L'anthologie of Global Inestabilidad Transpuesta - The Emotional Stability in Expecting Emotional Instability - Brazil (Part 22)

Transposing emblem by Sera Kelvin
According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, the definition of instability is: “the quality or state of being unstable; especially: lack of emotional or mental stability.”
Salvador, Brazil - Aerial view by R.M. Nunes
I was 14 years old when I was first diagnosed with depression. Having struggled with severe insomnia and lack of appetite for a year, I was very confused. Depression was not something people talked about in 1995. People who went to therapy were mostly viewed as “crazy.” The world was definitely a very different place and there wasn’t access to as much information as there is today. I had never heard of it, didn’t know what was going on, and my friends and family didn’t understand how unstable my moods were, nor why my personality had changed so much so fast. Clueless as to what was going on inside my mind, I’d listen to the radio on my Walkman to cope with sleepless nights before going to school in the morning, and my favorite shows were radio talk shows, especially one every Wednesday night with a female guest psychologist.
Belo Horizonte, Brazil - Aerial view by Frazao
One night the show’s theme was depression, and the psychologist gave out a yes-or-no questionnaire to find out if you might be depressed. I remember I answered yes to around 48 out of 60 questions. There: I had a name for my problem. It was a major breakthrough, which, at first, made me feel less lonely. I found out it happened to other people too, I found out there was treatment, I found out I wasn’t going “crazy”, but I also found out — since it wasn’t something that developed due to a particular fact, but rather was actually an illness that ran in my family, as I learned later — that I’d probably have to cope with the kind of emotional instability resulting from it for the rest of my life.
Brasilia, Brazil - Cathedral of Brasilia by Frazao
Since then, depression and mental illnesses have gained major attention in the media and lost some of their stigma, but this kind of emotional instability is always going to cost a lot when you experience it personally. Not knowing in what mental and emotional state you’ll wake up the next morning can be devastating. Actually, the most vivid aspect that always helped me recognize I was having a major bout of depression was 1) the feeling it was always cloudy, and 2) the feeling of dread when waking up. Opening your eyes, remembering who you are and experiencing the overwhelming sensation of pure dread for having to be who you are for the next few hours is so, so sad. It makes you feel like you’re being ungrateful for the life you were given, at the same time it makes you feel frozen. It is not glamorous like rock stars and movie stars and films and music and books and poems may make it look, it’s not a “tormented/lonely/crazy/genius” problem; it’s a disease and pretty ugly at that. This glamorization of depression sometimes angers me. I don’t feel special and more profound because of it, and I occasionally envy people who are able to deal with life in a more practical way than I do.
Sao Paulo, Brazil - Black swan by Junot
Having had another 2 major bouts of depression after the first one, which included OCD symptoms, being in abusive or codependent romantic relationships and suicidal thoughts, I have now been in therapy for 8 years straight and on medication, but most important of all, I’ve learned to accept it. The little stability I now feel in knowing to expect emotional instability is a kind of refuge, a way to cope, and a consolation. Instability is an emotional and psychological state that may be viewed as a burden or as a resilience test. Most of the time, I try to view it as a resilience test, or better yet, a resilience exercise. Still, even though I appreciate having emotional instability making me get to know myself and observe myself, making me strong, making me count on myself and making me wiser, there are few things I’d like more than not feeling unstable, not knowing what my reaction to something will be, not trusting myself in a way, and not feeling like I have a saboteur inside of me. If we think instability in the outside world is hard, imagine instability inside yourself. You can have the most stable relationship, job or financial situation in the world and still, emotional instability can cause you to lose everything.
Brazil - Rural landscape by Snehitdesign
Despite all this, living in a world that’s facing constant political and social instability, making a living as a freelancer and consequently not knowing how much I’ll make the next month, and feeling like so many others from my generation who still don’t know what they really “want to be” at 35 years old, I am glad to have experienced my emotional instability early on — regardless of the difficulties it has brought and the months I’ve lost when it made my life “stop.” The experience made me learn how to cope with the craziness, with the unknown, with uncertainty and insecurity, and, most of all, taught me — despite what it seemed like in the midst of many storms — that it’s all going to be OK.

