Our next piece is named after Mikaela Henschel, a 28 year old who previously worked as a News Anchor and is now back in school for Interior Design. She’s been diagnosed with chronic depression, anxiety, PTSD, anorexia (where she is currently in recovery), and body dysmorphia. Due to her dealing with different mental illnesses she has multiple triggers. When Mikaela was four years old, she was sexually abused by a family member. Even though she was young the trauma left her with vivid memories, eventually leading her to being to being diagnosed with PTSD much later in life. Although the family member served time for his crime, the incident was swept under the rug and never talked about much again. This caused her to supress the assault, as shame took over this became her deepest secret for many years. Around 2015, after finishing her education at NAIT she started noticing a shift in her mental health. She admits before this she didn’t fully understand what anxiety and depression was until she experienced it herself. She reached out to her family doctor for help but ultimately continued to suppress her issues and feelings due to the shame and stigma. In 2017 Mikaela moved to start her on-air career as a news anchor. After some time the stress combined with unresolved mental health issues really started to unravel. As a way to cope she began restricting food to feel in control (she has struggled with food restriction and body image issues for the majority of her life). She thought if she was happy with what she looked like on the outside the inside would change too. During this time the “me too” campaign was a major trigger for her. It brought back vivid flashbacks, anger and anxiety that she didn’t know how to process and she began to develop suicidal thoughts and isolated herself. In late 2018 she unexpectedly found herself face to face with the man who assaulted her. This was the biggest trigger that blew the pot off of the pressure cooker. Following that incident she spiralled downward very quickly. She was heavily self medicating to numb herself and became very isolated from friends and family. She was unable to work most days due to the flashbacks, crippling anxiety and lack of energy from not eating. In February of 2019 she finally asked for help and entered an outpatient program for trauma and was also admitted to the Alberta Hospital after a suicide attempt.
When asked what hurdles she faced she said her biggest one was herself. As a perfectionist she never wanted to admit that she wasn’t okay and still sometimes struggles with that today. She was portraying a completely different version of herself to the world compared to what she was feeling. For so many years shame was a major hurdle for her, as it is for many survivors, and made her hesitant to talk about what had happened out if fear of being judged or labelled. The wait times for mental health is unacceptable. While she was struggling it took her seven months to get in with a psychiatrist. There are not enough beds in our public system to accommodate the amount of people dealing with a mental illness especially today. When someone asks for help, they need it immediately instead many are sent home and put on a waitlist. Therapy and medicine is a costly privilege. At $200 a session therapy is not an option for everyone. Without drug coverage her medicine costs were too much financially and eventually decided go off of them. High costs and wait times have proven to be a major consistent hurdle through her recovery and for so many others too.
When we asked Mikaela for advice for someone dealing with the same mental illness as her she explained: DO NOT BE ASHAMED! If you are a survivor of sexual assault it is not your fault. No mental health issues are your fault. Your mental health is valid and need to be treated like your physical health. If you are suffering no matter how big or small, ask for help. It is the hardest but best thing you can do for yourself. Recovery is a lot of work but, it does get better and it is absolutely worth it.
What we love about this cardigan is the balloon sleeves and the dropped hem on the sleeve. It allows for that oversized look but doesn't look sloppy. We picked the light grey color because it is light and airy perfect for the spring. The model in this photo is wearing a size small. This knit cardigan is made up of 100% Acrylic.
Small- Chest: 44" Length: 32"
Medium- Chest: 46" Length: 33"
Large- Chest: 48" Length: 34"
Extra Large- Chest: 50" Length: 35"