I'm Free

Discussion in 'Dark Side Gallery' started by minicoop1985, Nov 13, 2013.

  1. minicoop1985

    minicoop1985 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Recently I started a blog to document the different moods and complex emotions of bipolar disorder. Of course, I chose the most difficult to be first-my first (of what would be many) attempt at suicide. I took a ton of pills found around the house in an attempt to overdose. I remember very clearly the words "I'm Free," having written them in my note and being the words I last thought about before I closed my eyes for what would really not be the last time. Obviously, it didn't work, and I was forced to move along as though nothing had happened. Took me over a decade to talk about it. This photo is a recreation of what was on my desk that night.

    [​IMG]
    I'm Free by longm1985, on Flickr

    And if anyone's interested in understanding bipolar disorder a little more, here's a link to said blog:

    Hypomanic Impression

    Thanks for letting me share this with you.


     
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  2. D-B-J

    D-B-J Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I like the image, and the story you provided really gave it a lot of meaning. Photographically speaking, I may have opted for a slightly higher viewpoint to make the writing more legible/readable, but that may just be an artistic choice. I like the processing, love the lighting, and the composition works. Well done, and I'm glad that you are able to talk about something like this, as I know it's not easy.

    Jake


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  3. StudioLiorit

    StudioLiorit TPF Noob!

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    What a nice photo. dark indeed!
     
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  4. amolitor

    amolitor TPF Noob!

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    Well done. The photo would work even without the back story, I think, which is excellent.
     
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  5. Photo Lady

    Photo Lady No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    cool photo..
     
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  6. Warhorse

    Warhorse No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It is an interesting image, related to a very real problem for many.
     
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  7. limr

    limr Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Saw the picture on the blog but just saw the this thread today. Well done on all counts - the photo and the guts to share.
     
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  8. pjaye

    pjaye TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    As someone who has been there, and who still can't talk about it, this picture speaks volumes to me. As does your blog. Especially the " The Man Behind the Mask" post.
     
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  9. pgriz

    pgriz Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Thank you for the blog. Your images do illustrate quite well what you write in your posts. A number of them succeed quite well on their own, without the back story. Your story touches upon the challenge that our society has with discussing mental health and mental illness. Is it a taboo because we understand so little of how our minds work, that it's easier to pretend that the problems don't exist? Or is it because we fundamentally are afraid that if we examine ourselves too closely, we may find out that we don't fully measure up to the ideal of being in perfect mental health?

    We have known for a long time that the development of the brain goes through a number of stages and phases. Part of the process is the pruning of connections previously made, and the addition of inhibitory connections over the excitatory pathways. The degree of transmission of signals is also affected by hormones, by substances such as alcohol and various drugs, and by the state of health of the body. Since much of our mental processing is apparently done is in a series of densely-parallel networks, with various levels of integration, it is not surprising that rather large variations in outcome is actually quite "normal". The space of "correct" behaviour is multi-dimensional and even what is "normal" depends on the context. "Normal" in a dangerous and ever-changing environment, would look quite different from "normal" in a stable, protected environment. That environment influences how our brains wire themselves. It is "normal" for some of the wiring to be done incorrectly, and then the brain corrects itself, kinda. Our behaviour emerges from this pattern of connection-making, connection-breaking, growth of inhibitory pathways, promotion of certain pathways over other.

    If you have an interest in how unpredictable the brain actually is, check out the placebo effect. There are a number of studies that show that if we believe, then the body reacts as if that substance was there, even if what we actually got was a sugar pill. The placebo effect is not consistent across all types of body interactions, but the fact that it has been documented for a number of neuro-active substances, should tell us that the workings of the nervous system are still beyond our ability to understand.

    Perhaps the reason we don't like to talk about mental health is because we are all afraid of being surrounded by people with unpredictable behaviours. If we truly don't understand the "normal" and aren't really sure what "normal" is, then how do we deal with all the variations of "normal" that exist, and where do we start drawing the lines of "healthy" / "pathological"? It's a conversation worth having.

    Edit> The very human reaction to things we don't understand is to demonize them, and make the boundary hard in "good"/"evil", "us"/"them" kinda way. And many of us are afraid of finding ourselves on the other side of that line. Perhaps that is why the conversation is so difficult - we have to keep in our minds that our perception and thinking may be quite wrong or at least not very clear-cut, and we, as humans, tend to dislike ambiguity and uncertainty.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2013
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  10. minicoop1985

    minicoop1985 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Thank you all for the kind words. Getting this particular image right was very important to me-some of the "tears" on the paper are water put there to simulate tears, while some of them are actually very, very real. Recreating this scene was a very emotional experience, and while it did bring me to tears several times, it was also a bit of a relief. My hope with the blog itself is not only to give others a way of seeing the inner workings of a person affected by this disorder, but to help others with bipolar to get an understanding of themselves and to know that they're not alone. I had told my therapist about my idea, and she encouraged me to do it and allow her to share it with some other patients. At our last meeting, she told me the story (without a name, of course) of a young woman who was having troubles accepting her diagnosis of bipolar, and that maybe this would help her. Knowing that this could legitimately help someone (even if it is just one person) makes all the work I've put into it (and several injuries from tripping on things while my eye is buried in he viewfinder) absolutely worth it.

    Pgriz, you hit the nail on the head in so many ways. Without getting political, there's a lot of problems with our mental health system today. It took me well almost two months to get in to see a psychiatrist, and a month to see a therapist. Because the depression issues were so bad, I even wrote an "If I'm gone, read this" and put it on my desktop just in case the depression got the better of me. It's like this: I don't want to kill myself, but there was a driving force within that absolutely had the ability to push me to do it and, in fact, made me try on way too many occasions. It seems to have gone into remission (hopefully permanently) at the moment. Nobody should have to be stuck with that for two more months. Also, due to the nature of mental illness and the diminished work capacity a lot of mental illnesses cause, the cost is something that needs to be addressed somehow.

    The placebo effect is pretty cool-gives the term mind over matter a lot more meaning.

    The polarization of humanity is something I don't think will ever completely disappear. We are pack animals of sorts, and we like to segregate ourselves into groups. For example: sit in my living room during a Bears/Packers game... Wife=Packers fan. Me=Bears fan. Son=hopefully a baseball fan. :lol: But anyway, there is hope for lessening the impact of the polarization over time with the intermingling of people worldwide through social media, but we'll have to see. It will be an interesting next 100 years, if this planet doesn't self destruct in that time.
     
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  11. pjaye

    pjaye TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    "My hope with the blog itself is not only to give others a way of seeing the inner workings of a person affected by this disorder, but to help others with bipolar to get an understanding of themselves and to know that they're not alone"

    You've managed to show that to at least one person, and probably many more. Thank you. I've been reading your blog since I joined the forum.
     
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  12. AlanKlein

    AlanKlein No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Michael: I'm glad you're still with us. Alan.
     
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