The Insecurity Project

The idea for my insecurity project stemmed from my realization that most people have something they are insecure about, and that attention being drawn to a personal insecurity for fear of being judged is nothing more than a thought that is hyped up by anxiety. These insecurities can have a large impact on self-esteem and confidence.

I asked my friends to open up to me about what they were most insecure about and happened to find the courage to do so myself. I found that through photography I could capture and highlight these anxieties by pushing comfort levels. I hoped to (1) boost their own confidence and (2) comfort others who may feel the same way.

I have had trouble throughout my teenage years and into my young adult life with self-esteem, spending nights staring at myself until I’m at the brink of tears and want to smash the mirror. Though the project has been slow to get rolling, I hope to inspire at least a couple souls to begin their journey towards self-love and care.

~~~

Emily was self-conscious of her teeth and had trouble smiling. If she found herself smiling with her teeth, she felt that people were just looking at her teeth. She has since found confidence and smiles without any self-doubt.

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Emily
Insecure about her smile

A Lens Into Our World dear hope

Internalization

**Trigger Warning: One of the images depicts blood.**

 

The central idea of my concentration is the expression of the concept of internalization through visual imagery. Under the term internalization, I focused mostly on aspects of life such as mental disorders, personal identity, and trauma. While these can not always be seen outwardly, they are nonetheless pivotally important aspects of life.

I was fascinated with the idea of using abstract elements fused with more realistic ones in order to explore this conceptual theme.

 

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Suspension

A Lens Into Our World dear hope

Familiarity

Familiarity

 

sadness is like a cold hug.

familiar,

yet uncomfortable.

 

it is tears running down your face

and you haven’t been able to smile in 24 hours.

 

it is laying in bed until you have to get out

and even then,

maybe you don’t get up.

 

it is wearing sweatpants because you don’t care enough

to look nicer.

 

it is listening to sad music on repeat

it is the only thing you can relate to.

 

it is feeling like you are alone

in a room full of people who love you

 

it is feeling lonely

at 10:30 in the morning

because the only thing that has hugged you in the past 24 hours

is your blanket.

 

R.E.

 

 

Thank you to community member R.E. for sharing poetry with us once again. You can read R.E.’s previous piece here. You can also find R.E. on Tumblr.

Always remember you are not alone.

You are loved.

Sandra

 

Want to submit to this site and share your story, art, or article related to mental health? Email wemustbebroken@gmail.com

Follow us for more posts, inspiration and art on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram.

 

 

Creative Pieces dear hope

Dysphoria and Self-Image: an artist’s depiction of struggle and recovery

My name is Claire Frederick. I’m an incoming senior in Painting at Maine College of Art (MECA) in Portland, ME. I live in the city with my cat, Glitter, who is my therapy kitty. I have clinical and seasonal depression, an anxiety disorder, sleep issues, and am a recovered self harmer and anorexic.

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Claire Frederick

I have always been someone that tries to handle my mental health on my own; even at my lowest lows I have refused outside help. It wasn’t until I was outside the United States (Italy and Greece) in my worst manic depressive and anxious episode that I realized I needed support from professionals and medication. It was more than situational; it was chemical. It took multiple tries to find the pills that worked for me, but I found them.

Presently, I still have my days, but I am the strongest and happiest I have ever been. As an artist with mental illness and queer identity, it is my mission to spread awareness through visual art by both personal and relatable imagery. To me, it is important for people to understand the vast diversity that mental illness takes form, and that most times it’s not “standard.” Even with all of its idiosyncratic identities, there are others out there that feel like you.

Talking to friends, family, strangers, and or professionals can be so beneficial to find peace of mind. Literally. There are people that want to help and support you, as well as, well as ways to find personal positivity and release the negative. For me, finding an outlet and profession in visual art has saved my life. I am also forever grateful for my support system: my family, girlfriend, friends, and professionals. We all have a reason to believe, to keep moving forward; it’s always out there.

Dysphoria Titlecard

“Disphoria” Artist Statement: The use of line in the exploration of the female figure formally investigates the structure and planar shifts of the body. These lines are formulated in an almost topographical way, and are treated with translucent waves of desaturated color. The earthy, yet bruise-like palette alludes to nature in the same way the body becomes geography. By using wet-on-wet techniques, the paint creates its own forms; the pen is then used to take back control, separating the values and hues. Steering away from the composure of traditional portraiture, I repeat, deconstruct, and reinvent the female figure to achieve an emotional and psychological experience, mimicking feelings of dysphoria associated with my mental illness.

 

Tired Girls Club

Tired Girls Club
Watercolor on 300lb paper
2016

 

