A season of reflection and growth

These past few months was in season of reflection and quiet, like the seeds under the fertile soil waiting for their chance to emerge in the bright sunlight of spring, gosh that was corny.  I am not a writer, I am not eloquent lol.  

This winter was a hard one for me.  My anxiety was pretty rough and I was feeling not good enough, uninspired, depressed.  So I took a break.  I put my camera away and rarely touched it, I stepped away from posting my work on social media, and I hibernated from my photography. 

I worried that by not posting on social media my clients would forget me, think I had quit.   I decided to that I needed something that planted a seed in me, or lit a fire again.  I enrolled in a course on film called Everyday Films and I began picking up my camera again.  I slowly started feeling myself getting inspired again, excited again, not just about this new passion of film making but also about still photography.  

Sometimes in our lives I think we need a period of quiet, to reflect on where we have come and to decide on where we want our path to lead. 

I am sharing with you my final project from my workshop.  It is always scary sharing something new but I also know that sometimes you have to trust the magic of beginnings. 

Quirks and other odd things about me

So, I have a new website, and new blog so I thought maybe I should add some new content and have you get to know me a little better.  Everyone has quirks, so I thought I would share some of mine.  Don't judge!

  • If you read a few posts back you know that I suffer from anxiety.  It's the worst and I hate it and at any given moment I could be worrying about something really stupid or something really big.  Funny story though, when I had my son Owen, the hospital made all new parents watch a video on shaken baby syndrome, and then you had to sign a waiver saying you had watched it before they would discharge you from the hospital.  So, there I am in the bed with my newborn baby on my chest, and something made me laugh, and I mean I started to laugh hysterically.  And I looked down and see my new precious baby boy's head bounce furiously up and down on my chest.  You can see where this is going right?  Yes, I asked the pediatrician if laughing with my son sleeping on my chest could give him shaken baby syndrome.  She was so kind and didn't laugh in my face and kindly said "NO sweetie, he will be fine." So yeah, those are the types of things I worry about lol.
  • I use about 3-5 napkins with every meal.  One for my lap, one or two for my hands and another for my face.  Maybe it is because I am a messy eater? I mean as I typed this I dropped raspberry jam on my shorts, I don't know what it is, but I like I a lot of napkins.
  • I am very sensitive, but I don't cry easily, especially when watching tv or movies.  My mom says I have ice-water in my veins.  I will say that Grey's Anatomy makes me cry most episodes, damn that Shonda Rhimes!    
  • Speaking of being sensitive, I am also what my husband likes to call "passionate" about things.  I will fight to the death if I know I am right and I have been shushed at restaurants when telling a story or recalling an incident that really pissed me off.  I know people can be put off by this, and I'm sorry, I just have a lot of passion lol.
  • I hate crowds, which makes me not like going to places where large crowds gather, such as but not limited to: parade, firework displays, fairs, sporting events, etc.

High Anxiety

I have been on the fence about sharing this, some would say I have some anxiety about it lol.  But in all seriousness, I felt vulnerable putting this post out there.   But, it also felt really invigorating and exciting to share it, knowing that so many others suffer through anxiety as I do, and that this might touch them, even just a little bit. So, here goes, I suffer from anxiety.  

When I say suffer, I don’t just mean that I have anxiety or I was diagnosed to have anxiety, I mean I really SUFFER from anxiety.  As far back as I can remember, I can remember being an anxious person.  I take my worrying to a whole new level.  I perseverate, I fixate, I obsess.  My husband often says, “you’re not living unless you are worrying about something”, he knows me so well.

It can be the littlest thing that sets me off.  Sometimes I have even forgotten what I was worried about, and then I worry that I can’t remember what I was worried about, it’s horrible!  My mother doesn’t suffer from this horrible mind sucking abyss of anxiety.  And while I am glad she doesn’t have to live like this, there are parts of me that hates her for it, because when she says “you need to stop” or “try and turn it off” I wish she would understand the turmoil that was inside of me.  As if I hadn’t thought, “gee that’s a great idea, I should just stop.”

There is no end to anxiety, just transference, like energy.  For example, two years ago my new barnwood dining table seemed to possibly be infested with some sort of bug.  At first we thougth it was termites, and after spraying it and dragging it out in the snow the exterminator told us it wasn’t infested with termites and going to eat my whole house.  So when I found out that the table didn’t have termites, I didn’t just feel instant relief, instead I shifted my anxiety little.  Ok, so it doesnt have termites, great, but wait, uh oh, did I damage to the table by spraying it with that bug spray, the legs feel a little loose now that we moved it, will it fall apart?  UGH! My anxiety just seems to shift focus.  

Erica Burns Photography | AnxietyI am pretty vocal about my anxiety, partly because I am an oversharer and partly because talking about things makes me feel better about them.  I voice what I am anxious about so hopefully I will hear someone share a similiar experience that had a positive outcome to help me calm my fears.  And may lightning strike you down if you share that it had a negative outcome because that just dials my anxiety up to a level of a million.  

As the years have gone by I have learned how to cope with my anxiety, and at one point I was on lexapro.  For three years I was on lexapro, and while it helped my anxiety it had other side-effects which ultimately led me to go off the lexapro, and now I am back to trying to live with my anxiety.  I have found that reading, taking a bath, doing yoga, are ways to help me cope with my anxiety.  Keeping my brain busy helps a lot.  I wish that I could just make it disappear, but I know that will never happen.  I have developed tinnitus, which if you didnt know is ringing in the ear.  My ENT thinks it is because I have TMJ and clench my jaw when I am sleeping.  This is caused by my anxiety, I of worry it’s brain tumor.   Do you suffer from anxiety?  Do you lay at night awake with thoughts you just can’t turn off that have no real logic?  How do you cope?  If you do, then know that at 3 am when you are tossing and turning not being able to change your thoughts or turn off your brain, that you are not alone.  I am probably laying under my gray and white paisley duvet worrying about something ridiculous.


And just to make you laugh, some great memes about anxiety.