Your Battery Is Running Low

I have been missing here for the last several months (4 months to be exact).

The last couple of months were difficult, to say the least. I have had a burnout looming since the start of this year. My productivity and will to do anything had dipped. I was not enjoying things I would usually enjoy, like making my own coffee or writing code and building things.

Last year, I was also diagnosed with moderate depression and was on antidepressants, along with my ADHD meds.

I think I had a productive last couple of years where I learned and built a lot of things of value for our clients.

I ended up tying my self-worth to my productivity; this, coupled with my paranoia of losing things we at Beneathatree have built so far, people pleasing behaviors, and self-esteem issues, meant I was probably doing things that were not sustainable for me.

My team at Beneathatree is really supportive, and we are working towards making things sustainable. I’m also trying to learn how to delegate and ask for help instead of trying to do everything by myself.

It has been a month since I went off the meds by myself - I am still re-considering this. I also have fallen off from the regular therapy sessions. I don’t have anxiety or panic attacks like earlier, but now I mostly feel numb and find it really hard to care about things. Not sure if this extreme is good :D

Last month has been more difficult than the others. Some of my fears came true. Last month I was almost regular at working out. Hopefully I’ll restart. Some form of physical exercise was recommended to me by psychiatrist but I never had energy or mindspace to do it until last month.

Last September, I took a weekend workshop on Analog Photography by CPB Chennai, recommended by Srinidhi, for an internal project. I fell in love with the magic of seeing your image appear when you take it out of the processing tank.

I have since been finding some peace in taking images on a film roll and processing them.

(Some of the first images I shot, CPB Workshop)

(On Day 2, I was told to open up and talk to people)

I find the whole ritual of taking a photo on a film very peaceful. Because you only have 36 exposure - you usually tend to be bit more careful and present. It slows me down and makes my mind less noisy at that moment.

I have been carrying my camera with me whenever I leave my home. I take long walks nowadays once or twice a week around the place where I stay and try to capture anything I find interesting. I find the act of shooting and then developing my own negatives very satisfying. Each week, I look forward to the weekend when I can develop a roll I shot during the week and see the images appear.

Here are some of the images I shot over the last many months.

(Sachin and I took another workshop in Bangalore, which also included printing the images we took on a silver gelatin paper)

(First test roll I shot in our new camera, Pentax P30T. Sent it to Chennai, CPB for developing)

(First test roll with a DIY Developer, Parodinal, that is made using Paracetamol)

(I have been shooting with cheap expired film that CPB respools. This is the first roll I shot that was not expired. Fomapan 400)

(Some more with Expired Kentmere 400 that CPB respools )



(Pavagada Fort)

(2023 W46)

(2023 W47, I made my own D76, which is a standard BW developer from recipes online)