Depression and creativity

I suffer from depression.

I'm prone to melancholy. I'm moody. I'm highly sensitive.  I cry a lot. 

I've had bouts of mild depression since I was a child.  It runs in my family (whether they want to admit it or not).  It's not constant. There are days, months, years when I'm mostly "happy".  But about every 3 years, something triggers and I fall into a depression.   I could probably name every trigger and every instant of depression.  The latest was triggered by the loss of my mom in November of last year.

If you've never been depressed, clinically depressed... it's hard to describe. It's different for everyone. But for me, my main "symptom" is the complete lack of desire to do anything that usually makes me happy.  I know things are bad when I don't want to read, hang out with friends, or most importantly...paint.  I'm sad when I'm not creative.

Since the day my mom died, I've started tons of little craft projects.  I see them as a way to be creative and keep my mind busy. I bought a ton of yarn and started and stopped at least 5 different knitting/crocheting projects.  I bought 4 adult coloring books with the fanciest markers I could find.  I might have completed one page.  I bought tons of fabric with the idea that I was gonna start making my own clothes. I made one ugly shirt.  I've bought and started at least 3 cross stitch patterns.  None are complete. 

It's odd. I want to paint. But I can't. I can do small works in short bursts of time. I push myself to do these things. Maybe to help me remember how much I love it.  But it doesn't last long. This is why I really haven't painted much this year.

These bouts last about a year or so. I'm on medication. It helps. Without it, I'd spend most days in bed. I'm hopeful. I see a light at the end of the tunnel.  I'm going to a painting retreat with my mentor and a group of very talented women next month. I'm hoping that experience sparks my painting desire again. 

I wasn't sure if I should share this or not.  But depression is a part of me, a part of who I am. It's the reason I can't fully express myself in paint right now.  

If you suffer from depression, or know someone who does, please know you are not alone.  Seek help. Talk to someone. 

If you need immediate help, PLEASE call 1-800-273-8255.