Setbacks Are Gravel For The Road Ahead

If misery was a company, it would be bigger than Wal*Mart, and I would probably work there as a stockboy. I am generally not a miserable person, I feel it and deal with it, usually with enough jokes that I don’t get morose. But true story; I’m depressed. Its good that I am an artist, its the perfect job to be depressed at; Showing up and working generally relieves symptoms. I have suffered my whole life and there is only cure, love.

I remember sitting in my house as a youth in total despair and hearing George Benson sing “The Greatest Love Of All” on the radio. First of all, the melody is pristine, and the opening line, “I believe children are the future, teach them well and let them lead the way” spoke to me as a child trying to be the future. The trifecta was the line “learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all” because it freed me from having to rely on my parents or my siblings, who had been mostly disappointing up until then. I only had to love myself, done and done. The power was mine. I was out of therapy at age nine. (RIP Linda Creed, she was a real one from Philadelphia)

In the intervening years I have had some bad episodes of depression, but there is one thin thread that always pulls me through, and that is I believe I am here to process my life into the art I make. I never doubted the work or my ability to make it. Even when i have a cinderblock on my chest about how its all going, a thought lifts the block up and breaks it into gravel; I am the only one who can say it exactly as I can. So I do, daily.

 

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