By: Graceson C.
I've had a lot of struggles with mental health throughout my life. I particularly have issues with depression and anxiety as a queer person, and a queer teen in particular. I've gone through the loss of friends and entire communities as a result of me coming out of the closet, and being who I am has made me more afraid of being completely honest with people about myself. The word "anhedonia" has to do with the loss of motivation to do things that one enjoys. This is a feeling I commonly experience, especially when my mental health is declining. The piece depicts me looking away from the viewer, appearing "spaced out," which is a common phrase I hear when I'm in an emotional rut. Oftentimes I won't really feel anything, or I'll feel emotions in a very blurry and diminished, unreal way. It's a very intense numbness, in the same way that silence can be loud. The constellations in the background represent my interest in astronomy, which has offered me a lot of comfort throughout my life, as well as incorporating the feeling of being "spaced out". I also chose to make the piece black and white because the "color" of life goes away when I'm incapable of fully experiencing it. These things being big components of the nature of my piece show how the concept of anhedonia can blanket me with numbness and exhaustion, feeling like it's my entire reality