I initially started this blog and documentation of my memories as a way to have something my daughters can look over and get an understanding of who their father was and what his experiences were. A real motivation from fear that one day my disease will may end up in the abrupt closing of my story.
My photos have always been an expression of my feelings, as move through life, and historically I wanted my daughters to view my photos and tap into some of the feelings I’ve felt when looking through my eyes.
Here we are in 2023, and I honestly never thought I’d be witness to this time. Maybe I’m being hyperbolic as a result of having constant anxiety of living with this disease, but I feel more recently I’ve turned a chapter. Every new moment with my family is a blessing I never thought I’d have, and so my perspective of life has changed.
With this new cognitive freedom, my mindset has flipped from one that’s waiting for the end, to one that is of squeezing out the most of life as I can. I’m finding my motivation for creating photos now isn’t that anxiety driven need to capture what I can before the time runs out, but of one of inner reflection and better understanding myself.
I’m genuinely very happy.
I’ve been very quiet, squirrelling away at a small project.
This is my first book. Steel City Memoirs. At the turn of my thirtieth birthday I decided to book end it with a collection of some of my favourite photos over my twenties.
Here it is.
I honestly don’t know what to say. My thoughts are with the family and friends of those who lost someone.
This is a tragedy.
Not long ago my anxiety finally wrapped it’s dastardly fingers around my throat and choked the life out of me. I couldn’t function. Fast forward months and i was still struggling.
Common bad dreams. Usually induced by a bleed. The taste of blood would burn my dreams.
My dream state would shift into that pesky bad dream. First is the metallic taste of iron,blood. Followed by the recurring struggle of keeping my head above the water as i watch my family at the edge.
Iron & Salt.
More recently i had a new dream. I was face to face with a younger self.
He/I was angry.
“Look, i can’t take it anymore. I can’t take you anymore.”
“Yeah you! You’re not me!”
Yes i am.
“No you’re fuckin not mate.”
“This wasn’t change, you let it finally get it to you.”
Yeah i guess.
“I’ll be honest, i didn’t think you’d make it this far.”
“Do you remember what it was like? You/I lived like we never knew when it would take us. When you think about it, that’s what normal people are like huh?”
” We accepted it, somewhere along the line you rejected it. I can see why. It’s time you accept it again. For their sake. Agreed?”
I’ve doing better since. I had a dream wake up call.
I’m starting to feel better.
Ever since I can remember I’ve had to have black sheets. The white sheets just aren’t practical.
Today i was asked “how’s life?”. Well Life is good. In fact it’s never been this good, my beautiful family is beautiful, our new home is incredible and all of this together with the impending warm seasons coming up living on the beach will finally be worth it. I’ve never been this happy.
I cut myself during cleaning the dishes.
The whole experience spoke a little to well to me and led me down a rather dark depressing daydream. The knife an accident just waiting to happen, the water draining from the sink as my blood drains from my body.A dark reminder of my condition kicks in.My conscious slips down the rabbit hole. Deeper.Darker……….
My day dream is shattered by a small voice calling out to me, “dad!”. The little voice of my daughter calls out, a light goes on.The cockroaches of anxiety scatter and crawl back into the cracks of my mind………I’m greeted by a little face of concern. Blood had run down my arm, my daughter was looking at it pointing at the last drop that was about to run off my elbow.
I wash my arm and pick her up, tell her it’s going to be okay. Show her that dad’s alright. Truth is…. she makes me alright.
Life is good.