I've been thinking about whether I should be posting this for quite a while. Today is the day I've decided to introduce my new photographic series "Living with disability - Changing Perspectives".
Often I have heard people talking about whether they should let their personal life cross over into their professional life. I too have thought a lot about this, preferring to keep them separate. But this subject is one that affects my personal and professional life hugely, I can't separate the two.
I am disabled and in the last 3 years I have gradually lost my mobility. My perspective has changed, and being a photographer, perspective is what it is all about. How can I possibly separate the two?
I don't want to bore you, to tell you tales of woe. What I do want to do is show you how it is living with disability. Every disability is different, but there are some common themes. If this series of photos makes you think, it has done what I hoped it would do.
Over the last few years, there have been changes that affect everyone with a disability. It's not imagined, it's real, and it's happening now.
Attitudes towards anyone claiming a benefit have changed, it's becoming more difficult to get help in a system that has been altered and makes it difficult even for the most able to navigate.
1. Living with disability
Having a disability is a huge thing to live with, whether you have been born with it, or have become disabled during the course of your life. The range of emotions you may feel is huge. For me it was, and is, like this.
Some days you may be thankful for what you can do.
Other days you may hate your entire existence.
You feel anger.
You feel guilt.
You feel massive, massive frustration.
You may feel like nothing is in your control.
You may feel totally overwhelmed.
You may feel joy at something you took entirely for granted previously.
You may notice things you didn't before.
You may appreciate things in a totally different way.
You may become more self aware.
You may become more compassionate.
You may become more isolated and lonely.
You may feel a total freak.
You may find strength you didn't even realise you had.
You will learn a lot about yourself.
I felt love. I felt hate. For a long time.