Tuesday, February 9, 2010
"Black bird," Tim Connor, All rights reserved
In the past three months we've had serious health problems in my family. I did what I had to do, & I did my best. This got more & more difficult. My own photography & writing came to an almost complete halt. To continue taking care of my family, I realized I would have to confront my own depression.
Depression is something I don't write about. I've suffered from it since I was a teenager, maybe before, but I don't think I have anything special to tell someone else. I've been lucky because depression rarely knocks me out of the game entirely, the way it does some people. Certain days might be like mountain-climbing in a suit of armor, but I'm generally able to keep plodding through my routines. It's taking the leaps -- of trust & creativity -- taking the initiative, being spontaneous; it's believing in my purpose that I sometimes can't manage. The feeling isn't so much pain as a kind of exquisite vulnerability. Especially on the topic of my own claim to the title "artist," I am as though skinned-alive. I want only to withdraw, go to ground, stop feeling, go to sleep.
For me photography is difficult in depression. Writing is almost impossible. I find that antidepressants help a lot in general, but in this one area of creative confidence, not at all. Though I continue to see photographs, & the words still course through my brain, I somehow can't take the picture or write the sentence. I just can't do it.
I didn't post in this blog from December 14th of 2009 till 2 days ago. It is a mysterious instance of grace that my depression has lifted & I can do so again.
I am grateful.