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!

My Anxiety

Photo taken by contributor Jaeda DeWalt, a conceptual self-portrait artist in her forties from Seattle, Washington. Jaeda’s 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. She struggled with her mental health throughout her childhood and teen years until her late twenties when she finally sought treatment and was diagnosed with Bipolar, OCD, PTSD, Anxiety, and ADHD. Her doctors told her that they believed the mental illness was triggered 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: “As someone that struggles with crippling panic attacks, I have learned that worry can conjure up storms of self-destruction. It invites the heavy clouds of chaos, anxiety and fear, to loom over our everyday existence. Pouring down on us like acid rain—corroding our happiness, hopes and dreams. We need to replace the dark atmosphere of worry with the loving light of the present moment. And trust that we have the inner-wisdom and strength to handle whatever the winds of change may bring.”

Find more from Jaeda at FacebookTwitter and YouTube.


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18 comments on “My Anxiety

  1. Frank
    February 24, 2016

    Jaeda what a beautiful moment you captured! Yor very talented!!!

    Liked by 5 people

  2. spencersamalvin
    February 25, 2016

    Beautiful words and image,Jaeda! . .

    Liked by 2 people

  3. jasL Work
    February 25, 2016

    Jeada…..I have to confess that this is not a style of imagery that my old heart takes to, but yours did strike me right in my heart of rejection. I just really do admire this image. The composition is right on, the upward traveling triangular object in the B.G. really pulls this together. Beautifully moving image…..en theos…jasL

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jaeda DeWalt
      February 25, 2016

      Thank you for sharing your honest and encouraging words 🙂


  4. Dreams and Zeros
    February 25, 2016

    Superb shot!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. centerforcreativework
    February 25, 2016

    Compelling. The connection between anxiety and creativity has much to explore.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. scrambler27
    February 25, 2016

    Serious art here!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. 💙~For Evie
    February 25, 2016

    Reblogged this on For Evie … and commented:
    An amazing story, about an amazingly strong woman. #endthestigma #mentalillness

    Liked by 1 person

  8. evandaniels
    February 26, 2016

    Enjoy you are and your story.
    Be at peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. autisticaplanet
    March 4, 2016

    Stunning photo. I like the negative effect. It’s like an X-Ray, getting to what’s inside.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jaeda DeWalt
      March 4, 2016

      Thank you! I wanted it to have that being-engulfed-by-darkness feeling. I wanted people to feel the emotional weight of this. I love your take on it–> I like the negative effect. It’s like an X-Ray, getting to what’s inside<– another interesting perspective and dimension.


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