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Nancy

"My main reason for joining PhotoVoice was to stop stigma toward mental illness through photography and writing, to educate the public. I benefited beyond words from the acceptance and kindness I received from the instructors and fellow participants. I am truly grateful to COVA for giving me these precious gifts."

 

 

When I look at this picture of my cat, one word comes to me.

Depression.

 

 

Having to look just so.
Wearing the mask.
Acting like everything is fine.
Family denial of mental illness.
Mine and my father’s kept secret.
Overweight.
Told many times “but you have such a pretty face,”
One that was frozen with fear.
Huge emphasis on physical appearance.
Never looked good enough.
Told by a family member “I am embarrassed to be seen with you in public.”

Old scars healing slowly.
Working on accepting aging.
Surrounding myself with nurturing friends …
Sometimes four-legged.

 

 

I have adorned myself with beads since I was a flower child. They were decorative and flashy, worn to promote peace and love.

Today I wear my necklaces to reflect my mood. I may wear hematite for grounding or glittery aurora borealis crystals for joy.

I am wearing my most empowering necklace right now—one I made of electrical parts—reminding me I am a creative artist.