Through the ups and downs, Blue ― as her fans call her ― has relied on art to help her express her pain, fears and other difficult thoughts and feelings. The East London-based artist has accumulated a large following on the site DeviantArt, where she posts her colourful, imaginative and deeply emotional drawings.
“I didn’t come from an expressive household, and here I was with so much inside me ― so much I didn’t understand, thoughts, feelings and emotions marched through me like an invading army,” she told HuffPost. “I needed a way to process and vent, and drawing provided a canvas to untangle myself upon.”
Blue said that for many years, she didn’t even realize that what she was experiencing was caused by a mental health condition.
“It took me a long time to realise I was mentally ill, rather than lazy, sad or worthless,” she explained. “For years I could function just well enough to look okay, while inside the blinding red of anxiety burned me, or grey static of depression unplugged me.”
She even had trouble completing everyday tasks like laundry, which under the fog of depression, seemed insurmountable.
“Washing my clothes, was a mountain, even to think about it required so much energy,” she wrote. “I could wash my clothes, but then I’d have to pick up the dirty clothes, take them to the washer, open the washer, put the clothes in the washer, close the door, open the detergent bottle, put the detergent in. It was just too much. So the clothes sat there.”
The experience Blue described is common among those dealing with depression. Not only do routine activities feel overwhelming, but the disorder can also cause a general loss of motivation and withdrawal from social activities. Add physical symptoms such as headaches and difficulty sleeping, and it’s clear why depression can be debilitating for so many.
As for Blue’s anxiety, she likened it to the feeling you get when you lean back too far in a chair and it’s about to tip over.
“That sudden jolt of panic inside your chest, that half-second spike that makes you fling your hands forward and grab the desk in front of you to steady yourself,” she wrote. “That ‘oh s**t’ moment. It’s that. Only it didn’t last for half a second, for even a minute, it lasted years.”
“Art has had a pivotal role in that as therapy,” she told HuffPost.
Blue also said she hopes her artwork connects with people who are dealing with mental health conditions of their own.
“I want others who are also struggling with mental heath issues to know there is hope, and that they are not alone, and that someone else understands how tough a path it is to walk, and how strong you are for carrying on,” she said.
H/T Bored Panda
Useful websites and helplines:
Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393 Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill.) Get Connected is a free advice service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email: email@example.com