Enough?

The most compelling argument I encounter with myself is wrapped around ‘enough’ Such questions as “Am I enough” or “Did do enough” and “when is enough, really enough”. These are arguments we all have with ourselves only sometimes we pose them in different ways. Positive negatives usually, “Did I do too much” or “Did I overdo it”. Either way, the questioning of ourselves never stops, it may recede but it will never prevail. Therefore should one obsessed over these such questions… inevitably we all do as we are slaves to the ‘precautions’ or ‘consequences’ that comes with interacting, performing and essentially every action we extend beyond ourself. The feeling of self-worth drives these questions into a long division of possible and certain answers, but with only one definite outcome; lack of self-belief and confidence.

I am blessed to have such a solid group of people admire and relate to my photography, I am privileged to call some people across the other side of the ocean a friend. I also am fortunate enough to have anyone who knows me, adore me and my outlook. I have used a medium on which to project my vision, my perspective and my feelings. This leaves me extremely vulnerable, it also empowers me too. There is a balance to everything. Too much sweet can rot your teeth, to much brushing can damage your gums. There is the balance, and it is in the process of learning and understanding a balance that we can not question what is enough or what is not enough. Balance is the most fundamental law of gravity, therefore the sky never has to question the coverage and the sea never have to question its depth. They both stay, equally where they are and exist in a balance.

If you have bipolar you very rarely find a balance. This is now my ultimate goal, to try, and find a balance. I haven’t posted or created many photos, but I have researched and bought props and I have been inspiring and filled a notepad with ideas for shoots and projects. Therefore my balance of not actually shooting has created a different form of balance in the theory not the practical. So for 2017 my aim is to find balance in many forms.

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Sparking a Journey

It’s the initial spark, of creativity, of enthusiasm or drive, once that spark is ignited it can rage. Bipolar can be described as having a million tabs on a computer open, I agree, but imagine if all those tabs lets just say ten, for now, those ten tabs are playing different songs all at one time. Then add another ten tabs, and these tabs are playing ten different movies, then another ten that are playing tutorials. Then imagine taking ten different phone calls at the same time and talking and responding to ten different people, all while these other tabs blaze at you. Hard to imagine anything more than ten songs playing at the same time? hard to comprehend? yeah, i have heard people say that. But imagine, if you can, all these open tabs and the phone calls and imagine that you are in a shop shopping, or out with friends drinking, and this is all playing. Uncomprehensible? Yeah, it’s also hell to deal with. That’s minus the added side effect of anxiety, which makes you feel like you are drowning, your breathing becomes shallow, your emotions whirlwind and rip through you like a tornado, and your heart beats so fast, that it makes you feel sick, actually sick. This is bipolar, this is also minus the paranoia of people talking about you, conspiring against you. This is exhausting for a person to deal with, reason people with bipolar end up in a manic state is to try to occupy as much of their focus they can muster into one thing, to keep active, to not be able to think, or rather listen to their thinking. The reason the lows happen is because exhaustion has taken over, the bipolar has one, and the blanket of petrol is suffocating your body, and you are just waiting again for the match to drop the blanket to ignite, just so you can feel something, other than this demonic despair. So a flash of heat can maybe trigger a manic state, so you feel euphoric and alive.

 

I am struggling massively lately with this spark, I have given up uni and i thought straight away I would be able to throw myself into the fire of creativity. It’s not happening. I spoke to my therapist and she said that with any prolonged pressure or injury, there needs to be a recovery time. So this is my recovery time, I thought I would throw myself into reading and writing and editing and photography, and my business, but I can’t. Not yet. It feels like any minor activity is a triumph, even going to the post office or out of the house. But as long as I am doing ‘something’ i am told that it is helping my recovery. So I research photographers, I look at art I am inspired, I have compiled a book of drawings which i will turn into photographs, and blog posts to accompany them. I am spending a lot of time with my Dad, as it feels safe to be around him, and my uncle. I am focusing on the day, and not the tomorrow, and I am enjoying nice hot long baths. But motivation at the moment is absent, and so is the confidence to do anything. Another perk of bipolar or manic depression. I have contemplated reducing my pill’s, and tempting a manic episode so I can kick start the motivation. Though I haven’t as I don’t want to burn out, I want to be steady, or as steady as I can be.

 

This image is to represent that although you can have many great ideas, many great aspirations and goals, sometimes the timing of achieving them is not as important as the journey in which you will achieve them.

