A Note from the Founder
ILL Apparel was born out of pain – a very dark season. My journey through the pain has brought me to this point. Just like many others out there, my battle with anxiety, depression and brutally distorted thinking left me feeling lonely and isolated. “There’s no way anyone can understand this. Why can’t I get over this?” This kind of pain can leave a lot of us in doubt and anger. Many people are confused on why we can’t simply just move on, or be stronger. And so, we are told a variety of well-meaning, but often harmful words of advice. As much as we’d like to move past this pain, real and meaningful help is required. The truth is that we are only human and our brokenness requires much more than any simple fix offered to us. We are all in the process of healing. Whatever your pain or darkness is, you can be reminded that being “ill” means that it’s also possible to get better. Here’s to recovery, for all of us. No matter how long it takes. We’re in this to the end, and we can help each other.
Why Are We Doing This?
This past year, more than ever, I have seen and talked with both friends and strangers, who are dealing with the lonely battle of mental illness. It traps them. It traps us. And it can be hard to find the right people to trust to share our pain with. But the truth is, no one’s pain is the same as yours because all our stories and experiences have been different. We must take the risk to share our pain with others because we are all dealing with our own brokenness and we can help each other. The world is still a little confused about mental illness, and that’s ok. We’ve been quiet for a very long time.
We want our clothing to help lead others to freedom – freedom from isolation, shame, and despair.
So I say we talk about what we’re feeling now, ok?
What Are We Doing About It?
The reality of living with mental illness can often lead to loneliness and hopelessness. While we would like anybody and everybody to wear ILL Apparel, we especially want to provide freedom for those who are suffering or know someone who is suffering from mental illness. We believe that clothing, like many other outlets, is one way we tell the world a little bit about ourselves. We all want to represent and identify with the unique and powerful experiences in our life. ILL Apparel is in it to normalize these struggles, and to spark conversations that can occur when others ask about the clothing.
Not only do we desire to encourage healthy conversation about mental illness, we also intend on donating a percentage of our clothing profits to different resources that provide proper education and real hope for recovery. We do believe that recovery is possible, but that can look for different for everybody. It’s not a fight easily won and can often take years. We believe that faith, proper education, an experienced therapist and the courage to talk about your struggle can help change your life and give you hope.
So please, stay hopeful. Even when it feels like you will never see the light. It is possible. Maybe you can start today by opening up to someone who loves you.