light and dark

light and dark

Moving from sunshine to shade can be a pretty quick transition. Coming off of a bright sunny family vacation back only to be met by dark clouds and scattered showers can leave a girl dejected and depleted. Such is life I guess. I should know that by now, if nothing else.

After and excruciating night with my dog (who has had an extremely adverse reaction to her spaying surgery) I am totally emotional; reeling with a mix of fear, hormones, exhaustion and anxiety. Feeling so sorry for her (and for me) took me to a pretty dark place pretty quickly. I am reminded of my early days of being a mother and how terrifying that was sometimes. I know one bad night doesn’t hold a candle to months of struggle with depression but those feelings of being overwelmed are unmistakable and scary.

And so it goes, the tentative transition from light to dark and the welcome and reassuring shift back to light again. Life is a cycle like that. I’ll admit, that even though I know it with all my heart, that the sun always rises, I’m not always as gracious as I could be when the darkness falls. But, I keep breathing. And walking on. Or resting if neccessary. Sometimes it’s all you can do. And it is enough. No matter how long it takes to get there, I always know I will feel the light on my face again soon.

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  • Celina
    Posted at 20:23h, 26 April Reply

    I hope your puppy heals up quickly. I love your words about knowing the light will be on your face again soon, something I need to remember as well.

  • elizabeth
    Posted at 21:09h, 26 April Reply

    wow. You totally summed up feelings about photography when my girls were little that I didn't realize I felt—I mean, I know how much photography has influenced my own experience with motherhood, but I've never considered it like that. And, you described it perfectly.

  • shelbi
    Posted at 22:49h, 26 April Reply

    i related so much this post, Tracey. I also went through a dark post partum, 5 years ago – after my 4th child was born. i lost all interest in everything…including my passion; photography. life without the joy of creativity felt so void and empty. Then one day, I was cruising the net and found this great site, 'flickr'…it was '06 and i was just climbing up from that dark place. that is when i found shutter sisters. Shutter sisters played a huge role in my healing process. It was the main reason i joined flickr and found a little light in my path… I had no idea you dealt with ppd as well. i hope you are feeling the sun again on your sweet face soon, and i will say a little prayer for that darling pup of yours today. <3

  • Macrina
    Posted at 01:18h, 27 April Reply

    It's utterly true that "this too shall pass". But how difficult is that challenge to remember, in the depths of darkness, that this is only a phase and will eventually lift; that "I will one day rise from the valley of the shadow of death and live in Light again."

    Personally, depression has become cyclical. Not just that life has its dark moments – which is inevitable – but that there are moments when my heart becomes exhausted and frightened and looses track of where its going and despair rears its ugly head. And no matter what light is around me, it does not illumine but singes the soul and by habit I recoil.

    Just lately I have discovered that photography has become a veritable tool for managing an undefined depression that has subtly settled itself in. It gives a sense of peace and order and forces my eye to beauty in the natural world. To make an effort to see something remarkable in the mundane. This eventually and subtly translates itself into my thoughts, whereby I become open to seeing not the dismay of a mundane existance, but beauty therein – even if only a quiet beauty.

    A well-timed post. Thank you for sharing, for being open and vulnerable with your 'sisters'.

  • Jane
    Posted at 23:50h, 11 May Reply

    A stunning post, Tracey. I have suffered from major depression, on and off, over the past 10 years and currently have severe PND. I *so* completely relate to your insightful thoughts. Thanks for having the courage to share this so openly. J x

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