The idea 

Like all great accomplishments they start with a idea, a concept, a seed, from which is planted, nourished and explored. When a idea is nurtured it becomes a conceivable and realistic creation. The idea can only be a thought if one has the ability to see beyond the now. No idea has ever been conceived in the future, it’s impossible. But the thought of a idea that can materialise into something in the near or distant future is one in which we should all be working towards.

I can preach this to you, but I cannot convince you, only you can convince yourself of the possibilities you can achieve. Should you want. I have decided to start a project, this project is one which I wished to start after I had finished university. But due to the amount of stress and management of my bipolar the strain of uni became to much. It consumed me to the point whereby it made everything good in my life a chore and miserable. It made me someone I did not want to be. My enthusiasm and my creativity and lust for life disappeared. My bipolar moods and anxiety intensified. And no medication helped. So I made a decision, that I would take a break from my last year and come back to it at a later date. As when I am happy and enthusiastic then everything around me and everything I do is done with love. And like a plant that’s been planted, if it is loved and nurtured it will bloom so beautiful and strong. But if it is neglected and not given ones full attention then It will weep and perish a lot quicker. It will be weak and pale. So I decided that I was to nurture myself in order to bloom. And this is ok to do, to remind yourself of why you love life.

I have decided to dedicate a year of my life to pursuing my dreams, my writing and my photography, and starting up my business. This will be a year whereby I explore a new set of skills and strengths and weaknesses of myself. I am excited and nervous but I have a supportive network of people around me. That I cherish so much and I know believe in me more than I believe in myself.

So I have decided to explore a project whereby every week I will be creating a image, sometimes maybe more than once, but I will only do so should I find pleasure in it. Within every picture I will be detailing my inspiration, my reasons, and my idea and my execution. I will blog with every picture, the weakness in the image the strength and the flaws. The reason I will do this is for myself and others. I know most people will see a image and perfection, but, this is not the case to the creator. But instead of being critical of myself and my work I will use it as a opportunity to focus on my strengths. I have a different type of photography I want to explore also. I am a surreal/conceptual/ artist. But I want to push in the direction of photography whereby I can use simple images to create maximum impact. I will do self portrait work but I am also going to branch out and start using models so I can focus on my photography and editing.

I have decided to use this project as a platform to detail and accurately portray mental health affects. The secondary affects it has and the taboo it encompasses in society and culture. Every week I will be peeling my skin off and delivering it to you on a coat hanger. I aim to do this no matter how difficult this is…. I also want to inject some positivity as I know that we can all do with some motivation. As kindness and compassion can create such unity and understanding. So I want to promote and idea …. if I can insert a idea into other people, and give them a idea, of what bipolar is, what it encompasses, how it can be managed, understood, helped, admired, or related too. Then my idea has been conceived into a accomplishment.

They are alive……

Its a one oclock blog again. I wonder why I do these blogs. I wonder who reads them, if anyone, and what they think. These are seconds that last for a moment and i am cautious of what i say. Then like the ticking of a clock my fingers sing on a keyboard and everything pours. I don’t like to think too much. As its never good. Not for me anyway. Relationships are funny things, you take two humans. These are from different walks of life, different values and experiences and throw them together. I always view the start of a relationship as a ……. Child playing with clay. When she has moulded her visions she then plays with them in her imaginary world of pretend. I think thats what we do, or I at least. I have a pretend world where i have made my clay man. To keep him there i have to play fair. To keep him strong and not for him to crack and crumble i have to understand the way he was made. But i don’t. I don’t understand me. So I am at a loss before i could ever conceive to win. Then in my pretend world everything is great. We can mould each other and smooth over the cracks. But in actuality it doesn’t get smoothed over. I choose my human and decided to love him and play with him in my pretend world. But i knew reality would make him crumble. I am just convincing myself i am now unloveable. Its not really the greatest ego boost that my ex cheated on me for two years and for the last year he still couldn’t be faithful. He would flirt with girls and send such pictures i would find out and feel sick. He handed me complex after complex and insecurities that made me shake.  Then i met another man, he was broken and not whole. I think i attract them you know.

I always saw a relationship of a somewhat unity. A team. If i was going to war the person i was with i would want on my platoon as i know they have my back. Yet i dated a guy a bullet, thats engraved and i wear it around my neck. It has a message inscribed but it was in the language he knew so a lie. I decided that I would wear it not because i love him, but because it was one of the many bullets in his gun that killed me and made me weak. But At least i knew he would never leave me. Then i met this other guy. No insecurities, no girls perfection could of been a good word. But then i spiralled and i fell and i descended to hell. Now my demobs are happy as they have me back. It was quiet lovely really how they welcomed me back. They stay up all night with me, and if ever i need company they are always there. I married demons so i can never marry a man.

