We are so pleased and honoured to premiere this powerful documentary video from Matty Carter + Ariel on ‘Creating With Depression’. Matty Carter lead singer of the duo battles with depression but instead of letting it beat him down, Matty has been using the condition to his advantage. In this open letter below Matty talks about how depression has enhanced his creativity. Watch the video below and read the open letter that follows.
I’m Matty Carter, and this is my story on Creating With Depression.
Creating With Depression: Having the ability to create from a perspective that not everyone can.
Depression has kept me down most of my life. At a point, I said to myself, Why me? Why make me feel this way all the time? I got exhausted from feeling sorry for myself. I made the decision that no matter how bad it gets… no matter how low or alone I feel… I’m going to fight for my life.
I thought to myself… Nobody will care if I give up… No one will remember me if I give up today and kill myself. That scared the shit out of me. The idea that all this pain and depression could be for absolutely nothing… I couldn’t handle that thought… I broke down.
The breakdown lasted a year… and at a point… as insane as it sounds… I embraced the breakdown… I wasn’t afraid to die and I let it take me where it wanted to. I started getting these visions, dreams and ideas. I saw people in these visions I had never met before and I heard songs in my head that I had never heard before. I saw myself in a way I had never seen myself before.
There is so much bad that comes along with depression but in that moment.. the lowest moment of my life.. I felt powerful. I wanted to immediately start creating all these visuals racing through my mind and I started putting on paper the words and lyrics I saw in my head and I feverishly began recording the melodies I was hearing and I desperately was trying to understand who these people were I was seeing in my dreams and visions… and for a period of time… I felt so high and clear and happy.
I should say that up until this moment in my life… when the low depressed moments would come and take me down… I wouldn’t fight… I let it beat me… I was self-destructive… destructive in general… angry… ugly… lost… And then just as quickly as that high moment came… it left. I was alone again. I was sad again. I was angry again. I didn’t see the point in trying to work for anything.
Creating with depression. I create with Manic Depression. I get really high highs and really low lows. Sometimes the low lasts a week or a month… sometimes just a few hours… but I started to realize that I could use these low moments to my advantage… to create visuals and songs that nobody else can and realized this is how I will leave my mark on this world. This is how I’ll change the world and make my existence with depression tolerable.
I could use these low depressed moments and create things that no one else can see or hear. When you’re that low… and when you’re that close to something so dangerous and evil.. you can see and feel the world from a perspective that not many people can. And when that high moment hits, I think that’s the universe’s way of balancing the bad. I started to see the visions come to life and the people around me were reassuring me that what I was creating was powerful, original and important. I became addicted to it. In a sick way, I looked forward to the low days because I thought… What art will come to me after this? A song? A visual? Colours or people…
I became obsessed with creating. I kept thinking that if I could use this to my advantage I could create something that would change the world. To me, that would make all the bad times worth it… that would make me okay with my life. There’s something there. There’s a story there. A romantic, heartbreaking, action packed, love story.. in this entire thing.
When you live with a depressed mind, you feel that there is so much broken inside you, and I feel that artists take that feeling and channel it into art, and almost go about creating their art with this completely authentic feeling. It’s more than just I want to do this…I have to do this.
Creating with Depression is an entire subculture of artists creating because their lives depend on it. There’s a countless list of filmmakers, painters, architects, songwriters, dancers, poets, actors, singers… People whose art is necessary. I think the fact that you have a bunch of people running around obsessively creating art, or obsessively pursuing a perfect sound or a perfect visual in their mind, there is something about that that is incredibly romantic.
It’s a pursuit of perfection they may never find, but they know that when that pursuit ends, they may become self-destructive. But if you didn’t have that, if you didn’t have certain minds creating for their life, you wouldn’t have all the incredible thought-provoking, life-changing pieces that they left behind.
I don’t think you can say we would have some of the most iconic artwork that we have without depression. Amy Winehouse, Van Gogh, Basquiat, Bukowski, Heath Ledger, Robin Williams, Kurt Cobain, Mark Rothko, Ian Curtis, Chris Cornell, Chester Bennington, Donny Hathaway and the list continues… These people gave the world some of the most beautiful and pure pieces of art, ever, and they were all depressed extremely creative minds.
There’s something there… as low as they felt … as tormented as they were inside themselves… they created. They were driven to show you that perspective. It’s a heartbreaking, romantic story… And it won’t always have a happy ending. But that’s the beauty for me. That pursuit or the process of creating with depression. You have to work for it… endure… You have to be a really strong person to find and create the beauty in that incredibly ugly moment.
I’m not trying to say that depression is always a good thing. But for one moment, I’d like to highlight one of the only positives that can come from it; this romantic story about creative depressive people on a constant pursuit of creating artistic perfection.
I want to give other people with a depression, a purpose- a purpose that maybe they haven’t found yet.
For me, I think if I can just put out that perfect thing I see in my mind or hear in my mind, ill have a moment of satisfaction, a moment of happiness. if I can just create this- then I’ll be happy…
That’s part of the story that’s incredibly romantic, it’s like one of the best love stories I’ve ever heard- constantly pursuing something constantly putting your whole life into something that may never love you back or may never happen. For a depressed mind its hope- thinking I could be ok someday- if you stop and you think about it too much, you might realize that you may never be ok, and I think in those moments your mind can be really dangerous.
A depressed mind will never reach a point of satisfaction. We’re never satisfied – there’s a lot of bad that can come with that- but if we use it as a fuel, as much as it can torment, we can create a whole lot of good.
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