consider everything that is “wrong” with the world and I worry and carry it as if it was my whole responsibility to make it better… well, I don’t know of a quicker way to burn out with so much stress and anxiety, rendering me unable to do anything about anything.

 

This doesn’t mean do not do something about it.

 

On the contrary, it means you can do something about it without putting your body through unnecessary levels of stress and debilitating worry.

 

Yes, it’s absolutely easier said than done. Unlearning the unhealthy ways in which we react to the world around us may very well be one of the most difficult things we get to practice in life. But one of the most worthwhile too.

 

If you recall from the last Gentle Reminder I wrote to you: you don’t need to wait for motivation or inspiration to DO things that you know are important. Motivation and inspiration is not always behind great/impactful action.

artwork by elesq

Give your worries a deadline to come up with a plan of action. 

Here’s an idea: if there’s something that is worrying you right now, consider giving it the attention it clearly deserves. Take 15 mins out of your day today to sit down and do nothing but worry about it. Important: bring something to write with. For the first 10 mins, consider the source of your worry as you take deep breaths. Acknowledge it. This, after all, shows you that there is something hidden within the worry that you deeply care about. Feel free to write your feelings down if you’d like. Then, for the remaining 5 mins, start writing down potential courses of action. Make a Plan A, Plan B, Plan C. etc. Try to keep writing without stopping and just let your thoughts flow with potential courses of caring action.

 

Then, once the 5 mins are up, put the writing materials away. You’ve already given the threat your undivided attention AND you also created courses of action. You don’t need to decide on any one action just yet. For now, you would have already succeeded in using your superpower of worry in an empowering way. That in itself is progress. Perhaps the next day (or sooner than later), you will be able to make a decision and take one of those actions. And, motivated or not, you will do it because you care about it. 

 

Either that, or you will not do anything and continue to worry – and you will have to accept that progress will not be made. 

 

Gentle reminder: you can’t have both the worry and the progress.

You have to decide which one you want more.

I think motivation & inspiration are far too overrated – but, that may be another conversation for another time. For now, I hope you continue to care more and carry less. It’s a practice. Yes it’s difficult but it’s oh-so worth it. I’m rooting for you!

Sending you lots of love and strength your way.

Stay present,

artwork by SAU

Heya! I’m Jovanny Varela Ferreyra, the founder of The Artidote. This post comes from a previous Gentle Reminder, a free newsletter with healing thoughts & beautiful artwork that I deliver every week to my community. If you’d like to receive something like this directly in your inbox every week, subscribe and become a part of the Gentle Reminders community from The Artidote! 🌻

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A Powerful Lesson From My Most Recent Panic Attack

“Be Gentle. You are meeting parts of yourself you have been at war with.” 

Unknown

On Friday December 11, I made what would become the last Artidote post of 2020.  The next day, I experienced something I hadn’t felt in years: the surge of a major panic attack. 

And although this story has a happy ending with a profound lesson at the end, I feel the need to go back to that day for a moment and contextualize what prompted my recent online absence and, more importantly, where today’s Gentle Reminder is coming from.

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A Visit to Pristina, Kosovo for Mental Health Awareness Week

Getting Real Exposure in Pristina

At the invitation of The Center for Information & Social Improvement (QIPS), I gave a talk in Pristina this past Monday. QIPS is a Kosovo-based NGO working to improve the well-being of people in need and raising awareness for problems hidden by stigma. To be honest, this is what brings me the most joy while running The Artidote. Having the opportunity to be physically present in communities across the world to bring mental health awareness feels real. Managing the project behind the screen is fun, but having real interactions with real people has no substitute.

This talk was the kick off to the Mental Health Awareness Week organized by QIPS. The theme this year was Art Therapy. What made this talk particularly special for me was that translator devices were used. Headphones were used to translate English to Albanian and vice versa. This allowed me to share my journey at The Artidote with every one of the 250 people present. They also gave me the opportunity to understand the panel discussion that followed my talk. It was an insightful conversation between the director of The Mental Health Center in Pristina, a psychologist professor at the University of Pristina and the director of the National Autism Association of Kosovo.

