A little over two years ago, I started taking photographs.
I started taking photographs of the gowns I wore – the pills I took.
I started taking photographs of pain.
At first, I thought it was a weird, pop culture, selfie compulsion… but I wasn’t sharing these photos. They never touched a twitter or a tumblr. They never left my phone.
For months this went on; needle after needle, table after table, crumpled white medical paper and a camera phone.
When my boyfriend left, I cried and told my mother I finally figured out why I was taking these pictures. I don’t look sick. I look like a normal girl. And in trying to be happy, in trying desperately to be normal, I took from the outside like nothing is wrong. Or, if something is wrong, it can’t possibly be too bad.
Somewhere deep inside, afraid that no one believes me, I have been documenting my descent. Can anybody hear me?
Last week a friend told me he had been suffering from a disease for over a year. It took them that long to diagnose him, and silently, secretly, he suffered. I wanted to tell him that I understood, that I truly understood, but how can you? And then I realized that in the midst of my completely inward terror, I had somehow created a tiny bit of good to give.
Better than a billion of my stupid, useless words. Portraits.