I am still playing around with this new (to me) medium of collage. I buy two giant books on collage in modern art but don’t open them because I know myself & I am afraid if I see really amazing & powerful collages by artists who are far more talented, experienced & patient than I am my inner perfectionist will appear and I’ll become discouraged. All I want from this new medium right now is to experiment and allow myself to be playful, to try something different than my usual taking and editing of photographs. So the books remain wrapped in their plastic under all the magazines I am carefully cutting my way through. Continue reading “February 4th – 15th 2018: Avoiding My Annual Late January Through Mid-March Depression”
We run away to the beach for a weekend after Edward finishes an exam. Everything is great – we are an easy walk from the ocean waves, we can see them from our AirBNB’s balconies during the day. We eat delicious food. I learn I love calzones. We watch documentaries curled up on the sofa at night. I buy a large mason jar with a little garden in it – an aloe plant, a baby cactus shaped like a pincushion, an air plant, a chunk of crystal quartz – at a quirky beachside pottery shop. We walk along the beach. Lena loves the beach – she runs in circles in the soft white sand, kicking it up behind her, avoiding the waves. I worry about her getting older sometimes, how she’s gotten a bit less nimble, and it’s great to see her running full tilt here and truly enjoying herself. We feel like us again for the first time in a while. We’re on the same page. Then on the last day while we’re walking on the beach Edward starts telling me how hard the next few months will probably be, how stressed and busy he is going to be because his Step 1 exam is coming up in April and he needs to study study study for that on top of his usual brutal schedule of medical school quizzes & exams. I start to crumble thinking about the months ahead too. Continue reading “Cycles: Connecting & Disconnecting”
I heard the phrase “a void that thinks” in a completely unrelated context on the radio yesterday and think it is one of the best metaphors for depression I have ever heard.
I haven’t been able to do my therapy homework. I’m supposed to write down all of the mean things I tell myself when I’m “in it” then write truer/kinder responses to the mean voices. And they’re so mean. I would never speak the way I do to myself in these times to another person. And even though I recognize that, it’s hard to get my demons to shut up and every time I look at the list I wrote I just start to get overwhelmed with insecurity again and can’t think of responses to the cruel sentences. Edward even offered to write his own responses to my mean things, so I have a second kind voice to listen to, but I feel like I need to write my responses before he writes his and I can’t get past myself enough to write them. They’re my demons and I need to be the first line of defense in silencing them because Edward isn’t always around and I need to do this for myself first, if that makes sense. I haven’t really shown or told many people yet but I got a new tattoo when the deeper darkness started coming back in February. Edward had been writing “It’s okay.” on my arm in sharpie when I needed it and it had been helping me so one day he wrote it in his neatest possible future-doctor handwriting and I went to a tattoo shop for the first time in a long time and had it made permanent. It didn’t heal properly though, some of the letters are faded already, which makes me incredibly sad for reasons I can’t quite articulate, so I need to go back and get it touched up now that it seems to be done healing. I hate to admit it but the tattoo doesn’t help as much as the non-permanent words did. I like having Edward’s handwriting on my arm though because in some morbid way if something happened to him I’d forever have him with me, telling me it’s okay and it’s going to be okay – almost a way to remember he was real and he loved me.
Cooking together is one of my new favorite things about being married to each other. He peels the garlic while I stir the lentils; he chops the cilantro while I peel kale leaf from stem. Also, the rings. Also, no one is going anywhere.
Here is a paper I found while organizing my bookshelves yesterday that is a good example of what I’m like when I’m hypomanic. Context: I was in a class where we were trying to plan teaching lessons for middle school children we’d be teaching for a few months twice a week.
I had forgotten, since it had been so long, how the woods can fill me back up, with myself, somehow. I had forgotten how much I need to be in nature, how it can heal me just to walk within it, along a dirt path — away from cars, buildings, other people — sometimes. I had forgotten how the trees and messy ground can bring calm back into the mind, how the woods can make you feel smaller again — and your problems, too. Walking with one giant dog and one tiny one, I didn’t feel at home, but I felt something better.