18 Jan Art as therapy
Well that didn’t take long and here I am with a new article!
Thinking about what this one should be I decided I’m going to talk a bit more about my depression and how picking up the pencil helped me overcome it.
Beginning of 2018…me, being a very positive, bubbly, active person and then…everything started to change!
“What is depression like? It’s like drowning, except everyone around you is breathing.”
This quote perfectly describes how alone you feel and how terrifying it is to be imprisoned inside the inescapable bog that comprises serious depression. I felt utterly helpless, heavy, dull, unable to move or even talk. I was trapped, didn’t recognise myself…I was angry at everyone’s obliviousness to my condition as they couldn’t understand and believe that I was depressed!
They said: “You?! Depressed?! No, you’re probably bored, just feeling low, it will all pass…” and that made me even more furious! But then I went to the doctor as I wanted to get better, for my kids and for myself and he gave me the best advice: “Just try to remember what made you feel alive, what you did when you were young that made you feel relaxed , that brought you joy! That’s the most important…go back to those happy days and do it again!”
So I went back home and thought about it and remembered that I used to draw and how I used to feel while doing it! Carefree, cheerful, light …I wanted all that back!I then ordered a pencil set, a sketchbook and just started to play…first thing I sketched?! Beautiful Angelina Jolie …don’t ask me why…I just wanted to draw her portrait and here it is…far from being great but still, very good for my first attempt to a realistic portrait!
I posted it on Facebook and a lot of people were like “Wow…that’s awesome!” And that made me want to do more…and I drew another one, a guy this time…again not very good but the feeling I had while doing it was so pleasant that I didn’t want to stop!
I started to wake up in the morning feeling more and more energised every day just because I knew I could sketch again and again! It ignited my soul and I wanted to keep that fire burning!
My third portrait was my handsome husband! This one looked so much more realistic …I’m sure it was the emotion and the love for him that made me want to make it a great sketch! I wanted him to be proud of me and it worked…it was such a good portrait drawing for just being my third one that everyone was nearly shocked:”Where did you keep all that? Where was this talent all those 38 years?!” they asked.
It was there all this time, just hiding away within me!
That was it! Depression unlocked the hidden talent I had…so I will always be grateful for that hideous period as it forced me to forget about what I knew and learn new things about me! Not only have I discovered I was good at drawing but I also started to care more about what I needed to do to to make myself happier, and if I was happier I could be a better person and a better mum. I then became addicted to sketching every day and you can see in the photos that I tried different subjects, but I always went back to my first love…drawing people!
I hope my story will help inspire you to start something new, to try and find out who you are and what you were meant to do or be. You have to know that you are not alone, There is someone out there who can support you with your mental health, there are stories of people who went through depression and overcame it, people who found their purpose or talent later in life….never give up!
And look where all that took me…I now do what I love and people buy my art! My paintings and products found home all over the world! That feeling of pride and fulfilment…I feel so alive! Isn’t that the best thing we can all hope for?!
There is life after depression – a strong, healthy, happy life – even though I’ve changed a lot and I’m more emotional now, I take it as it is! I still have very bad days when I feel so low that scares me but when I feel good, I feel so energised, so alive, so positive that I could move mountains!
I’m here for you, with not only tips and thoughts about art but also about life!
Love yourself and be kind to yourself!
And don’t forget, Live life in colour!