I first went on anti-depressants in my mid-30s. At the time, I was writing a lot, but I didn’t make visual art. Great things were happening in my life — I had two sweet children, a good husband, and a safer life than I’d even known. But all I could think about was the past and the sorrows of the world. I often wondered why there wasn’t more public weeping — people’s lives were so full of trouble and despair.
Once the anti-depressants started to take effect, I felt this shift in my mind. The sorrows of the world and my life didn’t disappear, but they didn’t dominate my mind. My psychiatrist got me to start giving the happiness of the world as much power as I gave the sadness. I wouldn’t have been able to do that if I hadn’t had taken anti-depressants, though. I’d have never known what it was like.
I also became hungry for color. I started embroidering, then went on to make art quilts and dolls. In the past 8 years, I’ve started drawing and painting. You can read about that journey here.
I self-managed my depression/bi-polar for the past 7 years and thought I did pretty well. I realize now that the veil that clouded my vision before was back and I wasn’t aware of how much it had muted my delight in color. Again. Today, I created a little collage about that:
I hope the overall mood is celebratory.
It’s wonderful complex world. I hope to always see that clearly.
I’m drawing daily to help manage depression, long-term disability, and life in general. If you’d like to see the beginning of this project, you can see it here. You can also follow me through WordPress or on Facebook.
Your thoughts and shares are appreciated.