LOVE has come for you.

Monday, January 23, 2012

a picture of me

I've been wanting to address depression here again, I mean really dive into what it is for me, and what things about it totally suck, and how I just don't think it's all bad.  What? Depression getting a bad rap?  Well, yeah.

Certainly, there are things about my depression that are really detrimental to me and my family.  Crabby, bitchy, touchy, angry, tired, sleepy, eaty...none of these are good.  The medication takes an edge off the cranky part, but now I am really starting to understand and see my own need for talk therapy.  My dear friend has been so encouraging since I acknowledged this melancholy in me, and announced for all the interwebs to see.  She has reached out to me about her own experience, without taking away the truth of my own walk.

Depression can't define me, but it is part of my make up.  Honestly, I feel much more fueled creatively when my chest is full of that angsty-emotiony stuff, than when I am feeling calm inside.  I enjoy those cool, calm, refreshing times, but part of me likes the gray.  It's when I can feel everything.  I can see happiness, recognize it with certainty, I can know what and whom I love most, I can see life's layers.  I can write.

Is it good to fall asleep on the couch so often? Nope.  Is it good to feel disgust at myself and others who look like me? Nuh-uh.  If I focus on depression under the microscope of illness, then I need to be cured.  Bacteria or virus or chemical imbalances washed from me.  If it were possible to attack depression, major depression is how my chart reads, then wouldn't it be better to simply check in to North Memorial, get my IV, and be done with it?  If it is that my synapses are not completing, that a medicine could bridge and heal, like a new knee or hip, then I WOULD HAVE MADE IT HAPPEN.  If it were just a matter of medicating, dude, I'd be a-walkin' on sunshine every stinkin' day.

It's not gone because I am not gone.  I am here, and some days are good and life is doable, and some days are a challenge and mucky.  Maybe, when I stop looking for the easy fix, I will realize that I am indeed not broken.  I'm a shapeshifter is all.  I need my sensitivities.  I need my depth and wealth of feeling.  I need my trials just as much as I need my celebrations and joys.  They are interdependent.

I wanted to find some images from others that would show you how I feel.  This one made me want to leap into the computer and touch her back, feel the energy in that room, see the butterflies moving.

The exit point of the light and butterflies is where someone once told me we hold our sorrow in our back.  Opposite to our heart.

I searched self portraits on Etsy.  I feel like this sometimes, too, like i am sticking my head in a huge swirling stack of color.  Where IS this, I'd like to know.  The first photo from Taraville caught my eye as a thumbnail.  I went through my search results and just started opening tabs of the first pieces to speak to my eyeball.  When I took a second look, I first noticed her sock is a little twisty, and the room she is in is so tidy (my room never isn't stuff-ish), her mattresses are on the floor-not a frame, the windows and trim are old and lovely.  My next thought was, "Right?  Why wouldn't she offer this photo, this self-portrait!?  Is that really the camera she is using, or is she playing a trick on us?  It made me smile.  (I live with depression, and sometimes I do smile.  Oooh.  Freaky, huh?)
See what I mean about life's layers? BEAUTIFUL.

Last week I posted a list of things I wanted to accomplish.  I could post the same list again, but I won't.  What I'll do is know that the only lists that really work for me are shopping lists.  It was difficult for me to put pressure on myself get something, anything really, done.  What I do is, start and finish something when I start and then finish it.  Deadlines are exactly that to me: not breathing.  I wanted to write this post for two weeks, but there was some chaos inside about the daily life and what I should be doing, so the list squished up this post and made it unrecognizable to me.  Which, consequently, totally de-activated my do-er.  I hadn't even picked up my little camera attol (at all).  I was fogging up my own lens.  

Now, just sit back, relax, and watch me go, or not go, depending on which way the wind is blowing.  
faces of me/my self portrait


Jan said...

You are right. Depression is really hard to define. I think because it is so interlaced in one's self.
I have spent so much time judging myself through what I think are other people's eyes.
Really, it was just through my own eyes. Unloving eyes.
I am trying to fix that now.

some days are challenging and mucky. That is it, for sure.
But we live for the beautiful moments, right?
It is interesting to read your thoughts on depression. Some thoughts I concur with, others must be different from mine. But I like to read what you have to write, so keep it up, please.

MindiJo said...

I understand this.

My art teacher in 7th grade painted a beautiful painting. And when I told her it was beautiful, she said she did it when she was angry. It struck a chord with me. If you funnel your anger into something else, it can turn into something really beautiful. Any feeling, really. It's so much easier to come up with something meaningful when you are in a brooding mood.

I totally get this post. I love it.

Oh, how you sparkle! Even if you feel gray, you are really a bright, glittery rainbow. And I'm so happy to be exploring this new, gut-spilling friendship with you! (Well, not super new. But new enough.) I'm really thankful that our friendship is so easy thus far. I hope it stays that way.

Anonymous said...

I get it, I do. And I'm glad you were able to finally write (a bit of) it out. -jr

Julie said...

I love what Mindi said about the painting. And it's so good to get your thoughts out of your head. You mentioned talk therapy: I decided it's like talking to a friend who is objective and has really good perspective. Except they take your money at the end. Good investment, though.

Wonderful self- portaits. Yours was my fave. Have you heard the song by The Avett Brothers "Head Full of Doubt/ Road Full of Promise"? The lyrics are really meaningful- kind of about being stuck. I like it. :)

Anonymous said...

arrrggg! I miss out on all these good posts when I don't have internet at home anymore.

I hear what you are saying about "feeling" more creativity when we feel angst. That may be why artists often suffer---or maybe sufferers are more often artists.

You can call my therapy hotline at anytime! I am free----well, I DO charge the admission of friendship;)

Cya girl. -B

sheila newman said...

thank you for sharing your story with depression. I know exactly what you are feeling, as I, My self, am having a hard time. The ups, the downs, the twists and turns. Not always knowing where you are going to land, knowing what it is like to be happy, but knowing you are not there right now. sheila newman...