therapy is photos


I wanted to talk about something personal today. I am not usually very good at putting my thoughts into words on paper but I will give it a shot. Some of you are aware that I struggle with anxiety badly. It started in 2009 and has progressively gotten worse as the years have passed. The year my anxiety started was just after graduating from college, my family move away from me in Arizona up to Canada, and I moved to Hollywood, California for a few months. At first I thought it was all the sudden changes in my life, but even after leaving California and coming back to Phoenix my anxiety stayed and even got worse. I have not seen any professional help for the anxiety because I am not one to take medicine (unless absolutely needed) so I needed to find other ways to handle this feeling. In 2010 I took up running. For all of your runners out there, you will know exactly what I am taking about when I say it changed my life. It really did. I would run and run and when finished I would feel like a whole new person. I started running half marathons but that took the fun out of things, and I was loosing too much weight so I had to split my therapy with running and something else. You guessed it, my photography! Not portraits, or paid sessions, or for my blog... MY photography just for me! It allows me to escape "real" life for a few hours and indulge into a creative stimulation that allows me to release all the tension and tight feeling in my chest. I haven't shared my photos in a while so I wanted to today. These are photos I took in an old barn at my grandfather house this past summer, I was waiting for the perfect time to share them, and today just seemed it. Maybe it was the anxiety I have been feeling since being back in Arizona, and I already ran once a day since being home so I am turning to photography to spice it up. 
Do any of you deal with a high case of anxiety? If so share what you do to help be your "therapy".

35 comments:

Japolina said...

Glad you are finding ways to help. Your photos are lovely

Katie said...

you have such beautiful pictures! and what a great outlet to have! I am a runner so running or working out it a great "therapy" for me!

CMae said...

Not that running isn't a great help, but out of curiosity why won't you take any "medicine?"

As a teacher, I guess I see the "other side" to meds and often run into parents who wont medicate their kids who have severe ADD or ADHD...

Cafe Fashionista said...

You are truly one of the most talented photographers I have ever encountered. I am in love with each and every one of these pictures - they are just exquisite. I am so glad that you've found a 'therapy' that works so well for you. :)

Alissa | Feeling Good said...

These photos are amazing Stesha! I suffer from daily headaches (sometimes blinding) and I know what you mean about not wanting to take medicine. I hardly do because I don't want to be taking so much of it. Still struggling to find something to help them.

Alissa
FeelingGoodFashion.blogspot.com

CALLIE said...

So glad you found this as a means of therapy bc your pictures are fantastic! I definitely run to relieve stress, as well. It works every time.

Esther Davison said...

Dear Stesha,
I have had temporary anxiety when my husband was studying in a different state and all my family was far away. I had to work out, buy flowers for my desk, walk outside, pet my cats, write, listen to encouraging music, play piano, volunteer (this was really helpful) and call family and friends often. It was difficult to deal with the anxiety. Now, I am much better because hubby and are under one roof. Family is still far away but I can deal when my hubby is around to encourage me. I still volunteer and on a tough day I love to give my kitties some scratches and belly rubs. I do enjoy a good run, especially on race day.

TheTinyHeart said...

I'm a social worker and just wanted to say that medication isn't always necessary to deal with anxiety. Many times anxiety can be reduced by talking to a therapist and learning some new skills (such as breathing techniques).

-Sharon
The Tiny Heart
Jewelry Giveaway!

Britt @ The Magnolia Pair said...

That third picture is just beautiful! Love the olden look of it all. But then again, all of these pictures are beautiful! Thanks for sharing your work :)

Jen said...

I think it's awesome that you found an outlet to help with your anxiety. Good for you! :)

Shannon said...

Gorgeous photography. Stunning.

My hubby used to have terrible anxiety to the point of throwing up. It became a self-fulfilling prophesy and he'd get anxious waiting for anxiety attacks. He read a book (I'll ask him and send to you) and it changed his life. He hasn't had one attack since.

Good luck.

danielle p. said...

it's really great you were able to find something to help put your mind at ease. and your photographs are beautiful! i have issues with anxiety as well, and i've found yoga is really helpful. it takes time to learn to turn your mind off during the meditation sessions, but once you can, you feel so great!

Brynn {chartreuse and a twist} said...

I am so glad that you shared this. I have dealt with anxiety and panic attacks in my past and every so often they still pop up. My first step to recovery was realizing that I was not alone and that others dealt with similar feelings or issues. I joined an online community where you could post or read others' posts of what they were going through. Second, I turned to regular exercise - this helped tremendously, but was still not quite enough. I still needed to keep my mind more busy - and relaxed - so I started my blog. And honestly, I just put 2 & 2 together - at the time, I thought of the blog as just a creative outlet...BUT looking back, it just so happened to be at one of the highest anxiety peaks of my life. So, truly, my blog has become a huge dose of a therapy for me :)
Thanks for letting me share a novel in your comments ;) XO Brynn
and p.s. your photography is absolutely gorgeous!!! I love the rustic aesthetic of these shots.

