Tag Archives: Photo essay

Dealing with Darkness, a year later, two years in fact…

How many months or years can a photography project take?, is there a point where one can say “it’s done”?

Luckily in this dehumanized world some still keep their promises (though it took me longer than I expected).

Several weeks ago (in fact months) I told in a previous post I was going to share in this journal images about the toughest times since I suffered a second deep dive into the darkness of depression and anxiety which became the most evident around the end of November 2016 (to know more, please take a look at my post Taking off the Mask ). The hardest times I went through took place between the following December 2016 and January and February 2017. Two years later I’m still on the way to recovery, my life would seem normal from a distance however the process continues. Well, as part of this process here is the first group of images which was scheduled to appear months ago but, I really didn’t feel ready to take such an important step.

During those times the veil in my mind had not much place left for clarity, so most of the photos made during the hardest moments are not technically or visually good. This series of photos I now see as a visual essay of my experiences and struggles. Photography was and has been in the past weeks and months a way to cope with the extreme despair and desolation I was going through and my journey since then. Perhaps they are not pleasing to see, even now when I take a look at them two years later my soul gets down. More than that, while on the process of getting all of them into a visual and cohesive order I have found myself in a place really far from comfortable since they speak about an awful reality of tremendous suffering.

So, being around to 2 years after the darkest, and close to the holiday season of this 2018, though I’m far from being already free of my struggles with mental illness, having been through nice and bright times for some weeks, and through not really good ones (like the status I’m going through these days at times), but also with some signs of a certain degree of recovery (I’m able to write this in English and not in Spanish, my native language, for example), I now want to share this first group of images born between November and December 2016.

Before going ahead with the images, I’d really like to ask you to please stay tuned, I will be sharing more in following posts from the whole body of images. I’m seeing this as an exercise towards healing, an attempt to clean up my mind and soul a bit, as a means to exorcising some of the demons, trying to get my life to a new chapter, getting rid of the deepest shadows, really looking forward to better, healthier, brighter, happier times.

First days of November, a constant anxiety and a deep sadness are starting to be a constant presence in my mind and body.

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Despite heading out to search for some solace in nature and relief in alternative medicine with no results I had to be sent to ask for professional therapy. In the second pair of images: Me returning from my first date with the therapist whom in turn sent me to the psychiatrist for a very rigorous evaluation and medication, treatment for severe anxiety and very bad depression.

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Due to my condition I had no chance to go anywhere but to the therapist, sensory overload, sometimes a blurred connection with reality and anxiety made really hard for me to leave home, as a coping method I was using the camera to keep myself somewhat grounded, focusing on mundane motifs at home and in a field a couple of blocks away.

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December. Confinement, the side effects of medication and a desperation that burned the soul, I was eating almost nothing while living in a faded and distant world.

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The Holiday season, no true joy for me. I tried hard, I really tried.

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An hour and a half for feet fixing.

How long can it take to take care of a few toe nails?

No, my blog has not turned into a fashion-lifestyle kind of blog!!!

Simple life events can take on a new level in the mind and heart when seen in context. In a recent article I paid homage to my brother’s endurance and everyday strength coping with the sequels of his motorcycle accident long ago with a series of images from I think 2006 until the recent months. In a way, this is a follow up of 27 later.

The event that triggered the idea, well, what really put it in motion, ’cause the idea has been rolling in my mind for years, is the minutes I spent with him in one of his frequent visits to my parents’s house, where he spends one or two nights almost every week when his work implies him to visit some clients in Mexico City (my brother lives in Cuernavaca’s suburbs ) or further ahead to the north of the country, and in that way he can spend some time with us. On a morning at the beginning of last December he was taking the time needed to take care of his feet in order to still be able to walk, and get them rid of hard skin and calluses from certain areas, and mainly from his toe tips that are a consequence of some deformations caused by the way he walks since he had that awful accident 27 years ago. The task is by no means easy, and it takes time, he even has to be answering calls from his office and clients in the meantime!!

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For the majority going through feet care is nothing extraordinary, and what really struck me the deepest that morning (not that I don’t think about it every time I watch my brother struggling harder) is the extra effort and time that takes for him something most people take so easily for granted, something so easy as walking.

As I said  before, my brother’s spirit for life is a great inspiration for me, and when he comes and stays here it seems that days are clearer! When I made those pictures that day I was really deep into darkness, in a state of constant fear and confusion because of depression and anxiety even though I was already under the watch of a psychiatrist and a psychologist working in therapy. And again, he was here with his everyday life, so I was a little better, and to complement that, since one of my best therapies is photography I was carrying my camera here and there, and when I contemplated the scene, my brother’s actions, the light entering his room and falling on him, reflecting on what was going on at those moments, being more sensitive as I am, especially in times of mental crisis like that one, I grabbed some slices of that reality, from those I made a selection, which I’m really glad to share here.

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I’m so fortunate to make use of camera and images to deal with the world around me!!

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