For as long as I can remember I always observed the life around me. But I have never really been a participant I felt I should be. It is like the world is a big highway going so fast in each direction, I always stood on the sideline and observed the traffic. Sometimes with the wonder of where are you all going, what’s the rush?
I had many attempts to join the traffic that is the so-called life. I had a series of jobs one after the other. But working as a lorry driver turned out extremely good, at least for a while. I loved to be alone on the road with my semi truck, driving all over Norway. Sitting behind the wheel thinking, listening to music and enjoying the scenery Norway had to offer. But I lost my license because of my bipolar illness. Now I am back to start, my doctor and I are trying to find a way I can get back on track. But the rules are strict.
There are times when I feel I can do absolutely everything. Powered by a bottomless supply of energy and self-esteem, I can go on and on and I feel invincible! But it never lasts long and usually ends up creating more problems than actually fixing them. Life has always been a never-ending roller coaster. I am not sure I agree with being diagnosed with Bipolar 1. But I’m pretty sure I have a mood disorder. Because like a clockwork you can set your time to, depression and anxiety take me all the way back to start. Especially when the day gets darker and colder. Like a balloon losing its air. I end up laying shriveled on the floor. Physically and mentally broken.
Like Pinocchio, I have really dreamt and hoped for Giuseppe to come along and turn me into a normal boy. And not to feel so alienated. But other days the same thing scares the living shit out of me. I don’t want to be normal either! I just want to be me, and start accepting me for who I am. And to be accepted for who I am.
Well, this turned dark… And that was actually not the point. Because there is a lot of light in this story! I have dark clouds and days, but something has changed. I’m still fighting even when feeling down, even when the lack of confidence and the devil on my shoulder tries to talk me down. I won’t let it, not anymore! It can take my energy for some days, but not my dreams.
I am more than my history tells me. I am not defined by depression. I am not hopeless. I did mess up at school, always ending up in every special class. It made a kid feel very special, and not in a good way!
I messed up my life for many years when I was young and I made a lot of bad choices. I have been in more than enough institutions over the years. I did a pretty good job wrecking myself and my life, with no regard for the future. It’s hard to think of the future when I couldn’t see one for myself. My history will always be there no matter how hard I judge myself and talk myself down, it doesn’t lead anywhere.
For the first time since I was a kid, I have a dream again. I’m not dreaming of being a celebrity, I don’t want fortune and fame. I dream of happiness and creating a life with a solid foundation. I want to build something of my own, having ownership of my life.
I also want to help others that struggle with depression or anxiety. Photography may not be for you, but it`s worth a try! When life gets dark and filled with destructive and hopeless thoughts, start to look and seek for all the happiness and beautiful things around you! You will be amazed by the present moment can bring such awareness about the beauty around you. Take a picture and collect that feeling you get to keep forever or as long as you want. You can express yourself when you have no words. I bet there are tons of different ways of achieving this. You can find whatever works for you 🙂 Personally, I have never been any good at painting or drawing. So photography works for me when finding motives like beauty and happiness are all around us. It’s just hard to see if you’re not looking.
This photo is from the summer of 2015 and it was when I just started playing with iPhoneography. This year was when my passion really ignited. I had tons of problems and still a disaster zone. But that summer really changed me and my life around, I felt hope again for the first time in what felt like an eternity of loneliness and depression. But in some way, I knew I was going to make it. I had hope! That’s all that I was searching for. Looking back now I am so grateful for not ending up doing something stupid that I never could have undone. I owe photography everything! Walking with my Nikon in my hands have changed me for the better. I love the playfulness I feel when taking pictures. I love the lack of anxiety. I go around talking to complete strangers. Which I never did before. And to me the answer to my own question have never been clearer, I am the observer of life and that’s what I want to be! Because in the same time I’m living and enjoying my own life!