April 7, 2014

The State Of Things

I think it is time to talk about some very hard truths in my life. It is entirely possible that an internet blog isn't the right avenue for this but I don't much care.

I spend a great deal of time on this blog practicing a certain art of deception. I am an expert at it in a lot of ways, both here and to the vast majority of the people I know in real life. I make a concentrated effort to sound as if I am in a state of perpetual optimism. The future holds no limits, each and every day is new and exciting, I can gaze at the world and find fascination in things both big and small. There is absolutely nothing that can break my spirit.

However, the truth of the matter is I am a person almost always gripped by fear. To a degree we all are, but for far too long I have taken it to an extreme. The only way I can describe it is imagine a constant shadow lingering in your stomach. It seduces you and sings to you. It tells you it is perfectly ok to just crawl inside yourself and embrace a certain degree of blindness. It weaves poems about how the world outside will hurt you so don't ever leave. All you have to do is put on a brave face and you can stay there in the darkness as long as you like.

Sometimes I will go for days without eating. It is far less of a body image issue and more just a result of being numb and walled off from the world. That gripping fear in my stomach doesn't feel much different from hunger a lot of the time. I often look for battles I do not need to fight because it is far easier than throwing punches with myself and admitting my ego is so battered it isn't even possible to be loved. I find it easier to hide the truth and avoid hard conversations with anyone who cares about me because I don't want them to see this seething ball of insecurity I have hidden away. I smack head first into walls constantly because I am so busy looking inward and holding myself together instead of paying attention to what is around me.

The real me is buried so deep I don't even know what I should be looking for half the time. I might as well be trying to turn night into day. I can scream at the stars and the moon all I want but the sun isn't going to rise any faster. 

This is who I am, and it is about time I stop running from it. Or rather in my case, stop hiding it.

The reason I am able to talk about this now is because I believe
I have finally hit rock bottom. It isn't a fun position to be in. It's terrifying knowing that in a lot of ways you can't sink any lower. At the same time, it is a necessary place to be. I've made all the mistakes I am going to make and I can't possibly make any more. It's also the only place in which I can finally accept help, both from within myself, from professionals, and from the many hands that have been held out to me over the years.

The very bottom is where you stop holding on for dear life and instead actually begin the climb out of the hole you've found yourself in.

Camera: Bessa R3A
Film: Ilford HP5
Model: Andrew Kaiser
Location: Bellingham, WA


  1. Welcome to the bottom - it's getting crowded down here!!
    Just came across your article and website. What at absolute delight :)
    I'll send you a private mail...
    Best wishes, John

  2. I'll hang out with you there, or at any stage of the climb, my friend.

  3. I wish I had that one comforting thing to say about how you are feeling. Unfortunately, the only things I'm sitting here thinking about are that I feel very similarly to how you are feeling, and that you mask it so much better than I do. I guess admitting it is the first step to opening up. Give me a call anytime, I'd love to catch up.