“Resilience is about letting yourself feel the hurt” – Meet our photo contest winners


image of boots at the bottom of a set of stairs

Winner: best resilience message, Emily McCurrie.

Regular Mind Waves readers will already know Emily McCurrie @Caminosmem as our resident film critic. She turned her hand to photography for the resilience contest and won a prize for her message on resilience. Is there no end to this woman’s talents? Here she tells us more about what resilience means to her.

How long have you been interested in photography?
Since this competition! I’m always one for trying out anything new and when I saw this I thought I’d grab the opportunity.
Why did you decide what to feature in your photograph?
I’d been thinking about when I’d felt the most resilient in my life and it was just a few months ago. I took 6 weeks off work and walked the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, a 500-mile ancient pilgrimage across Spain that I’ve wanted to do since I was 17. I felt so happy and at peace with myself there and reaching that point has come after a long journey (that I’m still on, and always will be!) of dealing with times of anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and the massively helping hand of psychotherapy. The resilience really kicked in when I was tired and my feet were covered in blisters. I decided to use the boots that I walked in for my photograph as I became so attached them. I’d also had a discussion with my 70 year old Mum who has cancer before I left about what I should do if she passed away while I was on the pilgrimage. In her typical manner she said, ‘Just keep on walking Em, life goes on’. It’s now my mantra for life! The photo is called ‘Feet Don’t Fail me Now’ as it’s a line from a song I listened to while I was walking.

What inspired you to include the text in your image?
I really wanted to get the words ‘hidden steps’ into the text as the photo was taken on the hidden steps in Glasgow just near the Botanic Gardens. I was thinking about how life can feel like an up hill climb and the hidden surprises that life springs upon us!
What does resilience mean to you?
For me I’ve learnt that resilience is about really really letting yourself feel the hurt, pain and torment that comes with life events. It’s about allowing yourself to be knocked down and the resilience comes when you find the strength and determination to pick yourself back up again, often having to pick yourself up several times. It’s also about self-trust, being able to rely on yourself to make the right decisions, even if others don’t agree, and often going with your gut instinct. It’s about continuing to put one foot in front of the other when all you want to do is curl up into a ball in your bed. It’s about keeping on walking!


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One Response to “Resilience is about letting yourself feel the hurt” – Meet our photo contest winners

  1. Pru Davies October 20, 2014 at 7:23 pm #

    What a richly deserved winner. Loving Em’s photo. Her words struck a cord with me too. The song lyrics that I relate to for Resilience are “I get knocked down but I get up again” can’t remember the band just now. All that I am and all that I’ve done is because of the Bipolar in me. I’ve used it to my advantage when I am able. Life is what you make it

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