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Please welcome first time contributor Michelle Beckett, a 43-year-old from Vancouver, BC. Michelle was recently diagnosed with PTSD. She also has a history of depression, OCD and anxiety. After struggling for years to adapt to the pressures of a work environment, and never managing to stay in one place very long, she left and vowed never to go back. A blessing in disguise, this created a new path towards creative arts and photography. In her heart this is always what she wanted to do, but until that time she couldn’t justify the risk. Michelle still struggles, and has a lot of healing to do, but she is now able to set some boundaries and stop when she needs to find peace and take care of herself. She tries to surround herself with people who are positive and support her. Although she is trying to share her mental health issues with the people around her in hopes of being understood and at the same time to help educate people, there is a deep seated fear that she will not be accepted. This is the most vulnerable she has felt in years and at the same time the most in control of her own future.
About this photo: “My favourite photo from this series is called “The Child Within.” It recently won 3rd place in a photography competition in Spain for an organization called Agifes in the Basque Country. Their organization aims to actively contribute to the betterment of persons with mental illness. I was encouraged by a friend to enter the competition even when I thought my photography was not good enough, and for that I am eternally grateful.
On the page announcing the winners they say “Third prize goes to Michelle Beckett for her photography “The Child Within”, a beautiful image with a personal message. What we experience as children we carry with us and moulds us as adults. We chose this photo for it’s sensitivity and for the message it sends.”