Take My Breath Away
Most of my photographs seek beauty in the everyday. Shifting perspective through my macro lens offers me a window through which I can wonder at the everyday. I am drawn to the less obviously beautiful, where a close up, like this one from last week, reveals the intricate beauty and inspiring complexity of the world we inhabit.
However, like most people I have days when I simply can’t see that beauty. Days when I fail to be inspired. Days when nothing takes my breath away and I secretly wish that I could take my breath away. But its just a glitch, a moment of despair. A warning to reset. I know that if I shift from introspection and look outwards to others I can be inspired again, by people, by their plight, and by their pain. Inequality, injustice, suffering and the denial of human rights never fail to move me, they are my inspiration, they give me a ‘raison d’être’.
My dad was chronically suicidal for more than 30 years. While he never acted on his ideation his obsession with dying and depression permeated our lives. As a child I remember wishing that my dad had a visible disability or physical illness, even cancer, because then he would get help, then there would be no shame, no blame and no instruction not to tell. If it wasn’t taboo my dad might have gotten the support that he needed and the tools to ‘reset’ and be inspired by life.
My dad was of a different generation and you might argue that things have changed, and they have, but suicide is the leading cause of death in young men (15-34 years) in Ireland, Great Britain and in other countries around the world.
I know that my photograph makes a shocking statement but the statistics are shocking.
If you are male you are more likely to kill yourself than be killed, even in an active war zone. Yes that is correct, the biggest killer of American troops in Afghanistan is suicide, not bombs, bullets or terrorists. The primary cause of death among soldiers serving in the Israeli Defence Force is suicide. According to a report published in 2012, more young soldiers took their own lives in the three years covered by the report than died as a result of disease, traffic accidents, operational activity or other calamities.
Depression isn’t solely a men’s issue but, possibly due to culturally constructed notions of masculinity, men are less likely to seek help and often see suicide as the only solution. Its good to talk. If something is troubling you why not contact your local helpline or support service. You don’t need to be suicidal to get in touch
- Pieta House
- NHS List of Helplines and Support Groups
- USA National Suicide Prevention Lifelin
In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Inspiration.”
Photograph is posed by a model