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Outwardly, I am a strong individual. I’ve been told often how people admire me for my emotional fortitude. I guess this makes sense, since much of my emotional upbringing has focused on self-reliance. I grew up under some difficult circumstances (Serbia in the 90’s), and the institutionalized depression around me taught me to suppress my sadnesses to the well deep inside me and look elsewhere. Everyone was depressed, and this is what they did.
Most (adult) people spilled their inner well into a big bottle of beer. Smoked it away with a pack of cigarettes a day, and who knows what else that I was too young to pick up on. I, on the other hand, let the well fill up until it started spilling all over the place. I guess I’ve carried a flood with me into adulthood. Because I never learned how to deflect my depression into substance abuse of some sort, this pool was the lens through which I saw the world.
What can we find in the pool: “everyone will disappoint me,” “no one sees me, and why should they?,” “you are inadequate,” “you can’t do that,” “don’t even bother.”
Freelancing actually helped me dry up some of this crippling self-doubt. I have to constantly prove myself on a professional and personal level, and this helps me remember that I am a person of worth. I resist this often, and here therapy steps in to help. Life would have been very different for me had I not decided to see a therapist (we just celebrated our 4 year anniversary). Everyone should take advantage of letting someone into your inner well and seeing that things are not quite as dark as you may have imagined.
Name/identify your emotion.
My pool of weakness
What colour is your emotion?
The emotion is more about the absence of color. I wanted to paint my pool blues, but then I kept grabbing the more gray/steel blues. Ultimately, I decided to leave it colorless.
Does it have a shape?
It’s about being shapeless and nebulous as well. When I am deep in the pool, it’s hard to see where one thing ends and another begins. That’s what makes it feel like I am drowning in my own weakness.
What facial characteristics does it have?
You know when your eyes get puffy from crying? That’s kind of the only thing I ever notice about it.
If it were a person, what would he/she/it look like?
It’s a homeless person who has completely buried themselves in blankets in a dark crevice of New York City, so I have no idea what its’ face actually looks like. The matted hair is its most distinguishing feature.
This project is run in partnership with Things Dre Makes, and will run for the whole month of May – Mental Health Awareness Month. The idea is to personify a mental illness or difficult emotion you are facing.
Want to take part? Submit your entry here.