Depression Was Her Biggest Monster ~ Winnipeg Boudoir Photography

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I could tell, when Ms. J contacted me that she was both ridiculously excited for her shoot and equally as anxious. We corresponded back and forth leading up to her session, appeasing any concerns, fears, or questions that this babe had. Then, when she was in the studio, I was able to truly get to know Ms. J and the strong bad ass woman she is and understand where the fear, the anxiety, and the questions were coming from. She was stepping out of her comfort zone, she was trusting a complete stranger (ME!), and she was going to do it in very little clothing! Needless to say, within about 20 minutes and after hair and makeup, Ms J and I got down to business and this sass pot BROUGHT. IT. I am thankful she wanted to share her images, but more importantly her story with you because she has gone through hell and back and her resilience is inspiring. So without further adieu, please enjoy Ms. J’s story below (TW: eating disorder, depression, anxiety, suicide):

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I have struggled with depression and body issues since I was a teenager. I have always been the "fat girl". At some point in my teens I turned to bulimia. I've struggled with that off and on ever since then. 

But depression has been my biggest monster.

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The journey that eventually led me to Teri started last year. February 25th, to be exact. That was the day that I found out that a friend of mine in Fargo, ND had passed away from cancer. In my vulnerable state, I decided that I wanted to join him. I collected a bunch of medications, and took a massive overdose. My father found me & I was rushed to the hospital. The following 2 weeks I have very little memory of. I had a stroke & a series of seizures, and was subsequently placed in a medically induced coma for 5 days. It then took 2-3 days for me to come out of the coma. I was finally diagnosed with epilepsy (I had actually been having seizures since August 2017), and CNS vasculitis (inflammation of the blood vessels in the brain). It was discovered that neither of these conditions had any connection to my overdose. 

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Because of the brain damage caused by the stroke, I had to relearn how to breathe on my own, how to eat, how to speak, and how to walk. Surprisingly, I was only in the hospital a total of 23 days. 

I came out with a renewed respect for life, but eventually, the depression got to me again. I knew I had to do something, something different, as I've tried everything in the book.

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That's when I saw the news story about Erika Fetterly, a boudoir photographer out of Alberta, who had done a session with a woman recovering from cancer, complete with her ostomy bag. I have several scars from medical procedures & some self-inflicted. Seeing this story made me realize that this is what I needed. I reached out to Erika to see if she knew of anyone here in Winnipeg that did similar work. Her recommendation of Teri couldn't have been more glowing. After I saw the name, I realized that I had heard of her. I know women who were involved in Teri’s first Empowerment project. 

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I booked a session (then had to anxiously wait a month lol)

The session was *amazing*! Teri has a way of making you feel at ease & super confident and sexy all at the same time.

I was lucky enough to get my photo reveal only 2 days later, because Teri was headed out on the road. When I saw the photos I cried. I have never seen myself like that. I saw the confidence, I saw the sexy. I didn't even see the usual "flaws" I see, I just saw a beautiful human being.

Thank you Teri for showing me my true self. 

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Thank YOU, Ms J! Your strength and resilience was what got you through the door and into the studio to take back some control of your life. I am blessed to have met you and watch you thrive and feel complete joy in front of my lens!

While working with me is no substitution for working with a professional psychologist or pychiatrist for dealing with depression, the positive effects that my clients experience after doing a photo session have been monumental to their mental health.