My Name is Matthew, and I am a soldier. I have an interesting view that I share from time to time with the folks I encounter as I walk the road. Some of those people have encouraged me to seek out ways to help others or simply share my views or ideas with more people. I will blog on many subjects, from things that piss me off on a daily basis to more important issues such as dealing with chronic depression and the struggles that ensue as a result. I will be taking bits and pieces from emails and rants that I have verbalized as well, so if you see something we have talked about please, smile and nod...Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Food, painting, and other outlets

We all know how much outlets mean to someone suffering with depression. The problem is that most of the time, for people with depression, failure makes a situation unpleasant. The only way you can practice or get good at something is to fail, over and over again. If you want to paint, you need to learn, and that means failing. For someone who tries so hard to please other people in order to gain acceptance and feel connected, failure isn't the best thing. Part of the learning process is to fail, and be okay with that. accept that you are learning and getting better, and keep trying. Sense my trip to NOLA and Florida, I have wanted to try cooking some of the food I ate out there. I wanted to try painting and I have always been interested in drawing. SO, yesterday I got everything I need to paint and sketch and go at a slow pace as I want to. Day before yesterday I got everything together to make gumbo from scratch. I worked all day on it and it came out quite tasty. I was very happy with the results. I made every effort to do things exactly the way they tasted in New Orleans. The trick of the whole thing is, the food there is so diverse there really is no "Proper". I can taste Korean cooking, and make it at home and keep the flavors about the same. I can mimic just about anything, I can even add my style to a flavor that I taste. I found some amazing hot sauce while I was out, and added it to some red beans and rice I made last night. BLAMO ! Find something you like and enjoy it. I don't know why cooking is such a release for me. I'm not sure why I feel the intense urge to get in the kitchen and create things. What I do know is that I'm good at it and I enjoy it. I just wish I could express myself in other ways as well. So, I'm going to try my hand at painting and see where that goes. I'm going to try to sketch and draw. I will see where that goes as well. Maybe I will develop skills, maybe I won't maybe it will just be something fun that I do on the side. Maybe it will be something I'm horrible at and I don't do well at all no matter how much I try. The thing is, I have to try. I have to put my effort into it, and work at it or I won't ever know if I can enjoy it. I won't ever know if I can appreciate it, or use it to express myself. There is hope out there for us, those of us who are scared to try new things. There are things that we can do, if we can just get past the initial failures and take small steps forward. We have to accept that we will fail, and let that failure happen, if we want to find out how good we can be. We have to accept that we will fail, and enjoy that failure, let the failure teach us, learn from it, and then we can decide if we want to pursue something. I still cook dishes that aren't all that great. I still cook dishes that taste rather nasty sometimes. The difference is, I have had so many successes that the little failures don't bother me anymore. If I were to start cooking today, having never done anything more than box macaroni and cheese or beans and rice boxes, I would have SO MUCH TO LEARN. Anything is like that, you just have to work at it. Get outside that silly comfort zone. I wish you luck, just remember there is hope.


  1. I am absolutely NO GOOD at that thing called failure. Hope the painting goes well for you

    1. My paintings look like something a fifth grader did with his or her fingers. I really don't care, it's not about creating amazing art. I'm not expecting to be Picasso over night. Truth be told, I don't care if I ever produce art that anyone wants to look at. The idea was to get over myself and become confident enough to TRY. Failure is a part of all that. Accept what is amazing in you, and accept what isn't so amazing. Whatever the case, LOVE who you are. This is all new to me.

    2. I work at doing just that...every single day Wayne. Right now, taking care of a dying husband, is sucking the life right out of me. But .......

    3. From all the comments you have made on my postings, I can tell you in no uncertain terms that you yourself are a very strong person. There is more life in you than you realize. Your inner strength is a model for those who know you to follow. Your perseverance in the face of intense trials and struggles is an example to those who lose faith and heart.