Pictures are a great window to the past and like with journaling, they allow you to reflect and be grateful for your progress and realize life wasn’t so bad as you thought it was. You weren’t as fat as you thought you were, you weren’t as old as you thought, sometimes there are questionable fashion choices but, I think you get the point.
Looking through albums and trying to find pictures of our family for the @bluehousehudsonvalley project to Rehab an 1870 farm house and establish an artist in residence program. I realized that there aren’t many with me in them. When it’s time for pictures, I never wanted to be in the shot and felt ashamed of how I looked. Not worthy of being in the photo, not wanting to ruin their picture.
How sad for my children that there aren’t many pictures of them with their mom. They are halfway through their childhood journey and I want to change that.
I often struggle with depression and that’s hard to admit. It’s hard to seek help when you are actively hiding from truth. I grew up with an undiagnosed learning disability (dysgraphia) and was constantly shamed and ridiculed by the world around me. Depression has been a life-long struggle. Looking at photos of the past, it’s evident that I needed support. Sometimes, I just couldn’t move, and nothing brought me joy except for my children, plants and flowers.
A friend of mine @mark_vitulano was auctioning off Betsy Johnson’s stuff from her East Hampton home. I absolutely idolize her, I was supposed to come by for a visit and was literally a mile away, I had been looking forward to it all week. At the last minute I was like nah! Why would he want to see me, I’m a broke dishrag. So I went home. That’s what depression does.
As a business owner in a competitive market I used to always compare myself to competitors and other business owners. Never enough revenue, never enough likes on social media, not mentioned in certain news articles, imposter syndrome, the list goes on.
As a woman I always compare myself to other women. They always looked happier, younger, prettier, thinner, more friends, more successful. The rise of social media didn’t help.
As a mom, fuck it, I give my children all the love I can, and try to guide them into being kind, thoughtful, curious humans. Other moms, you do you. When I am depressed, I have a very hard time being present for them. That hurts the most.
When we moved to Cold Spring, I spent a year sitting in a vintage, velvet, baby blue, barrel chair, barely able to function. My whole identity was wrapped up in a storefront on Metropolitan Avenue that was torn down to build condos. I tried a short stint in Industry City and that didn’t work out. I felt like the biggest failure in the world. My plans, my dreams, my calculations didn’t pan out like I expected. There was no joy in my work and I got caught in a downward spiral. At least it was a cute chair.
I have spent the last year in psychotherapy and the past few months on the Keto diet and the past few weeks exercising every day. I feel great. It’s been about 10 years since I have felt this way. It’s good to be back and now I want to be in every picture.
I really wish that I had done it sooner, but realize that I did what I needed to do at the time and gave myself forgiveness. I realized who the negative voice was that was always telling me “don’t get your hopes up” or “that’s what happens you get when you get too big for your britches” and was able to mostly shut it down. It was a process to heal, and I am still working on it, but have turned the corner.
My point is, there’s no shame in needing help and your mind is just as important as your body. It is a shame to not be able to be present for your family and friends and a tragedy to not be able to live a full, happy life.
If you feel like you don’t have joy. Please seek help. There’s no shame, and it will make a world of difference for you, your family and your health.
K. Done now