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!

Self Portrait #5

Photo taken by contributor Heidi Spitzig, a 37-year-old woman from the Finger Lakes region of New York.  Heidi is a survivor of childhood sexual, physical, emotional, and spiritual abuse and lives with anxiety, depression, PTSD, and DID. She believes in the healing power of the creative process and uses photography as a way to remain present and connected to the beauty found in the natural world. Heidi also enjoys writing, painting, drawing, and many other forms of creative self-expression. She has a Masters degree in Psychology and works as a teacher and an expressive arts facilitator.

About this photo: “I took this photo when I was at the bottom of a pretty intense depressive episode. Depression can reek havoc on the way I think, which then clouds my perception. People and places can seem inaccessible, like I don’t have the right to take up space. Before I took this picture, I felt an overwhelming sense of shame that left me isolated to the point of believing I was completely alone. I needed to feel connected to something, so I went into the woods with my camera. I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do, but I found myself kind of watch myself take a series of self-portraits. I say “watch myself” because that’s how it felt to take the pictures — I felt too vulnerable to be a part of it, so I watched myself go through the process in a pretty detached/dissociated way. It wasn’t until I got home and began editing the photos that I realized I was trying to send a message to myself. Once I understood what that message was, my perception began to shift from a reality filled with heavy darkness to a reality that was a bit brighter and bit lighter in its clarity.”

See more from Heidi at her website or blog.

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11 comments on “Self Portrait #5

  1. Hank shaw
    March 14, 2015

    This is a strong and brave image

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Frank
    March 14, 2015

    Heidi beautiful and blunt essay! Your not alone you always have others.

    Liked by 2 people

    • heidispitzig
      March 15, 2015

      Thanks, Frank — in the time since I took this photo, I have come to truly believe that your words are true.

      Like

  3. Rajiv
    March 14, 2015

    Super, haunting shot

    Liked by 1 person

  4. nagwangyeshi
    March 15, 2015

    Super

    Liked by 1 person

  5. becca lynn weeks
    March 15, 2015

    Reblogged this on Together Wherever We Go.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Karina Churchill
    March 15, 2015

    Beautiful picture. I both love the picture as a picture. The lighting is gorgeous. And I love the story behind the picture. I too am from the Finger Lakes area and truly enjoy the beautiful bits of nature we have here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • heidispitzig
      March 15, 2015

      I’m convinced we live in the most beautiful place in the world. I love the Finger Lakes — it’s been so healing for me to live here.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Karina Churchill
    March 15, 2015

    Reblogged this on Writer with Brain Disease (bipolar) and commented:
    Beautiful photograph and story, I thought I’d pass on…

    Like

  8. heidispitzig
    March 15, 2015

    Reblogged this on Wild Call of the Soul and commented:
    So honored to featured on this collective of brave and talented photographers.

    Liked by 1 person

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