Falling

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll is one of my favourite books.  I have always felt such a connection with this story for as long as I can remember, with a particular affinity for Alice herself.  During my darkest, most debilitating lows, I took comfort in seeing in Alice my own loneliness, vulnerabilities and fears in a crazy world she had to navigate through.  She made me feel less alone.  For the longest time Alice falling down the rabbit hole was really significant to me because it was how I saw myself when my mood was plummeting downwards.  Tumbling into a pit of unknown terrors where I am forced to battle with my own mind.

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I created this image a few years ago now and that is what it portrayed for me, until quite recently.   I was seeing a councillor, who I got on with quite well and we spoke a great deal about Alice, art, and photography as well as many other things.   One of the things we worked on was changing negative thoughts into positive ones.  I had showed her this image and told her how it made me feel apprehensive and through talking about it and Alice I came to see it in a whole new way.  Alice, who in spite of having just fallen down a rabbit hole, remains hopeful and optimistic.  She did not agonise over the what if’s, but seemed trusting that everything would be ok, “After this, I should think nothing of falling down stairs!” but choose to focus on how that experienced would allow her to think more positive the next time she faces something less challenging.

 

It is my goal to be more like Alice in this regard, because she is a badass!!!

Happiness is on the way

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I haven’t posted here in over two years now, i’ve been pretty busy expanding my family and battling hard with post natal depression.

After our oldest daughter was born my husband and I knew we wanted more children but it just never happened and I have experienced depression and anxiety to varying degrees so it never seemed like a good time for more either.  I went to college and uni and earned my degree in photography and had just started my honours year when my medication seemed to stop working and I felt myself on a downward spiral after years of doing so well.  At the time my doctor was tweaking my medication and I missed a lot of uni due to this so felt it would be in my best interest to defer until the following year to get my mental health back on track.  A few months after this I found out I was expecting, I remember feeling unbelievably happy yet paralysed with fear that something would go wrong.  I spend most of my pregnancy filled with such intense anxiety and dread, I counted down the days until my due date.  Every twinge or growing pain evoked suck terror and mental imagery of the worst possible things.

I took this self portrait the day before I went into labor, 1 week exactly from my due date. She arrived safe and healthy after a very fast labor. I was in active labor for only eight minutes! No time for pain relief, but the relief I felt once she was here and in my arms is indescribable.  I thought she is here, she is safe, nothing went wrong after all those months worrying, I cant finally relax.  The first few days were bliss, but it wasn’t long until those negative scary thoughts started creeping back in and I was back to being terrified something awful was going to happen to her.  I had this overwhelming sense of impending doom.  I was convinced something awful was going to happen to her or my other daughter or my husband. Leaving the house became unbearable, but it was agonising being at home all day, counting down the minuets until my husband came home from work and our oldest back from school, where I knew we were all secure in our little bubble of safety.

I had a tremendous amount of help this time, from family, friends and mental health services.  It is only recently that I feel like I am coming out of the other side.  My tiny baby is now an almost two year old who is just the funniest little character, she makes me smile everyday and sometimes want to rip my hair out.  While her big sister has just started high school and that bring its own set of new challenges and worries.

I have come such a long way and I often forget how well I actually am doing now. My next goal is to start to get back into photography, this scares me but I am learning to feel that fear and do it anyway or thats the hope anyway.

Shoot For The Moon

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“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” – Norman Vincent Peale

Ive been quite ill recently and not been making many images, the moon looked so beautiful on this night, I had to capture it.  I took this from my back yard, it gives me encouragement to keep going and this reminded me of a quote by Norman Vincent Peale.

Reality?

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Life is about perception; how we see reality is in our heads, it is mental.  Some people only see the darkness in the world, while others choose to see the brightness and vibrancy that life has to offer.  You do not need to stay in the darkness, just open your eyes and see.