The Art of Battling My Depression
Camila Ozores is originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina. She moved to Tampa, Florida in 2006 following her father's career and is currently studying Psychology and Behavioral Health Care at the University of South Florida. Art has made a huge impact in her life, giving her an outlet to express her feelings in ways words sometimes can't. Depression and other mental illnesses have been a part of her life for years but art has given her the ability to cope and move forward. This is her story.
Q: How has depression altered your life recently or in the past?
A: Depression hit me when I was about twelve and has stayed with me to this day. It was and is something that keeps me chained to my bed all day with no motivation to do anything responsible or productive. It strips me of my normally extroverted qualities and belittles me to a mess of tears and hopelessness and anger. It definitely kept me from accomplishing a lot that I wanted to do because it makes it difficult to even get out of bed. The thing about depression is that you think it’s gone, you can go weeks or months without feeling its claws around your mind and out of nowhere it hits you again.
I remember over the summer, there was a two week period where I was going through a rough patch with my family and I ended up living with a friend. I had a job and every morning my alarm would burst through my dreams reminding me that I had to wake up and face the day, even though this depression pressed down on every aspect of my being. I ended up, day after day, lying in bed continuously hitting the snooze button. I wouldn’t even get up to shower or eat. The sad thing was that I would end every day by telling myself that tomorrow would be different, that I would get up and shower and go to work; but that never happened. I would wake up in a state of panic at the thought of having to leave the comforting oasis my bed had become. I lost my job and eventually my normal feelings returned and I become a functioning human again but depression never ceases to haunt me every so often.
Q: How do you keep your depression at bay in order to function in everyday life?
A: I try to remind myself that I have been through it before and that I was able to get to this point. That kind of reinforces the fact that I need to keep fighting through the depression because I always make it through, I have a survival rate of 100% and I don’t want to mess that up. Basically, remembering that everything I am feeling at the moment is temporary and that I can eventually surpass it and build a strong and beautiful life despite of it really helps me keep on going.
Q: Most of your artwork is very positive and empowering. Where do you get your inspiration for it?
A: A lot of my inspiration comes from within. I tend to disregard most advice other people give me because of how cliché and generic it usually is, but I find that if I come across an inspirational positive quote or message by myself then it has a helping effect. Since I know what I would like to hear when I go through depression, I use that and express it in my artwork. We must become our own therapist, our own best friend, our own savior because we are the only ones that know us the best. We are the only ones who have been there and will be there through every step in life. We need to be aware of what makes us feel better and become comfortable utilizing that self-awareness to better ourselves.
Q: Can you share any piece of advice with our readers on your journey with depression?
A: Every situation is different. However, I can tell you with certainty that if you try, you will overcome depression. You need to realize that you are in control of your own emotions and feelings and although depression is usually circumstantial and uncontrollable, you can fight it to a certain degree. For example, getting help from professional counseling, sharing your thoughts with a friend, finding a healthy outlet for your negative emotions (writing, music, sports, etc.), reading anecdotes from people who have mastered the art of coping with depression.
Do not let a day go by where you forget to remind yourself of your self-worth. It escapes us at times, but I believe we all have a purpose in our lives. Find your purpose, find your deepest desire and make every next step in your life geared towards achieving that goal that will make you feel fulfilled. Whenever depression grasps your mind in its possessive angry claws, force yourself to think about the future and how successful or happy you could be. Use this inspiring image of yourself in the future to remind yourself that if you give up now, you will never be able to see how much more you are capable of. And I am willing to bet each and every single human being out there is capable of monumental greatness.