Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Uncommon Therapy

I've done common therapy ... 
The psychologist I saw for over a year was lovely to talk to, had some useful ideas and she confirmed my own suspicion that my mental health is worth bottling ..... but ultimately, this sadness will not lift easily and all the mindfulness and affirmations in the world won't fix it.

But thankfully, I've also stumbled into a form of uncommon* therapy....
...just before he died, Greg gave me my 40th birthday present..... a second hand DSLR Canon camera with three lenses.
....and just before he died I signed up to the 365Project which is a free website where the basic premise is that you take and upload a photo each day.

It took a while for me to return to this project after Greg died, and when I did it was with photos that simply documented our lives.
...and ever so slowly, my photos improved in both content and technique.
 I can now look back over the last 2 and a bit years and see that my photographs are increasingly full of colour and joy again..... possibly more colour and joy than I feel .... but proof that for at least part of every day, I have sought beauty around me and captured it in an image.

...and I am thankful for that.

*At no point should it replace quality professional therapy..... but if it can lift your eyes from the floor on even the darkest days, then it as therapy worth doing.


  1. ...proof that for at least part of every day, I have sought beauty around me ...

    can I get a hell yeah. Or whatever it is people shout. That you come through this, keep walking through this, retaining an ability to see beauty and any interest at all in seeking it. Pretty freaking awesome.

  2. Amen!
    Even after 3+ years of visits to my "shrink", I still feel that Ecstatic Dance was finally the thing that turned me around to look at life again.

    The Shrink helped show me the foundation on which to stand on my own.

  3. What a beautiful pic. Look at its wings. So fragile...life can be like that sometimes.

  4. The week following my husbands death I took the camera in the yard every morning. I often couldn't sleep for more than a few hours and I would wait for the sunrise so I could go in the yard to photograph anything.
    I said it held me to the ground when I was certain I couldn't hold myself there.
    As you said - it may be "uncommon therapy" but I found the world viewed through the lens of my camera - made it seem possible that life was still worth living.
    15 months later, I know it is.
    Thank you for the reminder that there are many ways to move forward.
    Beautiful picture.

  5. I do wish that I had the ability to take good pictures. My skills with the camera are weak but I so understand the "therapy" you would gain from taking the pics and looking back over a picture diary.

    When my husband passed suddenly, my well wishing sisters ushered me off to a therapist. I went every week faithfully for about 18 months realizing soo into the sessions that my ability to heal laid within my emotional framework. I chose to do things, similiar to photography, to help me too find the beauty that within my reach.

    Thank you Amanda for an insipirational blog!!!!