As you guys may or may not know, FCF usually posts something on Mental Health Mondays, BUT, since this is Memorial Day weekend, we're doing it on a Friday. Because extra vacay time can sometimes mean a little extra sad time for some artists.
Mental health is hard to talk about.
It's been scientifically proven that artists think and experience emotions differently than most. Our creativity is linked not to our individual level of intelligence, but rather to a host of complex juxtapositions within each person.
These contradictory traits, things like the ability to 'extract order from chaos' or even one's tendency to simultaneously be more crude and more profound than the average thinker, makes for a very complicated mind. Artists are notoriously hard to understand and yet, they seem to understand humanity at its deepest, most universal level.
How do we explain the intricacies of daily life as an artist? The feeling of remorse when you don't have time to create, yet that ever present block that exists when you do? The sorrow that builds up inside a person when they are so stifled by their lack of production that the world itself seems to dim and cease its turning? Or perhaps, you are the type of artist that feels the earth moving at an ever-stable pace and in so doing, the earth and life cease to mean anything for you. How can you, a simple creative, effect change when the world is so vast and sometimes uncaring? It can, at moments, seem pointless.
At FCF, we have dubbed these moments, the Blue Period. After Picasso. Because why not? He gets it.
When we had day jobs, we called them the Sunday Blues because they would hit in full force every Sunday, the day before Monday. The day before our lives regained a certain level of tedium belonging only to that misunderstood wretch known as Monday.
We felt sadness, and worse, emptiness when Monday retuned each week and we had nothing to show for our two days of relative freedom. There was a level of pure melancholy associated with Sunday afternoons because of this looming presence over our shoulders. Monday. The specter of yet another Monday spent on the treadmill of life sucked all the joy out of poor Sunday and left us both dejected.
To escape this, we started making small things on the weekends, getting angry when one or the other might flake out because it was our only means of relief. It became so important, those Sunday work sessions, to our mental health that we started making schedules for our weekends. We'd have phone dates and plan free photo shoots just to stave off the Blues a little longer. Work became our drug, the only anti-depressant we could consistently afford.
It's not easy to admit how difficult things were back then and still are sometimes. It's hard to feel so much that your own body is a prison for your heart, and only long walks with someone that understands you best can fix it.
It's hard to struggle under a mountain of pressure and fight each day to remind yourself why you started making beautiful things that are sometimes only beautiful to you.
It's hard to fight each morning because you're claustrophobic in a city filled with people that are going, going, going just to wait, wait, wait and pay, pay, pay for a drink. Or a smoke. Or a meal that is too big or too small, like a body that is too big or too small, or a soul that feels too big or too small or too tight or too stretched.
A lot of artists hide their blues with defense mechanisms. I hide mine with humor and odd distraction techniques. I also have a tendency toward random free word association that plays into my defense mechanisms nicely and helps me cope when I'm feeling vulnerable.
Because God forbid someone actually see who I am. The thought of that exposure is terrifying. Just as writing this blog is TERRIFYING. But I'm doing it anyway because it's good to feel scared sometimes. Change comes from fear and tragedy. Change is good, so on we go.
A lot of people use humor as a means to hide from those that care about us.
It's ironic, I think, that so many of us can hide pools of sadness behind laughter.
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I'm not sure why we do it - it's so much nicer when we just confess to our closest loved ones that we don't feel happy and these are the five thousand reasons why and can we please just hug for 18 minutes while we watch the end of this Dirty Dancing remake because we've powered through this far; we can't just stop now. Oh, no, what have they done to this classic!?!
Both of them, the tears and the laughs, come in magnificent fits of emotion that sweep right through you and change your inner world in an instant.
Both of them are important. They both make us human.
Only one of them carries a stigma.
So, today, we want to reach out to all of our artist buddies and tell you that you are lovely. And that you are doing well even if you don't feel you are. Because existing on this planet with everyone else can be very difficult.
When you are empathetic, caring, hardworking, or different.
When you are confounded by the way the world works and want so badly to change it but don't know how.
When your very heart overwhelms you and you can't escape your own mind.
We just want to tell you so much that you are loved and will be fine.
Life has an amazing way of working out if you remember that the Blue Periods will pass someday. They are just a side effect of your beautiful soul.
Have a magnificent weekend lovelies. :)
**This post is dedicated to survivors of depression, anxiety, and the Trump era. We adore you. You are so loved.