Bloody hell. It feels strange to be blogging. I decided to start typing before my anxiety got the better of me. Folks who have been coming here for a while will know that quite a long time ago – about 18 months – I went into a depressive episode and started to lose my ability to write.
Over the matter of a few months, I went from writing thousands of words every day to not being able to form a coherent sentence. My words were the first thing to go, but before long, I wasn’t creating anything at all. The loss of my words and creativity caused indescribable mental and emotional suffering and several times I made plans to end my own life. An existence where I was unable to create was, in my opinion, no existence at all.
But somehow I hung on.
Back in September, I took up my camera for the first time since my depression started in 2019. I couldn’t write about the psychological anguish I was going through, but I knew that if I didn’t express myself in some form, I wasn’t going to make it to the end of my birth month. (You can see the photos I took then in my previous post.) Something happened after I’d taken those photos, edited and shared them. My depression shifted the tiniest, tiniest bit and my heart didn’t feel quite as heavy. I’d made contact with my creativity.
It’s just over two months now since my camera and I reunited and our reunion has given me a sense of purpose. However I miss being able to write. I miss it so fucking bad. And I miss being able to talk. I have anxiety attacks whenever my phone rings thanks to depression obliterating my conversational skills. And when I need to reply to a text or a Facebook message, I panic because I just KNOW that I won’t be able to express myself the way I want and need to.
Sometimes, when I’m taking photographs, I feel like a gigantic fraud who has no fucking idea what she’s doing…but I’m tackling those feelings and moving forward regardless.
If you’ve spent some time wandering the archives of Wyrd Words & Effigies you’ll know that I’m all about Winter. It’s always been the season where I’ve been able to feel I can come out of myself. Traditionally, it’s when I’ve felt most inspired, most energized, most at peace.
So I decided that I’d create a photography project that celebrates December and the darkest days of the year. I wanted a project that was going to help me develop my creativity, increase my confidence and enable me to explore the traditions, superstitions, myths and folklore of this most special time. It’s my intention to post my creations here, every day in December. (I’ll also be posting on Instagram if you’d like to follow me there.) The journey will be cold and full of shadows, but I hope you’ll follow me for it.