Colouring page from “Saggesse D’Asie” by Hachette Loisirs

As I bounce up and down with my new medication, one thing that I’ve been in awe at the appearance and disappearance of is my ability to understand and use colours in my art.

Let me explain.

I’ve had colouring pencils and access to a digital tablet for long periods of time, but to be able to feel like I understand the way colours work? It always felt immensely difficult, like it was warping my brain in ways that didn’t make sense. I thought it was just me not being educated or skilled enough. Then, I discovered that I could shade perfectly well in black and white. But whenever I added colour it felt wrong. Just- wrong. When I coloured in a picture, I had to change the filters to black and white to make it make sense to me.

It’s not that I’m colour blind. I just, it felt weird to create colour. And then, one day, a friend told me that depression inhibits your ability to see colours. Bingo. I researched a little, and realized that there must be some sort of connection there.

Once I started medication and was stable and not depressed for the first time, I began colouring in my pictures. For once it felt natural. It made sense to colour in faces, and I realized that indeed, it was ridiculous and illogical to worry about bringing a page to life by colouring in the eyes (oh, the things we discover with medication!).

Recently, I started a new antidepressant (from which I am still stabilizing, hence the shortness of this post) and a few hours after- wham! I looked up and realized how much colours surrounded me. It was drastic. Not only did I feel better and a bit elated, but I could see the difference between the grey world of depression and the beautiful reality that was there to be seen. I couldn’t believe it. It was beautiful.

Now, as my medications continue fluctuating up and down my ability to understand colours fluctuates as well, but constantly trending to the positive. Now using colouring pencils feels logical. Filling in a colouring page no longer feels strange. I feel as if the colours just make more sense and are easier to manipulate. Progress is being made, I can feel it. Now I can look forward to a day when hopefully, it will be easy and natural to colour in an image.