Photo taken by first-time contributor Bri, a 20-year-old mother from New Jersey who lives with epilepsy and anxiety. When her anxiety hits hard, she feels the need to flee, which is not always an option. When she was a child and she started to panic, she got into the habit of filling her bathtub with hot water, jumping in fully clothed and submerging her ears underwater so everything seemed faint and far away. She felt like she was suddenly far from the chaos, and the hot water was physically comforting. She would spend hours in the tub listening to the sound of the water and the air filling her lungs letting her know that she was still alive. Then when she would get out, her clothes would be so heavy clinging onto her just like the anxiety itself. She would peel them off and feel brand new again, light as a feather and finally free, if only for a moment.
About this photo: “This is a self portrait of how I deal with my anxiety. I’m sure others cope in similar ways and I just want to show that they’re not alone. This photo really strikes up a lot of feeling for me. At first it made me feel vulnerable and afraid because the photo was out there now for everyone to see how I really am. I later realized that there was a lot of support in the feedback and more people could relate than I thought. So I hope this shows someone that they’re not alone and I hope that it will somehow help someone. If not then maybe it could raise some awareness.”