Mental illness is real, and it sucks. My name is Emily Harrington, I’m thirty years old and bipolar, and I express myself through symbolic paintings. I started painting when I was eighteen, and the messages I find in my own art are a constant surprise. I want to share my paintings with the public in the hope that someone will see what I see.
Living with mental illness takes hard work. I’ve fought hard to acquire the skills it takes to survive my brain. I want to share my hard-won coping tools with anyone who is struggling to stay alive. It gets easier, but you need the skills. I hope my insight gives you hope, and maybe even strength.
I paint because I have too many brutally intense emotions. I need to put them down on paper in symbols and then hang them up to look at until I can decipher what they mean. I created this site as a way to display my paintings and explain how I live with this disorder. I’ve fought hard to acquire my knowledge of self and self-care. If I can give anyone a shortcut to feeling some relief from any kind of mental illness, this site will have been worth building.
If you live with mental illness or are trying to better understand a loved one who does, please read my Mental Health Help blog. I hope what I’ve learned can help.