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February 14, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Lately I’ve been feeling sluggish, and today I recognized the signs as an incoming bout of depression.  Lots of things have been contributing to it – the stress of my upcoming show; my family visiting on a college-party-weekend – when I was planning on splitting my time between working on my show and having some fun on campus for once; the usual emotional barrage and sexual hypersensitivity of menstruation; and just the daily struggle of getting through a job and life during a New England winter, when all my body craves is fatty foods and sleep.

And it begins: the more stressed I am, the less I want to do anything, and the less productive I am, the more depressed I become.  The more depressed I am, the less I want to do anything, the more stressed I become.  Vicious cycle, ad nauseum.

And the irritability: having a studiomate who shares similar night owl habits has become progressively annoying as I spend more time not doing anything in the studio.  I blamed her impeding on my workspace for my lack of productivity.  Then tonight she revealed the fruits of her late-night labors: very personal Valentine’s gifts for friends, including me. A horrible friend, for thinking such vindictive, petty thoughts.

And thus, the guilt: I blamed my studiomate for my own inability to work under stress.  I blamed my family visiting for cutting into my worktime.  What work?  I am barely making anything, and my show goes up in a week. And I wanted them to visit.  It meant reconnection, homebaked goods, free groceries, and time away from campus.  Selfish bitch.

There is a webcomic I subscribe to, Wapsis Square, where the personal demons of each character literally crawl out of hiding when a character is feeling vulnerable.  I like the way the artist visually depicts the way something like depression, self-doubt, and guilt can completely take over your body and surroundings:


Don’t listen to him.  He doesn’t know you like I do…
You’ve been thinking about me, I know how to help…
I always know how to help.


It’s amazing you’ve come this far, being so worthless.
It’s not really giving up, if you’ve never really contributed anything.
What’s the point?!  No one will miss you.

I recommend reading through a few strips beforehand to get the bigger picture.  Well, really, you should start from the very beginning, but it’s a long strip with a rather convoluted plot.  But the point is made.  Having something like depression becomes one continuous dialogue with the embodiment of all my doubts, misperceptions, issues with confidence, and guilt.  My darker half.  And it is frightening to find the echo of that dark half in the dialogue of these strips, eating away at my sanity.

It does help, reading ahead a few days worth of Wapsis Square, to find that she overcomes her demon, and there is ultimately much-needed comic relief.  An odd way to find my way out of my own labyrinth, but I have always been a visual person.  Rereading these comic strips have been surprisingly soothing and therapeutic.

Time to go home, go to bed, so that I can wake up tomorrow and finish preparing my own Valentine’s gifts.

Categories: emolicious, life, links
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