A Muse in Purple said...

Therapy IS photos for me too! I need to go out again & just explore :-)

Lauren said...

love that you have this outlet that can help you relax & escape...plus the results are gorgeous!

Lindsay K {lastyearoftwentysomething} said...

Wow, I can really relate to this post! I feel as though anxiety is more common then people think. I too have not taken medicine for it, because for me it comes and goes and I don't want to rely on a chemical to make me feel different. I actually started blogging and running to help deal too! These photos are amazing! You should be very proud and keep up the good work!

Alexandra said...

Ah these photos are stunning! Beautiful photography.

Alexandra xo

tovogueorbust.com

Ashley said...

I think it's wonderful that you're finding different outlets. I'm not a runner, but a dancer...and that definitely helps me put my troubles aside.

Love your pictures...you are seriously talented!

alongobucco said...

Photography is one of my "happy activities" too. I like to do it without the pressure of even putting the photographs anywhere...I can sometimes spend hours just wandering. Some of my favorite shots are ones that I simply caught on a whim on a very normal, ordinary day. You are seriously talented...these are all GORGEOUS!

-Alyssa
The Glossy Life

Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird said...

Photography is to you what writing is to me... I suffer from anxiety as well and writing really helps me with it.

I'm glad you found something to love. Your pictures are beautiful.

Lauren {at} Life.Love.Lauren said...

These photos are beautiful! I wish I had a talent like that! I smell really pretty scents when I am feeling anxious.

smk053078 said...

Oh, lady, I had no idea. I have a touch of it too. And find that getting in my car and driving helps me. Talk about wasting money in gas. BUT, it helps calm me. I wish I had more to escape with...I am not a runner and have a crappy camera. You know I even have trouble sleeping at night. It's not a fun feeling, but glad we both can turn to things that help calm us. These pictures are AWESOME. The first two are my faves. Thanks for opening up today!

Sarah said...

Beautiful photos! I too run and take photos to release anxiety and tension, but I also take bubble baths with lavender...lots of lavender. It calms me. Put a few drops on your pillow and sleep the night away.
I too do not take medication unless absolutely required, so I've done everything I can be cure my anxiety naturally. At the moment I am ok...I dance, drink a lot of water, eat very healthy, run, take photos and use a ton of lavender. I hope something here helps you a bit. :)

letiziabarcelona said...

I'm running too, it really helps, I swim a lot too.
Hope you'll feel better!

http://letiziabarcelona.com

Danavee said...

It's brave of you to express yourself........and that you've found outlets for it on your own. Beautiful photos!

Maya {CharminglyStyled} said...
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Maya {CharminglyStyled} said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maya {CharminglyStyled} said...

Stunning photos as always Stesha! Love stopping by your blog :)

I also have anxiety (which is ony of the reasons I no longer have very nice finger nails...whoops!). Thanks for sharing and showing the beautiful ways to have to release your anxiety.

xo,
Maya

Stephanie Lam said...

Love these photos!!! Glad you can find therapy in them!

-Stephanie
@LaminLouboutins.blogspot.com

Kristin said...

Stesha you are so talented! These photos are truly amazing. I too struggle with anxiety :( It's such a strange thing especially when you can't pinpoint whats causing it. Mine has gotten better over the years but I had terrible panic attacks for no reason + would avoid places where I had the attacks. I ended up going to a psychiatrist bc it was interfering with my life basically. If you ever want to chat about it, email me!! I'm not sure I can help but I can definitely relate to you. I'm so glad you have photography to help you relax, that definitely helps! Love you girl!XOXO

ashlyn williams said...

what gorgeous photos twin. i have really bad anxiety too - actually REALLY bad. we need to chat ;] this week purdy please! love you millions! x

Alexa said...

Ugh. I have terrible anxiety. Mostly get it in my stomach, but lately I've been gasping at night. So scary. I end the day with a cup of tea and a lavender candle. Seems to help a bit.

Andrea {blonde ambitions} said...

I think it is very common for people to suffer from anxiety and your ways of handling it with running and photography are perfect! I also exercise, pull out my camera, walk my dogs or even try to journal when things start heading that direction for me as well. Thank you for sharing your personal story today!

Amanda said...

Thanks for sharing this! I can totally relate to how running is like therapy. I actually was in intensive therapy for almost five years with an amazing therapist who helped me conquer a lot of my anxiety and depression issues. I never went on any kind of medication for it, but I learned how to channel those feelings into other coping mechanisms that were healthy (like running and writing). Thanks again for sharing, I always love learning new things about you.

The Golden Girls said...

Great post! SO FAB! xx The Golden Girls