Feeling Rejuvenated

Yay, I’ve just had a lunch date with a couple of friends and fellow artists. It’s done me so much good. I’ve come away feeling refreshed.

My motivation is high, and I’ve just finished the third piece of embroidery, but I haven’t had the energy to get out with my camera. However, I have been taking photos on my phone, which is keeping my foot in, and I’ve just been reminded of the value of smart phone photography.

Heres a few photos from the last few days.

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Mental Health – Health Update

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The photos in this post were taken on the day that I tried to end my life. These were all shot near the Barbican in London on an overcast and wet day. It had been a wonderful and enjoyable day. I had no intention of trying to commit suicide, I was just overwhelmed by the suicidal ideation which had been building up in intensity over the previous 10 days. Although it may be hard to get your head around, I wanted to live, I was happy and I had been seeking support to try and fight off this aspect of mental illness.

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The consequences have been severe and challenging, and I’m putting together a documentary photo series to chart my experiences.

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My mental health has been unstable since leaving hospital. I’ve had intrusive thoughts about being shot and being followed. Sometimes the intrusive thoughts are visual and scary. I get images of my throat being cut and of people shooting me. This has increased my paranoia and I’ve sometimes been unable to move off of my sofa if a car pulls up outside. I believe that if I move then the people in the car will notice me and then attack me.

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For some reason I stopped meditating a while back, when I was really ill with my anorexia, but I have now returned to my practice. Twice daily meditation has helped reduce the paranoia, and my doctor has increased one of my meditations. Things are beginning to ease off now, such a relief.

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My attempt to end my life resulted in physical complications. I developed pneumonia and a septic abscess on my lung. I required surgery to have it removed, along with part of my lung which had died. On the operating table I had a cardiac arrest.

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As my lung has started to heal I have been able to work at a better pace, and I’m no longer scared of people walking into my right hand side, the side of my body where my chest was opened.

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My memory and ability to communicate is improving. There are occasions in which I get lost in a conversation, or cannot find the right words, but this is happening less than previously. qrf

Fatigue is still a problem. If I have a busy day then I need to have a nap, sometimes I need to have a complete day of rest the following day. I also find that my fatigue gets the better of me, which means that I’m going to bed around 9.30pm, but I’m sleeping for longer and sleeping through the night which is fab.

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The biggest challenge at the moment is that I have five pressure sores, some of which need dressing three times per week. On top of this I also have weekly podiatry appointments for the pressure sores on my feet, and fortnightly appointments for my arm. Worse still is that I’m scared of knives. The dead skin on the pressure sores on my feet needs to be debrided with a scalpel, and i cant cope with that. My fore arm is covered with a large pressure sore, and I have now come to terms with that being debrided using tweezers and scissors. The same can’t be done on my foot because the skin is different there.

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The great news is that I’ve got my mojo back now. You can probably tell because I’m following blogs and blogging myself. Such a relief. Most importantly though is that I’ve returned to my final assignment in Foundations in Photography with the Open College of the Arts . The embroidery is going well and I’m more than pleased with my progress. The embroidery is slow progress but it is progress.

 

 

Limited Photo Opportunity In Hospital

Sorry for the lack of blog posts or comments recently. I’ve been in hospital for nearly three weeks. I’m getting better slowly, and I have to say that on the whole, the hospital and its staff have been wonderful. It’s one of the better stays that I’ve had in hospital, and I think the staff are doing an incredible job.

Ive been out of it for the past 3 weeks, but slowly coming around and gaining the desire for photography. Here’s a couple to be getting on with.

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Photos As Research

I have been taking photos as I walk around London. These are part of my research for when I begin the degree in Photography with the Open College of the Arts.m. Square Mile is the first assignment. I’m considering shooting in The City and capturing the contrast between wealth and poverty.

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Moving Home – Which Degree?

I’m excited, I’m focused, and occasionally a little anxious.

Although I don’t have a moving date as yet, it’s likely that I will be moving at the end of the month. I’m excited that I want to begin having contact with people, especially my peers and others in the creative community. Opportunity beckons.

It’s also getting close to a cut off point for deciding which course to study. Do I continue studying with the Open College of the Arts, or with the University for the Creative Arts. I’m very suited to distance learning, and I know that studying with the OCA provides me with as much opportunity as I wish to develop creatively, and flexibly. I’ve pulled off a coup by connecting with Laura Letinsky, and this tells me that I can create my own opportunities by studying this way. I value the tutors and the course material.

Studying with the UCA will give me access to a dark room, a vast library and work placements, as well as the opportunity to collaborate with other students in other fields. But… I’m getting these opportunities with OCA students, and as an undergraduate I can access any university library.

When I put it in black and white like this I can see that I have a preference. Next week I will speak with student services at the Open College of the Arts, and then meditate before making a decision.

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Thank You For Your Kindness – Resting – Good News – London, The Glass City

London, The Glass City

I really appreciate all of the kind words, wishes and comments upon my last post. Since returning home I have rested deeply, and haven’t checked WordPress nor Instagram, I’ve allowed myself to switch off, and build my model aeroplane.

Although I am feeling better than I was I’m still very tired. Getting checked up by the Dr has confirmed my blood pressure is low and that the anaemia has worsened, which are as a result of anorexia.

I am going to take my time in replying to people’s comments over the next few days, and although I wont be able to catch up with your past posts, I will endeavour to read current ones as and when I can.

The good news is that my referral to the eating disorders day centre has gone through, funding has been approved, so fingers crossed that they will accept me. In the mean time I increased my calories again on Saturday.

Here are a few photos of reflections that I took whilst in London. I came to realise that central London could easily be known as The Glass City. It’s everywhere. It was useful preparation for one of the exercise coming up in part 4 of Foundations in Photography. There is a Starbucks very close by, which meant that I could recharge my lapstop whilst I was having a break.

London, The Glass City

London, The Glass City

London, the Glass City

London, The Glass City