Acts of self-care

My blog is as inconsistent as I am… Whilst it is primarily for my photography, I’m also using it to work on my writing and for my self-growth. Lately I’ve been thinking about personal development, self love and making more positive choices for my well-being. I haven’t acted on it as much as I would like to. So far my “growth” has been following really inspirational tweeters and thinking about how much I want to reach that level of inner peace, self-acceptance and creativity. But it’s not enough to just be inspired without making any changes which will reflect that. I can spend hours scrolling through someone’s Twitter profile admiring their words and work but if I’m not actively applying that to my life, what is the point?

I keep making excuses for my bad habits. I’ve suffered from mental illnesses for nearly a decade now and that has, as expected, largely influenced my behaviour and choices. When things are bad, my first thought is self-destruction. I am comfortable in negative cycles because I’m familiar with them so breaking out of them is difficult. But I’m recovering. With the help of medication, a strong support system and an environment I love, I am getting happier. I still struggle a lot but I am also happy with where I am and I want to live. The scariest thing about this is that now the rest of my recovery is entirely up to the choices I make.

I can’t have the same coping mechanisms and mentality as when I was living but barely alive. I was very ill and I didn’t have any of the things I have today. To open myself up to appreciate all the incredible people in my live and all the great things I have going on is to admit that I am alive. I need to treat myself better and I need to nurture the relationships I have because I plan on sticking around.

So here we are! I am ready to be that person who preaches about the benefits of drinking loads of water every day and who loves and feels passionately with no apology. I think one of the reasons I have struggled to keep up my interest in photography is that it goes against what I have kept so close to me. To be actively photographing is to allow myself to be in the moment. It’s to let myself focus on the wonderful things surrounding me. When I capture my partner smiling or in the middle of laughing, I have to accept that this beautiful human is feeling that way because of my presence. I am realising that I am living – when I look at nature, I can see how the universe goes on way beyond me and my angst and I am comforted by that.

It’s not going to be easy but I know it will be rewarding. At some point you really do get sick of your own shit and I am at that point. My shit hasn’t made me feel any better and at times it has threatened things that are so important to me. I am excited to see where I go with this.

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Experiencing the sublime, Purbeck 2017
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