Meditation, in the form of Comics

…and badly-drawn comics, at that.

I bring this up because I just started an Instagram account for my weird drawings and unwelcome thoughts, but with hashtags like #depression and #mentalhealth I started seeing a lot of people who post inspirational sayings and little daily encouragements.

I’ve never been that much of an optimistic person, so although I enjoy reading these posts, I doubt you’ll see me post something like that anytime soon. What’s more, although I wouldn’t be surprised if inspirational sayings were healthy and helpful to a lot of people, there’s something about them that doesn’t quite work for me.

I don’t feel better. And the more vague or generic they are, the worse it is. I like my fantasy with a little reality, and for me, the journey towards mental health does not always involve daisies and sunshine.

If it helps you, great.

***

At first I wasn’t sure about making my comics so depressing. I thought maybe they would encourage me to wallow and feel sorry for myself….even spiral into depression.

But the opposite occurred.

I constantly have the thoughts which turn into my comics whether I want to or not, but WRITING THEM DOWN allows me to see those thoughts in a form which is not inside my own head.

I got to laugh at them. I got to see my thoughts as separate from ME.

As someone who has MANY TIMES started and stopped meditation, I have a complicated relationship with it. It literally took me years to realize that meditation wasn’t STOPPING THINKING (my Westernized belief), but OBSERVING THINKING in a neutral way.

Whenever I meditate, I often get swept up in random thoughts, and then the negative self-talk joins in, kindly informing me: You’re meditating WRONG. Do it BETTER. Do it perfectly the FIRST TIME.

To come full circle, I realized that my comics were a physical representation of my meditation process. There were my negative, neurotic, unhelpful thoughts…right there on the paper. And I was observing them. Just observing. And gaining some very interesting and much-needed perspective.

Who knew my little scribbles could be so enlightening?

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