I confided in a friend of what made me spiral. And as a friend does they show concern. It was nice to acknowledge the disease i have investigated and learnt thats eating me. Ooooooooh no this time its not my mind. This time its not my bipolar. I think if it wasn’t for my bipolar i maybe worse. I have the disease that consumes so many and that the word alone instills fear. It actually made me freeze. My blood ran so cold a splinter of ice must of pierced my heart, as i gasped for air. Cancer i dare. The womanly parts of me are being eaten alive. Im twenty nine and i have a unbalanced mind and a disease eating me alive. The insecurities rise and i feel bile thrown at the back of my throat. I could cry but i haven’t yet. Not over the thing that i just learnt. I think i’m numb or still coming to terms with this vile thing harbouring inside my womb. Like a spawn of satan i’m nurturing it and letting it feed on me. I am a beautiful host.  I actually can feel my breath unsteady as i filter through this truth. I admitted this two two people. Two which i trust and love and know would do anything to see me smile. But still i sit here in my ex boyfriends zip through hoodie, it faintly smells of him. Wearing dungarees bought for me as a sorry from the cheating ex, and the things i am wearing which look the best are fresh scars. Another chapter of my fucked up life. There was a time where my life was quiet happy and calm. Oh dear lord i wish for that again so bad. The marrow of my bone ache for it. They also ache for a warm embrace. But i know to be hugged would leave this little fighter with a tear stained face.

When it was revealed what i now have to face the cancer of a woman’s delicate place I was shocked nad scared then last night at 5 am i sat out my back garden. The stars weren’t too bright, but the warmth of the night kept me company. The sounds of cars passing on the road behind me made me smile. I wonder how their life differes from mine. I thought about writing, but couldn’t bare to hold my favourite pen. Then a thought crossed my mind, what if this is a pleasure of my life. I have contemplated suicide and attempted it a few more. What if now, ‘This’ disease is here to save and finish me. In a dignified way of course. As suicide is always a frowned upon course. Maybe i have created the work i was suppose too…. release the poems and art i should. Maybe i have changed a few lives, as i know a few have changed mine. I have done alot of good i know in my life, and been a good person to those i know and those i don’t, and those who haven’t deserved my time, but at least if I am lowered into the earth they will know they got more than they deserved and i can sleep peaceful. I tear slide down my face and the smile spread across my face. I own my thoughts and thats what i love about me, I’m not afraid to challenge those of a narrow or closed mind, not to win a argument but to enlighten their life’s. I have handed my notice into three magazines i write for and two support groups i run, one for young kids with self harm issues and one for support and counselling for parents of children who self harm and who have a mental disorder. My own mother do not even know of these jobs, or where i give my time willingly. My own mother knows nothing of my illness as i don’t see the point, she never made me feel ok or accepted for having a mental disorder. So why would she want to support me now, when she can just ignore and spend time with the ‘normal’ child she has. I am not bitter a part of me was. But i know i have done nothing wrong not to deserve what she has or has not done as the case stands. I am due now to turn down the book offer to have a book published, which i started to write. AS i don’t want to be stressed out right now. Writing books are hard. I have my university papers sat on my desk ready to submit to finish my last year. Even though when i printed them off i knew….. spending some time alone has made me think what do i want to be doing for a year? travelling,……… or photographing a series or two that will will remain should anything happen to me. As it’s not as simple as scrape and remove and then a few appointments to ensure things have been cut away. So maybe i will read, read every book i wanted to read. I will travel, travel to the places i want too. Maybe i will visit a few close friends who have been there from the start of my photography journey before i even knew it was a path i would go on to choose.

 

I will visit one man before the year is out. This time four and a half years ago, a man gave me the greatest tip in the world. (shadows) This man has a piece of my heart today. And i want to hold him in a embrace and thank him. For when i have doubted my work, my direction, the purpose of it all….. My darling Luca is there with his Italian charm. He has lasted longer than relationships and gave me more joy than most of them.  And even though i hate Germany, I will find him there.

