For the first 30 years of her life, Kasey Rainbow thought her biggest goal was to become a mum, a belief she has disproved in the last two and a half years. What Kasey didn’t know was that there was a budding author inside of her.
“I thought that once I was a mother, I would feel complete and content with my life. It turns out that I didn’t just give birth to my daughter that day, I also gave birth to my true self.”
Kasey remembers her battle with mental illness starting when she was 18-years-old. Her struggles were exacerbated by bullying, eating disorders and self-harm throughout her late teens and early twenties. It came as no surprise to Kasey when she was diagnosed with Post Natal Depression three months after giving birth. After being referred to a psychologist, she finally felt she had a safe place to go and reveal her darkest of thoughts and feelings.
“She allowed me to say things I was too scared to say to anyone else and together, we broke down every part of the pain I’d suffered as a bullied teen. We delved deeper and deeper and I hit some very dark, deep places.”
One evening, when driving home from a particularly intense session where Kasey expressed her fears that her daughter would suffer similar challenges to her mother throughout her life, Kasey had an idea: she was going to write, illustrate and self-publish her own children’s book. A book that educated and empowered children, while enhancing their imagination and teaching them about strength and self-acceptance.
There was only one flaw in her idea: money. So Kasey turned to the crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter, where she shared her story and passion for helping others and her plans to donate 30 per cent of all book proceeds to beyondblue, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to mental health. The goal was set: $5,000 in 30 days to enable a print run of 500 books.
“And there it was. My story, my pain, my secrets… everything was online and out in the big wide world. It was the scariest thing I have ever done, but at the same time, the most liberating”
Kasey reached her target via Kickstarter within 13 days with her publisher eventually printing 1,000 picture books. On 7 October 2017, she became a published author and a few months later, at the start of 2018, she started planning a second children’s book. Soon enough, Kasey came to the realisation that the passion and drive she felt when planning the first book was void so she decided to focus her attention on creating a book for someone just as important as her daughter: her.
Enter BIG LOVE, which unites 37 women, bringing them together to tell their stories, share their experiences and offer their wisdom. Accompanied by beautiful artwork, imagery and design, Kasey’s new book was created to support women and show mothers everywhere they are not alone.
BIG LOVE launches on 12 May in Kangaroo Point, Brisbane. Tickets are limited with guests indulging in wine and cheese, while listening to a number of fabulous speakers. Amazing prizes are also on offer. Click here to learn more.
If you are struggling with an eating disorder or body image issue, call The Butterfly Foundation on 1800 33 4673.
This article was first published on TEAM Women Australia.