Burnished Dream

I shot this portrait of Katie Johnson quite a while ago and just couldn't get around to editing it. I really wanted to though; she looked like such a Pre-...
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I shot this portrait of Katie Johnson quite a while ago and just couldn't get around to editing it. I really wanted to though; she looked like such a Pre-Raphealite goddess. I'm happy that I finally worked it into the editing queue and it had its turn!

This week is Invisible Illness Awareness Week (InvisibleIllnessAwarenessWeek‬). Those who follow me in my various online outlets may already have heard me talk about it some, but please bear with me once again. You all know by now about my fight with ME; myalgic encephalomyelitis-Chronic Fatigue Syndrome-fibromyalgia. And I started my series Eternal Storm,, recently to bring light to the mental health issues I deal with. In my case, it's mainly severe clinical depression and anxiety. Very few people know that ME exists, very few people are comfortable talking about depression and other mental illnesses. So let's talk about them.

To help these subjects be a little less taboo, I'm going to say it: I'm having a REALLY hard time physically, mentally and emotionally right now.

There are tremendous stresses in almost every area of my life. I feel like I'm barely holding myself together, like the edges of a wound. I have a great therapist, loving husband, great pets, friends and family. Mental illness and ME do not discriminate. They attack all kinds of people equally.

I have been clinically depressed since I was a teenager, that part is not new. The extremeness of how I'm feeling is also not new, it comes and goes frequently. And no, I do not believe this particular trip through hell is due to my medication change, although I doubt the six weeks or so of isolation, migraines and general heightened pain helped anything. I know this is tied closely to an upcoming event which is terrifying, feels insurmountable and it absolutely critical to my future well-being, with the pressure resting solely on my shoulders. That's as much as I can say about that particular event right now.

I know there are many who love and support me. I'm going to use this dark time as an excuse to shine light on these issues so many face in silence. Those of us with mental health issues are not crazy, we need love, support and the help of truly caring mental health professionals. Those of us with invisible physical illnesses are not whiners, attention-seeking, drug-seeking or malingerers. We deserve and need treatment and help just as much as someone with AIDS, a broken leg or any other visible ailment.

Don't you think we go through enough without feeling that we need to constantly prove how ill we are? And that we wouldn't leave every drop of disease behind in a second if we could? Please don't judge us. Understand us, support us. Love us. That's all anyone wants.

Speaking of invisible illnesses, many of you are also familiar with the incredibly beautiful work of fellow fine art photographer Ashley Lebedev, a beautiful soul I am proud to know. She needs our help. She is dying. PLEASE visit her page and help her however you can! Truly, any amount will help! Her life is at stake and she needs us to step up for her; let's blow her away with our love and support!

Model: Katie Johnson -





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1 Comment | Report
vitor Platinum
vitor December 04, 2017
Verry good classic portrait !
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