Exposed and Vulnerable to the Elements

Black and white photo of tall white tree by water

This photo was taken shortly after a very long depression episode. I struggled silently. My life on the outside looked normal. 2 kids, a husband, work and my photography. I never sought help. I never told anyone. I stayed strong because thats all I knew. As an Army veteran and social worker, you can’t let your emotions show. About a month before this photo, I read an article about using my photography as therapy. I decided to give it a try. On this particular cold, winter day, I wanted to capture something that resembled my journey. This beautiful and strong birch tree became my subject instantly. The roots are what caught my attention intitially. They are exposed and vulnerable to the elements and yet they remain strong. This was a connection to my new reality of exposing my emotions and still feeling strong. The white of the birch stood out to me as well. It was the only birch tree in a forest of oaks and maples. Despite how dark I felt, I know that I would eventually stand out as the strong and beautiful woman everyone else sees me to be. So many emotions went into this photo. I still cry when I look at it. So much pain was released. From this photo on, I have taken a whole new road with my photography and look to continue my journey and someday share it with others as a social worker who specifically provides therapeutic photography.

— Amanda Ransom



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The One Project is a community of passionate creatives, advocates and caring friends or family members working to support each other and change the conversation around mental health issues like depression, anxiety and more with therapeutic photography.

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