Annika has been coming to Wellspring for three and a half years. When I first met her, she showed me her coloring book – filled with intricate and imaginative designs.

She moved to Sacramento from Honolulu in 1982.

“Sometimes when I have breakfast, I call this my Wellsprings Café,” she said. “I get to socialize with the different ladies here or just feel at peace by myself.”

Annika participated in Wellspring’s 10 week intensive, expressive “Art of Being” art therapy course.

“My family is dysfunctional and it helped me to cope with my dysfunctional family, improved my self-esteem and helped me to become a stronger, more independent person,” she said.

Annika says that Art of Being helped her grow as an artist. She is currently enrolled in college and has a 3.8 grade point average studying art.

What sort of art do you like to do?

“Coloring right now – it’s my thing,” she said. “It is my hobby and watercolor, pen and ink – whatever I can get my hands on in terms of art supplies, I do it.”

“It makes me feel relaxed and helps me get away from stressful family situations,” she said.

What brings you joy?

“My artwork, my pets and helping my mom,” she said.

Annika has a rabbit named Princess Chub Chubs and a fish named Francis.

What have you learned as you’ve moved through life?

“As I grew as an artist, I’ve learned to accept my disability – I am bipolar,” she said. “It should not be stigmatized. I’ve learned to cope with it and great things come out of mental illness.”

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