and other images by
DARLENE TURLA | Bipolar Advocate + Photographer
Depression can strip you of all vigor and willpower, sending you into a depressive hibernation. This is a tendency far beyond my control that has cost me a number of friends, wasted time and lost opportunities. But sometimes, hibernation is the only way. It might seem like it will take forever for your soul to recuperate, but trust me, you will realize that one day, the hibernation has served its purpose, and you are once again ready for your metamorphosis.
The state of being fragile is a shade of human emotion that the world readily frowns upon. In a society that demands grit and a strong willpower, emotional fragility is doubly magnified when a person is grappling with a major depressive episode. One way to cope is to identify and avoid triggers–because one tiny prick could lead to emotional hemophilia. People may never understand and tolerate weakness, but sometimes, accepting one’s frailty can be liberating. For, it is in this kind of moment that we can find freedom from those which deplete us of joy and peace.
Fragile (A Self-Portrait)
Anxiety has the power to turn you into a very scared and vulnerable creature. Under its claws, your wings are clipped; you walk away on tip-toes fearing your demons. You are aware of this, but the claws are too sharp, and you grow more and more frustrated with yourself — because who wants to be onion-skinned?
By its darkness I am swallowed
pale and frozen.
Somebody please liberate me from Anxiety.
Ang Zahyi Tee
“I’m sick of not having the courage to be an absolute nobody.” – Franny and Zooey by JD Salinger
Bipolar Advocate + Photographer
I’m a self-taught Filipina photographer with strong leanings to Amelie-esque whims and surreal dimensions. You can consider me an art appreciator trapped in the body of a frustrated visual artist. I can’t paint or draw or sculpt, and so, I shoot. I hold a deep-rooted fascination with dreams, and I oblige with much delight when my dreams insist on making special appearances in my images. Sometimes they laugh at my futile attempts, but it’s all good-natured banter. My kind of a rainy day would include escaping into conceptual fiction, yet I also have a soft spot for contemplative cinema and literature. I would like to believe that these inclinations pervade some of my photos. But chiefly and most helpfully, my artistic process is inspired by my personal existential spectrum; the quiet joy of defamiliarizing the mundane; and my belief in respect for an unhampered freedom to express human emotion. And cats. Let’s not forget cats. My photography and my fitful shots at writing are forms of mental therapy and liberation for me. I can never imagine living with Bipolar Disorder without these creative outlets. I’m also a freelance online English teacher to ESL learners, and a mental health advocate in my own little ways. I am excited at the thought of finally being responsible enough to live with cats.
Enjoy more of Darlene’s work on her Flickr page, fourthornedrose.