Week 23: Flowers and an Article on Depression

So inspiration came this week in the form of flowers.  Yep.  Got Ginger some flowers just because I love her and she loves flowers (and her vases).  And to think at one time she said she didn't like to get flowers....  And since my Mom's birthday is coming up (and looking younger than ever!)

Ginger's Favorite Shot

My Favorite Shot

Both of us like this one.

All these shots were taken with natural light.  I had the best of both worlds this morning.  The first and third shot were with the sun behind clouds which acted as a natural diffuser.  But the sun would peak out of the clouds for a few minutes which allowed me to take the second shot and get the hard shadows.  Interesting since I have a shot flowing around in my mind but I need the morning golden hour sunlight for the shot on the weekend.  The past two weekends we have had cloudy mornings.  I find it interesting, however, that just around our house I can find inspiration.  An artist's eye.  And once again I take the shots then filter it through Ginger on which composition is best.  She has an uncanny eye for composition, which helps me tremendously.

So this is one of those rare morning blogs.  Usually I am blogging on Sunday after our mandatory Sunday nap.  But things are on my mind this morning.   Two famous people this week decided to take their own life.  It is a tragedy.  And yet one that is becoming all too common.  Two people who seemingly have it all and yet they are not happy.  One of the best articles on this was in the USA Today.  I have included a link to the article below.


Some highlights from the article:

"If people are more open about talking about coping through suicidal experiences, and the media highlight those stories, the evidence is very clear that this has a very positive effect on getting people through a suicidal crisis.” 

We need to tell our stories.  Yes there is pain in those stories.  But there is healing too.  People relate.  I was asked recently, as someone was looking through my portfolio of photos, why the addiction/recovery pictures?  What started the process of taking those pictures?  Okay, the original idea started because a close friend of mine had a loved one who was refusing help.  They wanted to choose to stay where they were even though the other side held much more promise.   It made me reflect.  And since my story telling is mostly through pictures I decided to embark down that road to tell my story and what addiction looked like on the inside of me and recovery.  But I cannot stay on that dark road too long.  I will delve into it, into that dark side to seek inspiration and so God has angel's in my life who gently guide me out (and take pictures of flowers!).   It's okay to visit, just not have an extended stay.

"We exist largely disconnected from our extended families, friends and communities — except in the shallow interactions of social media"

One of the things I see more and more how people do not have patience.  People do not talk face to face anymore  An example.  I was in the same area as someone else, within 30 seconds from them, and they called me.  Really?  You couldn't just come and find me?  Plus, I am a visual person.  Here is what I hate.  Someone will try to explain something on the phone to me and then get mad when I don't get it!  I AM A VISUAL PERSON!!!!!  If you show me physically something, you will probably never have to show me again.  It's why I write lists.  I can follow a physical list better than a verbal list.  In fact a verbal list I will forget.  Not maybe forget, not kinda, I will forget.  My computer desk has all sorts of sticky notes with reminders, why?  Because I am visual.  Need more proof?  Is it a coincidence that my hobby is photography which is visual?  Okay, I think I made my point.  I'll get off my soap box, but that has been building up for a while.   If not for Ginger and our family I would not carry around a cell phone.

Speaking of social media....  I did an experiment when I was doing my pictures on addiction.  I tracked how many people viewed my posts on my blog from Facebook and then on Flickr with those pictures and then pictures of cute things (like Sophie).  On Facebook Sophie won hands down.  Put a cute picture up everyone loves it.  Talk about a serious issue, not so much.  Except Flickr exploded on the addiction front.  I have stepped further and further away from Facebook because of this.  Matters of life or death and people are like eh, put a picture of a dog and everyone goes crazy on Facebook.  Shallow interactions indeed.  Too much stigma when we talk about addiction, mental health, bipolar or depression.

"Yes, there are people who have chemical imbalances who should be supported and treated with medicine. But most Americans are depressed, anxious or suicidal because something is wrong with our culture, not because something is wrong with them.
Changing our culture is critical. Being honest with others about our own personal struggles and dark nights of the soul is the first step. People on the edge need to hear stories that assure them there is a way through the all-consuming pain to a meaningful life.  
I’ve told mine, now go tell yours."

I have told mine and I will continue to tell mine.  I am an artist who is a recovering alcohlic/addict and I suffer from depression.  Our culture does not want to talk about these issues. Look at the uproar over gun control.  Where is the uproar over our broken system of helping people with mental disorders?   I agree with this article, people need to hear our stories.  I will say it again, if just one person reads my blog and get's help then this blog is successful.   It's not about likes, it's about lives.  God bless.


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