Depression can feel like a lot of things to different people. Sometimes, despite what I would consider to be a formidable armament of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, pages and pages of positive Alternative Actions I can choose to use instead of Emotionally Driven Behaviors, and supportive friends, family, and partner, it can still feel like help is miles away. Even though I know what I can do to make myself feel better, sometimes the sensation in my body is so sluggish, so helplessly fatigued, so sapped of energy that the nearest approximation is that I’m withering in a desert, and anything good and helpful looks to me like wisps of cloud, hundreds of miles up in an untouchable sky.
Luckily for me, that awful feeling often comes in the form of vivid imagery; a desert, a vast, dark ocean, outer space. I tend to fixate on environments that feel unbeatable, oppressive, and lethal. Why do I count myself lucky for this? Because as a visual artist, imaging or feeling the imagery is the first step before drawing it! Sometimes I can use my own depressed mind’s imagery as the starting point for an idea. Thinking about the image as an idea to be drawn is a sneaky way for myself to pivot out of a depressed mood. If you find yourself imagining images or sensations that describe your depression, try writing or drawing them, and maybe you’ll trick yourself out of being depressed.