 

Tomorrow i go and drive for a hour to a tattoo studio to be tattooed. The artist is amazing and I am dying to having this piece on me as for six years i have been in love with the concept of the piece. And i finally put it together and now i get to have a beautiful memoir of it. Then i will have my favourite poem inscribed on my thigh…. a quote or two more and when i lay on the slab or a cold mortuary cradle… I hope they read my tattoos and admire my artwork…. I will be a beautiful corpse in death as i was in life.

Now to try and sleep as seven hours of sleep in five days is something thats killing me. Stopping on lot of medication to be able to undergo treatment is a wonderful way to test my instability. But hey, it makes good pictures…. so at least my instability and insanity will never leave me….. never thought i would say i was actually grateful for that.

 

 

Coffee and cigarettes …

Its a early hours in the morning kind of blog again. Bipolar kicks my arse and sometimes i let it… its nice to feel something other than medicatedly numb.

I was inspired to buy a camera because my heart got broke… I knew nothing of the damn thing, only the man who broke my heart had one. He captured images of me i was his subject and his muse. Then my heart was broke and he became my muse. Every image was haunted with him. Things i wanted to say or scream, things i wish he would see. Other things i just needed to release… find a part of me. With every self portrait i looked at the mens, like i did before when he held it. I gave the expression with my eyes. As a model you are not allowed to pull a expression with your face, no muscles must move within your face but you must pull your emotion through your eyes as if it were your soul, your heart. And you had it over to the camera. As soon as that shutter shuts, its captured a part of your soul. Anyone can pout, and anyone can smile, but to say it with your eyes… and let someone read your mind and soul is being naked.

It was through my images i met another man….. I thought my heart was broken and i had lost the love of my life. Then ‘this’ man strolled in. Well strolled is the wrong word, more like crashed. And for the first time in so long i actually ‘felt’ i felt something other than hollowness…. emptiness and anger. I felt love again. We went through so much from him leading a double life. From anger and rage, from both of us. From trust issues to lies. From prison and restraining orders and random stalking and phone calls. Theres always that pull. I think in loving him, i lost a piece of me. Every image over the last three years has some way been inspired by him. If it wasn’t through hurt, or anger, or betrayal. It was through despair it was through confusion. It was through painful aching love and worthlessness i felt. He was my inspiration. Every hurtful word he would say, would inspire me in some way. Every lovely gesture would inspire me. He is my portfolio, of my emotions, my journey. I think because of the bipolar i may feel alot deeper or react alot stronger to situations. Maybe its the writer in me? maybe its the melancholic soul i have? Maybe its because i’m a hopeless romantic? Maybe its because i don’t want to believe i fell in love with a monster and then he turned me into one. Theres alot of maybes and questions and ill probably never get them answered not really. Truth is i don’t want them answered as then i’m in a reality of the real. I have never been much fond of that. Maybe i read to many books and enjoy being tragically in love. Where is the fun in being happy? Its alien to me, it scares me, it panics me. It terrifies me. At least when things are wrong you know they can get any worse. But to be happy and then to fall…….. i know what that feels like. The happier you are the higher the height you fall from. So my advice ‘ never get to happy, enjoy it, but don’t think it will last. Trust me it never does’

 

Now for the worst confession of all time……. ‘Happiness writes white’ If i am happy no images appear, if I am happy no poems are written. I am inspired by heartbreak, by depression, by pain and by being hurt. I am a fucked up girl.  Theres ‘life’ and ‘death’ and then there nothing but sadness in-between, thats what i capture…. thats what I release. Everyone can look at a pretty image, only those who know the colour of the depths of depression and pain can look at ones that aren’t pretty and see the beauty. I guess thats why i wont do pretty pictures…. I don’t want fame from my images or to be ‘well known’ I refuse commissions that aren’t my style and pass them on to someone else. I wont change my style or message to cater to the masses…. or the majority. I fit in with the minority. The people who have not only been to the edge … but know whats over it. But to do that i cant be happy. I look through my stream on flickr or 500px and i can tell you the month and reason and feeling and why that photo was created. When i go back to Oxford, my happy place, my safe place, my home. I never do a shoot or take a picture. I take my camera every time but i cant take a picture i’m too happy and safe…. Im too in awe at being peaceful and calm.  I have to now torture myself with the insecurities i have, the questions and the hurt and suffer i sustained through my last relationship to still create images. For as long as i do that i’m never to move on…..

 

Would i prefer to be a tortured artist or a happy wife/girlfriend with mundane pictures?