Complex But Necessary Conversations

To me, it is a privilege and pleasure getting to learn from mental health professionals about the challenges in their particular community. They spoke about the limited access to mental health services, stigmas that need to be dissolved, government policies that need drastic improvement, collective trauma after war, our personal role in prioritizing our mental wellbeing and how we may be of support to others around us. These are all hard but necessary conversations to have. It’s important to raise awareness and help shift the stigmas around mental illnesses. More importantly, these convos expose the real challenge of securing adequate support for our mental well-being. Whether we suffer from a mental illness or not, our collective mental well-being is something that we should all care about. After all, we’re all in this together.

Growing Together With People

Half of the audience were Artidotees. This is something special for me. It’s such a joy getting to meet the community face to face. It shows me the real impact of this platform, an impact that goes beyond the screen and way beyond just quotes and art. It also strengthens my sense of responsibility. I’m grateful to see The Artidote growing into something that more and more resembles my dreams.

Pristina Pristina Pristina Pristina Prsitina Pristina Pristina Pristina

 

 

 

 

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Recap: Artidote Meet-up in Malta

ARTIDOTE MEET-UP
n.
An informal gathering of local Artidotees—of which the most recent happened on April 19, 2018 in Valleta, Malta.

There is no set agenda or program for these informal gatherings at the moment. My intention is simply to bring together like-hearted people who have a strong connection with The Artidote. I suspect that they would also find strong connections with each other. So far I’ve hosted 5 Meetups around the world (Boston, US | Nicosia, CY | Dublin, IE | Bangalore, IN | Valleta, MT). Each one has taught me so much about you, about me & what I can further do to strengthen this community & expand the positive impact it’s been having in our lives.

I’ve learned that each Meet-up will be slightly different depending on location, weather & number of Artidotees present. In Dublin, 6 people came together at a coffee shop. In Bangalore, surpassing all my expectations, 130 people crowded the restaurant. Due to the wonderful weather that day in Malta, we decided to meet outdoors. 20 Maltese Artidotees would come through.

The Little Big Things

A group convo blossomed. We spoke about the little things: how to say BREATHE in Maltese (hu nifs), what the people of Malta are like, how scary and awkward it can feel to come & meet a group of virtual strangers, taking dancing classes (burlesque) as a therapeutic way to build self-esteem and how to meditate in public without looking like a weirdo.

We spoke about the big things: the energy of love, the evolutionary value of pain, the mystery of death, living with mental illnesses and the country’s general perception on mental health. In essence, for 2 hrs we created a space of comfort where to have real & vulnerably honest conversations as well as silly chit-chat & laughter. And, of course, there were plenty of selfies and hugs in the end 🙂

I loved the fact that some Artidotees found someone to connect with beyond that moment. Perhaps some life-long friendships were planted that day. They also created a Facebook group where to keep in touch, share helpful resources and send updates on future meet-ups between themselves.

I have big dreams with The Artidote & these meet-ups are little glimpses of what it can evolve into in the future.
#BabySteps 
—Jova

P.S. Here’s a link to the photo album on Instagram

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A Catwalk In Mumbai: Please Feed Jova When You See Him

It was a beautiful Friday morning in Chimbai, Mumbai. My friend Anto had set us up for a casual stroll through the streets of Chimbai with Jyotsna, a wonderful woman that feeds stray cats in her village. Everyday. Twice a day. Now for 7 years straight.

 feeding stray cats in Chimbai  baby cat is afraid to come out  chiku the cat being shy

If that sounds fascinating, it’s because it is. She considers these cats, over 150 of them (and counting), her extended family. And, like her own family in Mumbai, she cares for them every single day. It felt ritualistic; to begin every single morning with this simple act of kindness.

A Cat Named Jova

She knows all of them by heart. How could she not; she’s names nearly all of them. Sometimes, we were told, it is her two young daughters who have given them names. That’s why on a particular street corner you may find “Belle” chilling with “Sebastian.”

watching jova the cat eat jova with his namesake cat

The cat you see here was a recent newcomer to the family, so nobody had yet come up with a name for him. As soon as I approached him, he came closer to greet me by purring and caressing my leg with his body and tail. I usually don’t receive this treatment from cats, which anybody who knows me knows as well that I’m not a “cat person.” But this connection felt different. Jyotsna, perhaps noticing our immediate bond (or that our color coordination was on point), told me I could name him if I wanted to. It felt like such an honor; being granted the opportunity to name one of her children.

And I did.

So from now on, everyday when she walks around feeding her extended family, whenever she reaches this specific corner in Chimbai, she will be greeted by a cat named “Jova.”

jova with his namesake cat jova with his namesake cat

May we all leave pieces of ourselves wherever we go. And may we also carry beautiful stories from elsewhere forever in our hearts.


