My Story :)
What can I say about myself? Life has been an interesting journey, full of pain, happiness and adventure. The last fifteen years has been a series of "learning experiences", some easy and others almost deadly.
I have worked in the construction industry for most of my life, as a surveyor. Beginning in 2005, my career took a turn to working as a surveyor / field engineer for an industrial construction firm out of Burlington, Ontario. Most of my work involved extreme precision, at times down to 1/1000 of an inch, when setting machinery for millwrights in steel mills. I have always been a bit of a perfectionist and I chose the perfect job for my personality.
Starting in 2007, the perfectionism took a turn for the worse. I started to expect the same outcomes in other people and circumstances around me, outside of my job It was becoming more and more difficult to leave work, at work. Four years ago (2008) I was diagnosed with OCD and anxiety disorder. A culmination of stress, insane working hours and, I guess, just my own personality. I was prescribed a drug, Effexor, and I wish now, I had never started to take it. Within six months, I was up to a dose of 300mg daily and I started to feel like a walking zombie, devoid of any real emotion. I could slowly feel the drugs starting to kill me. My resting heart rate spiked and I was having night terrors that made the worst horror movie a Disney production. After almost two years of this, I decided to take control and get off the medication. I started out slow and worked my way down to 75mg daily. Coming off the medication was much harder that being on it. The side effects were horrendous and included, extreme anxiety, paranoia and depression. I also started feeling the OCD and compulsiveness coming back in a worse way than ever before. Each drop in the dose introduced a new hell.
At the end the summer (2009), I was getting ready for my drop to 75mg. I knew it was going to be a killer. I needed to find something to feed the overwhelming need for precision and perfection. I was feeling like I was suffocating. One day, August 16th, 2009 to be exact ;), I took my first photo, "Peek-a-Boo".
The beauty I found in the tiny details of nature blew me away. I was hooked.... the rest... well, the photos on my website are some of the results. I have taken close to six thousand photos since and am starting to realize that I will never tire of looking for the beautiful precision of nature. I truly believe that finding this saved me during my last drop in dose, as I hardly noticed the change. When I found myself feeling like I was ready to explode, I grabbed my camera and headed for the nearest park, garden or field and just let it all out. My photos are the expression of those days.
For anyone else who struggles with these same feelings..... I hope you too are able to find that outlet so desperately needed for anyone struggling on the inside.
I am not able to afford any fancy camera equipment, so I find myself focusing on composition and storytelling. I have pushed my camera, to the edge, in regards to image quality. I have built myself a lens from some abs pipe, cardboard and a good deal of duct tape :)
I hope you enjoy :)