Depression

 saw a card reader- she said I see lots of black dogs, they are everywhere in your reading.

Huh.

It was the victim-sickness. Adrenalin howling in my head, the black dog was my brain. Come to drown me in my breath was energy’s black hole, depression, compere of the predawn show when, returned from a pee, you stew and welter in your death Les Murray 1  

I have never heard of the term black dog for depression but there it was in my cards.  Huh, interesting, I did not think I had ever suffered from depression.  Not me personally, and yet when I saw the quotes from Churchill and a few others labeling depression as a black dog immediately i had a vision.  Yes, inspiration hit me.. hard.  I ran around the house looking for pen and paper and sketched this below.  Note I am not able to draw well.... however you get the idea.

Once I had that drawn out I thought I would be doing my next self portrait with this in mind... however it did not really sit right.  I was not 'feeling' it for me... so I let it be, and thought ok so who do I know that has suffered from depression?  I wonder if they would be my vehicle to communicate this and also maybe, just maybe heal as well. 

 

Enter Chelsey -  You have never met a more gentle, graceful and true to herself person That is the Chelsey I know now - after suffering a life long struggle with depression.  When I floated the shoot concept by her she was all over it.  After shooting we chatted a bit.. and I started asking her some questions.  Below are some of the Q and A's of that discussion. 

 

Q:  What does depression feel like to you?

A: To even be depressed. you have to have some kind of expectation that there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Because if there was you wouldn't be in there you wouldn't be in that spot, you'd know you have something to look forward to and to get better for. So I think with depression it is a sense of hopelessness of darkness, of lonliness, a sense of being a problem for other people. For me it was eve the fact that I could not just end my own life was depression causing enough because I could not even take myself out of the situation because I would trickle on that sadness to other people. So even the fact that I couldn't do anything about it made me more depressed.

Q: So where do you feel depression?  Do you feel it?

A:  Everywhere.  I feel it everywhere.

Q: So what would it look like to you? Depression.

A:  That image, (your image)  that concave, that tenseness..and no warmth. So cold and rigid and tense.

Q: Can you even feel your body when you are in that state.

A: I feel everything, everything.

Q:  Where is your head or mindin all of this?

A:  In a heavy place, very heavy. It's like ideas can't ferment or expand because it's so rigid the way of thinking is so rigid.  Again to be depressedyou have to have some sort of rigid way of thinking. If you could expand on certain thought,  I think you would get yourself out of it. So you become very single minded and pessimistic. So, all the ideas you have are all negative and all the thoughts you have are everything you think will turn out in a negative tense vs positive because you are expecting it. And then the more you do personal work on yourself you realize that you did this to yourself.. and that in itself causes you to spiral into depression again. So the more you realize. it's like an onion, you get past a certain point of realizing that, oh maybe certain childhood things triggered that,  and so,  you lift a bit off your shoulders but then you realize, from there on,  you have had control.  So you have allowed yourself to stay in this depression for this long because it has all to do with you. You have control.

Q: Where does it start or originate from?

A: I think it is in the head. I think I would not feel such body pains or body issues if wasn't originating in my head. I think that the pain validates my brain to say ' you are right to think and feel this way because feel that pain from that sadness your feel, feel that pain that's real' So there is some kind of validation there.

I know depression is more common that we are aware of, it is not commonly talked about, although this week I have seen alot about awareness and support.  So that is a start. If you know someone affected by depression just reach out..

These are the images we created .. I hope they touch you and blessings.