Yes, I discovered Rupi Kaur. I know it seems incredible but I didn’t have a clue who she was before my partner bought me “milk and honey” for my birthday. I fell in love completely. Her words actually take your breath away. If you don’t know her check out her IG @rupikaur_ and you’ll see what I mean.
So yes, I turned 24 (OMG, twenty-four!!!) on October 29th. My parents and brother were lovely and bought me things from my Amazon wishlist including “the sun and her flowers” by Rupi, and my grandparents gave me some money — which is crucial because GUESS WHO’S GOING HOME IN MARCH? ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
That’s my gift to myself to celebrate the first birthday while stable of my life. Also, it will be my first time in Ireland in euthymia — if I make it to one year stable — and I’m already getting emotional at the thought of it.
I wont’t lie: I’m going through a harsh time. I may have Inattentive ADHD — I’ll get tested on the 10th — and this lack of capability to focus and stay focused is ruining my academic career at the moment, and my mood’s going downhill as a consequence. I even got two panic attacks and I hadn’t got them in months so it was a shock. Anyway I’m telling myself it’s just a bump in the road, recovery is not linear and struggling doesn’t mean being back at square one.
this is the recipe of life
said my mother
as she held me in her arms as i wept
think of those flowers you plant
in the garden each year
they will teach you
that people too
in order to bloom
– rupi kaur
I first read this quote three years ago or so. Make your life be your art. When I read it, my mind immediately thought of photography, and of what it means to me. Photography was the first and only thing which could actually keep me grounded in the midst of deep depression and dissociation. I will never forget the moment when I discovered that it could. I was trying out my EOS 30D which my parents had just given me – it had been theirs. I was taking pictures of flowers in our garden. The pic you see in this blog’s homepage is one of the pics I took that day.
Well, years have passed now, I even got a Diploma in Photography (while manic, but that’s another story) in the meantime – and nothing has changed. Photography is still my favourite grounding tool, as well as my greatest passion. A dear friend of mine, who happens to be a photographer, once told me: “Take out that camera and throw out those feelings”. That’s exactly what I need to do when I’m not well, BUT I had never found out what taking pictures while I was well felt like.
I went to Paris in August – I know Paris very well, but I still managed to capture some new pics I like. I still don’t have the ones I took with the EOS 5D (yeah we – my parents and I – have upgraded that EOS 30 haha) ready to show, but I’m going to post the ones I took with my iPhone 6S because I feel they need to be here.
I wasn’t stable back then, when I discovered the power of photography. But I am now – my psych confirmed I am. It was the first time I saw Paris with a stable mind. I still get very emotional when I think about that. (I wonder what going home and actually see Ireland with stable eyes will be like. I can already feel myself burst into tears of pure awe and joy. Oh my, I need to go).
Anyway. Paris. There you go. Three cheers for sweet stability!
(Follow me on Instagram for more!
@cerridwenshamrock_photography – my official photography account
@recoveringthroughphotography – the photo-diary of my recovery)
My last post on here was on April 8th. I had just been discharged from the hospital admission that saved my life – or at least my mental sanity. I saw All Time Low live on March 31st which was a dream come true. I was trying to “keep swimming”, The reality was that, despite not being depressed anymore, I was paralysed with fear of relapsing back into that dark and suffocating hell. A state of mind which, inevitably, brought me back to depression on and off for a few week, reinforcing my fear. It was a vicious cycle and it took me a lot of tears and work with my therapist – blessed be she – to overcome it.
So what happened between April 8th and June 18th?
You weren’t meant to bear that burden
Look at the roses in your garden
You can breath now and forget
Forget it gets hard for you to stay
But you don’t really have to throw it all away
These words are from the ATL song which the name of this blog comes from. This is what happened. I went out and photographed the roses. And no I’m not saying that’s the cure for depression. I take my meds painstakingly. But there’s a new monster I’m fighting, its name is depersonalisation. It’s making me go insane. And nothing like photography helps me grounding myself back into the present moment. I should actually be photographing more — it’s just so hard sometimes. Everything is so hard sometimes. But if I think back to the person I was on April 8th well, I’m a whole new different person. As my psychiatrist said when declaring I was finally in euthymia (because yes she did!): I’m myself again. And no matter if it looks like I’m obsessing over them, I believe that knowledge is power and so I’m reading and researching my illnesses as much as I can to not let any of them take over again.
Because now I’ve seen the roses.