I'm going to tell you a story, a short one, a confession of sorts. I have a secret, and I've only ever told my husband. I have depression. Clinically diagnosed-by-four-different-doctors, full-on depression. Don't worry, it's okay. I'm okay. Mostly.
When I was a teenager, my pediatrician wanted to start me on a stabilizing medication because of some stuff I would say to him (or to myself) when my mother would leave the room. You see, I had one of those extremely religious parents whose motto was to 'pray away' everything. I knew that she thought pills were for crazy people, and I didn't want to face her judgement. She also had a terrible habit of over sharing, and I did not want a single soul to know that I have "issues". So I begged my doctor not to bring this up with my mother, or prescribe me anything. Because Dr. Smith and my grandmother were childhood friends, and the fact that he had also been my doctor since birth he decided on a more gentle approach to my care. It was a bit unorthodox, but we set up weekly telephone calls. I had to call his office every Thursday afternoon at 4:00 pm so he could see how I was doing. To me they were just silly conversations about my life, but I grew to depend on these talks. This went on for years.
Dr. Smith would give me coping mechanisms and mental exercises to help me get through. I'm eternally grateful to him, and whenever I'm in my old home town I lay flowers on his grave and say a prayer and send a loving 'hello' to him.
In my 20s, I finally got on a medication that helped me. I could focus, be more coherent and process my thoughts one at a time, instead the swirling tornado that it was. My problem now is that I'm pregnant and these kinds of medications would have a negative impact on my growing baby. I've had to take a hiatus from them for most of this year, and rely on those old coping skills Dr. Smith taught me. Some days are manageable, some are not. Some days I avoid everyone, and dream of blood and death and feeling like I'm in a dark, cold cave and other days I feel like running through a rainbow meadow giggling wildly. Some nights I can rest just fine, and others I can't sleep and feel achy and stiff all over. When I have these bouts of insomnia I try to do something that will distract me, for even 5 minutes.
I've been working on this painting for a few weeks. It started as something floral, but that made me feel bad so I thought of something that makes me feel good. Water. I love hearing, feeling, smelling, and seeing water--even when it's not so pretty. Frozen, steam, falling, green, blue, loud, still--I just love water. So I thought of rain. I closed my eyes and pictured a soft rain falling onto my windshield, on a leisurely long drive home. The kind of rain that you barely hear, and doesn't threaten your trip. It's heavy enough to coat, and blur lamp post and night traffic all around. It makes oil spots seem twinkly, and twilight exciting. This is my finished piece.
Thanks for visiting.~Grace K.