The first time I tried to explain my depression to family, I was sitting on my bed, hot tears streaming down my face. I wasn’t sad – I was angry.
“I’ve been depressed before…”
But this was different than your depression. Where you overcame your constant sorrow, mine was debilitating and daily functions became a problem. It was like trying to outrun a boulder as it tumbled down a hill. You decided that depression was something everyone dealt with in life, so when I told you about mine, you gave a small shrug and said, “You’ll get over it”.
Some days my blood felt electrified and sleep was no longer necessary. I self medicated with drugs and alcohol because the people I met in life had convinced me that therapy and medication were just some money-hungry concept that left you feeling more empty than when you first started.
Thus, the idea of having a mental illness started poking into my thoughts and reminding me that – if it were true – I must be crazy. I was afraid to admit anything was wrong from that day on. Depression was just a part of life, so who was I to complain?
So I stumbled around in my teenage years and young adulthood, trying to figure out if the whiskey bottle or the drugs would win. Because there is no cure if you stop searching for a solution. I found myself struggling with habits that quickly formed overnight and I never did trust myself with other forms of coping mechanisms. Until I found art.
Now all these irrational thoughts pour out onto the paper and somehow make sense. If I were stripped of my ability to write feelings on paper, I’m positive life would be dull; almost meaningless. It’s a new way of coping I’ve been mastering over the years; a passion that cannot rival any other I have. If you told me I could no longer write, I’d rather be dead.