Once a puppet was born out of my struggles with depression and anxiety. I was on a particular career path, which at the time I thought I wanted, but I slowly began to realise that it was not making me happy. I was overcome with anxiety as I felt pressured to continue this path, not for myself but for others.

I did not know what to do and questioned my purpose in life. At this point I felt lost and that I had no control over my life and future. I decided I needed help coming to terms with these emotions and sought the help of a psychologist. I was diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety.

During the process of getting treatment I decided to leave the programme I was studying towards and began working on a new project - one that would help me process my emotions and understand what i was going through.

I channeled my feelings into this new project. At the time I felt like a puppet on a string with no control over my life. This is where the idea for once a puppet came from. Once a puppet is my journey towards overcoming these feelings in an attempt to “cut the strings” which bound me so that I may free myself. It took me over a year to get to that point and along the way experienced a lot of doubt and procrastination which threatened the existence of the project, however, I endeavoured to bring myself back on track. I fortunately had the support of a close confidant who helped me realise that a support system is essential in dealing with mental health-related issues.

I hope to use puppet to aid others struggling with mental health issues, by showing them that they are not alone, although it often feels that way. In addition, I hope that by being open about mental health and sharing my personal story, that I may dispel stigma surrounding the topic allowing others to feel more comfortable voicing their struggles and encourage them to seek help timeously.

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