I find myself playing and experimenting with my camera gear more. I don’t know if it’s because of the weekly challenge, or combatting depression, or a combination of those two things or more. But I find myself experimenting with not only my flash and wireless triggers but fisheye lens as well. I haven’t really touched the fisheye lens since I ended a relationship back in March before I took a trip to Germany. A relationship that had emotionally run its course, and with me realizing that there wasn’t much to it beyond mere emotion for me. That’s the only “real” relationship I have had.
But I digress. Camera stuff.
Art/film/photography/creativity/etc seems to be how I make sense of the world. Call it my introverted nature. There is little in this world I have control over, but the camera is something I can. With it, I can make art. I express myself best through art when words fail me. A lot of people are surprised about how open I am about depression. There is such a stigma behind it that most are ashamed of it. Sorry, but depression is part of my life and I am stuck with it. I have to live with it, but I won’t let it define me. It can be a hindrance, but I cannot let it hold me back. If I keep it to myself, then how am I supposed to push forward? I have found in recent years that there are those who rather help me instead of shy away because I am open about struggling with major depression.
These same people have noted a certain strength about me that is rare. Trust me, I can feel very defeated in depression. To quote the characters from the Harry Potter books “its as if I would never be happy again”. That is a very real sensation. Unfortunately, I cannot produce a magical guardian to fend off the darkness. Then again, one isn’t needed. While I was listening to the first chapter of “The 12 Rules to Life” written and read by Jordan Peterson, a clinical psychologist and rather polarizing figure to some, I have come to realize that my case is not the norm. He was speaking on hierarchy structures in both nature and humanity. People, though being able to overcome a great deal, often can’t. We get stuck in these cycles, and depression is no different. Depression is a continuous downward spiral, which often causes destruction. And while I do have these thoughts of self-destruction, there is something that can always seem to pull me out just before such action can be realistically planned out.
I truly believe that this is my faith in Jesus Christ and the transformation that can only come about God dwelling in those who have accepted His Holy Spirit. Crazy religious stuff, I know. And yet, it keeps going back to something written in the New Testament of the Holy Bible by the Apostle Paul written to the church in Rome:
” 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
Romans 5:3-5 (ESV)
These verses mean a lot to me. I know I have written about them before. So many times we as Christians, or even humans in general, think that happiness is the key. That if we have Jesus, we are granted happiness. That’s a huge lie. This passage does not speak of happiness. Instead, it speaks of enduring through suffering.
I am not destroyed by my suffering. I am built. It is painful. Yet, in the end, there will be joy to be found in the Lord.