At a very young age, Lucy Smith’s mood dropped so low it went underground and died. Clinical major depression had taken its toll. Throughout her adolescence, Lucy struggled with painful social interactions and suicidal thoughts, learning to fantasize about living in a different world. When no one else was around, her inner world came alive, and she could dance, dream, act, sing, draw, and write her way into relief from reality.
In the illustrated journal “The Dirt: An Illustrated, 100% Uncensored Memoir of a Girl with Mental Illness,” Lucy acknowledges her struggles with mental illness and channels her internal dialogue into an outer dialogue that simultaneously informs and helps others. “The Dirt” offers snapshots of Lucy’s thoughts about her depression, anxiety, and bipolar mania as she navigates through difficult circumstances such as unrequited love and familial abuse.
The journal entries are sorted into themed sections: “Anxiety,” for situations where she second-guesses everyone in her social life and their motives towards her; “Body,” for struggles relating to her body dysmorphia and eating disorder; “Depression,” the biggest section, detailing her suicidal thoughts and how they affect her life; “Family,” where she discusses the abuse from her family, especially her parents; “Love,” where she ruminates on such topics as living and dying alone; “Metaphysics,” where she discusses her metaphysical beliefs and how they help her deal with some of her issues; and “Coping,” the final chapter, in which she encourages readers to fight for their own wellbeing with positive ideas.
With “The Dirt,” Lucy creates a new public dialogue, inspiring other girls and feminine-presenting individuals to come forward with their stories. Community is built through dialogue, and it takes courageous people to start a dialogue about challenging and controversial issues. Let’s nurture a community with no stigma about mental illness, where no related subject is taboo, and where everyone can get the help they need— and not be afraid to ask for it.“The Dirt: An Illustrated, 100% Uncensored Memoir of a Girl with Mental Illness” is solid proof that despite the suffering, we are capable of thriving.
Lucy Marie Smith graduated from Moore College of Art & Design in 2016 with a B.F.A. in Illustration, adding to her A.F.A. in Illustration from Delaware College of Art & Design and her B.A. in Theatre from West Chester University (cum laude). Among her interests are painting, dogs, and organizing messy rooms. In her free time, Lucy moonlights as a face painter at birthday parties (colorfulkingdom.net) and a mommy to a beautiful, feisty Pomeranian. She lives in Northridge, CA.