Newcastle Photographer and Content Creator, Mandy Charlton, Always on a quest for adventure, often seen on buses, trains and planes. On a quest to be happier and healthier. Lives in Newcastle with her 3 cats, Iris, Maggie and Arthur. Loves good vibes, musicals and cakes. Full time professional wedding photographer in the north east of england alongside content creator on Tiktok, Instagram and Facebook

Monday, March 30, 2020

From the bottom of the dark chasm

This weekend, everything hit, the world literally fell apart, the news that it's just me and Iain against the world living at home has broken my heart and the news that the new owners of Inspire chose to announce their arrival at pretty much the same time left me wondering just what the point of life was for a while.


By yesterday evening when talking with Iain I said: "you know, nothing more can happen, we have reached the point where things can't actually get worse than they are now so the only way is up."  It seems my life and inner resilience has been there all along just waiting to get me through things like this.
Newcastle wedding photographer Mandy Charlton's garden, from the bottom of the dark chasm, mandy charlton, photographer, writer, blogger

I still can't talk about Inspire, it hurts too much, I took a drastic decision to protect my family and to survive when I was really bloody poorly, well I still am, in many respects, I still have a tumour on my parathyroid that isn't going anywhere and that has a profound effect on my energy levels, on my mental health and how thirsty I constantly feel.  So know that this was something which has happened at breakneck speed but it won't really be over until the summer and maybe then, I'll write that book!

There's also the fact that at some point I'm going to have to apply for Universal Credit and because there are only Iain and I living here, we'll be subject to the bedroom tax.  I can not believe we have come to this place.  I swore when I started my photography business in 2007 that I would never go back on benefits.  Believe me, when I also say that I was thankful that I could claim disability benefits when I was super poorly with my mental health,  we were under a kinder, more socialist type of government then though.

I think like most of us I alternate between moments of utter hysteria to feeling calm because I no longer have to worry about all of my clients and the women I was looking after and nurturing and reassuring every day.  I am still doing that of course, I have a small and wonderful community which I'm building into something new and different which will service the small business community as well as "normal" employed families who are also consumers, it's going to take time and love but I've done it before and I know that I can do it again because...

You can take everything away from a person but you will never replace spirit, love, and most of all authenticity.  You cannot be a fake and last forever, sooner or later you will be called out and whilst I may have my up and down moments and a personality which can be confusing to even myself, I think you all know by now that I only have love in my heart and fire in my belly.

I'm advertising again as a photographer in Newcastle to photograph weddings in 2021/2022 because we have to believe that this will all be over soon, well maybe not soon but I have no doubt that 21/22 will be bumper years for weddings and probably for portraits too as I'm sure many new lives are being created right at this time, new loves are forming and people in extraordinary circumstances are becoming soulmates.

Love always wins, I truly believe that with all of my heart and so I'm supporting decisions which I did not take knowing it's the best action for me, for now, because it makes things hurt less and because deep inside my psyche I still have hope.

If you have read this article I'd love you to buy me a virtual coffee so that I can keep writing until I can resume my life's work as a photographer.  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

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