There's a group called "Our 52- A lifestyle Project" that I'm a part of. Every week they challenge photographers with a new "word" or "theme" to photograph and capture that week however you see it. I decided to document my weekly photo here on my blog as well.
As I stared at the word for this week, nothing came to mind at first. In fact, I was rather annoyed because I couldn't think of anything. I closed out of the browser and went on with my day. As the days came and passed, there I was, still stuck and unsure of what I interpreted as unseen. I was sifting through some self portraits I had taken that week and I stumbled upon this one. It was grainy and out of focus, and the lighting was all sorts of weird but for some reason I didn't delete it. I kept looking at it and going back to it. I then realized how it painted such a perfect picture of what is unseen to me. My anxiety. Now, before I elaborate on that, let me first say that I hate saying "I have anxiety issues." I just don't like the way it sounds. I don't like titling my mind issues. because to me, that's what it is. It's a mind issue. Whenever I eat or drink certain things, or let myself think certain things, it triggers a chemical reaction in my brain that makes me then very anxious. I have noticed that in our society, people need to have a medical term or name for a simple struggle they deal with. It's like they find purpose or their identity in their struggles. I'm the opposite. I actually think people diagnose too much. I think there's something to be said for owning up to your struggles as they are and dealing with them head on. Now, before I go too far off the deep end and probably piss some people off, let's get back to it.
I didn't always deal with anxiety stuff, but I'll always remember the day it started. I was sitting in a work meeting at a coffee shop going over some project details. Out of nowhere, it felt like all the blood in my body turned cold, my head felt fluttery and hot, I couldn't really feel my fingers, my legs felt like they had bricks chained to them. I remember thinking in my head on a loop, "it feels like I'm dying." I didn't know what was happening. I completely tuned out everything around me. I ran into the bathroom, and called my sister, who has struggled with anxiety issues as well. I started listing off all the things I felt and she just told me "you're ok, you're just having a panic attack.."
I didn't realize that was something I'd keep encountering occasionally in the next coming years. I didn't realize I was going to have to do that again. I cannot explain how frozen I felt in my own head. It was and is so scary.
It wasn't for a little while later that I had learned how to handle them, and understand what maybe brings them on for me. It's still a struggle, and I still have a lot of growing to do, but what I do understand is that in the midst of those panic and anxiety filled moments, it's when I call out to God and surrender to him that I'm set free from my mind and the tricks it likes to play sometimes.
I chose this picture to represent my unseen moments of panic and anxiety because it represents to me the mess of a person I am, but those holes of light show how God shows up in the midst of it when you call out to him. How he shines through the brokenness in us. How he rescues us from our struggles and through him is where we find healing and confidence to own up to our struggles.