Depression and anxiety are not always easy to identify… they are often mistaken for just being tired, life is busy, or just simply overwhelmed.
This year of 2020, more than any other year, I’ve needed to rely on my angels, and God, to pull me through the difficult emotions and stress. When I sat down recently to intentionally work through my emotions with art therapy, I decided to paint and illustrate what living through depression looks like, and feels like for me.
Depression looks like sleeping more than normal… wanting to be productive, wanting to be consistently good at things and finish what you start, but your mind feels confused, you’re easily distracted, and your body feels depleted of energy. If this fatigue drags on for several days, this can have a side-effect of feeling unworthy; feeling like you’re not enough, or a burden to others. Depression feels heavy, like you’re physically weighed down and dragging along the surface of the earth, and sinking progressively lower and lower. It’s difficult to see the light on the horizon, and to trust that relief is near.
A common companion to depression is anxiety. The dragon represents anxiety. Dragons breathe fire, they’re big and scary, and unpredictable. Many people try to hide from their fears, but they linger, and if avoided and you don’t face your fears – they can weigh you down.
I have learned to cope with the symptoms of depression by trusting in angels I can’t see, and believing that I have an army of them helping me through this mortal life. I believe that our angels are our closest family and friends who have passed on to the next life. Who better to understand us and reach our spirits, knowing how to communicate with us, than our closest family and friends? God sends us angels to be our guide through every step of our mortality. If we allow them to, they will help lift us in ways we can’t see, to inspire our minds, our spirits, with messages of hope and comfort.
In this painting I have illustrated a sunset that represents hope. Each new day (sunrise) is an opportunity to try again. To let go of yesterday, and try again. Until the day when God chooses to bring us back home to heaven, He gives us unlimited opportunities to try again, ‘one more day’, one day at a time. Each sunrise is a reminder that He believes in us, He loves us, and wants us to keep moving forward, one more small step.
The roots in this painting represent knowledge and strength. Sometimes we will need to allow ourselves to rest, so we can regain our strength, clear our minds, and allow new knowledge to help lift us up to be able to withstand the storms and conflict of life. Trees, plants, all living things require ‘roots’ to lift them up and hold firm to adversities that would see them fall down and wither away and die. There is NO SHAME in giving yourself self-care, ‘cave time’, ‘me time’, time to yourself to strengthen your roots.
The roots grow down the layers of earth to find sources of nourishment. The different degrees of soil, each necessary to filter and purify until you discover the pure source of life (water). Some plants or living things, take longer to set roots than others, but that does not mean that one is greater than the other. There is no race to the finish line. There is no time-table to grief. There is no time-table to when the heaviness of depression will finally lift. But it will lift. Once you reconnect with ‘Source’, you will be strong enough to stand again – against the adversities of life, and you will be all the more stronger for it.
Living the dream as a full-time artist. I’m a Mental Health Advocate. 💚 A creator of realism fine art. 🎨 I’m passionate about creating Visual Comfort Art for the wounded, and inspiring young minds through my children’s books (Be Kind Books), to create a more safe and loving world with kindness.💕