My demons

by Jolien Dekens July. 04, 2019 325 views

This is probably the most difficult thing I ever wrote, let alone published. The past few years have been incredibly difficult. My boyfriend has been suffering from an extreme burnout for almost three years now. He has also had a major depression for part of that time. This caused struggles and misunderstandings with some of my close relatives. All this emotional stress finally took its toll on me too. About two years ago I crashed. Luckily not as hard as my boyfriend but enough to make me feel horrible and unable to work for a month. I have struggled with my energy level ever since. Sometimes it gets better, then it gets worse again. Right now the seeming endlessness of our situation has made it a lot worse.

Part of getting better is accepting the situation, to see reality for what it is and to stop wishing it is different. To start living in the moment and to stop worrying about the past and future. I know this but it is very difficult to apply. The only time I am truly able to live in the moment is when I am holding my camera. That is why I started this project. To visualize the demons inside my head. I guess this is just my way of dealing with it.

I have learned that I am not alone in this, that there are lots of people with their own demons. I find it sad that there still seems to be some kind of taboo on these subjects. Because it really helps to share with others, to break the isolation we so easily confine ourselves to. By posting these photos I hope I can break someone else's isolation. To show them they are not the only ones who struggle.

I can't always find the words to describe it, so I used quotes from songs that I think apply to the photos.

I'm just a shadow of the man I used to be ~ Queen, Too much love will kill you

I'm just a shadow of the man I used to be ~ Queen, Too much love will kill you

But I'm only human. And I bleed when I fall down. I'm only human. And I crash and I break down ~ Human, Christina Perri

But I'm only human. And I bleed when I fall down. I'm only human. And I crash and I break down ~ Human, Christina Perri

They're all around me, circling like vultures. They wanna break me and wash away my colors ~ My demons, Starset

They're all around me, circling like vultures. They wanna break me and wash away my colors ~ My demons, Starset

Fear is how I fall, confusing what is real. ~ Crawling, Linkin Park

Fear is how I fall, confusing what is real. ~ Crawling, Linkin Park

Falling in the black, slipping through the cracks. Falling to the depths can I ever go back? Falling inside the black. ~ Falling in the black, Skillet

Falling in the black, slipping through the cracks. Falling to the depths can I ever go back? Falling inside the black. ~ Falling in the black, Skillet

Losing my sight. Losing my mind. Wish somebody would tell me I'm fine. Nothing's alright ~ Last resort, Papa Roach

Losing my sight. Losing my mind. Wish somebody would tell me I'm fine. Nothing's alright ~ Last resort, Papa Roach

I am machine I never sleep I keep my eyes wide open. I am machine a part of me wishes I could just feel something. ~ I am machine, Three Days Grace

I am machine I never sleep I keep my eyes wide open. I am machine a part of me wishes I could just feel something. ~ I am machine, Three Days Grace

I can fake a smile. I can force a laugh. I can dance and play the part if that's what you ask. ~ Human, Christina Perri

I can fake a smile. I can force a laugh. I can dance and play the part if that's what you ask. ~ Human, Christina Perri

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Varsha Arun 1 year, 5 months ago

This is powerful..No doubt all the photos display intense emotional turmoil but the last one spoke out the loudest to me. Sorry to hear you are going through this; it will get better...talking about mental health is still a huge stigma in our society and I appreciate you for putting this out here. Thank you...I hope you overcome this soon! Sending good wishes ..

1 year, 5 months ago Edited
Jolien Dekens Replied to Varsha Arun 1 year, 5 months ago

Thanks for the support! I hope that if more and more people start talking about it the stigma will eventually disappear.

1 year, 5 months ago Edited
Wayne Scott 1 year, 5 months ago

Thank you Jolien for your honesty and bravery. I, like many, also have known the “black dog” of depression in my past and I am forever grateful for those in my life who gave me permission to take time to heal. My prayer for you and your boyfriend is “Peace!”
I am so glad that the camera is good therapy for you and your photos also convey a very real depth of honesty that I know will help others.

1 year, 5 months ago Edited
Jolien Dekens Replied to Wayne Scott 1 year, 5 months ago

Thank you so much for the kind words! I like to think that all this suffering will eventually lead to something good, like being able to help others get through it :)

1 year, 5 months ago Edited
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