It can be …… whatever you so wish it to be.

The freedom of a artist is boundless, as boundless as the mind it is conceived in and born through whatever medium deemed by said artist. I guess I am luckier than most, because I have a mental health disorder and i take little pills that keep me as balanced as they can. I often wonder however without such medication what i would be like, and i find it quite said that the chemical imbalance in my brain causes me to live with such a stigma. A stigma that is attached to anyone with a mental health disorder. I know that based on my family, that I am different from them. I have such little in common with them, and it causes me to drift further away mentally and emotionally, and also physically. I see them maybe once every two weeks, maybe. My mother does not understand my illness and as a parent feels somewhat responsible, as for all intents and purposes she created me. I understand this as i am a mother myself. However how she handles such a situation is completely different to what i would with my daughter. But as individuals we handle things different. Me and my mother are not close, she is closer to my younger sister which is understandable as she can relate better to her. Me and my mother have one thing in common our love for my daughter. My sister another subject, we have nothing in common, at one point when she was growing up when i had moved out at 15 were so close and during the period of me being 17 she lived with me and my daughter. I know all families are different, i do not envy families whom are close, as to me, to keep everyone happy is somewhat exhausting. I cant help but wonder however what a close family would entail, a curiosity like anyone would have.

I find it fulfilling however that I have such a private life from my family, although i actually have a sister and mother i find my family is my daughter and partner which is nice. Its like a subdivision that im a major fan of. Those this does pose some issues, As a mother i often wonder about my illness in later years with my daughter. WHen i relapse like everyone with a mental health disorder eventually encounters. I have had two relapses in the last four years. One was primarily due to stress with uni and my partner his ex and a situation that was pure hell. As she was lying he was lying and i didnt know what to believe. Thankfully all that has been dispelled despite a little cloud still being there. Her checking my blog daily and a few times a day, my facebook page, within seven minutes of me uploading something the hit was clicked. Although this does not bother me, its somewhat flattering in a way, it also makes me think why? so then i check her stuff every couple of weeks. And still bitterness ensues. Although she likes to think she has the upper hand unfortunately still does not, knot knowing that my phone has changed and my internet provider three months ago and what she talks about in-depth with on her social media sites has no interest to me. I visit her twitter occasionally because of her daily visits to my in-depth blog, and flickr account. Considering such a toxic situation was apparent with us I am unsure what she thinks she is gaining or what she thinks she is gaining, or winning, by constantly mentioning her ex or having digs. Unfortunately the only person whom perceives themselves as mental unstable at the moment is not me but her. But because i have a label, I have the stigma attached. Which leads me to think that the most dangerous and unstable people are those whom are not diagnosed yet. As they are blind to their own mental state, deeming it as normal. when it is anything but that.

I am a pretty open person regarding my illness I also volunteer a day a week at a call center to offer support to those with mental illnesses, and I attend a self help counselling group whereby i counsel people whom suffer from self harm. This has made my life be somewhat more meaningful. Alot of the people i counsel with self harm are young girls, and this is so alarming. AS a mother i want to hug them, but as a person whom knows and experienced this myself all i can do is educate them, and their families. Their parents namely as this is where the biggest misconception lies in the parents view on this. I know this sounds alarming for those whom do not suffer with the impulses to harm themselves but i think it healthy and normal. A ancient tribe practice this, and call it blood letting. In which they view it as releasing and cleansing their souls through releasing negativity and toxins from the body.  I find people whom binge drink odd, or people who go out start fights, or take drugs, as self harm is seen as a coping mechanism, but so are so many other ‘normal’ things. I use the word ‘normal’ as society deems these acceptable but self harming is not. Maybe its just my perspective, maybe its just i think different because of my illness. But i wouldnt change the way I am ever. And if bipolar makes me think this way and provides me with little additional gifts of intelligence and creativity that defines me different from my family, I say I am glad that I have this disorder.

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The day I washed away with the blood of tomorrow….

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Well this week has been a hard week, a rollacoaster of ups and downs. Thankfully with the supportive boyfriend and loving daughter. It is amazing what we take for granted, what we think ‘will always be there’. Yet little do we know what life and fate has planned. Some of us are so consumed with the busy lives we lead, we dont stop. Pause, and take a moment to see what we have around us. What is beautiful, what needs changing, and what needed a little bit more attention. I have been lax with my photography, but it is not through lack of devotion, i regularly look of flickr and pour over works of art that inspire me. But something inside me is not as balanced as it should be. I have a very hectic life, and I change roles constantly. From being a mom, cleaner and cook, during the week. To a carefree girlfriend on the weekend, and a photographer and editor in between. Also having to fit in time and change roles to tidy the garden for the summer construct a shed, and hack away brambles that have invaded my garden when i was not looking, when i was too busy with something else. Then i have to be a student for university and night school, and a sister, and a daughter and a aunt. The list is never ending, and within all these roles changes and personality alterations that come with it I often forget me. The most important person, me. So this summer through my photography and my wants and needs, i will find me.

I think it is so important to be human, and to be human means to enjoy your life your pleasures, not to be a commodity of society but just to be.

So ii decided that i will start a new 52 week project as my last one was so stressful because of my work load i never enjoyed it. So now i can ….. a themed 52 week project. Whereby anyone can chuck a theme at me, and i have invited other photographers and non photographers to join in. For fun, for the pleasure, because even as adults why should be loose our element of excitement, to not try new things, just stay in a comfort zone. I have had some amazing support from great photographers to be part of this. So I am excited to see the diversity the confidence that will grow from others with this type of project….. as I dont believe a 52 week project is personal. Not when you put the images public.