Category Archives: Depression

Hiding in Art

If you spend too much time looking at the world, you’ll see that there’s a lot of awful stuff out there. I’m on Twitter too much. I check the Washington Post online too often. These activities are not helping me or anybody else, and they are diminishing my capacity for happiness. Life is too short to spend it being unhappy.

It’s not like I don’t have things to think about other than the fall of civilization as we know it. I have interests like writing, making art and jewelry, the paranormal, listening to podcasts, and so much more.

Here’s an idea to get myself on a better track. Instead of wasting time reading tweets that make me worry I’ll open up the WordPress app and catch up on those blogs I follow. And when I do that I can begin to interact with fellow bloggers and get that sense of community that I hear so much about. This is a no-brainer.

How about as I get more involved with blogging I start posting more? I have so many things I want to write about.

It’s a shame that it has taken a wrecked world to get me off my butt.

Here’s some art.

Digital art

Much Better

It’s amazing how much better life is when your every waking moment isn’t anxiety filled. The increased Fluoxetine dosage is finally working, so life has not been awful for about two weeks. I do experience a few anxious moments, but I’m able to brush the feeling away and move to a better place. These days I have a song in my heart and a little spring in my step.

I finished my two 10 x 10 canvases. Now I need to reopen my Etsy store and offer them for sale. The desire to make jewelry is gradually creeping in, but mixed media is still more compelling.

My new podcast fix is Spontaneanation with Paul F. Tompkins. In the show, Tompkins has a conversation with a guest. The guest then comes up with a location for a narrative improv that will be performed later by the day’s assembled actors. It’s good fun!

Today is the last rehearsal before GenCon. I’ll be glad to get my Sundays back. If you’re going to Gen Con, look for Different Drummer Belly Dancers performing in the convention center during conference weekdays and then on Saturday before the costume contest. We’re saluting Star Wars! I’m Han Solo in this one.

I’ve been listening to one audiobook after the other. I’ll post about that soon. I’m still reading Welcome to Night Vale on my Kindle.

Things are just way better for me these days. I hope to get some things accomplished now that my mind is clear.

Photo of cone flower with yellow petals.

Today’s Timehop from two years ago.

 

Is it that bad?

If you pay attention to the news or log on to Facebook you’ll learn about horrible things going on in the world. Sometimes you hear about good things, but the bad sticks with you. It’s like when you get a new shirt, and ten people tell you how nice you look in it, but one person says “that’s not a good color on you.”  The natural tendency is to forget the compliments and latch on to the one negative comment. Why are we like this?

Illustration of blue t-shirt.

If you have a tendency experience depression and anxiety, latching onto the negative is a habit you must get out of. It’s a habit, which for me, could lead to serious health problems. As I learned in March of this year, too much stress can cause an MS flare-up (relapse). A flare-up can result in permanent nerve damage. I don’t want that to happen.

Here are 10 things I can do to stay positive and mentally healthy.

  1. Stay off of Facebook
  2. Write everyday
  3. Breathe
  4. Make art
  5. Make jewelry
  6. Escape into fiction books
  7. Meditate
  8. Exercise
  9. Experience nature
  10. Eat right

If I look back at my life I can see that everything always works out. I don’t have to worry about some disaster happening because a disaster has never happened. Even my MS diagnosis wasn’t a disaster. The Universe takes care of me. I’ve just got to trust it.

It helps to do the little things to take care of myself like going to Goodwill and buying some jeans to replace the ones with holes in them that I won’t stop wearing. Don’t I deserve to be not dressed in rags? Three of my favorite pairs of shoes have holes in them too, so I need to get those replaced.

Here’s something I made on my iPhone with Sketch Club and Reflection.

Digital drawing of butterfly

Butterfly reflected

Breathing, breathing, breathing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding a Way

It’s time to face my fears and take some action! In a previous post, I said something about making money from blogging. The idea has been on my mind for quite a while, but it has remained only an idea. If I want to move forward, I must start doing some concrete things to achive my goals.

 I’ve been giving thought to what my money-making blog would be about.  The topic should be something that I care about deeply. I’ve been interested in web content curation for a while, but it’s not really my passion. If I were more of a reader I could review books. I thought about library related stuff, but I’m not a working librarin and don’t plan to be after I get my degree. I wouldn’t have the requisite street cred. 