The Artidote is a passion project running on love for the past 3 years by a team of one. But I’ve finally let go of my fear of asking for help, which I need more than ever to sustain the amount of work it requires today to keep it running. Please consider contributing to its financial sustainability so that I may be able to keep this dream running <3 
THANK YOU,
Jova

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Delhi: A Moment That Left An Impact On Me

The Artidote LIVE: Being In The Moment

On Wednesday February 21st, 2018, I hosted the first ever Artidote Moment. I didn’t want to call these things “sessions” or “events” because each of those terms carried implications that were not fitting. I wanted to create a new type of experience. In the end, the term “Moment” felt natural and objectively free from any weird, unnecessary associations.

Despite not having a set structure for this very first iteration of The Artidote LIVE, I intuitively knew what I wanted to create. Over a period of 3hrs, I would attempt to open up a space where people felt free to feel. Sounds simple, right? But feeling, openly and in public, is sometimes very difficult. Beyond feeling, I also wanted people to share those feelings and their stories. I dreamt of creating an enclosed environment in which, in a room made up of mostly strangers, people felt free to both laugh out loud and cry. It’s very difficult to find spaces, in other people or in the outside world, where that freedom is given to us without somebody placing a limit on what and how to feel what we’re feeling. This was my humble attempt.

Tears Under My Eyes When I think About That Day

There were two Moments that day: one between 9:30am—12:30pm and another one between 5pm-8pm. Each Moment was and felt different. Understandably, since each space brought together 130+ souls and unique stories that came together to share a moment in time.

Every time I think back on how I personally felt at the end of that day, tears form under my eyes. Nostalgic tears. It was a beautiful experience, personally, to both open up about my own life to a room full of Artidotees and to listen and feel their own presence. My favorite part was when I felt the collective transition into comfort. At this point, people began to fall into the courage of the moment and begin sharing the vulnerably honest part of themselves with all of us present. The energy felt in the room was unmistakable; how we were all there together to sustain ourselves in those moments. These are some of their stories.

On Processing the Reality of Death

A young girl whose beloved grandfather passed the night before, came to the event. Unable to still process the reality of death and put words to her feelings, something drew her to be in that Moment with us. She is one of the strongest people I’ve ever felt in my life — a powerhouse of nurturing — I felt it in the hug we shared at the end of the Moment. May she find her peace through the grief in the healing process.

On the Importance of Parenting

A 14 year old girl came with her mother. It was such a special Moment to have a parent present; I cannot stress enough the importance parenting has on our Mental Health, especially with the challenge of today’s generation gap. I was proud of the Artidotee for convincing her mother to come with her and inspired by the parent for listening to the passionate interests of her child.

On Living and Healing After Sexual Abuse

A young woman, on her way to the venue, accidentally ran into me on the street and recognized me. She froze in awe and amazement. We exchanged smiles, took a selfie, gifted me a handwritten letter and, after a hug, she continued on her way to the venue, jumping with excitement after our chance encounter. Later on, in a room full of 200 Artidotees, she felt comfortable to ask for the microphone. In that moment, she shared with us that she still carries the trauma of being sexually abused when she was younger.
You never know what the stranger next to you has been through. We all deserve a safe space where to share our stories, be actively listened to and be allowed to feel our feelings.
I will never forget her; she’s such a courageous ray of sunshine.

On Speaking Out Despite Social Anxiety

An Artidotee with a history of social anxiety asked for the microphone. Subtly shaking, she admitted that she could distinctly hear her heart pounding as she began to speak. She would go on to deliver a passionate account of her life, personal struggles and how she’s overcoming them. Her vulnerably honest thoughts were followed by all of us clapping at her and her courage to speak her mind.

On Reminding Ourselves To BREATHE

An Artidotee who suffered a panic attack the night before shared her story. She said that, in her panic, she felt enough stored up energy in her body to… do the unthinkable. But in the midst of it all, she remembered to B R E A T H E. And kept reminding herself to breathe throughout. And she wanted to be with us in that shared Moment to thank The Artidote community for being there. I felt so very thankful to have her there with us as well.

Moments To Never Forget

Someone that has never heard of The Artidote until that Moment (told about it by a friend) stopped by. He asked for the microphone near the end to share how much he appreciated having had experienced what just happened during the last three hours. And how appreciative he was of finding this community and having shared the last 3hrs of his life with all of us.