Sera Kelvin
The Emblem of Instability in a postcard booklet (text on back) at 1080 Brew (Bushwick/Ridgewood, New York)


Photo 1: Salvador, Brazil - Flag by Promesa Art Studio
Photo 2: Salvador, Brazil - Aerial view by R.M Nunes
Photo 3: Belo Horizonte, Brazil - Aerial view by Frazao
Photo 4: Brasilia, Brazil - Cathedral of Brasilia by Frazao
Photo 5: Sao Paulo, Brazil - Black swan by Junot
Photo 6: Brazil - Rural landscape by Snehitdesign
Photo 7: Brazil - Herons of the Pantanal by vbacarin
Photo 8: Brazil - Colored macaw parrot by Junot
Brazil - Herons of the Pantanal by vbacarin

Parts of the Emblem of Instability

Delibasheva, Emilia. Political Instability: Electoral Coups in America and Bulgaria. December 2016.
Bichen, Svetlana Novoselova. Mental and Cultural Instability: Russia and Turkey. February 2017.
Caetano, Raphael. Instabilidade emocional: Brazil. February 2017.
Dastan, S.A. The Stability of Instability: Turkey and Syria. March 2017.
D'Adam, Anton. Psychosocial Instability in Argentina and America: El granero del mundo and The Manifest Destiny. January 2017.
Friedrich, Angelika. Introduction: The Emblem of Instability. September 2016.
Fondevik, Vigdis. Unstable Nature: Norway and Denmark. October 2016.
Halimi, Sophia. Modern Instabilité: Youth and Employment in France and China. March 2017.
Hernandez, Jonay Quintero. Embracing Instability - Spain. February 2017.
Mankevich, Tatsiana. The Absence of Linguistic Stabilнасцi: Does the Belarusian Language Have a Future? December 2016.
Meschi, Isabelle. Linguistic Instabilité and Instabilità: France and Italy. November 2016.
Mitra, Ashutosh. The Instability of Change: India. January 2016.
Moussly, Sahar. The Instability of Tyranny: Syria and the Syrian Diaspora. December 2016.
Nastou, Eliza. Psychological Αστάθεια and Inestabilidad during the Economic Crisis: Greece and Spain. December 2016.
Partykowska, Natalia. Niestabilność and адсутнасць стабільнасці in the Arts: Polish and Belarusian Theater. January 2017.
Persio, P.L.F. Social Instabilità and Instabiliteit: Italy and the Netherlands. November 2016.
Pranevich, Liubou. Cultural Instability: Belarus and Poland. March 2017.
Romano, Mavi. Unstable Identities: Ecuador and Europe. October 2016.
Sousa, Antonia. Social and Economic Instabilidade: Portugal. January 2017.
Vuka. My Intimate Imbalanced Inclination. March 2017.
Walton, Éva. Historical and Psychological Bizonytalanság within Hungarian Culture. January 2017.
Zadrożna-Nowak, Amelia. Economic Instability: Poles at Home and the Polish Diaspora. November 2016.

To follow: texts by Russian, Spanish, Guatemalan, New Guinean, Serbian, Lithuanian, Ukrainian writers and translators
Brazil - Colored macaw parrot by Junot
Further reading

Azazeal, Alex. Отражение Spiegelt Reflection. 2014.
Friedrich, Angelika. The Emblem of Instability. September 2016.
Friedrich, Angelika. Sub-Under-U-метро-Bahn-Ground-Way. 2014.
Gergiev, Vladimir. Street - Straße - Улица. 2014
Metivier, Anthony. Kunstart. 2014.
Smirnov, Yuri. Art de streetулица. 2013.
Whittlesey, Henry, et al. Transposing Emblem - Junk Culture - Müll Trashed Мусор (Part I). August 2016.
Whittlesey, Henry, et al. Transposing Emblem - Junk Culture - Müll Trashed Мусор (Part II). August 2016.
Whittlesey, Henry, et al. Transposing Emblem - Junk Culture - Müll Trashed Мусор (Part III). September 2016.
Whittlesey, Henry. Forward to Next Transposing Emblem. January 2016.
Whittlesey, Henry. Changes to Transposing Emblems. November 2015.
Whittlesey, Henry. Excerpt of new emblem transpoзиция on trash. September 2015.
Whittlesey, Henry. Müll trashed мусор. 2013

Visit www.transposing.net for more information about transposition.
The Emblem of Instability in a postcard booklet (text on back) at 1080 Brew (Bushwick/Ridgewood, New York)

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