Written by: Morgan, the Founder and Creative Director of Unpolished Journey. With special thanks to Julia Hagen for helping Unpolished Journey bring their ideas to life.
To present Unpolished Journey’s logo is a surreal and baffling experience for me. Having started this organization on a whim as a blog to chronicle my many many many thoughts and emotions tied to my recovery journey, I never thought of it actually developing into anything more. So many people in treatment start blogs, so many people out of treatment start blogs. It just felt like the “thing” to do seeing that I called myself a writer and had a story to tell. What I didn’t expect was the rapidly growing community that would develop out of the blog, and then Instagram, and now Facebook and Twitter accounts that Unpolished Journey hosts. I will not accredit the growth of this community as merely a result of my writing capabilities. No, after much deliberation and thought, I have come to the conclusion that this community has grown and flourished because people need a space like Unpolished Journey.
But what is Unpolished Journey exactly? That is precisely the question my sister and I have been asking ourselves over the past couple of months as we worked to come up with an image iconic enough to be deemed the organization’s logo. We brainstormed and chatted about our purpose in Unpolished and between the two of us came up with this mission statement.
At Unpolished Journey we believe that the creation of a transformed life is discovered through connecting with others to achieve their full potential.
Which in very simple terms means that we want to foster connection among individuals who struggle with similar insecurities and obstacles. Whether that be recovery from an eating disorder, body image issues, depression, or anxiety, Unpolished Journey seeks to create the space for these struggles to exist.
There are many resources out there for individuals who are seeking treatment for an eating disorder – treatment centers, outpatient therapy services, and/or local support groups. If you are starting your recovery journey, there are services to help you find the care you need. In my recovery journey, I didn’t find it challenging to find resources for treatment. I did find that insurance companies and location made it more difficult to obtain these resources, but, nevertheless, they were there and available after one mere Google search.
My recovery journey always hit a speed bump after treatment resources were obtained. The main reason for my relapses came from feelings of disconnection. Whenever I was in a residential space, there was a structured program all day. I felt supported, held, and loved by so many individuals. The issue, for me, came the day I was discharged and sent back to my school, apartment, or city where I had to pause my life in order to enter treatment in the first place. I felt like I had to start over each time I went home.
Each time, the mission upon arriving home from treatment was the same. Find a supportive community. But where to look? Where would I find that? Church? School? I have never found it easy for me to fit into either of those spaces. Perhaps it was the lack of acknowledgement of mental health, and the lack of awareness around recovery that left me always feeling on the outside. I needed a community that understood how difficult recovery was in the real world.
So, that is the mission behind Unpolished Journey because when what you need doesn’t already exist, you simply have to build it for yourself. Unpolished Journey seeks to create a recovery community within the real world. Essentially it is a group of mental health survivors helping each other create meaningful lives.
Now that the mission of Unpolished Journey has been determined, it is time to explain the concept behind our logo. The logo is a water jug with a crack in the foundation, and one single water droplet falling from the spout. Unpolished Journey’s name was carefully chosen. Both words hold great significance to my own recovery.
Unpolished was chosen after a church sermon I had listened to when I was deep in my eating disorder. It has stuck with me ever since. The sermon spoke about how we were the clay and our Higher Power was the potter, continually molding us each and every day. We are all clay pots. Each one is unique and special to the creator. A clay pot’s contents are also forever shifting according to time and space. Same as our bodies. Bodies are not stagnant. They are forever changing forms. Time and experiences may wear us down. We may form cracks in our foundations. But, just like the sermon spoke, our Higher Power is constantly reshaping us each day. Imperfections are simply what make us human.
Journey was chosen simply because that is what recovery is. It is a journey. It is not a straight path. It is not a perfect little equation that will get you from point A to point B. It is a hard and difficult hike up a mountain whose trails are windy and rocky and whose top you cannot see. Recovery is a journey unfit for the faint of heart because it takes an insane amount of trust, faith, and perseverance to continue on a trail whose summit is not found on any map.
It makes sense then why my sister and I landed on the image of a water jug as Unpolished Journey’s logo. It combines both the concept of each individual being pots molded each day by our Higher Power as well as this idea of an intense journey.
And what journey do you begin on without first packing the essentials of water? Which brings me to the last component of the logo, the water droplet. This is symbolic on so many fronts, I almost want to just tell you to define it for yourself. Water has been the most healing element in my recovery. Whether it be listening to a stream, walking along the beach, or scuba diving, I have a deep appreciation for the beauty and power found in water. Representative of both healing and renewal, along with fluidity and harmony, I could not have a logo without the incorporation of it in some way.
So, that’s it. A long and lengthy description that I hope you were able to stick with me through. It is important for our followers to understand the mission of Unpolished Journey’s organization.
Peace be with you my beloved mental health warriors.