Friday, August 14, 2009

Art and Depression 2

One of the greatest blessings of the Internet is the opportunity to connect with like-minded (and opposite-minded) people about our lives. When I opened my email yesterday and had so many responses to my post about depression, I felt so encouraged and more than that I felt connected to other artists who experience the same struggle confirming my strong belief in community. Knowing that across the world there are others in the game too, helps me immensely. Each one of you that commented offered priceless insight and I am so very grateful.

I had a scare with my beloved dog since returning from West Virginia which compounded the darkness for a short time, but he is cleared and well and, slowly, I feel the veil beginning to lift.
I am certain that we cannot empathize with those who have suffered without suffering and we cannot appreciate the mountain without the valley.

Having said all this:
Leslie, I am learning to embrace that gift of sadness, to sit with it and be OK knowing that God still has me. Your words mean so much... and yes, it makes complete sense.

Dean, you have been beautifully transparent with your own struggles since I have known you. I know we are comrades in this. I have often read your blog and said to myself "I know how he feels! I get that!" I have had a lot fo fantastic counseling, working through my family of origin issues, and for a time was on medication and both were a Godsend. I now experience this thing for much shorter periods and much less intensely, so I can tell you, as someone older, that it gets better when we get help.

Deb, thank you for the great insight. Like I said to Dean above, medication helped a lot as well as counseling... I agree and hear you that this is part of being an artist for many.

Peter, I so respect your work and willingness to put your hand up. I need the reminder that dark days do come to an end.

Cat, ahhh! Yes! And it has become more like a job with all three shows coming and carrying this weight to produce enough. I might have wondered over the last several months if this is really what I want. Thank you for that insight....

Sila, I don't even know how to respond to your beautiful comment. Yes, indeed, Christ knows exactly all about it and He allows it for His purpose and you know what? Against all human understanding, it is in these times that my faith is stengthened.

Janie, you and I have had many face to face (and long distance) talks about this. You remind me to give myself permission to fill the live a create life, and to look at my own "unspoken commandments" of being an artist, many of which are distorted. And to revisit and reassess those expectations.....

Have a fantastic weekend, all. Aiming to be back in the saddle Monday.


Dean Grey said...

We'll be here waiting for you, Tracey!


Kathleen Krucoff said...

Hi Tracey,

I'm just catching up on some of my blog readings. I have sensed some deep sadness in some of your recent posts here and on The Helium Burden. I wish I could help.

You have an amazing gift. I have that 9 - 5 job, actually 7-4, and struggle with how meaningful that work is compared to my art work. The job pays the bills, but it isn't as fulfilling as my art. I wish I could spend my days doing my art. Grass is always greener and all that.

I don't think there is anything like an overnight success. I think success comes from persistence, perseverance, and LOTS of hard work. Cliche, "Success is when opportunity meets preparation". You have done TONS of preparation and hard work. Your work shows this. Never give up. Set goals and check off each one you achieve. I know this works! I've done it.

I am a firm believer that things happen for a've read this in my blog posts and others. We may not understand why we are going through our current path, but it is preparing us for things to come and I believe the things to come are very positive. That has always proven to be true, no matter what the current path is. Trust that God is guiding you, He is.

It means so much to me that you have become my friend and have encouraged me in my work. I respect you and what you have done to date. Please hang in there, focus on the positives, and be all that you can be as a person and an artist.

Sending hugs and blessings your way.


P.S. I'm happy to hear Ruben James is's hard when one of our furry friends/companions give us a scare.