Heartless (The Story Behind the Painting)

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My heart thudded a bit weaker and dimmer as the days and the years passed by…

Depression as a medical terminology was never a topic that we talked about as I was growing up. The emotional roller coasters that the women in my family experienced were seen as “normal”  reactions to life circumstances and well mainly…men. I think in a way I was always taught that everything and anything was THEIR fault.

I wish at some point in my life I would’ve heard a conversation about self-worth, yes, but also, self-WORK.

I honestly truly believe that a lot of our problems and issues are very much self inflicted. We ignore those red flags and warnings. We project our insecurities unto others. We place our happiness in someone else’s hands. It makes me wonder, how much of our emotional turmoils are REALLY caused by outside circumstances rather than our issues within.

I won’t say that life does not throw us curve balls and that other people never do us wrong, but I will say that we get to CHOOSE how those events affect us. As a nurse, I have been taught about depression as either a chemical imbalance, mental illness or hormonal changes and though I do very much believe in science I also believe that it takes an honest effort on our part to make that initial recognition of our symptoms and thoughts to admit, yes I do feel depressed. Or yes there may be something off about the way I am looking at things.

I would like to say that my emotional and yes, mental, issues have only taken place within the last 5 years. This would be wrong. I have dealt with these emotions my entire life and I think that this became even more known to me when my close friend stated I was a classic “group home baby” although I never actually was.

This piece, “Heartless”, was meant as a representation of a dark side of me that people do not always get to see. It reflects how often I feel numb, how I feel heartless and DEAD inside. No I do not ALWAYS feel like this. But I felt the need to recognize that this woman I portrayed does exist within me. She does live there. She demands my attention because it is the only way that I will be able to deal with her.

I think that because I am in the medical field, the use of medicine to me is almost taboo and so I utilize my art as a medium to express my emotions and a way for me to sedate them. If I pour my emotions and thoughts on canvas it some how provides me the release that I need. I know this piece may have caused a bit of confusion to those around me, but I also know many people felt a closeness to it because they understood.

I think art and depression or even mental illness in some instance have had a very close relationship through out history. And I really think that it should definitely be used as a therapeutic tool more often than it is currently being used.

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