Tag Archives: community

F is for Fellas & Fille’s alike

Aren’t kids AWESOME? I’ve been a big fan for a while now and I absolutely LOVE hanging out with them. I’ve even been an Au Pair, a nanny and a babysitter AND I get the honour of taking their portraits every so often at my day job.

I’ve been challenged and inspired recently by Lulastic and the Hippyshake‘s post on asking people not to greet her daughter with comments regarding her appearance HERE and I’ve also just read Role Reboot‘s post about her visit to Santa with her daughter resulting in the same issues/struggles HERE.

Swallows

I love that Mum’s are flagging this and are feeling confident enough to challenge it publicly – it’s not easy, but I really feel that it is now OUR turn to respond to this outcry. It’s our job as family, friends, teachers and total strangers to help put this right.

I often get the privilege of chatting to children through my work and I admit I become a very visual person and am struck so often by certain physical features that people have – whether it’s a dusting of the finest freckles, eyes that hold impossible combinations of colour, a smile that somehow makes the entire world glow or hair so full of volume I want to get out a spoon and eat it!

My job is centered around capturing an image. It’s about what I can see, and showing other people that image. It’s about colour, composition, light, positioning and physical appearance. But I can’t enjoy or even like my job when it has to stop there. I struggle with it and question it, my feet feel heavy and I can’t give it my all. Why? Because we are so much more than our skin and bones. We’re more than that. So much more that it even intrudes on our appearance, it interferes and meddles with our physical being. That’s when I love my job. When, by some kind of magic, I can capture cheekiness, curiosity, love, trust, commitment, fun, journey, history, truth, character, pain, excitement and so much more. That’s all down to you and your beautiful soul bursting out and making its mark on your face and body. It’s the wonder of being human that makes me love and really appreciate photography.

132206838868916653swallowbird

So, it’s a challenge to be a photographer. It’s kind of strange doing this job whilst struggling so much with my own appearance and at the same time feeling so strongly that we should live our lives away from the mirror and media. I’m still working it out – big time! – and that’s why I found these articles so inspiring and important for my own journey.

Here’s some helpful and practical conversation starter ideas from Lucy Aitken-Read and Kasey Edwards (thanks ladies!) that should also get you thinking:

How was your journey here? I got the bus and there was loads of traffic!

How has your day been today?

What animals do you like? I love elephants the most.

Are you reading many books these days?

Who’s this dude? (Referring to the teddy/ action figure they may be holding.)

Mostly though, a simple Hello will do and more natural interactions can come a bit later, as you and this child get more comfortable with each other.

–       Where have you been today? or Where are you going today?

–       How old are you?

–       What’s your favorite book/toy/sport/animal/food/song?

–       Check out your surroundings and remark on something such as a flowering plant, a truck, a picture on the wall, even the weather.

And some from me:

– How are you feeling today?

– How do you feel about being here today?

– Talk about their family and your own family – siblings, holidays, jobs, ages, names etc

– Explore your surroundings

– Sing songs or tell stories, poems or interesting facts

– Play games or offer to teach or be taught a new skill

Let’s give our boys and girls the best opportunities to express and explore themselves – starting with a gender neutral, non-appearance based greeting!

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

F is for FRANK

Well, it’s been just over two weeks without meds, for the first time in 5 years or so – and I actually feel good!

I was so terrified by the memories of what life was like without meds back then – but with the amazing work I’ve done through therapy and the amazing works that God has done in, with and around me I’m feeling free and chirpy! Yes I still have chronic pain and fatigue and yes I still have depression but I feel that this has been a big and positive step!

Since having a bit of a clearer head I’ve been reading a lot about the meds I was on and sadly realising how little I and my GP knew about them and how wrong they were for me – and how common this is for so many people. I’ve also been saddened by people having similar experiences to me, such as being prescribed drugs and sent away with no real chance to just TALK and the GP having no real knowledge of my/our situation.

I am so thankful for the therapy I’ve had and am having but I know would NEVER had had the opportunity if it weren’t for a lot of financial help. It’s so easy to get lost in the system and to be treated as a number or a faceless problem. If it weren’t for my family, financial aid to be able to access help and my therapist I honestly am unsure as to whether I would still be alive…which makes me wonder about those who don’t have these things. And I don’t say that lightly.

For example, how you’re sent away with drugs, leaflets and phone numbers really upsets me. More often than not – if you struggle with depression, you will struggle with anxiety. Therefore, taking yourself to a group, leaving the house or making a phone call is something you just CANNOT do. Left then only with drugs to take that make you sweat excessively, shake, twitch, salivate, vomit, make you dizzy, make you manic, increase suicidal thoughts and feelings and so much more – you are in trouble.

Oh yes, and of course you’re put on this waiting list to see a free therapist – sounds good right?! Except this list is like, eternal and actually you probably won’t get to have one to one sessions. Sadly, this is hardly ever recommended to you so in reality, you’re put on a waiting list to get approximately 20 group sessions of CBT to learn how to cope practically. Like timetables. And stuff.

Again – not something I ever felt I could do, or infact wanted to do. Perhaps in a few years time when I had actually been given the chance to learn what was going on with me, had begun learning to heal and to express it what was going on inside me, perhaps then….but as a first measure?? NO! No no.

Plus, this is without my (then) GP having any real knowledge of what I was struggling with exactly – all they had to go on was a desperate delirious me saying I couldn’t cope with feeling so low all the time. How could they know CBT would work for me? How could they be sure I was capable of making rational decisions? How could they be sure that I would go? How could they know what drugs would help or harm me? HOW COULD THEY KNOW?

