Welcome to this my first blog in a series where I will share my journey from severely struggling with my mental health to the much better place, I’m now in. 

Three things:

· friendship 

· therapy

· art 

have had a major role in improving my well-being. No doubt they will be the running theme through all my posts 

Friendship is a precious and powerful experience.  I have come to value it even more highly in my difficult times. I find it sad that in recent times friendship has become defined by clicks on a social media platform.  I am so very grateful for the ‘true’ friends that have been there for me.  They have loved, listened cared and shared even when I gave little back. I hope my posts will be a tribute to true acts of friendship and inspire ideas for caring for a friend with mental health challenges. 

When Rafi my fabulous little dog came into our lives 8 years ago, I named him Rafiki (Rafi for short) because it is the Swahili word for friend. In the Lion King Rafiki is Simba’s confident and wise mentor. At that time little did I know that Rafi would become the voice of my compassionate friend.

One of the first watercolour illustrations I’ve published is based on a watercolour sketch I did of my mum and her friend of over 50 years, walking along Seaton prom.  In our house my mum’s friend Valerie is known as Auntie Valleylee.  Maybe that story will be a blog post of its own sometime soon.  

As I was thinking about this first introductory post, focusing on friendship, I found a quote that really resonated with me. It was written in the 19th century but is still profound for me today. So much so it brought tears to my eyes. I felt inspired to illustrate it with a watercolour.

Feeling safe with a person is true friendship

I’ll be back in two weeks with another short post sharing my thoughts on therapy. In the next fortnight I hope you take an opportunity to tell a friend how much you appreciate them and make some time to be a true friend to someone else.

If you’d like a chat about friendship or anything else ‘wellbeing’ do use the comments section below and I will reply

If you are inspired by any of my blog or illustrations, feel free to share them on social media but PLEASE do credit me: Andrea Selley at 

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