It’s been a while since I’ve done a post about how I’m doing. I did record a video but for some reason the sound didn’t work so I’ll write instead.
This time last year I was up to my armpits in boxes and bleach, getting ready to move and not thinking at all about Christmas. Of course you all know about my mental health issues since then. I spent most of the last year trudging through treacle, well that’s what it felt like. I was the lowest I’d ever been in my life and it was hard to see an end to it all. The mask went on, the smile went on and I carried on but it was bloody hard.
As the year comes to an end I’m happier now than ever – well isn’t that a turn around!? I still have issues, sure haven’t we all! I’m still learning what I’m capable of and maybe not so capable of. I got a bit of a wake up call this week when I arrived into a packed place, something I felt I should have been at. I stood at the door, frozen to the spot. The noise and the lights started to overwhelm me and I was so close to either a panic attack or doing a runner. Thankfully I did neither. I walked to a quieter spot and saw someone I knew -phew. I settled myself and stayed for a little while. In hindsight I need to listen to myself more and not push myself. I’m not great with crowds and noise and that’s OK. I don’t need to go to everything and in fact I’m learning to say no.
I’ve also had a really busy couple of days photography wise. As far as that goes I still don’t like taking photos of people but if I get paid to do it I’ll do it – sometimes. The love of photography is fading big time. It’s been a while since I’ve looked at a photo I’ve taken and loved it. On the other hand art has come in. Part of my work involves documenting art sessions and I was just so inspired to try myself…..and I love it! I started with charcoal, I’ve now moved onto watercolour but I’ll try anything. It’s funny because I did an art class years ago and hated it! It was acrylics which is grand but we spent three weeks working on the same painting. Ain’t nobody got time for that! This is where my ADHD tendencies kick in and I got bored.I don’t want to spend hours adding in shadows. I just want to get a finished result quickly – I know that’s probably not the way to go but I much prefer to work that way. While I’m never going to give any artists a run for their money I’m happy and relaxed when I’m painting or drawing. I have been known to go upstairs to get something and not come down for a couple of hours because the paints were ‘calling me’! And yes I was painting at 4am! I blame Rocket-dog because he woke me up.
As for the insomnia since I’ve started painting I’m sleeping so much better, apart from last night. I paint for about twenty minutes before I get into bed and instead of being online in the evening I draw. So I think as I’m more relaxed it’s helping me sleep.
I’m happy now to chat away about my anxiety and depression issues. If I can help just one person that’s enough for me. We have to change the way people think about mental health issues. There are so many of us suffering and you would never know to look at them. We are great at hiding it. I think the general misconception is that to be depressed you have to be sitting in the corner of a room crying – that’s not it at all. Anyone of us could be struggling but some people don’t feel like they have the support to talk about it. I’m one of the lucky ones…and speaking of support our Coffee Morning is on tomorrow (Monday 4th) in The Blind Tiger, Sligo from 10am – 12 noon. All are welcome, it’s just a chance to meet others and have a chat. Blaithin from Havin’aLaugh will be there if you want to find out more about their fantastic charity.
Mind yourselves and if you are struggling try to remember it won’t always be like this. Today might be hard but hopefully tomorrow will be better x
Will do my best to make it tomorrow morning……
Sorry you didn’t make it
It’s great to read that this has been your best year yet. It’s not easy. And yes, I agree whole-heartedly about art being a big stress/anxiety/depression-buster. It’s also good that you have tried different mediums. And the fact that you’re mental health improves whenever you even sketch or paint is very beneficial. Would love to see some of your work/play, if at all possible?
Thanks Jacintha, I know you saw some of it on Facebook – it’s not very good so if I get better I might post some on here 🙂