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Ghost:
Deconstruction of the Hand
Watercolor on 300lb paper
2016

A Lens Into Our World Artwork dear hope

Highs and Lows: My journey with self-doubt, anxiety, and assault – Coping Entry 25

Happiness.

What does it mean to you? Is it a specific feeling? A destination? A goal? We all strive for this abstract concept of “being happy.” But what does it even mean?

To me, happiness is about learning to float with the ebb and flow of life’s tides. It is not about the absence of negative experiences or feelings, but rather the acceptance that good does not exist without bad and that every part of our lives is part of the grander scheme of who we are and where we fit into this universe.

Don’t get me wrong: I know as well as the next person that this is much easier said than done, and I struggle every single day in adopting this mindset and lifestyle, but this is the story of why I continue to believe that everything happens for a reason.

I went into my freshman year of college feeling invincible, like I could conquer the world. I was excited for the next four years and to see what magical experiences awaited. I had this idea that college was going to be the best years of my life.

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Dee in Rye, NH

Although I have experienced my fair share of magic, I was completely unaware of the ways in which these next few years were going to tear me down. As I was putting up pictures and decorations to make my dorm room a new place to call home, I was unaware of the depths that life was about to drag me to.

Coping: This Is Who We Are dear hope

Free Your Mind

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This beautiful artwork comes from the talented Leandra Luizinho. You can find more of her work on Tumblr and Instagram. Be sure to give Leandra some love in the comments!

Always remember you are not alone.

You are loved.

Sandra

 

Want to submit to this site and share your story, art, or article related to mental health? Email wemustbebroken@gmail.com

Follow us for more posts, inspiration and art on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram

 

A Lens Into Our World Artwork dear hope

I grew in the most unexpected of places

I grew in the most unexpected of places,
In the winter,
Underneath the silky frost,
Or at the bottom of black oceans,
I grew amongst the side of freeways,
Underneath headlights,
I grew amongst blood splatters,
that ran like oil paint,
I grew in tired houses,
And on pieces of paper,
Under a 2am moon,
That cast down a spotlight,
I grew in elastic thunder,
In midnight-coloured nights,
And starving deserts,
You see,
No matter where your fist sprinkles my seeds,
My crumbs,
My leftovers,
I will still
Bloom,
Like bruised freesias,
maybe I’m not the prettiest bouquet you’ve ever clapped your eyes on,
But I’m indefinitely,
The most durable.
// TPT

This poem was submitted by the wonderful Skye, also known as The Paper Trail (TPT). You can find more of Skye’s work on her Tumblr and her Instagram. Give Skye some love in the comments.

Always remember you are not alone.

You are loved.

Sandra

 

Want to submit to this site and share your story, art, or article related to mental health? Email wemustbebroken@gmail.com

Follow us for more posts, inspiration and art on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram

Creative Pieces dear hope poetry

An Unbreakable Cycle

 

It can sometimes feel like my mind never switches off. I’m constantly jumping from one thought to another in a frenzied stream of consciousness that can make me restless at best and panicked at worst. It’s very hard to distinguish them from each other sometimes. I saw this picture of a fern and it looks like it is in motion even though it’s still, and that really conveyed this feeling for me.

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A Lens Into Our World dear hope

Introducing Our New Editor-in-Chief: Sandra Mercer

Hello everyone!

I’d like to take a moment to introduce our newest team member, Sandra Mercer. She will be serving as the new editor-in-chief for Dear Hope!

Sandra feature

Sandra will now be the head editor managing all the submissions that come into Dear Hope. Please give her a warm welcome! She has been a member of our community for a long time, and recently submitted the article “Questions as Daggers & Questions as Saviors. She also wrote a Coping piece for us last year. Be sure to give them a read.

This is the start of a relaunching period for Dear Hope. Be ready for lots of new content and art in the coming weeks. (If you’ve been thinking of sending us something to publish, now is a great time!)

Always remember that you are not alone.

You are loved.

PF

Want to submit to Dear Hope and share your story, art, or article related to mental health? Email wemustbebroken@gmail.com

Follow us for more posts, inspiration and art on Facebook, Twitter,Tumblr, and Instagram

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Dungeons and Dragons Gave Me My Life Back from Anxiety

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been scared of everything.

I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I’ve had it my entire life, but I’ve only recently had a name to call it by. To sum it up, my brain responds to most situations with fear and a lot of it. I’m always expecting disaster, even in the little things. I find myself drawing up game plans for everyday things like buying gas or going for a walk. If I make a telephone call, you can bet there was some form of a panic attack involved, and I’ve lashed out at too many concerned friends and loved ones for “attacking me” when they were just trying to help. My folks will tell you that when I was young I’d run inside to wash my hands whenever I touched my sandbox. I thought I’d get sick otherwise.

Article dear hope