A while back, I signed up for a blogging course, and since then I’ve gotten to be good blogging friends with some incredible bloggers from around the world. Each month on the 10th, some of us form a 10 on 10 photography circle. Our circle contracts and expands. We share 10 photos (occasionally more – my bad!) from our life – a day of our life, generally – and one of us link to another. Our visitors have the opportunity to make their way around the circle. Some of you may have made your way here from Cathy at Peregrination Gourmande and if so WELCOME! Others of you will leave me and head on off to visit with Stephanie at Steph’s Joy. I hope you enjoy!
As some of you know, there was no Photo Friday last week. I went out and captured shrimp boats at rest in the Pass Christian Harbor, but I just couldn’t get the editing right. And then these anxiety attacks that have been a routine part of my life as of late hit because I couldn’t make it work.
I don’t know if you have ever suffered with anxiety. The last two months have been my first real experiences with it. In the past, occasionally I’ve been hit with an overwhelming sense of dread – like something terrible was about to happen. Outside of feeling a little worried, my previous experience with anxiety merely unsettled me. It would pass within a few hours, and I would go on with my life.
This has been an entirely different experience for me. This has been…incredibly difficult. It’s kept me awake; it’s made me cry. Anxiety has made it difficult to breathe and at points, made me wonder if I was dying. (I’m not) There were a couple of days when it went on forever – all afternoon and deep into the night, a kind of paralysis in a loop that I couldn’t escape.
I don’t know how to explain what this experience has been like. I have few coping mechanisms to deal with it, and those that I do have didn’t seem to be of much help. Even thinking about it now is difficult. It is ironic that with my students, we are currently wrapping up the Headspace pack on anxiety because many of them suffer from anxiety. Breathing helps. Remembering that it all eventually passes helps in the waxing and waning moments. Getting out and taking photos has helped with a general sense of unease.
The first four photos for this month’s 10 on 10 Photography Circle were taken at sunset for last week’s Photo Friday post. Sunrise two days later provided a gorgeous backdrop for those same shrimp boats. Sunrises and sunsets at this time of the year shine a little more brightly than the Sound than they do on the Back Bay. This month’s 10 on 10 photography circle wasn’t originally intended as a set of companion images, but it worked out nicely.
The light at this time of the year is incredible. We’ve been hazy and foggy, which is our normal pattern for a Gulf Coast winter. The days are short and the light is diffuse, and I think that’s part of my anxiety problem. The lack of sunshine negatively impacts me. Even here on the beach, the days can be gloomy.
I think, though, that the weather actually offers me hope that all of this will soon pass. Dense, opaque confusion blankets us, making us move a little more carefully and a little slower. Each day, the sun breaks through the nebula and reminds us that the light will always shine. The haze never lasts forever.
Last week I took sunset photos and for approximately 15 hours, I forgot that we all move to the same rhythms as the sun. After the slog, I held on to the sunrise, and I rested. Almost 12 hours of sleep felt like the right thing to do. That recharge – and the end of the two graduate courses I’m taking – has made this week fee a lot brighter and lighter. The anxiety hasn’t been consuming. As Andy recommends, I notice it and then move on to the next sensation. With the azaleas, daffodils, and trees beginning to bloom, darkness recedes and ease begins to settle in like the occasional fog.
The winter always knocks me for a loop, but this year it has been particularly bad. I’m redoubling my efforts to look for the light and doing quite a bit more sleeping. I also have a doctor’s appointment. Spring will be here soon, and the greatest part of the triggers for this anxiety will be resolved. Those are the things I’m focusing on in order to manage this new experience.
Now because this is a 10 on 10 photography circle, please make your way to my friend Steph at Steph’s Joy. If you’re here from Peregrination Gourmande, thanks for coming on around the Circle! Leave us some comment love on your trip, please because bloggers love comments. I hope you enjoy!
Photo Friday Link-Up
Welcome to another edition of the Photo Friday link-up! I missed y’all last week. One of the highlights of my week is looking through your wonderful images and catching a glimpse into your world.
For our last link-up (two weeks ago), the most-viewed link came from Kathy at You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out. As always, she shared an amazing photo.Our final link came from the lovely Pret-a-Vivre who took us to Giverny. If you missed it, go check it out!
I can’t wait to see what you have for us this week! Make sure to stop by and check out at least two of the other participants.