I think it comes down to jewelry and mixed media art/art journaling.  I mentioned that I suffer from anxiety and depression. It occurs to me that if I started using art journaling as a therapeutic practice I could blog about it. I could learn new techniques and share them. It seems the most sensible thing. 

I figure I’ll get started with the blog and see how it goes. If it seems like it will take off, I’ll start taking steps to monetize it.

That’s a plan. Time to execute.

In other news, I saw the doctor today and he increased my Fluoxetene dosage from 20 to 40 mg. I hope it kicks in soon. I’m tired of the misery.

I finished my paper about Thomas Fountain Blue over the weekend. I think it’s a bit mediocre, but there is not a lot of information to be found on the man. I should have picked a different topic. Oh well, it is what it is. 

Here’s the most recent journal page I worked on as part of Donna Downey’s Inspiration Wednesday. Maybe I can be the next Donna Downey after my blog takes off!

Learning Everyday

I guess I’m learning what it’s like to live with, and how to manage an MS flare-up. My legs, as of late yesterday, feel pretty close to normal. I could walk without an assistive device, but in the afternoon, I was too tired to go very far without help. We went to the hospital to visit Dad. They are taking him tonight to Methodist Hospital for the electroconvulsive therapy. He’s scared. We tried to reassure him that things will be okay, but his thoughts are not at all rational. He thinks it may not work, or he won’t survive it. I feel fairly confident that it will work, but I can’t afford to dwell on it. I have to take care of me.

Back to me. I carried the cane in the hospital but didn’t use it much. Walking back to the car was tiring, so the cane came in handy then. We stopped by Kroger after that, and I did use the Rollator. I was pretty fatigued at this point. Could not have made it that long without the help. I think I’m still a little self-conscious using a cane and walker, but the benefit outweighs the discomfort.

What I think I learned today is that if I’m in a flare-up, and at the stage when it’s starting to get better, I need to be careful not to overdo it. I did some extra walking to try and build endurance and to see if I would get any significant muscle spasms. I think there were some slight spasms, but it’s kind of hard to tell.

I woke up last night and did some digital painting with Art Set.

 

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Made with Art Set for iPhone.

 

 

 

I am still what I am

  • I felt all tangled up today.
  • It took forever for me to finally start the thing I wanted to start.
  • I had trouble thinking.
  • I’m still having trouble. 

I had some deep thoughts on the way home from work today. Deep thoughts can lead to depressing thoughts and should probably be avoided. I think I might be depressed, slightly. My list of things to accomplish is beginning to overwhelm me. My job situation is still what it is. I am still what I am.

I was  thinking of writing a short story about a woman who has regular conversations with her  cat. That story has been told  time and time again so I  won’t attempt to re-tell it. In real life, I’m becoming a cat neglecter (that ‘s not a word). I am a bad mama cat. Most of my attention goes to Sadie (my beautiful puppy). Cammie (our spunky Chihuahua)  gets a lot too. OJ, the elder cat,  gets less attention than Cammie, and Pericles gets the least. Pericles’s problem is that he can’t be in the same room with Sadie. She chases him away  every time he dares to show his little furry orange face.

I’ll post a picture of Pericles just to show I haven’t forgotten him. I wonder if he has a story he’d like me to tell.

Pericles asleep

Pericles

Where’s my sun?

I feel as if I’ve gone months without seeing the sun, though I know that isn’t really the case. There were a few sunny afternoons last week. I should have saved those days for myself with photographs or poetry. Instead I let them slip by unappreciated.

Today is gray, flat, and empty. I look up and my chest tightens because I think the sky is folding in on me. I can hardly breath, and I can’t see past this colorless day, this colorless mood I’m in.
My mind is wrapped in a gray sky of its own.

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The days are getting shorter. We’ll soon be at the shortest day of the year. After that, the world gets lighter and brighter. We anticipate the warm glow of spring even though the coldest months lie ahead.

My task is to survive these dark days. I must find a way to live and breathe under the gray sky. I have to fill my bucket with the color that I create (I must create it), and splash it liberally on the walls of my world. I have to fight the urge to succumb to the enfolding sky.

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