So I haven’t blogged for a while. This is due to the uni work I am doing (BAHons degree) and giving my full attention too. Not to mention being mum, and a girlfriend, a designer for all my props writer for a magazine and squeezing in my own writing for my novel. All this and trying to keep the tug of war in my favour with my sanity. I recently was asked to do a interview with a magazine, I am always skeptical about pushing or walking willingly into the lime light and exposing my soul. That is essentially what my photography work is, exposing a haunted side of me. I have always been open about my struggle with bipolar. Not for the sympathetic factor or the admiration factor. Just simply because there is a stigma i want to make less taboo and give it more of a human factor than a medical condition. So this magazine asked me to do a interview based on my work. So i asked them to send the questions over before i agreed. Just because I want to see the tone and corner of interest they take. I was disappointed, as out of the first six questions only one was in reference to my work, The first one was
“On your facebook page it says you are bi-polar. Can you explain? Does this stem from abuse or purely chemical (born with it kind of thing)”
This is a direct quote and a insulting and ignorant question. The fact that they would be so poorly educated regarding the development of bipolar or a mental health disorder angered me and shocked me. We are in the twenty first century and this is the questions that are asked? In a comparison to cancer such technological advances, research and break through have been made in the study and cure for this disease in the last 50 years. However the mental health illness/disorders are still being treated with the basic chemical lithium which was first considered a break through over fifty years ago. Not much more progress has been made, we have pills to help use deal with the broken mind, which we fight every day. Exhausted from distinguishing emotions, rationalizing thoughts, questions our actions and others. The constant need for peace and tranquility as that is the only means for some salvation. The tornado of emotions, not hitting one at a time but 33 at a time in one minute and not tiring until it breaks us/me. Didnt know there was 33 different emotions ask a bipolar person they will list them and more. The highs that are so euphoric you become something bigger better than just a human. Then the lows that have you not even a shell of a human, more like a shadow of a shell. Where you would trade anything and everything just to not be suffocated by the weight of worthlessness.
How could I some up in one question what it is like to have bipolar, when i do not know what it is like not to have it. Some days i wish i didn’t, others i enjoy the edge the thoughts the inspiration i gain from such a vile illness. But abuse does not factor in the cause of bipolar. Bipolar is a chemical imbalance in the brain serotonin either too much or two little. Thats as far as the medical profession has gained as a insight. Medication? pills? cure? no………. a mere crutch….. taking the edge off …..
I decided to not do the interview because i refuse to use my illness to promote my work. I do not want fame or fortune from my images. I kind of want someone to understand them. Which alot of people do. I want people to attach a emotion to them, or to develop a emotion or recognize something in the images that brings them some comfort and some uncomfortable realizations. Art is what i do, I write i write with words, as you will see on my Instagram account, and i write words with my images, i give them and my illness a voice. I release my emotions that i can not control or that i do not want into a image and set it free. I have had some great responses to my images, from those who have that empathetic quality some humans have. I have had some comments that i know come from people who do not like to face truth. But when i have someone thank me or tell me i inspire them, that is when i am glad i have a mental health disorder. Because to inspire the amount of people i have with my words or my images means i have reached out a hand and said, ‘its ok’ and sometimes that is all some people need, is to know they are not alone in how they feel, that they are worth something more than how they are feeling. To inspire someone is to change something for the better in them. So I will not use my illness to promote my work. I will use my work to promote a human connection and strip away the stigma of mental health disorders. As if my having bipolar means i can help or inspire others then its the best thing about me. And thanks to those i inspire, I am thankful i have this disorder.
Any questions please feel free to ask….