Anyway, these things have been on my mind lately. Trauma and depression can be a dark subject but it's one that needs to be talked about more often. I think that's happening lately and I'm glad. The pandemic has something to do with that I'm sure as more and more people are seeking help.
(And a side note - why is it that the mind, along with eyes, ears and teeth, are not included in standard coverage for health care?? They're all part of the body so why do they have to have their own insurance? $$$$ perhaps?)
Back to the point. Mental health and the effects of trauma on us and our bodies is a real thing. Having struggles with addiction, depression and/or anxiety is nothing to be ashamed of or embarrased about but for some reason a lot of us can't talk about it. Listening to other people's stories and learning about mental health can make us feel less alone. The other thing I wanted to share with you is the new movie The Wisdom of Trauma with Gabor Mate'. He is a physician specializing in childhood development and trauma and it's effects on the body both physically and mentally. You can also find lots of videos and TED talks with him on YouTube. Excellent information! If you have the interest, poke around, search for some of these videos and learn more about the mind/body connection.
If you're not able to or not ready to talk to someone, paint it. I've talked about my therapy canvas before. If things are hard, emotions are coming up and I need to do something in the moment, I get out the canvas and start flinging paint. Sometimes it's just about the physicality of doing the flinging that brings relief. Sometimes it's about a particular subject and that painting actually becomes something with a recognizable theme.
I found this quote in the introduction to George Carlin's book Brain Droppings...
"There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable it is, nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open...
"No artist is pleased...[There is no] satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others."
- Martha Graham to Agnes de Mille, Martha: The Life and Work of Martha Graham
Keep the channel open. Paint. Open yourself to flinging. Don't block what needs to be released. Let art help you. No one has to see it. It can be just for yourself. Keep a sketchbook just for ranting. Have a canvas handy just for your own healing and expression. Pile on the layers of paint while you peel back the layers of emotion. It could forever be for your eyes only or some day you may be comfortable sharing. Either way you're helping at least one person. If you can share it with other people, you're bringing something valuable to the world. You're adding a very unique piece to the conversation that maybe someone can learn from or just not feel so alone themselves.