If you follow me you have probably noticed that I haven’t posted much new photography for quite a while.
I took a break.
It wasn’t planned at all, it just happened. One day I realised that I hadn’t touched a camera for many weeks.
I think all of us have these periods, one day you wake up and your inspiration, drive and desire have just vanished.
If you’re like me and live with anxiety and a constantly present bud of depression, the more time that passes the harder it will be to pick back up. That thought alone creates even more stress and there you are, in a downward spiral without a clue how to climb back up.
This would be where those ‘self-help gurus’ turned this blog post into an article on how you can easily snap yourself out of it in ten easy, breezy steps (with a few well placed ads for ‘natural remedies’).
Well, I’m not one of them so that won’t be happening here, sorry.
When living with depression, it will feel like one of the worst things you can do is stop doing the things that you love, the things that make you feel good and more so, good about yourself. I’m not saying this as any sort of expert, I’m only speaking from my own experience. I know that when I take away the things that bring me joy, the dark disaster thoughts get more room.
Am I seriously ill and I just don’t know it yet? Will I die in a fiery car crash if I get behind the wheel today? Will an asteroid hit earth tonight? Will I be horribly judged if I post this photo? Will they think I’m an idiot if I reply to this tweet?
Many years ago I let those thoughts take over because I wasn’t equipped to handle them. I was left with an overwhelming feeling of not being in control of anything which in turn lead to me alternating between starving myself and binge eating. My own food intake was something I could control so I did, that landed me in a treatment facility for seven long weeks.
I think that I can confidently say that it won’t happen again.
Everyone who lives with anxiety, depression and panic attacks will know that every dark period teaches us more than any professor ever could.
I know that I will be out of this period soon, that’s always the case. I couldn’t trust in that back then because I didn’t know, I hadn’t lived through it enough times to know for sure that it gets better. Now I do. It gets better.
Now I’m in a place where I feel OK about taking a break, even if it’s from something I really love.
I even think it might be healthy to do just that, take a break. If you find yourself suddenly lacking that drive and passion for the thing you do, if possible, try just not doing it for a while.
For me, the result is usually a completely renewed love, a fresh perspective and even more joy once I pick back up again.
I don’t know why I felt the need to post this at all, no one has complained about the lack of new photos. In fact, people have been absolutely lovely!
But that’s the thing with anxiety, it’s that little nasty devil on your shoulder, whispering into your ear that any minute now everyone will figure out what a fraud you are so you feel the need to explain yourself even though nobody asked.
As I said, I have no simple solutions, no miraculous remedy. I’m just venting.
And I just want you to know that if you’re struggling with similar things/thoughts, you are not alone and you’re not crazy (trust me, I have it on paper from actual doctors.)