Today is World Health Day- “Let’s Talk Depression.”
What does depression feel like? It hurts. It’s an overwhelming feeling of being utterly alone, isolated- a burden. Triple gravity pulling you down until every little task seems almost insurmountable.
Depression doesn’t differentiate between rich or poor or race or creed. Some might say, “Oh, it’s all in your head, just snap out of it.” There is no “snapping out of it,” without help. Depression is an ailment of the mind, just as angina is an ailment of the heart. Both can cause extreme pain and systemic symptoms and must be treated. Yet, there’s a stigma attached to depression and other mental illnesses. Many are ashamed to admit to being depressed and wouldn’t ask for a day off or tell a friend about it; yet, they wouldn’t think twice about requesting time off for angina or an acute asthma attack.
Be #stigmafree. I challenge you to talk to someone today about depression. At the very least it opens to door for parity.
And if you are depressed and need someone to talk to, my “door” (i.e. messenger or phone) is always open. You can also talk to the wonderful people at the suicide prevention lifeline 1-800-273-8255.
As a painter treasures a blank canvas for its potential, a writer treasures a blank sheet of paper for its inspiration. A painter must listen to his canvas and make the first stroke; from which all other strokes will culminate. So must a writer fill the first page, the nature and connotation denotes the shape and form of subsequent pages.
Color upon the brush: meet your lover, canvas. Two worlds collide, moving both to a higher understanding. As soon as they meet, the blank and dumb canvas is neither blind nor mute. He now speaks with the vitality of his new eyes. Behold: a new creation, though he is only one brush stroke he will grow. Every new brush stroke perfectly placed; there are no mistakes. Hence, such “mistakes” give the world its flavor, and if aborted, the world looses another color. Thus, the world is not colorless; an empty canvas beckons the painter to paint new shades.
Mighty pen: meet your lover, inspiration. A harsh taskmistress, she is. She demands letters grouped in sensible words, then dressed into full bodies. Minutes bleed into hours and days of this love. Until, behold, the first page has been born. These hours of labor reward its mother with a bundle of hope. “What is this new squirming creature? How am I to nurture it, feed it, help it grow?” The mother inevitably asks. Grow it shall. More pages of life will be added, each new word as important as the old. All comprise this new creation and give life where none once lived. One can only live word by word, page by page.
This truth brings the end back to the beginning. Just as the painter writes with colors for the human eyes, a writer paints with words for the human soul. Yet, even when an end or completion dawns, it brings new inspiration, new potential for the beholder.