Drawing or Painting Depression as Art

Like the Time When…

There have been several times in my life where the sadness and sorrow were just a bit much to put it lightly. Like when I was 10 years old, and my youngest brother decided to approach me with his sexual interests. Like when I was 14 and had to give my baby son up for adoption because my parents didn’t think a racially mixed child should be brought up with his Caucasian family, not thinking about his African American family that might want to help raise him. Like when I ran away at 15 because I was tired of my brothers’ sexual interest pointed at me. Like when I realized I was in an abusive situation I could not get out of easily. Like when I woke up on the detox ward of a hospital because I was slowly killing myself to get out of the abusive relationship. Like when I went to court and testified against my abuser so he would get the message to leave me alone. Like when I was a single parent dealing with one of my kids that had intense mental issues and having to send him away to get help. Like when, well, you get the idea.

Life on Life’s Terms

Life has been full of situations that put me in a sad or depressed state, even if only for a short while. During those times there wasn’t a great deal of resources for me. I had to lean on friends, therapy, and my own understanding. Most of the time I just felt alone. Learning how to accept life on life’s terms is one of the hardest lessons ever. I cannot honestly say that I have learned that lesson completely. I still struggle accepting life situations some days. Sorrow runs deep in my soul still. I do not allow it to define me though.

Tell me about it

That was my first therapists’ favorite statement. Tell me about it. I didn’t actually start therapy until I was in my 30’s and leaving my abuser. Most of the time I had no words to describe where I was at in my head let alone my heart. I could voice what was going on, but the feelings evaded me. The words I could use didn’t quite fit what I felt at those times. She helped me to find the words through the tears by giving myself permission to feel whatever emotion came up.

I did write about all of it when I was younger and living at home with my parents. Once out on my own it was harder. I struggled with doing that because of my writings not being private and my boundaries not being respected.

When I was safe and able to, I reached for my artists tools and tried to put something on the paper. Tears often fell on the paper instead. It was very hard during certain points of my life to let the feelings out whether through words or an art form. I didn’t give up though. That was never in my character.

Describe it through Art

I ended up in therapy again briefly during my mid 50’s after I was let go of a job that I loved and had become part of my identity. I felt like a failure. I felt betrayed. I felt angry. This time though my therapist insisted that I do art therapy. It was when the light bulb went on inside my head. It didn’t matter what the paper looked like when I was done, to get that feeling out, to express myself was what was important. To be healthy I needed to release the toxicity that builds up over time when we stuff our feelings. I had learned that lesson before. Guess I needed a reminder.

My depression, My art picture of my depression, red, orange, yellow beneath black swirling

The picture that you see with this post was done in art therapy and is representative of my depression. The hurt, the rage, the anger, the betrayal, the loss after loss, the light that shines underneath it all to remind me that I can be a beacon for those that are struggling, struggling to find their way to unleash all those feelings, like others that were a beacon to me when I was lost and struggling.

Challenge yourself

Throw your worries away of what other people think and challenge yourself to not think about what your creation will look like after you are through. We are taught to consider others, to be polite, to be a part of society, so this can be harder than what you may think. I challenge you to allow yourself this gift. It can be transforming but then reprogramming ourselves to think differently than what we were raised is always transforming.

Please let me know your thoughts and experience in the comment section below or send me an email. Until next time, take care. Gma Katherine

w. livinglifewithgma.com

e. katherine@livinglifewithgma.com

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