in the bath, in my clothes
I took this picture during the weekend G was away in Queensland. In the sun, having a holiday. It wasn't easy holding the camera above the water as I tried to submerge further and further into the bath. Grace was hovering above me, amused by her mother in the bath, in the morning. She was momentarily distracted from the teletubbies video I had put on, hoping for a few moments to indulge my photographic whimsy. Sweet really, that she finds me so hilarious. Anyway, it's a long way from the original image, and uses a gradient meant to mimic being underwater. Quite fitting. I think I may have been influenced by the cover of Drift ,the final of a magical trilogy in which watery themes abound and currently on my bedside table.
The elements theme, as far as self-portrait goes, is one I've been feeling some resistance to. I'm not finding it easy, water being the stuff of feelings and emotions. Sometimes I think I'm too emotional, too ruled by those inner tides and I've spent a great deal of my life working really hard at sweeping all those pesky feelings under the carpet. Only to have them surface again. As they do. At the moment I'm feeling less than thrilled about my anti-depressants which stop me sleeping and the pills that knock me out. A kind of One pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small... type of feeling. Which led to a really interesting talk with my doctor last week. She thinks sleepers are still a good idea, and that it's not like before. We ended up having one of those sessions which I think in old school (but post freudian) psychiatry is called a break through. It had to do with my ideas of motherhood, about how I was mothered, about how my ideas of how to be a good mother conflict deeply with how my life is being played out and the choices I have. Issues which lots of women (and men) face. The guts of this are something for a future post, but the awakening of this in an emotional sense is very new for me. Something I've known about rationally for a long, long time. But to realise it in this way is very different. Freeing. Lightening. Something I can work with.
This is leading me to think about depression as an adaptive strategy, as part of the mechanism of social change. Not that anyone decides or chooses to be depressed, but perhaps as way of asking for help when you don't fit in where you expected you would. This theory (scroll down here until you get to the bit about social navigation or niche change theory) suggests that it is not only the depressed person who needs to adapt. That there are a complex set of social interactions going on. Deep interpersonal bargaining. Well, der.. Again, something to think about in a future post.
So that's me in the bath, with my clothes on. Make of it what you will. I'd best go to bed. Work tommorrow. View more people in their elements here.