After writing yesterday’s post about being bored and needing some focus, I pulled out my camera in hopes that something inspirational would come. Taking direction from other photographers I decided to focus on a year-long documentary on what I see in my world but with a twist; I can only use my 30 mm lens. This forces me to one, improve my photography composition and second, really look at what is around me.
This lens is a wide-angle, but on my camera, it works much like a portrait lens meaning if I want those really wide shots I need to step back. The lens lets in a lot of light without using a flash, so I have more freedom to take low light images, which I really like right now. I may have to invest in some new lens filters though, to get the shallow depth of field (blurred backgrounds) I want in brighter conditions where the sun is shining. All of this combined pushes me to do something… a 2018 goal which I can look at with pride.
I’ve set up a new page where you can see each day’s image collage.
UPDATE: My daughter pointed out I’m using a 35mm lens. So much for relying on memory. lol
Looking back at my social media I see I am in a different emotional place this year. It hasn’t been without its lows, but overall this holiday season is ending on a high note. Instead of sleeping away the days because of depression, I’ve enjoyed every day with family. The “Memories to look back on” that Facebook provides reminds me how my life is a cycle of ups and downs. While there have been some very poor days, there have been more positive ones.
When I returned to school this time, I didn’t give in and stay at home on bad days. The class I’m in now is very positive. It’s a reward I’ve given myself to push forward in my endeavors to become a better photographer. This year has had a great many accomplishments: the “It’s a Dog’s Life Project” is nearly complete, my first published photographic article was published, and so many other personal goals accomplished. While it’s easy to look at what I could have done differently, I refuse to let my negative voice reign in their opinions. 2017 was a great year!
Now Looking Forward
The private journal is new and is helping me tremendously with my personal life. It’s helping build better relations with my husband. It’s giving me a place where I can write without censorship for the public eye. Each day I write something. With my faulty memory, it’s provided me insights into both the bipolar disorder and other problems I face every day. I’m glad I started it again.
I was thinking of going back for the winter term at school, but I’m not 100% committed to the energy it would take. Winters are always tough! The weather has moved into frigid cold temperature, forcing us to stay indoors for good reason. There are just two weeks left of this term in January, then I’ll be done for another year. I will miss seeing classmates. Next year, I’ll be facing new faces. I feel like I’ll be a year two student for some time, working on part-time status. But it with good intentions. I’m not sure I’ll be taking the whole course yet, at the rate I can afford the classes, and the energy it takes to attend more than a single class at a time. I have such a long way to go. What I need to look at is what I have accomplished, which is one more credit!
This new year will come with the same battles, but at present, I feel like I’m ready to take them on. I don’t have any big plans for 2018. Spending time with family is closest to my heart. I’m feeling old. Time is pressing against me and I’m trying not to take my days for granted anymore. I may start up a photo-a-day journal to document my life, I may not. Photography is something that comes from my emotional state, not just moments in time. I may take up more writing. I’ve always dreamed of writing a short story and having it published. Maybe some writing courses would be good for me. I know I could certainly improve my skills in that area. I’d also like to make a large photo book of my favorite images from 2017. So many images, and not enough wall space. These would make a nice addition to my memories. Things to ponder for the new year.
To keep things positive, I’m slowly weeding out anything that leaves me feeling less appreciated or feeling worthless. This includes some of my social media following. Some people I will stop following. Their constant negative posts drain me and break me emotionally. I NEED positive in my life. It comes down to choices.
I may take up more photography tutoring on a different level. I think this would be a good avenue for me, perhaps some weekend/evening workshops? This too is just a thought of keeping things positive.
For now, I’m looking forward to 2018… may it bring good things.
I have to thank my family once again. My husband especially, for always sticking by my side. It’s been a rough couple of years as we go through the transitions of life. My illness, while I hate to admit it plays a big part in when we do things and how we spend our time spent together. Together we have worked hard to make our lives better, healthier and happier.
