October 11, 2014

vulnerable selfies

When I picked my one little word to be unafraid this year, I didn't know how much strength it would take. I started a little project called vulnerable selfies to help me embrace unafraid in January and I've been keeping it going stronger and stronger for the past 10 months. I mostly keep them to myself, but sometimes I share on my tumblr or very rarely on Instagram. They're so important to me to help me keep my mental health in check and ask for help when I need it.

Monday was a day that I needed it. I needed this project like I need air in my lungs. I was lost in the past, in an ugly world of flashbacks and numbness, hearing my abuser say my name over and over and over and over again. All I could do was lay in bed, my blanket cocooned around me, and stare at the wall. I watched Phantom of the Opera on Netflix to keep me from going crazy. I sang the songs out loud to myself to keep me from crying. I needed some self portrait therapy to get all the hurt out of my heart and to get my feelings out into the world.

So I placed my phone on the windowsill, set up the self timer, and took picture after picture after picture until I felt like myself. Self portrait therapy at its finest hour. I've beat this to death, but I will say it again and again until I am blue in the face: I am so grateful for photography. It saved my life eight years ago when I was stumbling around in the dark trying to find something, anything, that made sense after what happened. And it saved my life again on Monday. Coping mechanisms are the best.

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