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These Simple Drawings Share Mental Health Messages Everyone Needs to Hear

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She didn’t mean to start a blog — she started drawing as a coping mechanism, a way to process what she was going through. But now, the 23-year-old, who prefers to remain anonymous, draws inspiring and relatable pictures about mental health regularly for her popular Tumblr page, “I can’t draw but don’t care.”

drawing of a girl. Text reads: I am the same person I was before you found out I have a mental disorder.

“I’d always liked drawing, but I wasn’t good at it,” she said to The Mighty in an email. “I stopped drawing completely until I decided, you know what? I like drawing. I don’t have to care if I’m good at it or not.”

The purpose of her drawings aren’t about being “good” — they’re meant to spread empowering messages to people who live with mental illnesses. The blog’s creator said she lives with depression and anxiety, struggles with self-harm and experienced verbal abuse.

image of a girl with a tear streaming down her cheek. Text reads: Sometimes you just need someone to tell you you're not as terrible as you think you are.

“It’s taken really long in therapy and with medication, but I’ve started working through my traumas and I’m currently recovering. I’m not OK, and I don’t know if I’ll ever fully recover, but I’m a lot better than I used to be.”

On her page, she also writes short updates and musings, and answers questions from her followers. She says she hopes through her work, others know they’re not alone. “Basically all the things I wanted someone to tell me, I’m now trying to tell to anyone who will listen.”

“I want them to know they can survive this. That it’s OK to feel and think how they do, and that mental illness and abuse are real things that can happen to anyone,” she said. “They shouldn’t feel like bad people just because they are ill. They’re not making this up, and I believe them.” 

Check out some of our favorite images below, and visit “I can’t draw but don’t care” to see more illustrations inspired by mental illness.

Flower. Text reads: You've always been enough.

text reads: I am allowed to cut people out, be sad, say no, cry, yell, be quiet, be heartbroken, think of me first, walk away, be angry, want time for myself, me selfish -- because I am a human being.

text reads: I'm always doing my best. Please don't give up one me.

text reads: It's Okay to have contradicting symptoms.

text reads: do not blame suicidal people for wanting to die

drawing of a girl. text reads: Could I have a brain that's not trying to kill me all the time please?

owl. Text reads: You're not faking it. You don't have to hurt yourself for your pain to be valid. Please try not to harm yourself.

Picture of a girl holding a paper. Text reads: Waiting for a diagnosis sometimes feels like waiting for permission to be ill.

It costs $0 to make fun of a mentally ill person's coping mechanisms

drawing of a girl. Text reads: What you think about yourself isn't necessarily the truth.

Originally published: August 23, 2016
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