I have always used journaling as a way to express my thoughts and emotions. My art is my vision as I want others to see my world. Sometimes these are gross expressions which may not appeal to everyone, and then there are some who see something completely different in the work I do.
My last post was password protected because of the sensitivity of the content, which was written directly to my spouse. Not everything needs to be out in the open for public view. Often when I cannot speak my mind I choose to write out my words, this was one such occasion. Why bother to blog then if not to share with the world? It’s a place where I keep most of my thoughts together. To offer myself an easy way of tracking where I was and how I was processing my mental well being at the time.
I’ve started a separate journal, one which is not a blog. This is intended to provide me a private space where I can let things go unfiltered and share with a select few. Inside this journal is my internal journey of what life is like with dissociative disorder. While I speak clearly about bipolar on this blog, the other is a much more complex disorder and one with many different perspectives on life/living.
When the world comes to accept that this diagnosis is real, not built upon Hollywood style characters who slaughter their every victim, perhaps I will go into greater details about my personal experiences. Until then the separate private journal will be my place to go. Thank you, everyone, for reading this blog. I hope that it helps some to reach out, to make peace with themselves knowing they are not alone in this world.
I am grateful for another year of passing and personal growth. Looking back I see where I have managed through some difficult times, lost a few battles along the way, yet gained some independence by meeting challenges I couldn’t have foreseen happening 12 months ago. All this would not have been possible without the support of others. Many thanks to those who took risks with me in producing my photo/storybook on dogs, who gave me a job, who published my first written article and those who live with me every day. I can be a challenging person, but one who will always support others the best I can.
It’s been another long night of sitting up trying to turn off my brain as I worry about the latest photo assignment provided by my college instructor. I’m sure he’s expecting something amazing and complex from me, but I don’t know if I’m up to that challenge right now. The assignment is to make a believable piece of photography using two or more images. Sounds simple enough? For those who have ever tried to combine images in a program like Photoshop and make it appear as a single image, you’d be amazed at the long hours of frustration it takes. This doesn’t even take into account the pre-planning or shooting times. I’d be just as happy to do a simple composite this time around. The project is due in a little over a month. So I’m in the early stage of planning and worry. I’ve been up for nearly 3.5 hours scouring the internet for ideas. Everything looks overwhelming!
To top it off my depression/anxiety is still high. My sleep is so interrupted I’m physically feeling the effects more and more each day. Most afternoons or late mornings I’m back in bed for another few hours of sleep. By 8:30pm I’m ready to go to bed, awake again multiple times through the night. I try to stay in bed just resting as long as I can through the night, but there comes a point that I’m too restless or my body aches too much from forcing myself to sleep more. It’s a constant battle, one which at this point I’m not seeing a positive ending. I’m putting a call into my psychiatrist today to see if he can prescribe something to help me sleep. I see him next Tuesday so he may wish to wait to see me at our scheduled appointment though. I know once I get back into a better sleep cycle I’ll begin to feel better again.
The Christmas season is sneaking up. I was so delightfully excited in the early part of November, now I’m full of angst as the celebrations approach, mostly because of my low mood. I have two celebrations this year, one is my own party, the other is for family out of town which requires an overnight somewhere. I’m a mix of emotions on both. Part of me is excited to spend time with people. I have been feeling so lonely lately. I need some interaction, laughs and mental distraction, yet I’m stuck in this hollow where I don’t want to leave the house. I’ve begun clock watching again, which is a sure sign of my anxiety heightening. For me, knowing when something will begin and end, is paramount to my feeling secure. I hate being the ‘party popper’ but these little details help tremendously by putting me at mental ease.
Not all the kids will be home for Christmas day, a first since they were young. So much about this year will be different. Our middle girl is coming home 2 days after Christmas. I’ll be happy to see her. I’m not sure my oldest daughter will make it down due to her own personal reasons. Our son may not be staying for the day. I’m waiting to hear about his plans with the other half of the family.
