You Can’t Heal – 1

Chicago – The Loop

A few months ago I began shooting a photography series called “You Can’t Heal,” a title that includes direct reference to substance use and addiction. The full line is “You can’t heal in the environment where you got sick,” and that environment could be many things, a social group, work, family, a relationship, a city. It can also refer to any sort of addiction or problem, not necessarily drugs or alcohol. It can be anyplace or setting where on has become stuck. Oftentimes it can be difficult to become unstuck unless one removes themselves from the environment where it began, or where the problems bloomed more fully.

The above photograph is the first in this series.

And for me, Chicago forms this environment. I do feel stuck here, which can personally feel an odd thing to write; I have a good job, yesterday I finished my novel and I was recently contacted by a photography magazine for an interview, but I think it mostly holds true because Chicago, as a place, personally holds little meaning for me. And this is what makes me feel stuck, trapped even. I oftentimes feel closed in because I have had the good fortune to live in other places that have held a great deal of meaning and inspiration, and a walk down the streets of Chicago serves best to remind me how I am not living there anymore. This breeds negativity, a passivity that weighs, and makes me wonder how a burgeoning creativity would fare away from here.

The photographs to come are more demonstrations of this environment, and I’ll continue to write a bit alongside the images. The hope is a continued progression, to either finding a way to be inspired here or to find my way back out again.

Either way, enjoy.

Have a nice day.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Nice photo of Chicago! You did great at capturing that feeling of being stuck and in place you want to grow out of it. I live in Dallas and I also frequently feel like that here also. Interestingly, I think big cities in general seem to eventually give you that trapped feeling.

    When I was recently in Chicago and I walked all over the city photographing it after a snow storm right before New Year Year’s Eve capturing some of the loneliness and emptiness of the city: https://matthewtrader.com/the-last-two-days-of-2020-in-chicago

    1. Thank you. Hmm, I find that feeling here in Chicago, but not in the other cities I’ve lived in, places that I’ve often found interesting, freeing. Chicago simply is not that way for me. Why I’m leaving. Thank you for the comment, be well.

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