Depression… it’s a bitch.

It’s not sadness, it’s an emptiness, lack of enthusiasm (what’s the point) bullshit, adverse to doing anything to make it better. Wanting to tell the world, it’s a trap. Not interested in struggling, with my physical manifestations absent, I hope to wake up different. I’m annoyed with myself. Actively bored with myself. Waiting it out. Not wanting to interact. Then saying something requires responding, which I really don’t want to do. So what is this?? A message in a bottle?

Bed is a sanctuary, an island, a vacation from dealing with intangible eventualities. It is depression’s nature (yes a personification) to be this way, it’s important I don’t forget. That it’s also my nature, that can be so frustrating to people around me, although I don’t really care in this moment, which undoubtedly morphs into remorse.

I wasn’t going to post this, but maybe it’s important to share what this is like. To articulate… I often write things and not share it. It’s a tactic to not getting myself in trouble on social media. I tend to have momentary emotionally driven XYZ. But this isn’t directed at anyone, so perhaps an appropriate dissection. There is no secret I have bipolar disorder.

I don’t like people thinking of me as less capable, the look on someone’s face, acknowledgment of being ‘special’ makes me want to run circles around them, pummel them with insight, drop my body of creative work at their feet and ask “what have you done with your life?” In truth, wishing I could trade my gifts for… something I could never have. I’ve come to terms (more or less) that I am different than most. Depending on my state of mind, that could be a good thing.

I have names for the aspects of my personality I don’t like. Brad and Vic. When I’m in a mood, I can indulge it, which prolongs the phase. Brad is a bitch, who complains and deprecates himself. Sometimes I can be irritable. And Vic is a dick that starts arguments and wants to destroy what I’ve built. Neither is good company. When Brad and Vic get together, I can be a real asshole, so I try not to expose anyone to that part of me.

So I wait until it’s over, until I can interact with other humans. For right now, I’m going to continue to hang with Vic, that’s a dick and Brad, who’s a bitch. At least until I can get them to fucking leave.

Why I Advocate For Those Living With Mental Illness

It is extremely difficult to navigate the world when you have bipolar disorder. I spent my life trying to find a way to live. It can be be very frustrating to find proper treatment. So much is stacked against you. Even after courageously seeking help, getting a diagnosis, finding the right medication, realizing the system is flawed, doctors don’t have all the answers, care can be conditional, and family members may blame you… we continue to persevere.

My career has been in advertising, music and media, but I tried to hide my mental illness from my employers. I lost so many jobs because of my manic episodes. Most recently, I was the editor-in-chief at Popdust.com before my psychotic break. After calling 911 on myself, I was admitted into the psych ward of Beth Israel hospital in April 2019. For over 18 years I fought for my life while trying to appear normal. After this last hospitalization, I told myself, no more. I am officially ‘out’.

Since I can no longer hide, I would like to help those who suffer in silence. I believe there is a therapeutic value in sharing my experience. I want to fight the stigma associated with mental illness. I’m grateful to have an opportunity to use my gifts to help so many who feel alone. Together, there is hope.

Winston Takes a Coffee Break

“Stipple Winston” ✍🏼 Art by Dan Victor.

This was a special one. Stippling technique with a coffee wash. I used coffee often as a cheap form of water color in art school. I was smoking Winston’s at the time. I have been quit for 8 years. This drawing was done more recently.

I loved coffee when I was in college. I still do like coffee a whole bunch, but not like then. I would chain-smoke cigarettes and bottomless cups of joe at the 24-hour dinner. There was always a diner around. At Kutztown, it was the Airport Diner, aka the APD. In my home town it was the Budd Lake Diner, 24/7 and a block away from my house. I have eaten there more than any other place. Minimum once a week.

I would also draw in the sketchbook so I had something to do by myself besides read. Killed lots of time like that. No wonder I started using the coffee as water color, and the smokes as charcoal. As a fan of mixed media, I liked the idea of ‘cheap art’. Something accessible, yet still of high quality.

I just love creatures, patterns and robots, so look for more. Follow me on all the things. I am always curating content on my socials. Take a look at the Tshirts I make. Stipple Wilson will make it to one of these shirts soon.

🤔 Would you get this on a t-shirt?
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