Tortured artist every time.  I don’t want to see the world as it is… I want to see it and the other worlds within it. I want to show people they aren’t alone…. everyone can relate to one of my images. When that stops happening i will sell my camera. I have decided however to challenge myself like only i can do….. I am going to do short fifteen second videos too. So now i need to learn how to edit videos. Because for the things i cannot capture in one shot ……. which is rare…. but maybe if i can maybe do video editing maybe it will help me overcome some of my inspirational block. Or maybe i just need to be with the person who breaks me best as thats the only time i feel inspired or alive.

The puppeteer’s fear….

Theres love, and then theres control.

Which one you use on another human symbolize’s your insecurities, or lack there of.

Once upon a time…… there was a man, he was seen to be charming and sincere, he was seen to be attentive he was seen to be genuine. But, the tragedy of the story lay not with the princess but with the boy. As he never knew what love was.  He could neither give or receive the thing he wanted to feel the most. He met a girl, destined to meet, fate had decided this was what they both needed. They met, one fell in love, the other never did, he got the power. She was his puppet and him, the puppeteer.

Then one day after breaking in all of the ways a heart can break, shatter and splinter, crack and melt, hers did. She had no love left to give, she had bleed her love out in what she thought was a fruitless love. She crawled away, exhausted, defeated. Her mind was sore, oh so sore and confused. For why had fate gave her this man, this lesson, this hurt? she gained nothing, fractured faith, and injured perception of what she thought this man could be. She wallowed and healed and accepted the truth….. He never and would never love her true.

Then before the end, he returned, he tied again her in his control… he played with her mind, made her doubt the value of her worth. What he did not know was she was already too far gone, she had buried him. Fate had revealed the reason why she had to suffer so…. because this man and his cruel ways gave her something one day that not he could then ever take away. A chance. A introduction, to another man. He was tender, he was kind. He fell in love with this damaged girl and offered her nothing more than a key to his home and a place in his world. No coarse tone he ever used, no lies dripped from his lips, and he vowed to protect those he loved. He knew what love was and he knew the story … The story she didn’t have to tell him. He seen it in her eyes, he knew of the man that made her die and tied her in hell. He knew of the man who wanted to drag her back… and he offered her to go….. and she said no. In his arms she felt safe… in his home she knew she wanted to wait.

The puppeteers fear came when she no longer wanted to play… she had cut the strings, and chose to believe the red string of fate, was not cruel to her by mistake. She knew it was to lead her to this man who knew hurt, who knew sorrow and who knew love. Breaking free had never come so easy…… as soon as she seen what real love could be.

To be able to appreciate the sweet, one must be able to have tasted the sour. For the tastebuds to have burnt under the acid…. then slowly heal … so when you taste the sweet it makes love to your mouth, it intoxicates your mind and you know –  Nothing else will ever satisfy you again…..Not like this.

I missed you that little bit more today, mum.

i missed you today7-Edit

This continues with the dream series I am doing. I hate the fact that we have to loose people we love, through relationships falling apart or death… and also people moving sooooo far away. Even though I am not close to my mother the thought of her departing from this earth and leaving me orphaned…. ( I am 28 now hahha ) makes my soul ache with pain. Everyone has experienced loosing someone, and the hole they leave in your life, in your heart, knowing that no more memories with them will be made terrifies me so much. This image I was compelled to create, there is no prouder moment for any parent than when their child achieves something big, and every parent is proud when their child’s dreams come true. Its the biggest day in a woman’s life, the day she gets married, then followed by having a child. I have done mine backwards i had a child first, and now i will be getting married. However the one thing that we dont see in life, because most of us are so busy leading ours, is the fact that our parents are getting more frail, from their memories to their energy and their aura of a zest for life seems to dim. WHy? Because they are busy watching our life’s from the sidelines, the window, not wanting to interrupt, or disturb, but opening the door every time they are needed. For the lucky few of us who still have parents.

For those whom do not, this one is for you, because no matter what you achieve no matter what you aspire to be, know that your parents may not be there in physical form. But it does not mean they are not their in spirit cheering you on with your grandmother and grandfather as well, it doesnt mean that you alone, it means you have wider audience in the spirit world than most. And just because you cannot hold, or talk to a person, it doesnt mean that your memories will weaken, if anything they will grow, and them you can dance with, and smile about, and laugh and cry over. Because all of the love you cant pour over them now, you can over the countless memories, that are yours, forever and to replay whenever you so wish.

And thank you to my mum who was such a good sport on this shoot. It is a memory I will cherish.