• Rachel Paige

Still Me

This week has been crazy busy with school, so instead of a regular blog post, I’m sharing one of my assignments with you.

This is a painting I did for my adolescent psych class entitled “Still Me.”

I wanted to portray what living with depression and anxiety feels like, and particularly what it felt like for me when it was at its worst. This is me back in high school, during the time when it felt like everything was falling apart. During the time I was self-harming and having the suicidal thoughts I mentioned last week.

"Still Me"

The red and purple splatters represent my social anxiety. Back then, it felt explosive and overwhelming, with thoughts going so fast I couldn’t keep track of them.

Under the splatters are black neurons, representing depression and the way it literally changes the brain. The black in the body also represents depression.

The light in the middle is me. My personality. My soul. I wanted to show that even though I was struggling, even though my depression and anxiety were trying to take over, I was still me.

I was still in there, just a little buried.

While this painting may look hopeless, I don’t see it that way. If I were to paint this again, but paint me as I am now, that light would be a lot bigger. The cuts would be faded lines. The yellow hiding underneath the neurons and splatters would be the foreground.

My depression and anxiety are still there, but they no longer control me. They no longer get to bury that light and send me into this position of complete and utter defeat.

That’s not to say they never will. Chances are, there will be times when I feel like I do in this painting. But I am not my depression. I am not my anxiety. I am the light in the middle, and even if or when they take control, the light will still exist. I’ll still be there, just a little buried.

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