Writing here can be difficult. I sometimes, like now, dread putting the words on the screen. Because it means everyone will be able to see them. To potentially judge me for them. But it also means that maybe, someone will recognize herself/himself in these words. This is what keeps me coming back. Sharing my stories. Sharing my art.
I recently put the word “depression” in the outside.
I have never agreed to consult a therapist, even when my Mom begged me to talk to someone when I was a teenager. To me, it was not depression then; I was a melancholic romantic. Obsessed with poems from Charles Baudelaire and Arthur Rimbaud, I was leaving what Baudelaire called ‘The Spleen”. If you are not familiar with it, here is what Wikipedia tells about it:
In French, “spleen” refers to a state of pensive sadness or melancholy. It has been popularized by the poet Charles Baudelaire (1821–1867) but was already used before in particular to the Romantic literature (19th century). The word for the organ is “rate”.
The connection between spleen (the organ) and melancholy (the temperament) comes from the humoral medicine of the ancient Greeks. One of the humours (body fluid) was the black bile, secreted by the spleen organ and associated with melancholy.
But almost 20 years later, I know I was deeply depressed. Something not many people know is that I almost killed myself once but an higher force kept me alive. Call it God, the Universe, my Higher Self, I don’t care; to me, it was my Aunt who died when I was 9. Depressive thoughts have come and go throughout my life. And right now, I think it is time I put them in the hands of somebody else. I wanted to become a psychoanalyst and started University towards it (see, I am obsessed with the Human mind…). Some days, the fog is so heavy I can barely breathe. I used to have panic attacks, especially when we were living in Paris.
But I found something that could help me heal on my own: writing. sketching. painting.
The pain is real. Painting it makes it even more real because then, I can actually see it. Years ago, I started an ongoing painting that I titled “Anger Management”. It is a wood board on which I let it all go when anger takes over. It is better that to kill somebody, right ?
Another way of dealing with intrusive thoughts is to put them all on a canvas/journal, and then cover it up. Make the hurt something beautiful. Burying it all under dozens of beautiful and meaningful layers.
Love is louder. This was one of my mantras this year. Something I repeat to myself over and over until I feel it as a Truth.
How do you deal with shitty thoughts ? I would love to know your own techniques of coping <3
I just had a battle of the shitty thoughts yesterday. Sometimes, I let it control the entire day and I can be dark, moody, bitchy. Sometimes I make myself (which I should do all the time, really) go to the journal and write it out. Or blog it out. Yesterday I chose to watch Will & Grace and laugh it away. That doesn’t always work, but at least it did yesterday. If I turned to art, I think I would have a lot of angry painted black pages.
I realized not so long ago that angry black pages are as fine as beautiful ones. Because, for me, it is still a better alternative than obeying the self-harm thoughts that like to invade my brain 😉
Hi Nolwenn, I think you already are doing a great job, because distraction is a good thing. And doing what you love too.
I should write/scratch the things that are clouding my brain in paint, that seems to me a positive thing to get it out of my mind.
I recently starting cognitive excercising again. You challenge your thoughts and get an alternative thought in place. It does not always work, but most of the time I get this realization how my thoughts are not right. I know that while I am having these nasty thoughts, but writing it down it becomes more clear.
Warm hug Bonny.
Ase Nolwenn! I do the same… Write it all out and then paint over it and make it all beautiful. Sweet RELEASE! I am an art journalist too, and an author, and a knitter. All the passions that are also healing tools of mine. They all allow me to create my own peace no matter what is happening in my world or the world around me…
Wow! Thanks for sharing this. My family is full of depressives all across the scale, from mild and occasional bouts to diagnosed manic/bi-polar and plain old chronic, clinical depression. It can be extremely trying to love these individuals when they are in denial of their level of depression. My husband is one – overriding, chronic melancholia that was triggered by the death of his son, followed by heart attack and forced retirement (tossed in with PTSD as a veteran and childhood abuse survivor). His life is so diminished, and it is an ongoing struggle to keep mine from being the same by association. Being married but experiencing life alone sucks. My admiration to you for putting yourself out here.