These are Moments I will personally never forget.
Jova

The Artidote is still a passion project running on love for the past 3 years by a team of one. But I’ve finally let go of my fear of asking for help, which I need more than ever to sustain the amount of work it requires today; consider helping me keep this dream alive by contributing to its financial sustainability <3
THANK YOU

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Bangalore: The First Offline Chapter of The Artidote

BANGALORE, India – Giving the keynote speech at the Under 25 Summit in front of the largest gathering of Artidotees to date to reveal a new chapter in the evolution of The Artidote. Sunday February 18, 2018. Photos courtesy of Under 25 Club

When Dreams are Bigger Than Fears

In front of 2500+ people (with hundreds of Artidotees in the audience), I attempted to be my most vulnerably honest self. From the start, I revealed to the audience that I didn’t have a speech prepared for that night. Purposely. Because I did not want to appear perfect, but human.

Instead, I relaxed into the moment and shared my history of social anxiety, the years of bullying, depression, fear, heartache, life-ache and every consequential thing in between that had brought me to that moment, speaking live in front of 2500+ souls.

I was offering myself up as a mirror; I was letting the underdogs in the crowd know that I am on their side. That I’ve always been on their side: an introvert with dreams bigger than his fears. #TeamUnderdogs

First Ever Local Chapter of The Artidote

The highlight of that moment would come near the end of my time on stage when, after various questions from the audience were answered, the revelation was made: The Bangalore Chapter of The Artidote will be the first offline Artidote community.

Bridging the gap from URL to IRL is perhaps my most ambitious dream with The Artidote. I want to build Artidote Chapters across the world. Imagine getting to know other Artidotees in your area. Or better yet, imagine one day visiting a new city far away from your home and, in the midst of the unknown, you get to meet members of this extended family and form long lasting bonds. This is a privilege and a blessing that I personally get to enjoy whenever I now travel and I’d like to also gift this possibility to every Artidotee out there.

The Work Ahead

Saying that there’s a lot of work ahead is an understatement. But for the following months, The Bangalore Chapter will serve as a pilot program to understand the structure and resources necessary to make it a thriving and supportive Artidote community that could serve as a model for future Chapters. Of course, I will be keeping you updated along the way.

2018 is proving to be the most formative year for this project and, I’m very happy and excited to say, this is just the beginning. Thank you for all of your support throughout this journey.

All the love,
Jova

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The Artidote India Tour: Bangalore Kick Off

FASCINATING adj. extremely interesting

It’s the term I’ve found myself repeating since I landed in Bangalore a couple of days ago. And it wasn’t to refer to the amazing coffee from Hatti Kaapi, nor the toasty/tasty Masala Dosa from MTR, nor its spicy/creamy/yummy Bisibele Bhath. Even though those things are great in their own right, what I’ve been constantly referring to as fascinating are the people that I’ve had the privilege of coming across.

People and their stories

My city guides, my culinary experts, my cultural translators have been a group of youngsters from various parts of India that have come together for the past few months to organize the Under 25 Summit, India’s largest youth festival. The passion and focus with which these youngsters execute their objectives and the way in which they’ve carefully structured their roles within a 200+ team to bring an event of this magnitude to a successful grand finale on February 18th was, well, fascinating to witness.

What I’ve equally found fascinating are the Artidotees that I’ve come across. I had the privilege of briefly getting to know their stories, struggles, dreams, courage and resilience. My eyes become watery just thinking about them. Not because I feel sad for them, but because I find them as the most inspiring young people I could surround myself with. Yes, some of them may currently feel like they’re barely surviving their struggle. But where they see weakness, I see underdogs with superstar potential.

The Artidote Meetup

On February 19th I called for an Artidote Meetup. I had made the location and time announcement just the night prior, so I expected a maximum of 50 attendees. Over 130 Artidotees showed up to make the venue literally packed. Despite the difficulty in managing to interact with every single one that showed up (which, naively, I hoped to do), I got to experience the beauty of human vulnerability with some one-on-one interactions.

I met a madly in love couple who met through The Artidote and came to say Thank You for bringing them together. There was also a girl who is tough and badass on the outside but hidden inside was the most gentle and nurturing soul in whose presence I felt incredibly safe. I also encountered a couple of souls that may currently feel lost and with a void within them but with the potential to shine brighter than their shiniest of dreams. And dozens of people that reminded me of why we need more spaces like this to talk about the things we normally don’t feel safe enough to talk about.

