Pain Doesn’t Last If You Don’t Want It To

June 6th 2020, I lost one of the most important pieces of my creative construct. My camera, and all of it’s components gone in an instant. They were stolen out of my car. I kept them in a bag. Camera, 8 lenses, batteries, microphone, cleaning supplies, storage container keys…

Pain. I took the worst part of my pain from this event straight to the heart. Because I blamed myself. I loved that camera and I believe it loved me. Pain is not rare in my life and the symptoms around my pain like living in the past, delusions, blaming external sources, anger, fear, regret, loss of ambition. I reached for any thread of catharsis when I was in pain. Escapism that was ultimately unproductive. Until I got my camera that is.

Using my camera and creating something brand new with the click of the shutter is what I use to get over hard time. Each time I click the shutter and a new memory is created I permit myself to let go of the old and painful memories. Even just a thought at a time. Replacing painful experiences and memories with the exciting little opportunities of a photo is exactly what I needed and still do. Just the act of creating something brand new to me, from me brought health and ease to my otherwise chaotic life. So losing my camera hurt a lot and in that time I lost my goto way to look away from pain and create something new.

I was not OK after losing my camera. I feel like an entire room in my mind collapsed while I was in it. I felt like telling anyone about it would be more painful because no-one will have the insight of what it feels like to lose an object the way that I do. Last year I took over 16,000 photos with that camera that was stolen. Every single shutter click, lens change, lean to and kneel to framing my shot and pressing the shutter. The time I waited to transfer every file, reviewed each file and edited each one with careful timid technique like a model maker. creating new.

Recycling my psyche to foster a brighter moment in my life. It all left me in an instant and I felt a lot more like I an inch further out of the place I had been stuck in for many years. Like an addict relapsing except I suffer from depression and my cure was photography and now I felt like the monkey on my back had won. There is no going back. No getting the camera back. The SD card in the camera with one of a kind photos and memories from the day I shot photos are out of my hands.

Nothing made sense after losing my camera. Everything outside of recording photos feels stressful and devoid of and redeeming quality. Horrifically mean people, stressful motions through life like work, and traffic, and automated telephone lines that I have to call to get things done. I did nothing about my loss and my pain for about a month. I used the time to grieve, and plan a redirection. A new way. My new plan was to take pictures with my phone and focus on the editing process. To channel new to the post side of my photos. That helps. I know I’m still in pain that is hard to describe and I am trying to dig my way out of a collapsed sanctuary and pick up the pieces. Pain doesn’t go away if you don’t want it to.

2 thoughts on “Pain Doesn’t Last If You Don’t Want It To

  1. Thanks for sharing in such a vulnerable way. The loss won’t Beth’s last. Your lesson from this one will make you even more resistant in the future.


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