Last year I went through some pretty serious problems with anxiety and panic attacks for a while and it was pretty crappy. While I was going through that I looked for ways to calm myself down and that's kind of how my photography came about. I had already been taking pictures, but I discovered that photography is very calming to me. It focuses my energy and forces me to concentrate on something else besides the anxiety. So to combat the anxiety I became pretty attached to my camera. A lot of my best photos came out of panic attacks! Prayer and photography are the two things that kept me from going insane last year, lol.
Anyway, during the worst of it I hung a bird feeder in the tree outside my bedroom window so that I could enjoy the birds in my tree. There's a huge honey locust tree right up next to the window, so I can open the window and lean out to hang the feeder and then I have a perfect view of all the birds when I sit on my bed.
So when the anxiety was bad, I would lay on my bed and watch the birds. And of course I can't watch any animal without a camera in my hand, so eventually I started photographing them. I clean both sides of my window really well and then I can shoot through the closed window with my zoom lens and I can get really great close up shots that look like I was right there with the birds. (I tried to do it with the widow open, but the birds weren't too excited about the paparazzi hanging out the window.)
So anyway, I thank the birds in my tree for helping me get past the anxiety. I've decided that animals and photography will cure anything.
So this year I've been really busy and although I've been meaning to get the bird feeder filled again I just haven't gotten around to it. But yesterday I was thinking about how much I loved those birds and I decided that it was time to fill the feeder again. It was SO fun to open my blinds this morning and see my tree full of birds again. I've been laying here this morning just watching them in my tree and remembering how much they helped me last year.
So today I'm going to spend some time with the birds. I've got my camera, my window is clean and I'm ready for them. I'm also going to spend some time being grateful for life without anxiety. My birds are back, but the anxiety is not. You just don't realize how nice it is to feel normal until you've spent some time feeling out of control. In a way I guess that makes me glad for the anxiety. Without it I never would have appreciated birds, my camera and the ability to look out the window in peace.
UPDATE: There was a mourning dove in my tree today! I rarely see those, so I was excited to get a photo of it!