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Photo taken by contributor Carrie Hilgert, a 36-year-old photographer and self-portrait artist from Northeast Kansas. After venturing into digital photography, she became interested in documenting her life with self portraits. This became particularly helpful when her life started to fall apart due to depression. All her other creative outlets left her, but she could always process her very dark feelings with self portraits. While she is doing much better now, she maintains compassion for those going through these hard things and hopes that her photography can give an honest insight into something that makes most people feel very isolated and alone.
About this photo: “I wonder why it took me so dang long to accept my own duality. I tell people as a joke, that I am a contradiction to myself. But there have been some really rough times because of that extreme nature. I spent a lot of years trying desperately to be a more consistent person in all my habits and neurosis…
Do the laundry on a schedule, not just whenever you feel like it. Make a meal plan and stick with it. There shall be no free spirited cooking in this house. You’re social online all the time, why can’t you make more dates with your friends? You suck. If you’re such a quiet person, why do you sometimes talk your husband’s ear off? You want to be this unique person, but you still care what some people think about you? And so on. None of these are a huge deal. But I think introspective people do tend to over analyze themselves to death. And you know? Life is just too short for that. I get to a point where I just get fed up; angry at the way I’ve talked to myself. Livid with the things I’ve expected from myself.
There has to be a balance inside. An acceptance and harmony with all these different little parts of ourselves. We’ve all grown up with baggage of some sort. At the end of my life, I don’t want to look back and ponder all the mental energy and time I wasted trying to be someone I’m not.
It’s not about all our selves being at constant war with each other. It’s about being ok that we have different selves to begin with”