Using Art and Writing To Survive Seasonal Depression:

Spring Greetings: 
Seeing sprouts and blooms reinforces to me that summer days are not far behind. Before we know it, we will be complaining about the heat and looking for relief indoors. When only a few weeks before, we were pacing from window to window hoping to see signs of life and sunshine. We never seem to be satisfied, do we?

Using Art and Writing To Survive Seasonal Depression:
I have created a little digital artwork but in truth, I need a break. Every winter I fight melancholy (aka Seasonal Depression) as it ever tugs me downward until it inevitably wins. The little bastard! My creativity wains until finally coming to a halt. This winter, I’ve worked more on being okay with my depression. It is not easy or comfortable sitting with this or allowing yourself to feel what the world sees as negative. But I am trying to learn how to accept this part of my struggle. I’ve fought it for so long. I want to change it into a usable or growing opportunity. I need to understand and be ok. I am not less because I cope with my depression. Nor, am I alone. But I need to learn how to use this time in a way that is helpful and maybe even productive. Are you wondering how I started working on this? I’m so glad you are 😉 because I would like to share.

it is usually after Christmas before I really begin to struggle. But since my family have grown up and we are empty nesters there is always someone missing or more than one someone’s. It sucks. Christmas is tougher these days. I loved every minute of our chaos, shopping for my family, cooking, baking and the activity and noise. Let me tell you something surprising, It is the noise I often miss the most. I never ever thought to hear myself ever say-or admit it out loud. I remember when my family never seemed to turn off and there was literally no where I could go for a moment of blissful quiet and peace. Nowadays, what I wouldn’t give to relive some of those moments. The cooking….I’m totally ok with handing over, Haha, especially when it comes to clean up duty. But I digress, nowadays I have so much silence it feels deafening at times. I miss my family, but they are independent adults with their own lives, as it should be. Learning how to navigate an empty nest life is great in some ways, but in others very hard. So, how does this artist whose creativity has bottomed out along with her joy survive? Barely, at times!

For me, my process begins or was influenced by someone I know who has begun to write. She is the queen of journaling. When she began working on a fiction novel it sparked a memory inside of my own heart. I too began writing a novel. It was years ago and like my journaling attempts is left somewhere in my iCloud to languish forgotten. Until…that one day I remembered. Am I writer? Who knows 🤷🏻‍♀️ however, l give myself a nudge saying it is okay to pick up my iPad and give it a chance. A serious attempt this time.

Seemingly, it began to take off with a mind of its own. Right when my artists soul started to grow weaker and my canvas blanker, I let myself acknowledg my sadness. This time, I didn’t berate myself, I chose to write instead. Did it completely dispel my depression? No, but I need to pass the hours of dreary, cold days in a different way, so why not try?!

The words began to fly onto pages. I get lost (or maybe found) in writing for long periods, it’s a different type of creative canvas. Where using words, I work on capturing my imagination and turn a story into words. In fact I am currently about 16 chapters into a rough draft (a very rough one) and still working. 😊

Will I finish? I honestly don’t know. Will it be any good? Who knows. What then, am I trying to say? It’s really pretty simple. But it’s taken me most of my life to achieve any progress or to allow myself to accept my depression. It is never going to stop or go away. Nor are chronic health problems. Life is hard sometimes. No one gets away without suffering. No one knows what unseen burdens others carry either. Fuck any people who make assumptions about your journey. Instead, look inside yourself and to the people who care, for courage and support. Find your canvas, or journal, or garden dirt and use any and all that help.

I have a friend who’s mother always told her, to me you are the world, to everyone else, you are just someone’s kid. These words have stuck with me ever since. Why? They concisely express how little time most of the world considers or cares about the world around them. If they do notice, it’s usually in an 120 characters or less instant that and an opinion is formed and forgotten. We should not care what they think or don’t think. (I’ll say it again) Everyone’s life is tough, and we’re are all on a journey-try to focus on yourself and when your vibe improves it will shine without effort. No one else can work on or fix you, it’s my job to find and make my own joy.


In Closing:
‘Don’t forget to shop early for Mothers Day or any Art lovers! Valerie Dowdy Etsy Store
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PS** Any fiction readers out there close to me interested in reading my story chapters? I’d like to have 3-5 people , follow along and then briefly share a private but honest experience via email (not editing-that will come much later)


available as prints up to 30×30 inches