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Photo taken by contributor Samantha Pugsley, a conceptual fine art photographer in her twenties from Charlotte, North Carolina. She first picked up a camera during her junior year of college. This was right around the time when she was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Things that were once easy became impossible for her. Getting dressed in the morning, shopping at the grocery store, driving her car…just living, was a panic attack waiting to happen. Photography helped her heal. With her camera she could start a conversation about what was going on in her head. She could say things with her images that she didn’t know how to say out loud.
About this photo: “I had six blissful months away from the anxiety. Six months without waking up with immediate, debilitating worry. Six months without rapid heartbeats and racing thoughts. Six month without meds. I thought I was better. I lowered my defenses. I stopped creating art because I thought maybe that was something only the ‘sick’ me needed to do. With the recent return of my anxiety comes the realization that both my mental illness and my need to create art are both part of who I am. This image represents the acceptance of that fact. By acknowledging these things I hope to invite healing and self-acceptance into my life.”