I've been trying to figure out what to say for months. My poor blog has been neglected and even was down for a little bit.
So what to say?
- "You have to live your life // while your blood is boiling // cause doors won't open // if you stand and watch them..." (Song lyrics from 'Cha-Ching (till we grow older) by my favorite band, Imagine Dragons
It's time to fully embrace my own life. I've spent so many years taking care of everyone else and ignoring myself, neglecting to practice self-care, even though I encouraged others to do it! Taking care of myself & setting boundaries is hard, as I love to be helpful. But my worth isn't found in people-pleasing, but my divine inheritance as a daughter of God.
I remember this post by Jenny Lawson, where she reassures us that depression is a liar. I was in so deep, I didn't realize I'd lost the sun. I feel like I'm reaching for the light, but still treading water, my sight on the shore.
(And I encourage you to find someone to talk to if you're depressed. I found a layer of anxiety under everything that I didn't even know was there.)
The deeper I went, the less art I created. I found no joy in coloring or drawing or even doodling! My passion was AWOL and I didn't seem to care. Putting myself in the headspace of Past-Me is scary, but an important lesson I can never forget.
I went for help and stayed a week. I learned so much, not only from the counselors, but my fellow patients. From all walks of life, these people helped me recover myself and encouraged me to keep doing art by giving genuine compliments about my sketchbook. It was an amazing week, and I felt all stigmas around my depression and anxiety fall away. We all have our demons, no matter who you are or where you live.
All my medications, including for my fibromyalgia,were fine tuned to work smoothly. And here's a shocker - I take ibuprofen for pain, now! Being in my body without a cloudy mind is amazing. My eyes see better and I don't feel in as much pain as I used to be.
(I was skeptical at first but oh my! I'm also off sleeping pills!)
I feel like a new me. I've moved out and am working towards a place of my own. I know when I'm happy and relaxed that I create lots of paintings. Right now, sales would be wonderful, as I am in a hole I'm climbing out of, one day at a time. (Look in my etsy shop for daily listings for the next two weeks!)
I am still grieving the recent loss of my mother, spending many nights tossing and turning. And days of phone calls. But I know she's proud of me, & in a better place.
I'm riding this wave of joy for all it's worth. Because I'm a survivor of something I must battle every day. Each day, I have to make the decision to get out of bed, if only to sit on the couch. I know the adversary, and thus, I know Heavenly Father.
It's time to be blessedly imperfect, to start over, and live my words of my year: warrior.
Ps. I'm very open and candid in this post, which isn't what I normally write. But if my words can help one of you feel less alone, then it's worth putting up. This is a life-long battle, and one you can lose. So I'm going to keep fighting & try to inspire and uplift others with my art & experiences.
Pps. The images are from the first three paintings I've listed on Etsy. I'll be listing some more tomorrow/Thursday.