Self portrait in pencil, completed on 26 July 2017. Initially, I drew this hoping I might get to know myself better if I spent time trying to replicate what I saw in my own eyes whenever I stared into a mirror. Unfortunately, self-awareness remains an elusive goal.
The title is taken from Shadowlands, a biographical film about Christian author and apologist C.S. Lewis directed by Richard Attenborough and written by William Nicholson. To quote the script, “We live in the shadowlands. Sun is always shining somewhere else… around a bend in the road… over the brow of a hill.”
The depression I’ve grappled with for almost twenty years are my personal shadowlands. The figures behind me in the image represent the viewpoint of the world surrounding the depressive mind: depression and social anxiety forces one’s focus inward rather than outward; in time, the rest of the world barely registers. The people you love become hollow shadow-people in your mind, vapors moving in the background, in the distance, just beyond the range of the senses. The rest of the world swirls around like ether, and you can’t really touch it. You feel nothing. The world fails to move you as it once did, and everything melts into various empty shades of black and gray.
To see a larger version of the image, click on the picture — or on this link — to be taken to the relevant page in my DeviantArt portfolio.