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snapshots of my week – 18th november

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blue container

earlier this week i finally got an appointment for a rheumatologist. i’ve been waiting since near the beginning of the year, and the wait has felt endless. still, at least it’s nearly here now, so that’s a bit of a weight off my mind. yet, at the same time it brings new worries.

what if it’s like when i went to the audiologist for my tinnitus? i was basically made to feel like i was wasting the consultants time because it’s not that bad. i mean, it’s constant and at times it drives me nuts, but i suppose it could be worse. to be honest i felt completely fobbed off. i know my joint aches and pains and general body woes aren’t as bad as some others ..of course they’re not. but i’ve had these problems for almost my entire life, i am in pain almost all of the time, and my issues affect me both physically and mentally. i just want some sort of clarity and/or plan of treatment.

but then, i’m also kind of afraid of two opposing things. getting an official diagnosis versus a ‘i don’t know what’s wrong with you’ kind of thing. i suppose getting some official diagnosis/es is good because it’s a step forward in (hopefully) the right direction and it’s something i can mentally tick off, but whilst also having to deal properly with what’s potentially in my future with regards to mobility and the like as well as further blood tests, xrays, MRIs and what have you.

what if they say they don’t know what’s the matter with my body though, or that it’s general ‘aches and pains’ and i just have to deal with it? i don’t feel like what i go through is normal. it certainly doesn’t feel like it. if i can’t get any clarity i feel ever more entrenched in this pit of limbo i feel eternally destined to dwell in.

so yeah, this has all been on my mind a lot this week, whilst having to go through aforementioned aches and pains. it gets way worse this time of year and i dread it. fun times.

how has your week been?

leaves poking through wire fence

purple flowers on blue background

pink and blue colour love

rose against dark background

flowers in supermarket

bird skull and tree cards

ombre leaves poking through door

purple and yellow cladding

snapshots of my week – 4th november

snapshots, photography by

blue foam pipes

i’m so glad i take pictures regularly, because without them i’d often forget what i’ve done of a week, and i’d forget the moments of little joys and inspiration. some weeks, even if they’re dull, i can really easily remember and look back on, and others just slip me by, even if they’ve been interesting or have taken up my thought in various ways.

i seem to be at a stage in my life at the moment where i just feel ‘stuck’. i know i have potential and i know i’m more capable than i tell myself i am, but i feel like every time something goes a little right for me, something bigger goes wrong, or i get really ill, or i lose out on something i was so close to getting. it’s all very frustrating.

as usual, it hinges largely on income. i try not to hang my self worth on money, but when, for well over a year no one will employ you after applying for countless jobs you do begin to wonder what you’ve ‘done’. it plays with your mind. the income i make from illustration and blogging is next to nothing and i can barely even afford to cover myself, let alone contribute to bills and rent and whatnot. i’m used to being poor and it’s all i’ve really ever known, but that doesn’t mean i feel like i can handle it, that i’m not constantly stressed and worried – and that’s just about money, not everything else in life! i just feel like, on a personal level, i’m merely existing rather than living.

i’m so thankful for the moments that give me happiness, the people that are kind to me and the illustration and blog opportunities that i have had. to my boyfriend who is my rock and i don’t know how (or why sometimes) he puts up with me. being grateful really helps me through.

worn down sign on rusty turquoise shed

blue dripping graffiti

yellow rusty lamppost

peeling blue paint

pink rose from below

hand on pink fluffy pillow

chalk writing on ground in cardiff

cathays cemetery in autumn

stone spray painted gold

boys carved in stone

for the love of autumn

photography, personal by

leaf with patchy orange and yellow

might seem a bit random in a post about autumn, but i must disclaim i talk about suicide briefly in this post, so consider this a trigger warning if you wish to skip this post. also there’s a spider.

since i was a child, autumn has always been my favourite time of year. obviously my birthday being at the end of october gives me a bit of a bias, but mostly it’s because of all of the colour around, and memories associated with it. i didn’t have the happiest of childhoods and so autumn became something i really cherished. most of my childhood was spent in surrey and hampshire, and i loved walking around the hilly parts of guildford and kicking up leaves, and don’t even get me started on newlands corner. ah, memories!

yellow and red autumn leaves

pink fading hydrangea

another reason that autumn is important/resonant to me is that it pretty much (in a slightly roundabout but poignant way) saved my life. in 2005 i was incredibly depressed. i was before then and i have been since, but that year and those later months in particular were a very, very low point for me.

wow this is really hard to actually type in a public space.

okay.

i tried to commit suicide. truth be told, i have considered it and thought about it since then a few times, but this was the only time i really came close to actually doing something. i was right there on the edge. i was seconds away.

and then i looked up. fog was rolling over. leaves were falling and the trees were painted in their autumn hues. the sky was grey but tinted a faint lilac. it felt special and in that moment my life changed. i stepped back and took in my surroundings.

this is a large part of the reason that the small things and colour are so important to me. they save me and they are part of my soul and my spirit.

spider on web

black and white leaves

so, when i recently went on an autumnal walk it kind of filled me with a strange mix of happiness and melancholy. mostly happiness to be honest. all the beautiful colour! this time of year is often described as transitional, and for me it is because it marks one of a few particular moments that my life kind of has a specific before and after, and i have to tread that delicate balance between being happy that i’m alive and knowing that i will probably always suffer from depression.

sometimes a little self help can help with depressive episodes, but sometimes you need a little more help, or to talk to someone that can help. sites and organisations like mind and papyrus can be a good starting point.

feet standing on yellow leaves

red berries on the ground

pink and purple hydrangea

black and white photo of tree underside

yellow leaves on pavement

although autumn is kind of tinged with a particular kind of sadness for me, it’s also a reminder to be extra mindful and grateful, a time to remember to take care of myself and to indulge in little happinesses. despite everything, happy or sad, autumn will always have a place in my heart.

what does autumn mean to you?