I'm going to talk seriously to all of you for a moment. Just for a moment. Please don't think this is me asking for sympathy or pity, this isn't. But after watching several friends lately, and well.. over the years as well.. I want to share this. It's not upbeat, but sometimes we need a moment of seriousness to acknowledge the not so great things in our lives.
Many don't know that I am actively suicidal. There is a sadness and a despair that I cannot shake no matter how hard I try. No matter how good I am, it is not enough. No matter how hard I try. It is not enough. At one point I was hospitalized because I attempted suicide. I have also nearly succeeded before and managed to lie my way out of it so that to this day the people involved think that I was just 'sick', because I didn't want them to worry. I did not tell anyone the number of times that the police have come to my house to make sure I'm still alive thanks to a friend observing a change in my behavior and calling, or the time I got escorted to the hospital BY the police because they found me in a state of.. not goodness. And I lied and convinced everyone that I just 'went while you were at work, it's fine', or "I don't know why but my chest is hurting' and got the doctors looking at that instead of what really happened. I do not need consolation or someone to give me a reason to live, I have them and I appreciate them. But there are times when the sadness is overwhelming, when the hopelessness gets to be too much. There are times when *people* are too much. I have Zeus because I can't bear to go out around more then two people without feeling this overwhelming urge to run in fear for my life, to hide, to end it and stop it all. This is why I have a service dog. It's not to help others, it's purely to give me a grasp on reality and an obligation NOT to do something drastic. Because I can't reach out and say "I am in danger of my life".
In my mind, there is no way to say "I logically know that if I am left alone right now I will do harm to myself" without people thinking you're seeking attention. I had always been told that anyone who's trying to harm themselves is just attention hungry and not worth the time. And so I have a dog, and he prevents me from doing harm to myself without me having the embarassment of reaching out to say "I cannot control myself right now, I'm scared and the emotions are too much for me." I am trying to be more open about talking about it, but it's hard because I feel the more you talk about it, the more fake it seems and the less likely you will get REAL help and be taken seriously when you really need it. It's not a one time thing for me, it will happen again in the future, I don't know when and I can't control it always. I don't want to be written off because that is the day that I will not be able to stop myself because people thinking I want attention when I just *hurt* so much will only make it hurt more. I'm scared to ask for help when I need it. But I make do and I get by, and I find ways to remind myself that things are really truly better then that sad core thinks it is.
Life is hard. Life as an artist can feel harder then most. You paint and you do your work and you are judged by *how good you are at baring your soul*. How technically correct you are at emoting visually. Sometimes being an artist means you put everything on the line. Your self worth is often tied up in how well you do, if someone likes what you do. There is the pressure of accepting criticism with grace and good humor, no matter how rudely it is phrased. There is the pressure of trying to improve and hitting walls. of trying to make ends meet and nothing really works. You struggle on the same drawing over and over and it just doesn't go right and the way you want to and that hopelessness starts coming in. You send to a convention and the pieces you felt great about just don't sell. Not even a single bid, and you start doubting yourself. Art is a delicate process. The more you doubt yourself, the more you will start making those doubts come true. Artist block will take hold and will start confirming your worst fears. It's not easy to get through things like this, it's not easy to break the cycle of self doubt and depression, fears of not being good enough, of not ever succeeding. Sometimes you need to think outside of the box. Sometimes you need to break the chain in weird ways, to get yourself away from that loop.
Sometimes your self worth as a person gets tied up in your art. Or your work, or whatever you are doing in life. Or your weight, your appearance, your height, your freckles and flaws. Sometimes you become so focused on all your failures that you fall into a pit and can't get out of it. And the sad thing is, once you get into that pit once? It's easier to fall into it again later. And every time you fall into the pit, it gets easier.
I am asking, as a friend, as someone who cares about the people I talk to *even if it's just someone I talk to in passing*. Please break this cycle in yourselves. If you are feeling down about something, become aware of it. Don't hide it, don't let it build and become worse. If your art is bringing you down, find other artists and talk about it, don't hide it. Don't cover it by saying to everyone "I'm just a bad" so that they compliment you instead of bashing you. Be up front about it, talk about it, try to see things clear before it becomes too bad. You are unique, you are amazing even if you don't see it. Someone, somewhere, thinks of you. You may not know it, but they do. You may not be as good an artist as Brom, you may not be as fast a runner as your best friend, whatever it is that has you down, but you still have a special something inside of you that makes you worthwhile. If you can't find it, it's time to talk to your friends and let them help you find it.