It might seem odd for me to write about such a personal issue on my photography "business" blog but I share a lot of my personal photos here along with client work and I would rather be open and approachable as a photographer rather than just having a "business persona" so this is the real me. Not only that but I want to contribute to the de-stigmatisation of mental health and believe that by writing and talking about it is the best way to do that. I wrote about it on my personal blog, Olive Dragonfly while I was still feeling quite raw and have been contacted by so many women (some of whom I know, some strangers) who have been through something similar and sharing their experiences and advice. I was so touched and surprised by those messaging me, I felt I wanted to give something back so I decided to donate a family session to a fellow pnd sufferer.
I have been struggling lately and was diagnosed with pnd last month. I'm not going to lie, it's difficult raising twins and recently I've had more time alone with them, some 3-year-old behavioural issues to contend with, some extra work stress in my "day job" as a dentist (which has since settled down thankfully) and a few illnesses which have seemed never-ending along with winter.
What's helped to keep me going has been my photography. To be able to pick up my camera and still see light and special moments has really helped me. Being able to look at photos of the twins when I'm feeling so low about motherhood has been something of a lifeline, reminding me of the good amongst the hard, the beauty in the everyday moments. I want to give this gift to someone else so if you're suffering from pnd and would like to have some precious photos of this time to remind you of the good times, even if you don't see them yourself, please do get in touch and tell me your story.
I myself am starting to feel much better thanks to a wonderful GP, husband and friends. My Mum has also flown over from Malaysia to help out with the twins this month while Nik's studying for his exam which has taken a lot of pressure of us both, just having some back up will be wonderful and we'll be able to have some more adventures again. We're definitely going to book a holiday once this exam is over! The weather improving has also helped my mood and made getting out with the twins easier, they played so nicely outdoors last weekend in the sun.
I also really enjoyed managing to find a couple of hours on my own while the twins were at preschool, I headed straight for the woods in the sunshine and loved having a walk in the fresh air, surrounded by nature. I hunted down some bluebells, lay down in the dewy grass, sat on a bridge with my feet dangling over the edge, listening to the birds and spotted a Nuthatch. It was lovely and I really enjoyed taking some macro photos for a change, one of my first loves in photography.
And of course a major recent highlight was this one of Kalyan's shoulder in the shower being published in Dear Photographer magazine in the US.