The other day I was looking through old photographs taken with a disposable camera. A photo captures at single moment in time. I noticed that when I was looking through the photographs it sparks a flash of a memory. I remember the place it was taken and feel the emotion that I felt back then. I think photographs are like a journal without words; it’s pretty magical. A photograph can say anything you want to say in one moment and how people interpret that image is totally personal to them. With all the editing material we have available now it is easier than ever to capture an image, edit it with various effects and share it with people.
For me, music has the same effect. Throughout my life there has always been music playing on the radio, in the car and hearing the clear, crisp echo of the turntable throughout the house. Both parents have completely different music tastes! Over the years, I have collected music from friends and from family, covering multiple genres. I can look through my music playlist and hear a track from a couple of years ago, remember where I was and how different songs bring a new element to how I listen to them with the wave of emotion that comes over me.
Being able to remember moments is important to me. I think sometimes we can forget the positive memories that have made us who we are today. We can fall into the trap of associating certain pictures and music with difficult times in our life. I believe we have a choice whether to stay trapped in those dark, lonely, unproductive thoughts or look through a new lens and see the positive in the past, however upsetting it is. By sculpting a new interpretation of how we remember these memories we allow ourselves to accept and embrace these moments in our lives. By looking at what we have in our life, we are allowing ourselves to enjoy these moments.
Over the last month, since I published my first blog, I have had such positive and supportive comments and conversation with friends and family who I haven’t seen in years and that have never known the fully extent of my attacks. This element of my blog has made me question: why am I doing this? The answer is for me to express myself and hopeful, by sharing my experiences, help others. In a way this is part of my recovery. I was constantly arguing with myself about how I should be, where I should be in life: it was consuming me. I always walked around looking down at the ground. By letting go of these negative perceptions I have of myself or what others think of me,
I am able to see things differently.
The people who I would’ve loved to hear comments back from have struggled to read my blog. The first blog “Somewhere In Between” is a horrible, honest and truthful account of the abuse I endured at boarding school. I felt embarrassed and ashamed. But by sharing my story it has lifted a weight off me. It was important for me to tell my story in my own words. I have struggled when people close to me have found it difficult to understand the reasons for sharing my experiences in such an open way. But, when I take a step back and look at the bigger picture, they still care and support me but just can’t manage this now. I understand that. There is no right and wrong way to deal with these situations.
For me it was important to start and write about the difficult issues I have faced but also share the positive things that help me get better everyday such as yoga, guitar and walking. There are aspects of my PTSD that people aren’t aware of, so it is a step forward for more people to understand and look at mental health issues in a different way.
When we capture a photo in life we are capturing a memory. Once we are able to see life through a new lens we are able to move forward and see life in colour.