Having 1/2 the family on Christmas day seems unnatural. I suppose that is part of the experience parents deal with as their children grow up and move away. I’ve had some sudden realizations this week that my children are growing up, or have grown up in most instances, I’m not in the same position where I was before. They are autonomous, which makes me feel even more alone. It’s a natural progression of time I suppose. I think back to when I was growing up and how my own Mother was left alone for years after I had moved away. I wonder how she felt? I wish she were alive so I could talk to her about my feelings.
Christmas is so full of expectations! For me, this is my number 1 let down of the season. Maybe it’s the child in me, but I like receiving what is on my list or things I suggest. It makes me feel like I’m listened to. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate all the gifts. I want to feel spoiled. I cook, clean and prep for the holidays. This one day I would like to feel appreciated for everything I do for others. Sounds selfish writing it out, and maybe it is, but that is how I’m feeling about the holidays anymore. I purchase what others want on their list so they don’t feel disappointed, why can’t I have the same! My suggestions are very specific, and sometimes time sensitive. Yet, I feel like I’m not heard. Already I have been busy shopping for others, watching for the deals and wrapping the gifts to place under the tree. Energy, anticipation, and fear of more disappointment mount constantly as Christmas comes closer. I’d love to sit back and enjoy the holidays, but I’m lacking the joy of the season right now. When it does come it is small, fleeting and I feel like I’m celebrating alone.
Today I’m thankful that my family is warm and cozy in our home.
It’s been a rough week filled with self-loathing. I feel like I deserve nothing! Trying to keep my tearful emotions hidden through mindless activities, sleep, and staring blankly out the window, all of which I am sure those close to me can see through. Inside I am screaming, but I make no sound that anyone can hear.
Leaving my job left me feeling empty. It was a good thing for me to be outside of the house, to have a purpose! Now, I am “just a…” all over again. I’m struggling to see the point of each day. Wake up, shower (when I have the energy), clean, do aimless computing, study and practice my school work, think about all the things I haven’t done and should be doing instead… these are what make up my days.
I am thankful that college is back in and that my Wednesday mornings offer a reprieve from my despair, even though my first day took all I had to leave the house. I was happy not to be driving. My anxiety was high enough that I would have rather stayed home, yet for those two hours, I can go somewhere else and not have to the ‘normal’ me. I don’t really talk to anyone in my class. Having no social connections helps me keep focused this year, without expelling emotional energy to be liked among my classmates.
For the last week, I haven’t wanted to go outside, even though we have had some beautiful days. I want to be with people, but I don’t have the energy to keep up conversations. It doesn’t have to make sense. I feel lonely, but I’m not alone. Depression sucks the life out of an individual. I’m using all my resources to keep it together.
My hallucinations are on the extreme… the worse they have been ever been. This alone is draining and scary. My speech, comprehension and cognitive skills are all low too. Words are not coming easy. Typing this out is difficult as the letters are often replaced with nonsense. I push myself to think of the good things and to be grateful for who I have in my life.
Today I am grateful for the sunshine…it at least brighten the day.
I started my job a month ago at the store in the local mall. Yesterday I had to give it up due to high levels of anxiety and stress resulting in making me ill again!
I enjoyed the benefits of talking with people, sorting out problems and making them feel good about themselves. The problem was my cognitive skills are just crap. Remembering how to hang garments, how to work the computer and other repetitive actions were difficult to grasp because my shifts were so few. I was taxing my mind with every day I was on the floor. I asked for feedback constantly on how I was doing. My sales were 98% on the mark for making the daily goal, in fact, I exceeded them.
What I took from this opportunity was that I AM CAPABLE of working some sort of job. Now it is just a matter of applying my strengths to the appropriate job. I’d still like to work in a retail – customer service. Perhaps after the holiday rush is over, I will try to reapply to a few of the stores that initially wanted to hire me after I took the other position. There is always hope.
I am grateful that I have pushed myself outside of the home. In doing so I wiped away the feeling of incapability to live a ‘normal’ life. I have proven to myself and others that I can do it! The job gave me insight into what I enjoy in a job which is tasking and helping others.