An introspective person by nature, Jacqui Ripoll loves nothing more than a deep chat about the real stuff. Fascinated by the inner workings of the brain, Jacqui has made it her life mission to quash negative self-talk, improve her life and build up those around her. She’s determined to make the best of this one life she’s got.
Yet the journey to self-love and compassion has been far from straightforward for Jacqui, who has battled debilitating self-worth issues over the years. Struggling to believe that she had any value outside of her appearance, Jacqui was left with very little bandwidth to look inwards and discover what truly makes her tick.
“When I moved from high school to university, I was in a dire situation. I was well and truly stuck in a cycle of self-loathing and I honestly just thought, ‘what’s the point?’ I’d had a few suicide attempts and I was really struggling to transition into adult life. I was forced into counselling and group counselling; I was on suicide watch. It was quite nasty.”
While she begrudgingly participated in the support activities on offer, Jacqui didn’t realise the significant and life-changing impact they were making.
“I was constantly being fed positive routines and was unconsciously developing tools and techniques to change my thinking. I reached this pivotal point where I said, ‘I’m sick of being sad all the time, I don’t want this anymore’. I realised that I was in control and I didn’t feel like sitting in this situation anymore.”
|"Relection" by Jacqui Ripoll on display at the 2022 Recovered Futures Art Exhibition.
Then the hard work really had to start.
“I think when you’re in the pits of despair, it can feel impossible to feel motivated to change. I had to switch from unconscious behaviours to conscious behaviours. I started making active decisions to put one foot in front of the other until I eventually got to where I am now.”
Jacqui became a make-up artist and painter after studying visual arts at university. She says creating art is a major part of her wellbeing routine, alongside gratitude, positive affirmations and listening to her favourite podcasts.
“This was my first year exhibiting with Recovered Futures and it was such an enjoyable, seamless experience. It was my first exhibition since university. The thing I love most about art is it gives you a voice. You might have a moment where you don’t have the words to express how you’re feeling, then suddenly it appears on the canvas and you think, ‘that’s exactly what I wanted to say’.”
“I am powered by a deep desire for other people to feel that they have control over their body and mind. I want to help others find their voice too. I hope that through my art and through conversations, I can help create a safe space where others can say whatever they need to say. I needed a space to say everything without judgement and I know others need that too.”
Jacqui says sharing your feelings and beginning to look inwards is the first step to developing a growth mindset – which is the key that will unlock a truly rich, fulfilling life.
“Your mental health can take a dive when you approach things as, ‘this is how it is, this is how it will always be’. A growth mindset changes things quite a lot as you realise you’re ever-growing and ever-changing. I get very excited about introspective work now and know how much it has changed my life for the better.”
In keeping herself on track and moving forward, Jacqui embraces the opportunity to pause and reflect on how far she’s come.
“I love to ask myself the question, ‘what would make my younger self proud?’ Getting to a place where I can show myself greater self-love has been a long road, but I’m moving forward every day. There was a time when I felt hopeless and felt like that was all there was. Now I’m living the life I always wanted to. It’s phenomenal when you look back.”