Bipolar me- My photography

It’s been a few days since my last blog. Been getting things together in my mind and doing things in my life. I’m typing this whilst listening to music  and drinking peppermint tea.

In my last blog I finished by saying that I bought a small and relatively cheap camera for about £130 from the local supermarket.

I would use the camera as an extension of myself to express myself by photographing what I found interesting. Before I had my driving license removed and I would travel to places like Spurn point and photograph the landscape and environment.  Composing images that I thought may or may not be of interest.

Footprints

Shed on headland

spurn road

For me photography wasn’t just a form of self-expression but of self exploration.  Since losing my job I had lost my rudder in life, the only person keeping my feet on the ground was my wife Sarah.  The Bipolar and depression had robbed me of my capacity to earn a living but I wasn’t going to let it rob me of my dignity or creativity.  However hard the bipolar and depression was I would counter it by being creative.

Sarah photo

Took a lot of gentle persuasion for Sarah to let me take this photograph.

John Dixon front

My Friend John Dixon was kind enough to pose for me in this image.

The trouble with bipolar and depression is not just the despairing lows but the intense highs.  Over the years when I was high I’d spend money on things I didn’t need like games consoles and other gadgets.  I maxed out my credit cards and take out loans for these things.  This took a toll on our finances and credit rating.

When I eventually got on an even keel I would realise the ridiculousness of what I had done.  This would bring on a low and I would spend more money on stuff I did not need to make myself feel “better” and the whole cycle would start over again.

Now when I feel a low coming on I don’t reach for my wallet but I reach for camera and head out the door to take photographs.  It was a double dose of a) getting me out of the house and b) doing something positive and creative.

Hull Station

Sarah would encourage me to go out and take photos telling me of events that would be happening.

Photography is now what I do to get me out of my funks, it helps me to battle lows and escape the dark thoughts that invade my head.  It doesn’t always work but doing something is far better than festering.  Wallowing in self pity.

Well I’ve talked enough.  I’m going to finish up for now.

If you have any comments or questions feel free to ask.

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About martinupfold

Hi I am Martin Upfold and I am a father, husband, army veteran, student of photography and citizen journalist. Dealing with bipolar and depression, tackling it head on. I am sustained by my lovely wife Sarah and we have two beautiful sons Brendan, our youngest and Kieran, our eldest who has Aspergers Syndrome which is on the Autistic Spectrum. What I do to cope with my situation is to do photography and occasionally blog about it. How I got in to photography is that it was a way of dealing with my depression and bipolar by challenging it head on. It is very easy to let my mental health issues take control and rule and ruin my life. Photography gives me a reason to get out of the house and deal with the world in a creative and constructive way.
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2 Responses to Bipolar me- My photography

  1. steelcityman says:

    Doing good Martin…excellent blog, very informative and excellent photos… keep up the VERY good work.

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