One Word


Courtesy of  SMW Photography


Subject: Chyna Ly; Courtesy of SMW Photography


Courtesy of SMW Photography


Courtesy of  SMW Photography


Subject: Chyna Ly; Courtesy of SMW Photography


Subject: Chyna Ly; Courtesy of SMW Photography


Subject: Chyna Ly; Courtesy of SMW Photography 


Courtesy of SMW Photography

“With apathy did I perch upon a stranger’s grave. At times it is not the dead we should pity, but the living” was what I advertised.

Picture a back drop of tombs of many unknown and naked trees, analogous of the distant life that had yet to reemerge. It was a frigid Tuesday afternoon. Cold enough to render a person lifeless, but it didn’t make a difference; my anxiety has been controlling me for years. It feels like being lifeless among the living.

My anxiety can be debilitating. When I took these pictures, I wanted to address an emotional era that still exists in many of our worlds. So let me tell you about each and every manifestation of anxiety.


I am confident, beautiful, excited and killin’ it in every possible manner. I know what I’m doing. I’m ready to take on the world because that little bit of tension I feel makes me edgy and ready to shape the world. Overall, constructive.


My eyes start to dart. I can’t focus on the person in front of me. My focus on a conversation is intermittent. I remember bits and pieces and in a moment of struggle, I pick up the pieces and find a way to somehow make you think you had my undivided attention. In reality, I’m watching the next person that comes through the door. Every Adam and Eve in my view becomes a threat to the walls I have built to ensure my emotional safety.


I can barely hear you. My breathing becomes hitched and if I don’t pay attention it ceases. I need to move. Sitting isn’t an option. Wandering; it’s necessary or else my thoughts are racing ahead without me. Sleep…is almost an unattainable dream itself.

And Panic!

Oh, that’s an enemy I have not encountered in a very long time. AND NOR DO I WISH TO! It’s a lack of air, the tightening of my gut. It’s the nausea, hyperventilation, and palpitations. Everyone is the wrong person to be around. I just remember the streams of tears that seemed almost endless and my clammy hands shake to no avail. The blood is no longer moving to my extremities but the vessels are constricting in hopes of protecting my core.

Extreme cases of anxiety distort reality and hinder relationships. Coping mechanisms controlled by unconscious thought give reason for my withdrawal. For me, socializing becomes a task requiring unusually large amount of effort, and easily becomes draining. Limitation of relationships to those with similar values or interests becomes necessary as my psychologic stress caused by someone outside my comfort zone can result in physiologic changes.

Task-oriented reactions refer to the conscious thought process to address problems and satisfy needs. Every day I must remind myself that whether my stressors can or cannot be resolved I must not worry. And sometimes that doesn’t work…sometimes I just need…help.

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