Fangirls, I love Harry Potter more than anything. It was my first fandom, Ron was my first crush, and it was the first series of chapter books I read on my own. Knowing that, I ended up with 2 copies of the Harry Potter Adult Coloring book; one for my birthday, one for Christmas. And it took me forever to even consider coloring them.
I think the adult coloring book trend is great; there are beautiful designs in the books, and they’re supposed to be calming. But I see every one of those books as a panic attack waiting to happen. I was diagnosed with anxiety four or five years ago, along with severe chronic depression. I’ve never been medicated for the anxiety, because I’ve always hoped that it’s something that I could beat, and I think the Harry Potter Coloring Book is what will help me with that.
I get really anxious when I see the adult coloring books, because the designs are so tiny. There’s so much room for error; what if you’re working on a pattern, and you mess up the colors? What if your pencils aren’t sharp enough, and you can’t stay in the lines? What if you forget which color you were using, and mess up a page with the wrong color? All of that made me want to implode; there’s too much that can go wrong. Originally, I thought the only way to help avoid those problems was to not do the books, then I thought doing a page in a day was the way to go, then I got overwhelmed with the intricacy of the patterns again. It’s a lot to think about.
But this Wednesday, when my mum and I went to A.C. Moore, I picked up some colored pencils. I had a $10 rewards check, so I grabbed a big box of Crayola’s pencils (that are marketed at adults for these coloring books), and took the plunge. That night I started coloring this page, but I made sure to only work on one thing at a time.
It’s been slow going. I try to only work on part of the page at a time, to avoid the possibility of smudging, but I did the whole page of one design the other day, so I have to work around it. I limit myself to the one design, because I want to try to combat my anxiety. I want to remind myself that not only is it okay to make mistakes, but everything is manageable.
I started with the page above, because though the design is rather intricate, there is room in between designs for me to realize that it’s not the end of the world, and it seems more manageable. I think it’s helping with my anxiety; when I get frustrated with something, I’m trying to step back and break it down; making lists and looking at smaller pieces of the problem has always helped me. Conquering my fear of this coloring book is going to be a reminder that I can get over my anxiety in situations.
I know I’m working slowly, but I feel like I’m going in the right direction, and that’s exciting. If you have any ways that you cope with your anxiety or depression, feel free to share in the comments below, or on social media!
All images and characters depicted are copyright of their respective owners.