Thursday, January 28, 2010

coloring outside the lines

In 2006 I published a book with this small independant publishing company Smiling Stone Soup.

 "Outside the Lines" is my journey - as daughter, sister, friend, lover, spouse and mom - through a world colored by clinical depression. it's a story of hoping and coping and learning to live with this illness with creativity, humor and compassion - and a lot of help from family, friends and, well, meds. I wrote and illustrated the book and it met with modest success. So I'm not here trying to sell the book. My purpose is to reach out and connect with people like me who live with depression everyday. Through all its ups and downs.
Depression sucks. It colors every aspect of your life. The drugs also suck. Sometimes the side effects are worse than the depression.  I know there are worse things I could have. A lot worse- but depression is the illness I have to live with.

Sometimes I think it would be better if I was the only one to have to deal with it. Silly me- I got married and had children. Now there are more people in my  life who have to deal with it too. That isn't easy. Trying to explain why you act the way you do at times when you really don't understand why you feel the way you do. Depression and mental illness is prevalent in my family- my  paternal grandmother was bi-polar as was my father. My mother was chemically depressed and my older brother was autistic. Genetics are wonderful aren't they.

On the plus side I'm an artist. People tell me all the time that creative people are predisposed for depression and mental illness. I'm in good company too- Claude Monet, Georgia O'Keefe, Jackson Pollack, Edvard Munch and Vincent Van Gogh. But knowing that doesn't make it any better. I wish there was some way to remove the stigma that is attached to mental illness. Ok- so here's one person trying to make a difference. Me. I am chemically depressed and will be the rest of my life.

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