A Woman Has Given 12 Illness Survivors Fairytale Endings In This Eye-Opening Calendar

'Happily ever after is still possible'

As we learn in life, the endings we hope for – the “fairytale” endings – are few and far between. Even happy endings are rarely, if ever, perfect. But that doesn’t keep those suffering from illnesses and disorders for holding out hope that everything will one day be okay.

Therapist Angie Kupper has taken a literal interpretation of a fairytale ending for a calendar shoot she arranged that provides storybook contexts for people suffering from very real diseases and disorders. The project is called “Finding Your Fairytale,”

While the reality may seem quite distant from the desired outcome, it’s Kupper’s intent that this photo series and the accompanying documentary in development teach people who have emerged from struggles that happiness is attainable, even if it seems out of reach.

A catalyst for the project is Kupper’s relationship with her own mother, who committed suicide when her daughter was 17 years old. Put in the context of the project, she says about her mom, "She no longer saw that magic or that hope for herself, and she ended her story.”

Here are just a few of the photos in the calendar that put real, common struggles into fantastic, familiar contexts.

Julie Mundt suffers from OCD, which causes her to clean compulsively:

Chris Moehr/Finding Your Fairytale

This photo features Angie herself, who struggles with narcolepsy, as Sleeping Beauty:

Chris Moehr/Finding Your Fairytale

Dr. Charles Raison, a psychiatrist at the University of Wisconsin, applauds the novel and accessible look at the dark side of recovery. "We're such word-dominated animals that we think everything can be put into words, but as you visualize yourself in some sort of fairy tale, you're engaging other senses around you," he says.

While the stories shared don’t play out like the end of a fairytale, Kupper’s message through the project is one of unwavering hope and solidarity. She says that although there will be struggles and setbacks, "You can come out the other side and have your own happily ever after."

For many of the subjects in this calendar, holding hope and faith in that statement might serve as a powerful treatment towards getting them to that ending.

Chris Moehr/Finding Your Fairytale

Finding Your Fairytale

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