Susanna Juvakka

I am a 30 year old mother of two and I am currently living on rehabilitation subsidy. I have spent all of my life living in different parts of the country, but in this city I’ve lived for eight years now. It’s the longest time I’ve ever stayed in one place. I wanted to learn how to grow roots. The main reason for staying in here is though, that I have seen the quality of the mental health services elsewhere in Finland – and they are much better here.

In my life the moments of being alone alternate with the moments of being with my children. I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, which is a medical condition characterized by chronic pain, and a variety of somatic and mental symptoms. Anxiety is the most difficult mental symptom to deal with in my everyday life.

The rehabilitation subsidy is very small and any money I have is always spent on the most necessary and mandatory things. Medication is one of my major expenses. When the kids are with me, I spend more on food and other nice things.

I try to organize activities that take me away from my everyday troubles: I meet friends and I ride my bicycle almost every day. I don't have the money for a gym membership. Music is very important, it helps me get through the bad days.

Photography will play a major part of my life also in the future. The story must go on.