At the end of the Meetup, I felt it was the perfect opportunity to reveal to them that the Bangalore Chapter of The Artidote will be the first pilot program of what an Artidote Community could look like in real life. I’ll be working over the next months on developing a working structure that would serve as a model for other cities to follow.

Cultivating today the change we want to see tomorrow

I feel blessed to have created an online platform that attracts humans who are: empathetic and curious about other humans, critical thinkers, sensitive beings able to be amazed at the sight of the moon or a sunset, courageous hearts that feel their emotions and—most importantly—prioritize mental health (theirs as well as others’). These are youngsters that understand the present ever-changing world we are living in—people that understand the importance of mental health and the need for a societal restructuring of the misguided beliefs around it.

As I spoke to each of them about their most intimate vulnerabilities, I kept thinking that these are the youngsters that will be the future leaders of their communities, cities and countries — the ones that will eventually be able to affect the outdated policies and beliefs of the old guard and make their world a safer space where mental illnesses are not a taboo and more education surrounding the importance of Mental Health is established. And, in-between our conversations and me feeling inspired in the presence of so much courage and resilience, I had a recurring thought: If I can create a space where they come together to empathize, bond and heal today… they will change the world tomorrow.
It is them and that idea what I keep finding fascinating.

All the love,
Jova
February 20, 2018
Bangalore, India

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Done Wishing: An important message regarding the future of The Artidote

I think it’s more than clear by now that what began in 2015 as a creative exercise in which to tell stories and share thoughts artistically on social media, has evolved beyond, well, beyond being just that. Beyond just the sharing of art & quotes. Beyond giving artists exposure. Beyond introducing new forms of expression with modern-day technology.
Today The Artidote has become a worldwide community of humans from all walks of life; a global squad of support.

For me, personally & professionally, it has been my most successful art project to date. Yes, I’ve considered The Artidote a work of art: a virtual collage of visual & written storytelling that opened new channels of communication and expression capable of making people feel at scale. As such, it has brought me great joy over the years and, without exaggeration, has changed my life. It’s been my dream brought to life, as it fuses all my passions. All of them: storytelling (art), psychology (mental health), philosophy (self-awareness), philanthropy (empathy) and the potential to lead a life that, in its wake, leaves a positive impact on the world.

All of this, over the years, done on my own spare time, fueled only by my passions and with no monetary earnings — no way of make a living to afford the time & effort put into it. Not because I couldn’t simply start selling random ads to run on all of its channels (for example), but most importantly because I have been very cautious and have constantly refused and rejected those offers in an attempt to not jeopardize the value of The Artidote’s shared content & the trust in the community I’ve been building. If I ever were to market a product or a service through here, I want to make sure that it’s of actual value to my community.

Unfortunately—but not surprisingly and perhaps a disguised blessing—I’ve reached my spare-time limit. Meaning that my spare time is no longer sufficient to handle the demand of the various feeds and needs of a community that keeps organically growing. There are many people who daily message me with inquiries and various degrees of attention that often require much more support (often professional) than I could provide through The Artidote in its current phase.

Messages of help. Messages that break my heart, both for their content and for not being able to afford to have the time to look into them properly and at least guide them to someone who may provide actual, practical help.
For some time I’ve been wishing I could help every single one of you that reaches out. Wishing I had the time. Wishing I had the means to afford taking the time. Wishing that I could support myself through The Artidote so that I could give not just my spare time but my full time to an endeavor that has not only changed mine but I know the lives of many. That is my dream life.

But I’m done wishing.

I’ve taken the initiative to evolve into my dream life; to take a leap into the unknown and learn to fly on my way down—so that I may soar even higher. In the coming days, weeks, months & years you may notice these changes. I simply wanted to leave this message here for the sake of transparency and vulnerability—and in the hopes I continue to have your support as we grow along. Thank you for being a part of this journey thus far.
We are all in this together <3

All the love,
Jova
Munich, Jan 16 2018

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Interview with Healthcare Executive

How has The Artidote grown from a social media page to a movement? What are some of the issues it addresses? What are your views on the effect of social media on self-esteem? Is attention seeking & self-pity a symptom of genuine suffering? What are some of the definite don’ts you abide by to not romanticize mental illnesses?

Read the full interview on Healthcare Executive >

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