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!

Manic Mental Momentum

Photo taken by contributor Jaeda DeWalt, a conceptual self-portrait artist in her forties from Seattle, Washington. Her battles with mental illness hearken back to her earliest memories, at age 4, when she became obsessed with the number four and performed exhaustive rituals in patterns of four. During her teen years, she began noticing extreme mood swings, manic one moment and depressed the next, and in her late 20′s she finally sought treatment and was diagnosed with Bipolar, OCD, PTSD, Anxiety, and ADHD. Her doctors told her they believed the mental illness was brought on by a severe concussion she sustained at age two, along with the trauma of being sexually abused as a child into her young adult years. Her life was filled with self-destructive coping methods until she went full force into creating, in her mid-twenties. The process of creating and putting herself in front of the camera felt cathartic, liberating and healing. The photographic medium opened up a new world to her and ignited a kind of passion within that she didn’t even know she was capable of experiencing. She has been on an ever-evolving, healing journey, ever since.

About this photo: “I wanted to create a sense of frenetic darkness, hence the extreme make-up, lighting, hints of movement and motion. I can only speak to my own experience, but… I feel like the gift is creativity, the price of admission, is a little bit of crazy and I am okay with that. Accepting the up and down cycles, rather than working against them trying to be “normal,” is key.

The complicated mental machinery of my mind has become the nuts and bolts of my creative process, my art… BUT.. unlike my computer, my mind does not come with an optional shut-down mode, reboot, or stand-by. This means I am always too much and never enough in all that I am, all that I experience and all that I do. In the real world, it is a challenging way to exist, a tiring way to live. I have horrible bouts of insomnia due to my inability to shut down my mind. Creative work spins me into manic episodes.”

Find more from Jaeda at FacebookTwitter and YouTube.

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19 comments on “Manic Mental Momentum

  1. Frank
    January 14, 2016

    Beautiful B/W closeup of people!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jaeda DeWalt
      January 14, 2016

      Thank you, so much Frank! It’s a series of self-portraits i shot in my studio and blended together in Adobe Photoshop.

      Like

      • Frank
        January 16, 2016

        Jaeda keep up your great work!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Lindsey Shaker
    January 15, 2016

    Oh Everything about this is superb. I struggle with nmy brain as well, and have learned to not only accept it but to appreciate it. Jaeda’s quote is so beautifully spot on at the end. I love her work!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jaeda DeWalt
      January 17, 2016

      Lindsey, i am happy to read you have learned to both accept and appreciate the way your mind works. And i thank you for your encouraging words :).

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Linda
    January 15, 2016

    Lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. olwister
    January 16, 2016

    Amazing work !

    Liked by 1 person

  5. António Marques
    January 17, 2016

    Fantastic self-portrait, seamlessly put together. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. scrambler27
    January 20, 2016

    I like the face in the upper right corner that you almost can’t see. The unconscious one.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Anita
    January 29, 2016

    Well done! Photography is a wonderful practise to keep us in the present moment. I will be following! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jaeda DeWalt
      January 29, 2016

      I wholeheartedly agree! Thank you, so much, Anita! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Anita
        January 30, 2016

        Very welcome! Keep up the great work and passion in your photos, they are wonderful!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Cla-c
    March 29, 2016

    Amazing Jaeda ,I love it ,its like you are a fantasy Queen .I still believe in fairy tales .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jaeda DeWalt
      March 29, 2016

      Thank you for your beautiful commentary. I’m a Pisces dreamer, head in the clouds…

      Like

  9. Cla-c
    March 31, 2016

    makes sense ,haha .stunning girl

    Liked by 1 person

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