Have you ever wondered if the mental illness that has plagued you for years, also is the stem of your most creative moments? The painful darkness tearing away at your soul, leaving you breathless and limp, also breathing life into the urges that somehow comes from your fingertips, pooling like blood, tinting your world with fragile beauty?
Why is that?
Art for me is my rock, life raft, therapy, whatever you want to call it.
But sometimes I wonder, the anti depressants that I have made a choice to take, are they affecting my quality of expression?
Are they numbing not only the pain, but also the mysterious ribbons of creative thought as well?
For a while, I had felt like I had forgotten what it felt like to be truly happy. It still brings me to tears thinking about how wistful I was, searching for that feeling,
that feeling of faith.
I am not talking about religion,
deeper, in your soul, you’re born with this gift of innocence.
There is nothing more beautiful in this world than a newborn baby.
It could be a baby elephant, human, puppy, what ever.
The innocence is all the same, that trusting, curious, gentle energy that seems to slowly dim when the baby grows into a child, child to teen, teen to adult.
The fear I felt while at my lowest- I felt like my irreplaceable energy, that special little twinkle, had been snuffed out entirely.
The fear you have when you fear what your mind wants to do to yourself (self-harming thoughts) is beyond any horror movie for me. Because frankly- you’re your own worst fear.
So do the winds of depression that threaten to blow out your last light of sublime happiness also fuel your creative needs?
Does the feeling of being under the gun put an artist in a fight or flight response?
I am just one individual, with just one opinion.
And with a lot of self discovery, therapy, and support, I was able to find that little twinkle of gentle energy inside of me. For depression is a master of illusions. I’m sure you can agree with me.
For my light was burning crisp and strong, as stubborn as can be, refusing to go out.
Depression likes to shake your psyche, and with that, you slowly become numb to listening to your inner self.
Depression had blinded, deafened, made my life into one dark little mess for a while.
Maybe you could say that art was a way for me to remind myself that there still was colour.
Maybe that’s why some artists become so famous-
They did such a good job at reminding themselves that life is worth living, they inspired others as well.
I was told once-
that I would never be happy again.
I walked out of that doctor’s office
and never stepped back in there again.
I never gave up, even when I felt like I had no gas left in the tank to carry on… My family would scoop me up and trudge on through the storms. I am forever in debt to my family, my strong, stubborn, burly family who wouldn’t take no for an answer. They gave me one of the most important lessons in life.
Its a peculiar thing- not having the weight of depression on my soul anymore.
Certain days it likes to remind me that I am human and that it is always just around the corner. But I feel like I have done a good job at avoiding corners.
The brain is an amazing thing. Therapy helped me change my thought patterns, it really is empowering when I look back at it all now.
I made it through the storm.
And through out this process, my art evolved.
I am only 18- but I have been creating art since I was in diapers, so the distinct changes were apparent.
I am still getting used to creating art once again without depressive thoughts.
It is a bit overwhelming- Not to sure where to exactly start.
Breaking the “depressed artist” stereotype that has been etched into the back of my eyelids by society is difficult to step past.
My confidence needs a wee bit of a boost you could say.
I am guessing it will just be along my path of self discovery that I will find the confidence in my art once again. Don’t get me wrong, I really like my art that I have done while I was struggling. One that comes to mind is the portrait of my mother when she was a young child. That is one of my best works so far.
Each work I create inspires me to keep exploring, pushing the boundaries, to carry on, and paint the beautiful creations that come alive in that dusty little space between my ears.
I want to be able to create art without inhibitions, with freedom, I want people to feel freedom when they see my art.
I am just not to sure exactly how, if ever, will I know how to interpret that.
Or if I am already doing that in my work without even realizing?
If I was to go off my medication, and have the strength and support to manage my depression- would I be able to tap into a stronger creativity?
Both excitement and nervousness fills me when I think of the options.
Could I manage? What would it be like? What would my brain do?
What could I do?
To have that power, to step beyond and be triumphant, slaying depression for once and for all eternity. To be free of taking pills everyday.
And maybe just maybe have an even stronger artistic confidence because I am uninhibited by drugs, negative thoughts, unhappiness, etc.
It’s a dream- to be content with your flaws, to have your scars heal, and to be able to gather strength from places that seem shrouded in mystery.
The brain is a mysterious creature.
And I am pretty sure artists have extra strange brains.
I am not throwing my medications out the window just yet, so any concerned family members do not worry. Sally isn’t going coo coo.
Sally is just thinking about options.