Kevin and I are so happy to be back in New England and moved into our new home in Brownfield, Maine. It's "North-er" than we had ideally wanted to be but so beautiful, and private, and still within driving distance of the people and places we love.
We've had so many blessings on the way to this place that it's humbling. I don't know what we've done to deserve any of it. Firstly, we found a fabulous Airbnb in central Massachusetts to stay in during our transition. The space was new - clean and stylish - and Tim, the owner, is an outstanding host - friendly, interesting, informative, and fun! I wish we had been able to spend more time with him. Not only were we fortunate to have found such a great place, but especially fortunate to have found it during leaf-peeping season when most places in the area were completely booked!
A friend of many years gifted Kevin and I with a gorgeous set of dining room furniture. In fact, it's the exact Ethan Allen furniture that I have wanted since I worked there during college! Also, after selling the La-Z-Boy sofa and loveseat that we loved before leaving North Carolina, Kevin found the identical set on Craigslist only an hour away from us - and in better condition, too!
And yet, despite the blessings we've had, being thrilled to be back in New England, excited to have found a beautiful home, and being able to visit my mom and friends multiple times, I've been struggling mentally and emotionally. I'm very depressed. And I'm ashamed to feel like this when life is good and I'm so very blessed. Well-meaning friends try to comfort me by reminding me of this which only makes me feel worse. That's the thing with depression: it isolates you by making you feel like no one will understand and then you begin to isolate yourself. I haven't painted or written a blog post for two months and have removed myself from social media entirely.
Years ago I was diagnosed with depression and for the most part it's kept under control through medication. This is the worst it's been in a long time. I suspect that the stress of moving, combined with the stormy weather and shorter days (lack of sunlight), along with the stress of having to re-build a life again have aggravated it. I'm frequently on the verge of tears and I just want to stay in bed, but I've got to work my way out of this. A few days ago I started meditating (just 10 minutes a day) and started working out again. I'm also trying to improve my diet. Now I'm making myself write this blog post because even though it's not the kind of thing people want to read, I know I need to do this, and I know I'm not alone. Withdrawing from everything is the absolute worst thing we can do, despite what our brains tell us.
I'm still setting up my studio, but next week I'll start painting again and try to visit some local galleries. Not because I want to but because I need to. I've often been asked if I only paint when I'm inspired to. As romantic as that idea is, I believe that inspiration, motivation, and passion come second, after one has begun to practice. Depression is the same way, I think. Begin some new habits, make yourself practice living, and then the joy will come.
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