Liminal Luminous

The shining threshold
Mental health Spirituality

Depression and God

Last week was the time the kids all went back to school, the new year starts! Hurrah.

My arts consultancy work has been very quiet over the summer, as it usually is, and that was fine during August. However, as soon September started I fell into a depression.

I had the last week of August off and when I logged into my work email there wasn’t anything of any important. When I logged into my retained client account there were just 2 emails in there. Wow, two emails. Way to make a woman feel needed. So then my ego stuck, and I ended up struggling with everything, not because I was overwhelmed with work, but the exact opposite.

Logically I know that it takes a while for things to ramp up in September. Logically I know that. Emotionally, not so much.

My husband and I have decided that I am going to focus on my creative work (rather than consultancy), writing, photography and art. I have a novel which is a work in progress (doesn’t everyone?) and I love my photography. During this down time of consultancy, why don’t I crack on with those projects? I have lots that I want to do, not to mention practicing my flute (and other instruments), read or research my favourite artists?

Because of depression, because of those voices which clamour in my head that I am useless because I am not earning lots of money, because I have little status, because doing self started projects – where there is no guarantee of ‘success’ is exceedingly hard, especially with the depression demons shouting in my head.

Because I have the weight of expectation on my art, that will be of social importance, challenging preconceptions etc. See my response to my latest visit to the Tate.

I know exactly what to do when depression strikes. I have a stack of index cards and lists of things which make me feel better. Doing it however seems to take a superhuman effort of will. And I don’t always have that strength. So I lay in bed and prayed. Prayed for strength to get up, compassion for myself, to know what I am supposed to be doing, to follow my heart, to let go of this desperate, painful need to earn money for me to see myself as worth. Why can’t I take my worth and value from being a child of God, rather than the status and rewards society gives me? Ack, it’s so difficult.

I needed to lie in bed for a while, rest, sleep and just listen to audio books, but none the less, despite feeling like this last week I have reached out to some people to build up my portfolio by shooting their business. I went to shoot my local Parkrun this weekend, which reminded me how much I love covering events. Today, I forced myself to dig out my sketchbook and paint something, while drinking a nice cup of loose leaf tea.

Praying helps, as does railing at God quite a bit. I get really angry sometimes, why have I got this depressive brain which quite frankly cripples me. Especially combined with my chronic illness, which although is extremely well managed now I still have to think about. I get quite shouty at Her. She can handle it. And sometimes just voicing all this and surrendering it to God helps.

Now, I write, paint, shoot and nourish myself. Looking forward to my midday time of prayer where I can report back to God how I am doing and She can fill me with Her reassurance. I’m still struggling with a call from God, but I am trying to let that sit on the back burner right now.

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