Yellow greens are slowly and surely emerging from the long grey Maine winter, and I too, am having moments of brightness and new life, ideas, excitement. But then, days like this still feel slow.
So, I'm about to get ugly real. This is a truth I've agonized over whether to share, it being so raw and personal.
My brand is about creating happiness and spreading joy and that is incredibly important to me. I also feel that it's important to share what's really behind it.
Depression has been a reality for me for as long as I can remember. The swells of lethargy, sadness and lack of hope or joy.
If anyone reading can relate, please consider this a virtual hug. Although I know, empathy can just make it feel sadder.
I'm going through it right now. The old familiar friend has come back for a visit. Luckily these days, the visits are shorter, I have tools to help me get back to me, but when I'm in it, I'm in it just the same. Can't make a decision. Can't complete a task. And it takes every ounce of energy I can muster to put one foot in front of another, speak a sentence to my husband, smile at my daughter.
So this time it's here hard and I'm going to explore it. Something good has to grow from this place. Like a lotus, right? Dive deep into this darkness and make art? Isn't this what artists do? I certainly don't feel like making happy flowers right now. All I feel like doing is sharing this feeling. And then taking a nap.
Do we all have these moments? Is it part of the human condition?
My desire to spread joy, to make people happy must come from this place. Because seeing happiness that comes from my work is what brings in shards of light. I know I am loved. I know that people love my jewelry. All of this being logically true, I still have trouble finding the joy in that today. My tank still feels empty. And that's what it's like. It's not logical. Just soul truth.
So how to push through? How to turn it around? If you are ever in this place, first feel my virtual hug. Know that I feel you.
And now here are some tools I have collected over the years that sometimes work (and sometimes don't, which is why having a lot of tools to try is helpful):
1. Be kind to yourself. Because the opposite is cruel. Beating yourself up for not being productive won't help you to be more productive. Shocker, I know. But I did try this method for many years.
Just sit with yourself. Maybe write some things down, read a book. And tell yourself that you are allowed to take a day off, you can get back to work when your body is up to it.
2. Go for a walk or run. But remember to be kind, still. Don't tell yourself you have to run three miles to break through this depression and then get mad at yourself for not feeling like it. I've tried that too. Again, surprisingly not affective.
3. Try to notice color. In the place that I live, all the colors are in HD, that's the thing about Maine. But even if you are in a city, there are colors to notice. The yellow and white paint that mark up a street create contrast. The color of your favorite sweater or a cat... Noticing colors sometimes reminds me that there is more outside of myself. Even if my insides feel grey.
4. This one is hard but try to avoid tv and internet. Unfortunately there is not much content out there that is going to steer you in a more positive direction. If you must veg on the couch, that's ok, go with netflix. Try a movie that you know will bring tears (because that also sometimes helps - just cry and wail and let it out). I prefer a movie to binge watching shows. A movie has a definitive ending and you might even feel like getting up and doing something when it's over. Two of my favorite crying movies are Terms of Endearment and Armageddon. Oh the cheese, the glorious cheese.
PSA - eating actual cheese can cause inflammation that might send your mood in a less than positive direction -
5. Think of the universe (or any higher power you believe in) having your back. When I have thoughts that I need to get up and get going because the world is flying past me and I'm going to get left behind, I think of the universe dolling out my life to me as I need it. Everything happening always at the right times. Sometimes I'll go within and ask for guidance.
So today, I'm in bed, binge writing poems and blog posts, and occasionally crying. Because that's what my soul feels like doing. I know that on the other side of this there are new ideas, exciting business developments and new designs. But no rush. All in good time.
Can anyone out there relate? I hope even a snippet of this might be helpful. What are some tools you use to get out of a funk?
ps. Here's me and Frida both working from bed...