I’ve always been uncomfortable with the phrase “depression lies.” Not that I think it’s harmful or problematic, but that it’s never resonated with me. I think because I don’t hold an idea of objective reality, or that I do think all truths are relative. I’m even capable of accepting that two opposite things are both true at the same time. Truth to me has always been a consensus and not immutable. “Depression lies” always feels to me like an absolute, and ….I don’t deal well with absolutes.
Depression distorts. It’s a funhouse mirror. It takes the light and warps it, bends it around you, sheaths you in darkness in a way where the light ceases to exist altogether. Your truth, your absolute truth, is that the world is darkness, and in that moment it is no lie. The truth I hold onto in that moment is not that this is some false world, but that this, too, shall pass. The faith that the light will come back.
Depression lies subverts my personal truths, so personally it doesn’t work for me. I prefer instead to believe my reality mutable, and just as it becomes a void, it can become light again. That’s what’s important to me. That it can change back.
Earlier this week I had a bit of a downswing. My life was a joke, my work was a joke, I, as a person, was a cosmically awful joke. It was triggered by finding out that somebody I hardly know, years ago, decided that shitting on me an my early attempts at making comics online was somehow hilarious. This should probably tie into a conversation about how cruelty on the internet is just cruelty, that the internet is real life, it’s certainly my real life, but maybe some other time. For now, it sent me on a bit of a nosedive.
So I decided to try doing something I’d never done in my life, a painting. Seems ridiculous to try something that’s doomed to fail when I already feel like a failure, like it would only reinforce the distortion. But it sorta works the other way for me. I already feel like shit, so trying something new can’t bring me any lower. It’s a good time to get past the initial barrier of trying new things knowing you’re going to suck at them at first.
And you know what? There are things I like about this painting. It’s amateur for sure, and probably that same awful person who thinks shitting on someone trying something new would mock this too. But I think my flower shows potential, and I know that if I keep painting, I’ll only get better at it. This isn’t a painful, awful piece of work. It’s hope and potential. And I like it