Title of work: High Anxiety Tea Party

Several of you know that I photographed a series of teacups representing mental illness.

May is mental health awareness month.

Again, we hear of a death due to “mental illness” in Naomi Judd’s passing, but only because she is a celebrity.
People all over the world are suffering.

My long-term friend and neighbor leaped to his death last week taking his pets with him. Devastating and profoundly sad.
His dog and my dog used to hang out together all the time.
I’m finally able to write about it but still can’t speak of it without choking up.

Neighbors and friends asked me, “was Murphy depressed”? It’s a simplistic question because ML is difficult to comprehend.
It's much deeper than depression, it’s complex.

And, if people are self-medicating through alcohol and drugs, it just compounds the illness even further.

As a friend of a person with committed suicide (and sadly, not the first), there is guilt associated with the death and many questions: “why couldn’t I help him, I saw the signs”. What Murph needed was long-term treatment, as many do.

Metaphorically, I chose the strong yet fragile teacup to represent the isolation people experience when they suffer from an illness. The neutral color background expresses vulnerability, fear and loneliness, and feelings of numbness. The cracks resemble a person’s “defects” or the cracking that occurs during nervous breakdowns. It is the baggage that many people strive to live with, emphasizing the idea that no one is perfect. People need to feel accepted and not stigmatized.

I bought teacups, broke them, and glued them back together. The gluing represents putting ourselves back together. The cup could eventually hold liquid again, making it whole. Some of the cracks remain, and some cups have holes but still remain beautiful objects as people are.

Safe journeys Murph, I’m sorry you couldn’t hang on.
And Happy, don’t let Lucie boss you around anymore,
you are all in a peaceful place now. We love you.
Love and healing thoughts to Yetta and Liam, we are here for you.

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