Sunflowers

UTSoC, 2018

Eliza Spencer recounts her encounters with sunflowers and recovery in a personal reflection on her path through depression and anxiety.

Sunflowers follow the trajectory of the sun, moving their heads to soak up the optimum amount of light and converting to energy before the day ends. The scientific term is phototropism, a reminder to seek out the light in each day, and rest when the sun has set.  They represent happiness, longevity and loyalty, all traits essential for people working through their mental health journeys. Sunflowers are my totem on days when my anxiety peaks, or when it seems too hard to get out of bed, a reminder to soak up the light.

Unexpected Beauty: Bending Towards Justice

Common Grace, December 2017

Studying journalism turns you into a particular kind of person. The one who has eight different news apps all vying for attention with various notification sounds, updating you regularly through the day of what’s going on in the world. You wake up to a notification feed that overflows when a tragedy happens. You can’t escape it; updates roll through as the news breaks. To stay sane, you need to create a certain kind of distance that leaves you emotionally closed to tragic news.…