Depression is Hard: Picking up the Brush


Art, Depression / Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

I started out writing a post that was funny. But I don’t feel funny right now and being inauthentic doesn’t feel right either. Everything feels too hard, because my depression has me in a vice grip. I feel like there’s a corset of mental illness wrapping around me, keeping me from breathing in all the way.

Logically, I realize this is my depression, but the fact that I still have my ability to reason doesn’t make it any easier. Or perhaps, it does, compared to others, who are not able to use reasoning to help tamp down the urges brought on by the waves of emotion that come with extreme depression and anxiety. But, in this moment, it is not any easier. I just want to cease. When asked what that means, I don’t really have a good answer for it. The answer is too complex.

I want my therapy that I’ve been working so hard on to work. I want my chronic health conditions to play nice so I can get on the antidepressants I need. I want the distraction techniques I have been told to implement to work and to stop my mind from spiraling into pits of anxiety and worry. I want to feel like I have worth and value.

But, I just don’t.

I was painting this lizard the other night.

I hadn’t done any paintings in awhile. I wanted to, but I just couldn’t. Everything just felt too hard. But this day I managed to. At first, I was just so frustrated and started spiraling again.

The lizard should be better. The scales should be more defined, the colors more controlled. But then I got to painting the eye. And I layered it a bit and just right with some really gorgeous color. And I sat there, just— pleased with it. And as soon as I realized that I was happy with how the eye had turned out, the rest of it started looking so much better to me.

I think that’s a lesson to takeaway from this painting. If I can start to find one good thing about myself, then step back, maybe I will start to like the rest of me as well.

How do you all work on self love? Do you all struggle with self worth? And what helps you find and redefine that worth?

Also, thank you for being patient. Between blog behind the scenes tech problems(I am a dunce with technology) and the depression pulling the rug out from under me and a month full of far too many doctor’s appointments, I disappeared for awhile. I hope soon to see some submissions of art with a short blurb from you all. I’ll have the submission area up within the next few days for you to just upload the art, so, hopefully that will make the process easier.

Take care, all, and I hope you are able to be easy on yourselves. Mental health is comprised of real diseases that cause us to hide in the shadows, when we most need to feel the light of the sun.

—Brittany

6 Replies to “Depression is Hard: Picking up the Brush”

    1. Thank you Robyn! I discovered art therapy while in treatment for depression, during an occupational therapy class, and realized it helped me work through my emotions better than the actual therapy sessions did. Not sure if that is good or bad yet. Perhaps, just different? I’m hoping that with the blending of all the treatments, a solution and better way of living can be found:)

  1. I think we are all too hard on ourselves. We always want to be better stronger healthier etc…yet our friends and family (most of them) love the way we are and often think we are just perfect. I think your right. find one thing that we do that is right…and focus on that then everything else can blend into the background xx

    1. I agree, Bree. Even though, sometimes, I apparently do not agree, or else I would have never written this post. AHHH, the brain is a tangle of hot mess and mystery! But I’m working on focusing on the things I feel good about so I feel less like the bottom of a rubbish bin and more like the top of the rubbish bin. Queen of trash mountain! Let no one say I never had lofty goals! 😉

  2. This is such a wonderfully real post, B 🙂 I love that you found such clear correlation between your painting & how we might be able to view ourselves <3

    I was really touched by your last sentence. "Mental health is comprised of real diseases that cause us to hide in the shadows, when we most need to feel the light of the sun." What a powerful & real description of the challenges so many of us live with.

    Stay you, B <3

    1. Thanks Leish. I always find out new things when I’m doing my art. Why do I even do therapy when I could be spending all of that monies on glorious glorious art supplies???

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