Broken Light: A Photography Collective

We are photographers living with or affected by mental illness; supporting each other one photograph at a time. Join our community, submit today!

An Unexpected Gift of Depression

Photo taken by Ian, a 52-year-old Welsh rugby fan who was diagnosed with clinical depression 10 years ago and bipolar disorder. It has been a hard journey, with laughter, tears, and heartache, but the support of his wife and two children, 5 and 7 years old has helped keep him going. Ian feels he has gotten an unexpected gift from his depression, and that was self-taught photography. When he first got his camera in 2006, he could barely fix the strap and put it on, but he kept working at it and learning until it became an important part of his life. At first he hated himself with a passion, and thought he was nothing, scum, you name it, but as he developed an eye and technical skills, he started using it to get out and have a purpose, and in difficult social situations. But the most crucial thing, he found, was the end product. No matter how hard he was on himself, the image was taken by him and for him, and he did that so therefore felt that he was not rubbish and weak despite his illness. He now loves photography, and finds it to be a release from personal hell and helpful in his recovery.

About this photo: “I took this photo on one of those days when all I could think about was how much of a waste of space I was. It was a huge effort to get up and face the day. I skipped the shower, gross, but true. Managed to brush my teeth. Grabbed my camera which is always charged and ready to go, thanks OCD. I got into the garden and only wanted to get back inside the house. I snapped a few shots and was back in the house within 10 minutes. It was an important 10 minutes though because I and I alone produced this image, I could not deny that fact, so it’s like a drip, drip effect to make me feel worth something. Recovery is no cakewalk as I thought it would be. We must all ease up on ourselves and give us the time to heal as we would others. Like learning photography it takes time and effort. It can be done but is hard and I intend to make it.”

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10 comments on “An Unexpected Gift of Depression

  1. Northern Narratives
    September 27, 2012

    I love the deep rich purple color of this flower. It makes me smile.

    Like

  2. Darla Welchel
    September 27, 2012

    Ian, this image is spectacular! And you are right, you and you alone did it! It keeps me wanting to go back to look at it time and time again. It is like it is giving me a hug, which I really needed today! Thank you for sharing your story and your amazing talent!

    Like

  3. Darla Welchel
    September 27, 2012

    Reblogged this on Through The Lens and commented:
    This is from Ian, please read his story. This was my reply to him:
    Ian, this image is spectacular! And you are right, you and you alone did it! It keeps me wanting to go back to look at it time and time again. It is like it is giving me a hug, which I really needed today! Thank you for sharing your story and your amazing talent!

    Like

  4. Caroline
    September 27, 2012

    It is great to see Ian appearing on this Blog. I have been a fan of his photography for a couple for years now and his talent knows no bounds. I hope that this is a springboard for great things from Ian and gives him the confidence to believe in himslef and his ability. Go Ian!

    Like

  5. Lady Deidre
    September 27, 2012

    Beautiful photo — and you are worth something — Jesus loves you always!
    God Bless You!

    Like

  6. jmgoyder
    September 28, 2012

    Bravo!

    Like

  7. Emily
    September 28, 2012

    Great photograph! Good for you!

    Like

  8. writingrenee
    September 30, 2012

    Beautiful! He is beautiful as well and not a waste of space!

    Like

  9. The Lioness
    October 10, 2012

    Purple always make me feel better. I love the crispness and the playfulness of this pic. More, please!
    The Lioness

    Like

  10. Barry Hingley
    November 15, 2012

    Thanks Ian for this beautifull photo–loved the colors–perfection plus !!!hopeing you deceide on making collection of your work in book !!!Barry.

    Like

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This entry was posted on September 27, 2012 by in Bipolar and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , .

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