Broken Light: A Photography Collective

We are photographers living with or affected by mental illness; supporting each other one photograph at a time. Join our community, submit today!

Coming out of the Dark

Photo taken by Alice  from England, who suffers from cyclothymia. More about her here.

About this photo: One of the reasons I took up photography was to avoid having my own picture taken. I’d shun any efforts to drag me into the spotlight, and I have no interest in drawing attention to myself. Being behind the camera is not only a way to calm the volcanic mind, but also a way to hide from the public arena. Similarly I’ve used my own blog Alice through the Macro Lens as a hideaway…somewhere to which I can retreat and be anyone I want to be, and until now, I’ve been “Alice,” keeper of the self-imposed bug-a-day challenge and occasional mouth piece for the noises in my head.

I have long retreated to the shadows, because I have been told, and I have grown to believe, that the real me is not worthy of standing at the front and centre of society’s stage. I don’t fit the model of physical beauty, I don’t tow the line, and I have a mental illness that effects how I respond to the world. This self-portrait is not visually as dramatic as any you’ve showcased so far, but I think it just about sums me up. I’ll call it “Coming out of the Dark.” The picture was taken one afternoon when the sun was shining in the window and causing my reflection to appear in the computer screen. The picture incorporates the two escapes from the reality of my mental illness that I have relied upon the most – my camera and my blog.

But you know what? I am a formidable person. I am a good writer. I am a decent photographer. I am a devoted mother. I have an incredible story and a very big heart. And, if nothing else, my mental illness makes me a lot more interesting than many.

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9 comments on “Coming out of the Dark

  1. John
    May 9, 2012

    I may have said this before, but this is a terrific series.

    Like

  2. magicallymad
    May 9, 2012

    Definitely think that the experiences behind our illnesses make us more interesting, at the very least.

    Like

  3. Reblogged this on Alice through the Macro Lens and commented:
    I sent this in to the Broken Light Collective earlier this week. Make sure you check out some of the other phenomenal pictures and posts exhibited on this site by people who live less-than-ordinary lives.

    Like

  4. S.
    May 9, 2012

    Wonderful! You ARE a great mother, writer and photographer. You have tons of people pulling for you too. I hope your journey continues to be out the the dark and into the light, even if it is one flash at a time. (I know you don’t like flash photography, but the image worked.) :P
    Best, congratulations and some hugs too,
    – S.

    Like

    • Thank you for the praise! Fingers crossed, I’ve been feeling much better these last few days – so hopefully it will continue :-)
      Next step, getting back to work! (argh!)

      Like

  5. Damn Que Mala
    May 9, 2012

    Reblogged this on Into the Mouth of Madness and commented:
    Love these posts…

    Like

  6. Find Focus
    May 9, 2012

    You really ARE all of those things! What a wonderful final paragraph of self affirmation! :) This is a great shot – great title! – & I completely understand part of your motivation to take up photography… It really is an added bonus that having a camera often keeps you from being the subject of someone else’s photo. It’s important to realize that you’re worthy and talented and that ‘coming out of the dark’ is a healthy thing to do sometimes. :)

    Like

  7. Small steps … I’m still going to avoid being in anyone else’s pictures … but we are definitely getting there :-)
    Thanks for your positivity :-)

    Like

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