Anatomy of a Depressed Artist

It is amazing what happens in over two months since my last blog post.  Quite honestly, I didn't see this weekend with me writing a blog, I thought I'd be playing a video game I've been playing, but that was before I realized I'd been trying to escape.

Friday, as I got home, I realized the game didn't have the same appeal for me as it usually does.  I'd immersed myself into it, looking things up online, tackling foe after foe, my characters getting more powerful.  But Friday was different.  It was as if fog covered glasses were lifted off my eyes, for the briefest of moments and this thought came into my head, why are you trying to hide from in this game?

I've dealt with depression for most of my adult life in one form or another, and even crossed "that line" at one particular point.  I've been on medication before, but fueled with alcohol, it is never a good mix.  Now I would not call it severe, but I recognized, with the lifting of those glasses, that I was indeed dealing with depression.  But for what?

I've counseled plenty of people.  I've helped Ginger with her Bipolar and Anxiety and others in various forms of addiction.  I have a plethora of tools in my tool belt that I use to help get to the root of matters, and now Friday night I began using those tools, on myself.

Of course the first thing to do was not play the game.  I realize that may sound crazy, or even silly, but it was the exact thing I was running to to escape and I need to feel whatever it is that I needed to feel.  And then I went back, close to my last post.  Of course, the first thing you may think was, it's the job.  But it actually had to do with photography, and I could trace it back to one night where it started.

I was taking pictures of the moon, one of my favorite subjects, and I could not get the ethereal glow of the branches to happen.  Of course, having researched I realize now why (has to do with the distance the moon was away, the season, and equipment).  But one of my favorite creative outlets was not working for me.  I realized as well that I was in need of a new lens.  And been wanting one for a while because I'm ready to take the photography to another level.  With that comes investment.  But it seemed no one had the same zeal, the same excitement for photography I did.  Why would you spend over a 1000 dollars on a lens when there are more "practical" purchases you can make.  A new car, vacations, etc.

Don't get me wrong, I heard, it'd be great to make this a great career.  But then I'd hear, you can do better things with that money.  Granted I could just buy it.  I mean, we are looking to buy a new car, and there are vacations we want to take, but I have a passion for photography, it brings me great joy to see a creative picture in my head come to life.  I'd even turned down a photography session because I didn't have the equipment.

And so, slowly it seemed, I just left the camera on the shelf and delved into my game.  Even getting a pro graphics tablet for my birthday did little to sway me from the game.  I was losing interest in the things I loved to do, photography, blogging, photoshop, looking up ideas in my magazines and on the web. Just seemed everyone was like, that is a great hobby, you want to spend what?  no, your better off doing the "practical" thing.

You see artist, we are funny little creatures.  We really are.  Some people can take that adversity and channel it into their art.  Kind of a us against the world mentality.  Others, and I consider myself in this camp, turn inward.  We put up walls, we circle the wagons, we protect ourselves.  From the outside you would have no idea, and even Ginger didn't notice the subtle nature of the depression enveloping my life. 

My job, well, we keep hearing a transition is coming (the latest I heard was June).   I get all my information second hand, seems no one wants to tell the "painter" (which I do much more).  But even that wasn't depressing me much other than I am really praying about asking for a transfer to the Tyler area.  Word got back to me that I had no desire for a transfer, which is wrong.  But what makes that hard is I love the people I work for.  Too be continued on that subject!

So Saturday I had to go to work for our annual Spring Fling.  Wasn't really planning to bring my camera in fact, but decided I would.  It was a good decision.  In between helping with various tasks, I was able to not only talk to someone who wanted to get into photography, but I began to take pictures.  And that passion, that eye for "the shot" came flooding back into my system.  And I realized what I had been missing.  Getting home I did some honey do's, and Ginger and I had date night, and I could feel myself slowly coming back.

But it was Sunday morning where the real healing came.  That is when I walked into our bedroom, Ginger was getting ready, and I began talking to her about my findings.  I started with, I've been addicted to that game.  And then we had what we call a share session.  I shared my heart, which she loves, and she shared hers.  I was able to get all my feelings out.  And then I put the game and game system up and got onto the computer, and organized my computer area for some hardcore photo editing and pictures!  And I opened up my blog, my old friend.  It was good to feel the keyboard underneath my fingertips, and feel the words, the thoughts, to come flowing in my head.  The creativity has come flooding back into my system in glorious ways.

So who gave me that initial thought on Friday?  Who took the fog covered glasses off for the briefest of moments?  God did.  No doubt about it.  And this weekend was orchestrated by God to help open my eyes further, to help me look deep into my heart, and to share with my best friend, my soul mate, Ginger.  Each time I think we can't fall deeper in love, we do.  I'm so thankful I have her, because if anyone knows this quirky lil artist, she does. 


P.S. I'm not depressed anymore!


  1. While reading this, you made my heart ache for you dear Paul. I'm so glad that you got your "joy" back. You have wonderful talents! That goes the same for Ginger. Y'all are an amazing team!

  2. You may have caused a light bulb to go on for me, too, Paul. I think I am missing my creative outlets too... and don't feel like I have time for them right now... hopefully, soon. SO GLAD you found your way back (He is wonderful about helping us find our way... had to be Him that led me here this morning.) baaaaa....


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