Welcome class, take a seat. I’m about to be an open book, no page left unturned. Every artist has a reason why they chose their art. For me, I chose photography because I want to capture the raw emotion that people don’t notice day to day. I wanted to heal my own heart by capturing the happiness of others. Looking back, it wasn’t the happiness that I wanted to capture, it was the sadness in my own heart that I wanted to mask.
I’m a people pleaser. I always have been and I always will be. However, this has led me to feel guilty when it comes to me doing stuff for myself. Crazy right? After my daughter was born in 2015, my world was turned upside down. Macey was a saving grace of sorts but I didn’t find the balance between wife, motherhood, and my own life until just recently. When I got pregnant with my son Layne, things got real and they got real fast. I was aware of postpartum depression because I got it in 2015 after I had Macey. Unfortunately I was not aware that it was possible to get severe depression during pregnancy. It’s time to cue my inner Miley Cyrus and tell you that the depression came in like a wrecking ball. And wreck it did.
After Layne was born, I suffered from severe anxiety. I had an overwhelming feeling that something was going to be wrong with Layne medically. This thought consumed me to my inner core. I was both exhausted mentally and physically. I had no control over my thoughts. I never got a mental break. At that point I realized that I needed to get help. With the encouragement of my husband, I started going to counseling weekly. I always knew that a lot of my postpartum depression with Macey stemmed from unresolved childhood trauma. After a few months of counseling, I decided to get treated for my ADHD.
When I tell you that my life has changed, it truly has. I don’t wake up and see negative. I have a clear head and I’m able to be mindful and positive. Sure I still have off days because I’m only human but overall I am genuinely happy. So why am I telling you all of this and how does in pertain to photography? I want to normalize the conversation of mental health. I want you, your neighbor, your sister, etc. to know that they’re not alone. Motherhood isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. Sometimes it’s really freaking hard.
encourage you to let go of whatever it is that you may be holding on to. Take control of your life, your thoughts, and your own happiness. Use your photography to showcase your strength and to heal your heart. I grew up in a broken home and I don’t have very many happy memories from my childhood, however I know that my kids will. Yes, motherhood is hard but it’s also rewarding. Instead of being upset over the things that have occurred in my life, I’ve channeled that energy into capturing what I lacked as a young child. I am truly capturing pure happiness.
Today, learn to forgive yourself for the things you cannot change. Learn to let go of the past and live in the present. Do not be ashamed to take care of yourself or to seek out help if it’s needed. Look at your everyday life and be grateful that you were given that life to live. Most importantly, embrace this crazy storm that we call life and learn to dance in the rain.
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