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!

The Creative Den

Please welcome first-time contributor Jeanette Clawson, a 46-year-old woman from Beaver Dam, Wisconsin who has suffered from depression and severe pain related to migraines. Jeanette was a school psychologist until pain and disability forced her to stop working. She had been working with children and families who were dealing with educational and/or mental health challenges. The position came naturally to her because of her own struggles. After finding some relief using acupuncture, Jeanette began slowly tapering off of Cymbalta under her doctor’s supervision. Unfortunately, she has been experiencing a lot of difficult side effects, including cramping, sleeping difficulties, twitching, and irritability, so she is not looking forward to the next three months of tapering. Jeanette has long used art to help her cope with dark feelings and hold on to positive ones. Her most enjoyable and successful artistic endeavors are her gratitude journals. She is now focusing on her art, teaching occasional workshops, and blogging about gratitude and altered book journaling.

About this photo: “Here I am in my creative den. I suffer from chronic migraines and I spend a lot of time in my room in the dark. Today as things were feeling better I opened the curtains a little and took this self-portrait. You can see the zentangle that I designed for my tattoo. I call her sunshine in a nod to John Denver. ‘Sunshine on my shoulder makes me happy.’ I really identify with butterflies and I try to think of my time of rest as my transformation into a butterfly. Some of my best creative ideas come to me while I heal. I believe I am becoming someone better.

Find more from Jeanette at lunanista.wordpress.com

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**Visit Broken Light’s main gallery here. Currently accepting submissions.

*Facebook & Twitter @BrokenLighCo & @DanielleHark. Follow for e-mail notifications.

4 comments on “The Creative Den

  1. ARK
    December 23, 2013

    Nice to know such great fighters are still alive… Congrats Jeanette…

    Like

  2. Paula McLane Jennings
    December 27, 2013

    I suffer with migraines too as well as depression and anxiety. Art can be so healing.

    Like

    • Jeanette Clawson
      December 30, 2013

      This past year I have been moving more and more into art and it has become exciting and healing. I have so many projects to look forward to and make. Each day feel like I am accomplishing something. One of my favorite quotes is from Helen Keller “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.”

      Like

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