When I was a kid, I always knew I was a bit different. I was shy and nervous and abnormally stressed out. My friends were all carefree, goofy and adventurous while I was uptight and withdrawn, terrified of making a fool of myself. It came as no surprise to my buddies when, in 7th grade, my doctor diagnosed me with an anxiety disorder. Since then, I have learned how to cope and embrace this part of myself, and while life is certainly much more manageable, anxiety and I are forever a bonded pair. 

This image series reflects a few of the physical and emotional quirks I experience as a result of my anxiety. There is a reoccuring, unsatisfying flip-flop between feeling lonely and needing space from humanity. Anxiety is that nervousness in the pit of your stomach before taking a leap off a high diving board or having to walk down to the basement in the pitch black to flip a breaker. With a disorder, that intense nervousness and panic comes randomly, with no logic or apparent cause. You can feel trapped in your own head, repeating endless cycles of comfort and unease. However, with time, the symptoms become easier to manage and cope with, and it is possible to find serenity, if only in fleeting moments. 

These images were created during my final year of school and were compiled into a photobook for my class' Graduation Gallery show. 

The twirling is an incessant, subconscious action that reduces my anxiety but simultaneously causes tension and wear to the strands of my hair.  In that way, I need to "wind up" to relax. 

The twirling is an incessant, subconscious action that reduces my anxiety but simultaneously causes tension and wear to the strands of my hair.  In that way, I need to "wind up" to relax.