Fall is finally here! Crisp, chilly days (and yes, 60 degrees is chilly ….. *glares in Texan*). Now that it’s the end of November there are even a few trees changing color, giving me total nostalgia for autumn in Michigan. I even baked apple cobbler tonight to get some of that apple and cinnamon in my life. I’ve only ate 3/4ths of the pan so far so I’m being pretty good. It’s been cold enough to use my fireplace 3 different nights so far - fingers crossed it’s a cold winter so I have an excuse to use it every night! It’s so cozy to curl up on the couch with my dogs and just watch the fire.
I was pretty surprised when I finally got back on my website last week (to work on a blog post for Erika and Moe’s portrait session) and saw that it has only been two months since my last post. It feels like it’s been at least 6 months that I’ve been less active than usual on social media and my blog. It’s be a really long two months, apparently. Two really long, depression filled months. If you have suffered from depression for extended period of your life you can probably relate to where I’ve been. It’s been a long down period, more down than usual. A down period where the extent of what I can do is limited to basic survival. Getting up the energy to work hard enough to barely pay the bills and then collapsing onto the couch with my attention-needing dogs when I come home at night. Not getting exercise, not having the energy to cook, and not having the energy to be around people. Absolutely no energy to put into my business, marketing is for another day, simply taking care of the clients I already have. The annoying thing about depression is that it keeps you from doing everything that would help lessen the depression.
The good news is that I’ve been productively depressed and have used the last couple months to try to better understand the issues at the cause of both my depression and anxiety. It’s a complicated mess of both childhood traumas and adult traumas that I won’t be getting into, but I’m finally in a place where I can start to look at things clearly again, not through the lens of that extreme fog of depression. Writing and blogging has always helped me sort out my thoughts and feelings so I’m making an effort to write a lot more personal posts like this one. Yeah, its a wedding and portrait photography website - so what? I’m a human, and photography is an art form. My photography style was developed by everything I’ve been through and everything I am going through, and more importantly - portrait photography is about connecting with people. Being open about who I am and what makes me who I am is the simplest way I can think to do that.
Yesterday I took the day off and spent it decorating my house for the season. By which I mean decorating my fireplace mantel and area, for some reason I tend to change this area up a few times a year while the rest of my house stays pretty much looking the same. I needed some serious arts and crafts time, so I dug out all my painting supplies and got to work on some outer space themed ornaments to put on wreaths. Mostly because I’m seriously an outer space science junkie, but also mostly because the colors were really pretty.
The GREAT thing about these ornaments is that it takes virtually no skill. All you need are the tools and a slight sense of what colors look good together. At the end of the day I was happily covered in paint and I’m pretty surprised how well everything looks together. I don’t really celebrate the holidays so decorating has never been a priority but I’m digging my living room right now. The rest of my living room is brightly colored with mostly oranges and blues so I was worried that the “Christmas vibe” would clash horribly but nope!
The holidays can be hard for a lot of people and not everyone is willing to face that reality, depression usually makes it even harder for me but I’m not letting it bring me down! If someone in your life also suffers from depression, even if they’re the happiest person when you’re around, make sure you give them some extra love and patience. Speaking from my experience it’s the ones you never expect that are often hurting the most. If you also have depression I’d love to hear some of the techniques you use to get through the really bad times. I hate that I can completely lose all of my motivations, all of my goals and plans and just be reduced to barely surviving. Let’s end the stigma around mental health and bring the conversations into the public.