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It never seems to end.

bwithtbbwitht Posts: 19
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:34 AM in Depression and Coping
My depression although brought into the depths by chronic pain, has many other contributors.

My parents could not have children of their own and Mom really loved kids, so they decided to adopt. First came my brother, #1, a son! Dad was in heaven, he had a son. Six years later they adopted my sister, olive complected, brown curly haired, brown eyed, perfect. Then a little over a year after that I came along, bald, pale, blue eyed girl. What, another girl?

I was constantly told that I would never be as good, smart, talented, pretty as my sister. I can still hear my dad's words ringing in my ears, "If you would just apply yourself, you would get better grades. Not A's like your sister but at least B's." "If you would cut out snacks you would lose weight. You are big boned so you won't be as skinny as your sister." My mom would often try to soften the harshness of my dad's words with food (her own addiction) but of course that just made it worse.

My sister was the cheerleader, track star and all around miss popular. She always had girlfriends, dates, boyfriends and parties. I was shy, tall, overweight, artistic, had a few friends but for the most part lonely. I started taking painting lessons when I was in jr. high because that was my passion. I had already made up my mind that I was going to go to the Colorado Institute of Art after high school. Oh but then my sister started to take art class and my dream of CIA died (really long story).

I continued to draw and paint and mom was my biggest fan. I have always been attracted to surrealist artists such as Dali but portraits was where I could make some money. The last painting I completed was a commissioned portrait in oil. Mom was going thru radiation treatments for brain tumors at the time and two years later she was in a coma. I had lost my biggest fan and along with her, my heart. I have not been able to complete anything in 21 years.

Enter a work comp injury and chronic pain. I have been suffering with depression from the loss of a career I loved and as the pain continued the depression deepened. I suffer with suicidal ideation and my two antidepressants and mood stabilizer have been increased as the depression increased. Finally I have max-ed out on my meds so my physician insisted I start going to therapy.

My therapist is a very sweet young gal who has a very easy way about her. I still have the depression but she is making me work on some "me" issues. There are so many different facets to what causes me to feel like I don't matter, so we have to work in layers. Some things I should be doing, I am not, others I have. My most recent task was to draw, something, anything. I have had some issues that came up that had to be dealt with so I didn't do anything Thursday thru Sunday. Finally today I got out my sketch pad and pencils and made myself draw. I chose my dog Herbie. I got him when I was a freshman and when I moved out I had to leave him with Mom. He became her dog after that and she loved him dearly. It was a really quick sketch and I took this picture before I was completely done but I want to share it.



  • You are a very gifted artist. The wonderful thing about a talent like that is that no one can ever take it away from you or minimalize it, not even our worst enemies.

    Sibling issues are among the most cutting and I'm glad that you're dealing with it in therapy. I had the big sister who could do no wrong as well. Now she's an RN and think that she knows EVERYthing about what I'm going through. I usually hang up on her before she goes through her laundry list of questions about my doctor appointments and pain levels. The real truth is that now we are adults and can choose not to allow them to have that effect on us anymore. With your mother gone you have to become your own biggest advocate.

    I hope that you will keep up with your art again. It's magical. If I could afford it I would commision you to draw my dogs- you have a gift for capturing the personality in their eyes. Art also is an amazing form of therapy in itself and can unlock thing deep in ourselves that we wouldn't otherwise address. I just have to use stick figures...imagine how hard it is to get my point across LOL!

    Hang in there and know that we're all here to talk if you need us.


  • i'm glad the therapist can help you figure out the past....now its your job to move on. based on what i see with your artwork you can move forward and become an accomplished artist.
    art isnt just copying something. i think i can see a certain feeling in your work...that's what comes out....dont keep it in....
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  • Beautiful!
    Many would give just about anything to be able to draw like that!
    Keep it up!
  • I can see why you chose your beloved Herbie to be your first drawing. He is adorable and you have captured his spirit so well. I hope this is the start of a strong and positive time for you. Please know that your Spine Health family is always here for you.

  • Great work, a wonderful gift you have.
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  • bwitht, that's a beautiful drawing. I was very sad reading your story. Our childhood years are when we develop our senses of security, faith and self-worth and you had such a difficult time during them. It should never have been that way. It always disturbs me when I see people who haven't had the nurturing, tenderness and compassion in their early years that is so important to helping us find ourselves later in life.

    I can see in your drawing the love and passion you feel for the gift you've been given. It's a beautiful drawing and I hope that now that you've done this, you'll find you can't live without continuing to create such wonderful artwork.

  • Thank you all for your kind words of encouragement. My kids were pretty surprised as they watched me sketch. My daughter was a little girl when I was still painting so she remembers little things, like my easel set up in the living room, the painting I did of Kenny Rogers for my sister-in-law and a commissioned portrait of a friend's father-in-law. My son however, has only seen a few of my paintings I still have.

    I am starting another sketch, keep your fingers crossed because this one is really going to be important to me.
  • Good Luck with your next sketch. Thank you for sharing your gift with us all. Hopefully this will open doors to better times for you. I admire your courage to allow your talent to shine. Hugs n' Loves - Paula
  • I finished this drawing of my mom at age 19, yesterday. This picture is most important to me. I will probably have it matted, framed and hang it in my bedroom so I can see her often. When she came to America, many people told her she looked like Ingrid Bergman.

  • I think she's lovely. You've done a wonderful job. O:)
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