Another week or so has gone by, and within that week, I have continued experiencing several noticeable, sometimes frightening, ups and downs. For those who follow my blog, I feel like I have to issue some sort of an apology or disclaimer regarding the subject matter. When I blog, I don’t mean to make my depression the focal point, nor do I intentionally want to write only about myself and my problems and my endeavors. I know that it’s not always about “me me me.”
As one of my favorite artists, the late Frida Kahlo once said, “I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best.” Just as Frida painted herself to express her pain and her life’s experiences, I write to do the same, not only because I often feel alone, but also in hopes of finding some sort of solace in it all. I have to wonder if Frida had any premonition that, despite her great suffering, by creating her profound personal masterpieces, she was not only helping herself deal with her anguish, but helping others, myself included. Viewing her portraits, I can identify in my own way with what she expresses in each unique painting, each with its own message, and each with its own distinct, sometimes esoteric story. It helps me to feel less alone.
Experiencing (and subsequently suffering from) a mood disorder is draining to say the least. It taints otherwise pleasant moments with its ugliness, looms over you, weighing you down even in the physical sense, and it turns everything about ten shades of gray. Let’s just say that it flat-out sucks. After reading several of Frida’s biographies as well as the translated version of her diary, I know that this was something she also knew all too well.
Frida was, among other things, a beautiful but tortured soul (but then again, who isn’t?). She was a drug user (which couldn’t have helped her chronic physical illnesses), and she reportedly had a volatile temper. Let’s face it- she had undeniably bad taste in romantic partners, too. Though I can’t relate on all of these levels, I still can nonetheless comprehend all too well what it is like to feel deeply flawed and sad. And as is the case with many beautiful but tortured souls, her life ended prematurely, with many of the circumstances surrounding her death indicating suicide.
I don’t want it to be like this, not without a fight. I want to make my own story and history. I’m still going to therapy, taking meds (as much as I wish I didn’t have to), still trying to keep myself occupied, and still trying to make positive changes. Despite all my efforts, some days are not as good as others. But I still continue to fight the good fight each day that I wake up and acknowledge that I am blessed with another day, another chance, another twenty-four hours of possibility. So I continue to put one foot in front of the other, even if that is the only thing that I can do, and march on.
“I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought, “There are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do.” I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me, too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you.” – Frida Kahlo