Sometimes I get into these emotional funks. You know. Those days when all you can do is watch multiple episodes of whatever television show you’ve fallen into, eat processed foods that you know are no good for you, maybe not change out of your pajamas. Productivity is out of the question. It’s less about getting work done and more about not being a functioning, emotionally invested, productive human being. For me that means the thought of drawing or writing seem empty and impossible on consideration. My funks last weeks sometimes. Not the pajama part, necessarily.
Depression, I call it.
About 1 in 10 adults in America suffer from depression at any given time. That number is higher for teenagers, college students, and women, among a few other groups. That’s sad to me. What could make 10% of the population feel like this?
The worst part for me is the self-generative nature of my funks. The more I watch television, the more junk I eat, the less I accomplish, the sadder I feel. And the only thing I can do is open another pack of Pop Tarts and click play on the tenth episode of Community that day.
It’s hard to pinpoint the trigger, sometimes. But that empty feeling in my stomach is easy to recognize.
I’m just grateful for the ready availability of places like my school’s Counseling Center, but also those individual friends who look me in the eye and ask, “Is everything okay?” It’s small, but it makes a big difference.
There’s also those moments when I have to do that drawing that was due last week. Because you know what? Once I get started, it’s hard to stop. Once my hands are covered in the silky, tell-tale charcoal dust and I can feel the texture of the paper through the small stick of pressed carbon as I make a deft mark, it’s hard to notice that empty feeling. Because for a minute that turns into forty that turns into hours, it goes away. And that’s a nice feeling.