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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 four, 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, Anxiety, ADHD, and PTSD from 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: “This creation represents so many things … The sacred silence of my internal landscape. The tightly controlled chaos of my everyday existence. The visual silence expresses the quiet I crave in my real-life world. My P.T.S.D causes every sound, emotion, and experience, to be very loud. It’s like experiencing life through an amplifier. I love my solitude, I need it. I like to crawl inside its quiet womb where I can become my own safe harbor and place of sanctuary.”