Kaylie and Karla are friends and the founders of accessories design studio Ternary London. Both Kaylie and Karla have been supported by Mind and they each tell us their story of why it was important for them to create the Bonded Collection of bracelets in aid of Mind.
Kaylie and I met at work many years ago, we both work in creative industries and from early on we became close friends and work allies.
Along with the hilarious conversations and great laughs we have, we also share any stressful situations or feelings that we are going through.
"We have both been there for each other and this support and understanding has been key in helping us deal with our own experiences."
I am from Brazil but had been living in London for five years with my husband. Living so far from our friends and family had been really hard but we are a very independent couple and loved the excitement of building a life in a new place.
As the years past we were getting more and more pressure from family to move back home. We did miss everyone terribly and I think it started to chip away, so we decided to pack up and move back to Brazil. Even though we were going back to our own country I felt scared, as deep down, I knew that the transition back wouldn’t be easy. It was so lovely to be back with our loved ones but I just felt displaced. I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t feeling ‘at home’. I really missed London, my friends and my career.
Years passed and I just couldn’t shake this unsettled feeling.
"I was so unhappy and couldn’t find the right direction or life for myself."
One night it was just too much and I broke down in tears. My husband is the most supportive person in my life and he knew that something needed to change.
When we finally decided that it was time to come back to London I felt a huge relief, and I thought we would slip seamlessly back into our old lives and careers. Once I was here, I had mixed feelings, part of me was really happy, however, part of me felt that I had disappointed my family and friends in Brazil, I felt so incredibly guilty.
We were both also finding it almost impossible to find work. I felt so selfish that I had instigated this move back and now we were in a worse position than we had ever been. It felt like we had taken so many steps back and it felt like it was my fault.
"Things started to crumble and I became more and more unconfident and depressed. I found it hard to leave the house each day and would spend most of my time at home crying."
I just didn’t know what to do or how to fix things. Our finances were dwindling and there was no sign of things getting better. I didn’t know how to tell anyone about what I was feeling as it was my idea to have returned.
"It took me almost a year to feel myself again. Mind helped me to overcome fear and my feeling of failure."
My therapist helped me to develop tools to cope with depression and made me understand that it’s much easier to take small steps every day instead of big leaps.
In 2010 I had my daughter Amelie. When she was three months old and the day before I was due to go back to work, my husband had a life changing accident.
The next few weeks were a tired blur of hospitals, operations, childcare and returning to work. He had multiple leg fractures and breaks and was unable to walk. At a time when we should have been in the midst of enjoying new parenthood, he was bed-ridden in a haze of painkillers and I was looking after him, baby and work.
Sadly one injury didn’t heal and required further multiple surgeries and endless recovery, this lasted for five years. Five years of him not working or walking and slowly becoming more withdrawn and increasingly depressed. I never seemed to get over the exhaustion of having to take everything on, I had to be a mum, wife, friend, carer and main earner.
I had about 10 minutes every other day in my car between work and picking up my daughter, which was the only time I got on my own.
"I used to pull up the car just to scream. I was just full of anger, hatred and resentment."
Talking to my friends about it helped me realise I needed to focus on getting him recovered and back to work so we could start to rebuild our lives. Part of this was for each of us to seek outside help and to have a designated part of the week to offload. We saw separate people as we had different aspects we needed to work through.
What I hadn’t anticipated is how difficult it is to move on from a situation like this. I feel slightly emptied from what happened as it literally stripped out so many of my reserves. It is an on-going process resolving anxieties that have manifested as a result and adjusting to the life we should be in.
"Even though it’s hard, talking and being open about how I feel with Karla and my other friends has been so important for me to move on."
In the early stages of starting our business together it was really tough and we felt quite alone in what we were doing. One day Karla was wearing a cute band bracelet she had made around her wrist, nothing fancy it was just nice. I said how much I liked it and she whipped a matching one up for me. A few nights later, whilst working late I was deep in thought worrying about an issue and as I looked down I realised I was playing with the bracelet.
"Instantly I thought of Karla and how in fact we were both in this together and even though things were hard, we were there to support each other."
This sparked the idea for the unisex Bonded bracelet collection for Mind. By creating a physical object that creates a connection between two people it acts as a reminder that being there for one another can make such a huge difference.
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