I have been so thankful to enjoy a couple of weeks of relative happiness with only small periods of depression thrown here and there at me. And let me tell you, it’s been incredible to go into therapy and tell my therapist that I haven’t considered suicide, or that I haven’t been followed around by this huge, dark cloud of despair. Nope! Up until last weekend, my time away from work was spent pretty much just sleeping so I could not have a chance to be depressed.
Last weekend was rough and peaceful at the same time, but I prefer that over being drained and depressed. I had dinner with two of my absolute favorite professors from college, and the dinner was entertaining despite my inability to talk much from sleep deprivation. The day after, I spent time at a festival with a friend and her husband. We enjoyed the sights, and I begged them to let me bring home an adorable monkey dressed in rainbow colors for pride month. And because he was so darn cute, here is a picture.
By Saturday evening, the depression hit like a train. A friend got to meet an actress I absolutely love from Once Upon a Time. She’s absolutely lucky to be able to fly to a convention. Suddenly, it hit me how unfair life truly is. I mean, it is unfair for everyone at different times, but I won’t deny that I could have stomped and thrown a tantrum because of how upset I was. Not because my friend met this actress, but because of things in general.
Very few people I know actually understand what it’s like to live on an absolutely fixed budget. Every penny I make goes right out to bills, and we are lucky to have food by the end of the day. I am told to save money by cutting things out and watching what I spend, but how can someone do that when every single penny is sent out to bills? I can work all the overtime in the world, and I still could not afford my simple bills or food. This leads to a whole train of thought that is best to stop before it begins. However, I am human, and sometimes it is harder to stop the train. It ends up running you over, and the longer you continue the worse it hurts.
I wondered how people survive, especially without parents. I lost my mother when I was 18. I have no father. If I do not make it, I simply do not make it. I worked hard to put myself through school. Yes, I learned to be resilient, and I learned to work hard. However, I also lost out on so much. Friends? Until recently, I had maybe two I could talk to. I could not do internships because I worked. I still can’t even do a master’s program for teaching because I literally cannot do an internship that is required. Dating was out of question. It takes everything in me just to afford a meal and movie with a friend when those rare moments happen that someone actually wants to be with me.
So yes, Saturday hit me pretty hard. However, I did something I have never really done before. I stopped my thinking before I got too depressed, and I decided to change the situation. I can’t exactly hit the lottery, so maybe the money issue is something that will have to be solved with a second full-time job. But I decided I deserved to have small things in life to look forward to, and things to make me happy. Within 12 hours, I planned a trip to New Jersey for a Once Upon a Time convention in October. I’m a geek, but I rarely have chances in life to actually enjoy living. So, if I have the chance to meet Lana Parrilla, I’m going to take it.
By Sunday, I was back to normal. Saturday’s depression was just a bad memory, and I moved on to the things that make me happy. Like, drawing! Everyone who knows me, has me on Facebook, or works with me knows how much I love to draw. I draw portraits, mostly of celebrities. I suck at animals and landscapes, but I love to draw. Sometimes, if I get obsessed with something or someone, it’s easier to draw them out. It gets it out of my head, onto paper, and it relaxes me. Carrie Fisher once liked a drawing I did of the Skywalker family from Star Wars. Cool right?!? And Eva LaRue, who I draw A LOT, always comments on my drawings of her. (Side note: she gives great, positive advice to me when I’m depressed. She’s an incredible human being). Seriously, you should look at some of my stuff (https://www.facebook.com/tiffanysartwork/). I’m still learning a lot, but just to focus on a drawing relaxes me immensely.
Over Sunday and Tuesday, I worked on two drawings of Lana Parrilla because I am desperate to learn how to draw dark hair. Because I love to show off my work, check out the drawings I did.
It was absolutely relaxing, and it is rewarding to see what my hard work turns into. It is one of my coping mechanisms when I have at least four hours to myself. Not having college helps a lot with my art now. I have time to sit down, relax, and work on a drawing. It’s a small challenge to myself to see if I can do it, and to push myself further.
I have been grateful for the days without depression hitting me, or at least being able to battle against it and temporary win. I am even more grateful that I have given myself things to look forward to, like meeting and hugging Lana Parrilla in four months!