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Triggering Peace with Creativeness

It's been a while since a blog update! As i've written many blogs about feeling stressed and angry it feels nice to be posting one about how i've started to fight back against that again! I'm still exhausted, however I'm also now a more positive level headed version of myself. I will not pretend that everything is rainbows and butterflies as life is still complicated, however it's much more peaceful. I now realise I want a quiet life, still creative but in a steady and soft way.

I feel like I’m probably repeating myself and my feelings in my blogs without realising! Which means I should start re-reading them I should probably set aside a day for that, I’ll probably cringe a lot and sigh but I know that will make future blogs more readable! I hope whoever reads this one find it’s either helpful or likes the art!

I’ve been doing little bits of artwork. I’m trying to slowly get back into my flow, if you have read some of my other blogs you will know how hard I find it when I’m not creating work. The creative balance is a tricky one, in the past I’ve tried to do too much now I worry I’m doing to little. I used to take my camera everywhere with me and capture everything, now It more or less just stays in my home studio, I do really need to take it out and about with me again as a test of motivation. I will never be a landscape or wildlife photographer, although saying that I have some decent images I’ve taken of the great outdoors, it’s just not really ’me’. I like to lock myself away dig deep into my feelings and pore that out into a photograph. That’s my ‘style’, it’s who I feel I am as an artist. And I do feel more like an artist these days which is a positive. These pieces are inspired by being ‘triggered’ and finding out how to ‘rest’ which has also inspired this blog entry. The lighting and editing isn’t amazing, I’ve played it way too safe, (again) I really need to start mixing up my lighting and posing more, however the images say what I wanted them too. It’s how I feel sometimes, when I feel stressed or ‘off’. Especially when something has thrown me, like I’m almost complete, almost who I’m meant to be, it’s like there is something in background being pulled away or I’m fragmented, I guess we all feel like this from time to time so working out how to control this is important. I really liked the colours in these pieces, although I did find consistency a little difficult. I used dead flowers once again for the texture of the overlay, I really like the detail and find them beautiful to shoot, I feel they complement my images well and the composition all fits.

So triggers are a real thing. Who knew right, and apparently I have loads. Including some of my own artwork. Fun. I’m also generally not feeling depressed at the moment. Yay. My body is starting to feel more normal, I generally feel lighter as if someone has taken their foot off my chest it’s a real physical feeling. Like I’m finally being given a chance to catch my breath again. Happiness feels nice it’s like a tickling feeling inside my chest, it’s also kind of warm. I feel completely different physically and mentally. Of course I’ve had some stressful and low moments still, controlling my moods has always been difficult when I feel my feelings I feel them intensely. At the moment I’m still battling with my anxiety a bit. Big waves crashing in and out, having a new baby is intense so lots of deep breaths and self grounding techniques needed. I’m currently on maternity leave, I’m using my time wisely that’s when I’m not running around, changing nappies and tending to someone’s needs. I’m trying to look after myself a little better, well I’m really making the effort to try. I did the grown up thing and booked a doctors appointment and actually got seen. I learnt that doctors don’t find joking about your mental health funny and I might have ADHD but it will take at least 18 months to find out however I made it to 31 without medication for it, so if I do have it I can wait longer, with the NHS I doute i'll ever get an assessment.

It’s been a while since my last counselling sessions…Looking for a new counsellor is how I imagine online dating to be like. You read their profiles, see what they have to offer, think to yourself “could I invest my time and money in this person” then overthink your email to them and wait for a reply. And OMG they start getting back to you, they want to meet me and get to know me. What do I wear, how do I speak… will I meet the ‘one’ that will fix me. I’m being picky, I think I owe it to myself. I wasn’t in the headspace to find my last counsellor myself as I was just too stressed and overwhelmed, luckily my place of work helped me out with this, I feel that now I’m more confident and able to make these decisions myself, which feels like progress. I either make decisions too impulsively or I can’t make them at all, logical thinking can sometimes go out the window so I’m making a pros and cons list to decide who to pick!

There is really so much good in the world but that’s so hard to see when we get in a mess mentally. Riding it out can just take forever, and then of course there’s always the feeling of how long will this more positive less stressed version of myself last… and that is why counsellors, medication, talking and taking care of our well-being is so imperative for long term wellness because ups and downs will always happen and like so many other people (maybe even people reading this) I still need to find my tools in dealing with my downs. Being mentally well is like most things in this universe, it’s a spectrum.

So how do we work out what our triggers are? Trial and error I guess and becoming more ‘self aware’. I’ve only just started working on this, I’m trying to not get stressed so will posting this blog trigger me? I’ll find out I guess, can add it to my list then… someone check in on me maybe, joking I won’t reply. Which leads me to a trigger, being overwhelmed by notifications and texts. I have most of my social media notifications turned off anyway, I did that just over a year ago. It was a big help, but I get loads of messages it takes me a while to message back, so they can really pile up and this makes me stressed. Also sometimes I do just generally forget! I have alarms on my phone to remind me to read them, but this doesn’t always help. However as I’m feeling good now and I’m working my way through this. So Yeah don’t be offended if you have a friend who isn’t getting back to you they are probably recharging their brain and need a break, it’s a reel thing we do sometimes, and we are not proud of it… I used to be around people as much as possible, all part of my staying as busy as possible plan, but now I don’t feel the need in fact I much prefer my own company and just being around my family. Also I’m still feeling so exhausted after the past few years so my energy feels precious now.

I’m currently still in the stage of coming out of a two year meltdown were every few weeks I feel even better, but as I get batter I realise how much work I still have to put in to keep myself more relaxed long term. I also have the overwhelming urge to apologise to everyone who had to encounter me during my tricky time. Sulking around, stressed, dragging my feet isn’t a great look, we all do this from time to time I do this with angry music blasting in my ears. A bad habit and not helpful. I’m currently listening to more upbeat tunes! Sometimes little changes can help.

Social media is a tool not a weapon. I know this. I really do. However stressed out me clearly likes to vent and well any platform will do right?! I’ve even managed to turn a photography blog into a loaded weapon a few times, and yes I fired those shots for sure right! Social media is extremely triggering for many reasons to us all in some way I’m sure. It’s also addictive, it gives us dopamine the rewards hormone so it’s tricky when you grew up with it, we have all been there at some point in our life doom scrolling at 2am for some focus or a distraction. It’s a hard habit to break but sometimes we need a distraction I guess, I’m trying hard now to cut down what content my brain consumes. For these images I muted the colours to express how social media can make us feel dulled down and how it's draining sometimes, the last image where i'm holding up the reflection of some flowers shows the beauty in it, because social media isn't all bad! It also holds opportunity, education and friendships. I use social media a lot for my day job and don't find that side of things particularly stressful which is interesting to me.

I shared some blogs that didn’t shine the best light on people, I live with the consequences of that. No regrets on what I shared, my only regret is waiting so long to tackle and admit it because now I don’t get my justice or closure. I always used to think to myself