Dear Allyson,
The recent breakup with my girlfriend has left me drained, uninspired, in physical pain and world weary.  I find myself unmotivated and complacent in this pit of despair. Things that once excited me no end leave me with little drive, unaligned with any clear path to happiness again.  I’m taking time off to avoid tainting my work with this lousy attitude and hope to use this time to dive into my painting and reconnect but fear that I am isolating myself and that loneliness will continue to plague me. Do you have advice regarding loneliness or has your relationship shielded you from such things?
A tearful Namaste,

Hey Richard,

We are so honored that you feel you can share this depth of emotion with us. We have both dealt with even serious or extended periods of depression. Alex recommends the book, Transforming Depression by David Rosen. This book discusses creative expression as a healing power. Creativity enables the subjective state of the artist to be materialized into an artifact, an object. To be as real in that feeling while creating art would be expressive therapy after which the results can be observed. Observation is critical to detaching and evolving beyond depression, loneliness or any other negativity.
I recommend a practice of remembering things to appreciate. When your eyes open in the morning, force yourself to think of three things no matter how small, that you appreciate. Do it everyday and don’t repeat any… for the rest of your life. It’s a practice that helps overcome the habit of waking up worried and unhappy. Finding something nice to do for someone else, thinking about the well-being of anyone other than ourselves, can also detach us from our immersion into the darkness. Last thing to remember: Health is a function of participation. Go out with friends. Join us at CoSM.
Much love,
Allyson and Alex