My appointment went (sadly) like this: The doctor asked me what seemed to be the problem, looked out of the window while I tried to answer, asked if I smoked and – with the door half open, having been hastily prescribed drugs – asked if I wanted to kill myself.

Nice.

One of my biggest worries is that when you struggle with this stuff, you NEED accountability. You need a LOT of help and support and encouragement. You need people turning up outside your door to take you to things – even if you’ve said no. You need someone elses voice to block out the ugly noise going on inside of you. Sometimes you even need someone to physically fight you or hold you or drag you! Depression tends to freak you out and make you do crazy things. Being sent away to have to access all of the worlds support groups alone is not something that makes much sense to me.

*

I’m still terrible at throwing all of my energy at trying to be normal and funny and ok and good company. I’ve seen so many adverts and videos and leaflets and campaigns that plead with people to be real and to talk openly about how they’re feeling etc (which I actually truly do agree with) – but honestly? People can’t handle it. And how could they? I’VE never been trained or advised on how to cope with somebody who is suicidal or hears voices or who isn’t in control of themselves all of the time. How would I cope if my mother or son started chatting to me about how they were planning to end their lives, or how this person with a strange name was telling them things and would often take over them? Or if they turned up at my workplace in having a crazed episode or having just self harmed?

We can be SO ANNOYING. I am such hard work and I will take you to the edges of your love and acceptance and grace and friendship.

People who struggle with this stuff are hard work-FACT.

You will not find yourself in a nice, neat two way relationship that is fair and equal and rewarding. Oh no. You will be messed around, hurt, quite possibly hit at, cried on, rejected, ignored, shouted at and lied to. You will have to bandage us up, wait for hours outside our door, listen to us sob endlessly about things that may not make sense or indeed be at all real. We will forget things, demand things, refuse things and expect things. We are unreliable, self absorbed, unpredictable and worst of all – there really isn’t much you can do to help.

Not to be too controversial, but I really don’t think you can treat depression like any other illness. Because it won’t treat you like that! And it doesn’t treat its victims like that either. It is unique in so many ways and it is still such a mystery even to the brightest of minds.

So this muddled rant is finished, I didn’t expect to write most of that and it isn’t a work of art – but it’s honest and just my thoughts and experiences.

Here’s to tomorrow!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

F is for fervor

So I haven’t written here in a criminally long time.

Life (excuse my french) is a bitch. And then you die.

Right now, I wouldn’t mind trying out an experimental drug that induces a week long coma. If you’re developing this ,ye scientists, pray do get in touch. Why?

BECAUSE I’D REALLY LIKE A BREAK.

God, come on give me a break

How many of us feel like we’re in over our heads? How many of us are in pain of some kind every day? How many of us are overwhelmingly stressed? How many of us would give our most prized possession, a limb, our hopes or dreams to simply experience 10 solid minutes of health and stability? If I had anything of worth, or the opportunity to barter bits of me for a glimpse of health and peace….

I would hand it over no questions asked.

x

I was wondering, does this desperate state of mind & body damage us? Does it mean we forget things? Like the art of patience, forgiveness, empathy and even simple thought? Does it erase the parts of us that had perspective and the ability to dream and hope? Does it mean that we become blind and detached?

Do we lose the will to believe in anything but pain and anger? Do we make menial things, Gods? The small things that actually have some kind of affect and positive interaction in our lives? Or do we let something much darker take hold of us? Do we bow down to medication, alcohol, drugs, sex, food, gambling, self harm, money? Do we sabotage others in a desperate attempt to feel better about ourselves?

Maybe we can take it slow, start over, begin again every day. I may have been able to ignore some of the pain today, but yesterday I let it take over me. Tomorrow I could feel excited and hopeful and be able to help somebody in some small way… Next week I could consider suicide. I don’t know what tomorrow holds, or indeed what this evening will hold, but maybe that’s ok. Maybe then we could release the guilt and release the shame. Take it slow. Maybe?

What do I think?

Keep asking

&

Change your expectations

Of yourself, others, life, experiences, the bigger picture.

Stop and think and ask yourself

Do I need to rest, do I need to be sad, do I think I can go and see a friend, do I want to cry, do I feel angry, do I need to get help, do I need to breathe deeper…..stop and think and ask.

tumblr_mdz8oz967n1rsldnjo1_500

Here’s a song that I’ve been a little bit obsessed with for a while now. I feel hesitant to share it because it’s my life line at the moment, but today I can share and today I can write.

Today I can ask, maybe?

Love and strength to you x

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

F is for Feedback

nicholls_-_thank_you_courtesy_of_tag_fine_arts

I’m excited, interested, blown away and chuffed at the responses I’ve had to this blog so far – thank you! I really do love to hear what you guys are thinking – whether you agree with me or not – I’d love to get your input.

This blog is an open house for everyone and anyone and I passionately want it to be a channel for your voices too – your thoughts, feelings and questions are valued here.

Some of these posts will be silly and some will be serious but all are a valid and genuine part of my journey as a person and as a woman.

Thanks again!

x

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,
The life of Lyndall

... all its glorious twists and turns

Bento Box

A lunchbox full of tasty treats (maybe)

Frost in May

A Letterpress Miscellany - Victoria Callanan

Micah J. Murray

Redemption Pictures

Bright Lights and Buttons

thoughts and crafts to pass the time

My African Adventure

Volunteering as a veterinary nurse!

El Lugar De Las Torres

Short Stories by R.J.E Luscombe

If you tolerate this then your daughters will be next

Learning how to behave like a socially acceptable woman

loseeverything.wordpress.com/

a blog about honesty, hope and losing everything