Week 29: When Bipolar and Depression Collide

This has been a pretty interesting week.  Those of you who follow our Facebook know that I wrote a post about depression, following the suicide of Chester Bennington of Linkin Park and Ginger wrote one on Bipolar.  It sparked a lot of discussion.  Both Ginger and I happened to be hitting a low point during the week.  And here is where honesty, vulnerability, and openness are valuable.  Ginger and I both rely heavily on each other.  I can see things in her and explain things to her that open her eyes to what is happening, whether spiritual, bipolar or both.  Ginger, for me, is such a support.  I can open up the craziness of my mind and she gets it, listens to it, and comforts it.  The voices, they are, by the way, our voices, self talk, we can calm in each other. 

My depression was brought on through a perfect storm of circumstances. Summer has always been a rough time for me.  The addition of an infrared filter to my arsenal of camera accessories has helped because the best time to take those pictures is between 10am and 2pm in the summer.   The time I spend in the studio or outside with my camera is my creative outlet.  I lose myself.  I express my creativity, sometimes in happy pictures, landscape pictures, portraits, insects,nature, or I have a story to tell.  When I do not get that time, or my depressed mind causes a loss of interest, the spiraling downward can be fast and catastrophic.

But the first and main picture of this blog this week is a picture of hope.  Does not look like it does it?  Especially when I call it mysterious.  But depression, or mental disorders cause such a darkness in soul and mind, hence the darkness.  But there is hope, if you reach out, and suddenly, there is a light.  It is not a blinding light.  It is gradual.   There is a glimmer of hope.  And slowly the climb out of the pit begins.  The holding out of the hands is the asking for help.  Take my hands it says, listen to me, help me figure out these feelings I am feeling.   More importantly, with help, with talking about it, I get out of my head.  When I tell Ginger I am hurting inside, she has been nothing but supportive.  She listens.  But more importantly, and please hear me here, she does not try to fix it.  She can't.  You can't.  Listening is what fixes it.  Validating feelings, that is what fixes it.  Telling me I need to pray more or somehow talk to it and tell it to leave?  It is not that easy and all that does is confuses.  Is it spiritual or is it my mind?  And when I pray and nothing happens and someone tells me there is sin I need to confess, well, then some begin fabricating sin in the hope that is the answer.  I am not saying there cannot be a spirtual aspect to it, but when your mind is sick you need to treat your mind. 

We are not silent about our suffering, hence the Facebook posts and this blog.  We have support groups and friends who understand.  We have people praying for us, supporting us, and listening to us and giving us sound wisdom.  We are not alone, and for that we are thankful.

Mysterious 50mm f8.0 ISO 100 1/200

I took about 79 shots to get this shot.  Just so happened Ginger got home toward the end and was able to help me line up my hands.  It was done with two flashes.  Originally I had pass through umbrellas on them but I took them off in favor of the harsh light.  I really, really enjoyed this shot.  When Ginger walked in she was wondering how I was getting the shutter off.  I pointed down.  I have become really good with my remote release and my big toe.  I can now half press to focus with it and then fully press to take the shot.  Taking self portraits you have to do what you have to do!

And then there is the infrared.  I took another shot, after reading up on some manuals, and my next shot turned out MUCH better than my first!

The wind was blowing lightly so there was some blur but for a 2 minute exposure there was very little noise!  I am about ready to start venturing beyond the balcony now!

Hope everyone is doing well.  Oh and Ginger and I are doing much better!  My depression has diminished greatly and Ginger is on an upswing now.  Thank you all for your prayers and for following our little adventure!


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