Please say a warm hello to first-time contributor Danese. Her mother suffers from severe anxiety and depression, and four years ago one of her children was diagnosed with anorexia. That was just the tip of an iceberg of mental illness that she continues to battle on a daily basis. As Danese was helping her daughter find appropriate treatment, her own depression began to surface. She felt like it was something she had worn like an undergarment all her life. It begged to be heard, and at first, she refused to listen, until its pleadings became so fierce she couldn’t ignore it any more. She listened. She wrote. She photographed.
About this photo: “It was just a few months ago that my photography became a means to explore the sadness I had concealed. I began to take a series of self portraits. This was taken in Valley Forge Park, Pennsylvania, October 2013, in an amazing little cavelike cleft that I happened upon while hiking. It was a painful day, a day of reckoning- change was coming, something my heart and the depression had been trying to provoke for years. This photo was a prelude to some major life/relationship changes that have led me to a happier and healthier place.
Listen to the heart. It never lies. The opening it creates, even when it begins as sorrow and sadness, is a door of transformation and hope.”
Find more from Danese at her blog.