When a client approaches me for a session, I don’t always know the reason behind their inquiry. Yes, they want to have beautiful images of themselves. But sometimes, it’s more than that. And I feel extremely honoured to have done this Truth in You session with Megan.
Today, she posted this message on Instagram because May is Mental Health Awareness Month and I asked her if I could share it. Because these words are so powerful and my clients are the only persons who can really express what it means to step into their own truth. I am just here to document their journey with my photography.
But what an honour it is to be the witness of such a wakening. To see someone express herself in front of my camera and connect with herself in a way I can’t really comprehend.
How powerful is it. How humbling.
Here are Megan’s words:
“I’m conflicted to share these photos because they are so special to me. A part of me wants to covet them for myself and keep my story locked up by my insecurities in a place of nonjudgemental safety, but another part of me wants to be open and honest for other people fighting through panic disorder, anxiety, and depression. My black veil idea may be very “Pinteresty” (literally where I got the idea)/instagramable, but to me, it’s an entirely real, yet inadequate metaphor for my mental illness. Only being able to see and react due to the veil of mental illness has been an ongoing struggle in my life.
Within the last month, I’ve experienced great change, pain, and relief. Truly the relief part came from ASKING FOR HELP. It has single-handedly changed my life. I’m starting to not feel ashamed of my mental illness. I’ve been hiding for too long, coasting through life, and trying to ‘get by’ without fully taking it seriously, but I’m ready to be okay with the uncomfortableness of change and the reality of my situation. I’m learning to understand and recognize the warning signs. I’m learning what to do when the veil becomes so dark that nothing makes sense. I’m taking cognitive behavioural therapy seriously, meditating, and taking better care of my body — every day (keyword). I’m learning to let others in (s/o to a very special aunt of mine). I’m learning that having professional and medical help is valid and necessary.
Again, I’m not sure the Instagram effect is great for my well-being, so this might be a temporary share. While I am here, I want more than anything to celebrate the art of @emilieiggiottiphotos and the incredibly empowering, inspiring, and important work she is doing for women. Thank you for capturing these feelings for me. Please check her out, especially if you’re interested in having pictures done for yourself. I think I will put some in a time capsule to look back on in 10 – 20 years.“
I am speechless, writing this blog post with tears in my eyes. I am so grateful for being part of your journey, Megan. Thank you for trusting me.
And because May is Mental Health Awareness Month, please consider donating to an organization like We All Believe in You or any organization doing great things to help with mental health awareness in Edmonton.