It's been a long time since I've made anything. I have been in some sort of dark hole of depression or anxiety or exhaustion, or whatever. I'm not going to lie, I currently feel like shit. I feel frozen and overwhelmed and sad that I really haven't created anything significant in months. I love making art, it's therapy, and freedom, and beauty all rolled into one, but when you have a chronic illness that needs medication (which in turn numbs your brain a little bit), it's really fucking hard to make stuff.
I'm not making excuses here, but I'm going to try to explain what it's like to try to make work when your brain isn't working.
It's really difficult to explain to someone who is neurotypical what it's like to have a mental or chronic physical illness. I'm going to try, and odds are I'm going to fail, but here goes nothing. First off I'm on medication, the medication tries to brings me from 100 to 50 and from 0 to 50, a nice even number, a nice even temper. However the medication does not always work. Sometimes I'm at 110, sometimes I'm well into the negatives. It's about 65-70 where you really have to worry, depressed enough to want to die, and hypomanic enough to act on it. So when I'm feeling really bad I try my damdest to stay away from those numbers.
When I'm manic all I want to do is work, I hallucinate, I spend more than I have, my decision making skills have been completely out the window. I self harm because I need to feel something. when I'm depressed I can hardly get out of bed, my memory goes, my body hurts, I have a hard time doing basic things like showering, brushing my teeth, doing laundry, cleaning. I am truly disabled.
What does this have to do with art? Well, mania has had a part in some of my best pieces, and depression has had a part in some of both the best and the worst. I have different levels of depression, mild, moderate, and severe. My most comfortable is moderate, because that's pretty much the default I live my life at. Since I turned twenty I think I've had a total of four days where I felt what I assume is "normal", my default state is depressed. Which works in my favor most of the time, art and depression/mania go together, all you have to do is read some good art history to figure that one out.
I love to create, I wish there were a way to push myself past the mania, depression, and anxiety to submit to shows, but for now I'm just working on keeping myself together long enough to survive the next hour, then the next day, week, month, year.
This was a pretty depressing post, but that's where I'm at right now.
if you're struggling please get help, please go to a clinic, or check yourself in to a hospital.
If you've got a plan please call the national suicide hotline or 911.