So one very boring evening, I had a thought. I wondered if I could fake body paint using Photoshop. I asked my pal, Beth, if she would be my guinea pig and lucky for me, she was up for the challenge! What started as a simple photo shoot ended up keeping me busy for weeks. I got more and more inspiration and learned how to do a plethora of Photoshop tricks.
I decided I would try to paint words on Beth’s body, but had a hard time finding the right text. I considered song lyrics and thoughtful quotes, but nothing portrayed the strength and confidence that Beth so gracefully wore that day. Then I remembered an excerpt from one of my favourite books that penetrated my heart, and it accented my photo beautifully:
“What I write in my journal tonight is that I am weak and full of fear. I explain that Depression and Loneliness have shown up, and I’m scared they will never leave. I say that I don’t want to take the drugs anymore, but I’m frightened I will have to. I’m terrified that I will never really pull my life together.
In response, somewhere from within me, rises a now-familiar presence, offering me all the certainties I have always wished another person would say to me when I was troubled. This is what I find myself writing to myself on the page:
I’m here. I love you. I don’t care if you need to stay up crying all night long, I will stay with you. If you need the medication again, go ahead and take it — I will love you through that, as well. If you don’t need the medication, I will love you, too. There’s nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I will protect you until you die, and after your death I will still protect you. I am stronger than Depression and I am braver than Loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me.”