Here’s a brief note about my blog I’d like to express; occasionally my posts stress me right, the hell, out! Sometimes after I hit the post button I immediately wish to yank my writing from the hands of the public, have a glass of wine, torch the proverbial page, and forget I ever thought about posting something so personally revealing.
Certian topics, such as yesterday’s blog titled, My Experience With Self Harm Part 2, was particularly difficult to write, post and not worry about it being out there for all to see. It’s a deeply personal piece about recent incidents more than a little raw, and a subject I find myself quite embarrassed of although I would never, ever judge anyone else negatively for having such an affliction.
Sometimes I feel like a sort of flasher, exposing parts of my psyche that might make my readers uncomfortable. Although, unlike a flasher what I’m doing is legal, I still never, ever intend to make my readers feel uncomfortable. My goal has always been to draw attention to the importance of destigmatizing mental illness by using the stories I know best, my own, and sometimes my stories are uncomfortable.
Should my posts ever become unwelcome or tedious please tell me I’ve missed the mark so I can attempt to get back on track.
I genuinely value the opinion of each and every reader and want to provide useful content to those grappling with mental health challenges as well as those trying to gain a better understanding of such things.
I’m proud to say I’ve now been blogging about my struggles with mental health and illness for a year. This year has been wrought with both ups and downs but through it all I’ve had the chance to write about mental health issues important to me and for this I am overwhelmingly thankful.
Having the chance to write about mental illness, grief, health, love, creativity, healing, chronic pain, and perseverance has allowed me to capture many of the insights into health and illness that might otherwise have passed through my mind without sticking. I have had a chance to pause and reflect on what I’ve learned and all I’ve left to learn. I’m thankful for the opportunity every day.
I have found myself surprised and flattered with the response I’ve received and overwhelmed with the genuine, loving interest about mental illness. In the words of one wise😉 American, “who knew healthcare could be so complicated?”
All kidding aside, I am so pleased my work has managed to offer insight to those on the outside of mental illness trying to be more understanding and empathetic and to those struggling along with me. Destigmatization of mental illness continues to be extremely important to me and this blog represents the contribution I can make to the cause for now. In the future I hope to be able to contribute in a far more impactive manner.
I plan to continue writing whenever I can and I hope that whether my own health is better or worse I can keep on contributing and, hopefully, offering love and support to anyone in need.
Thank you so much for joining me on this journey so far. I hope you will continue to support my future efforts as I appreciate each and every reader more than I can possibly express.
I’ve had the same psychiatrist for the past 9 years. At first he was great. I felt as though he cared, as though he believed in me even when I didn’t believe in me. I shed many a tear in his office but felt motivated to keep trying when I left our appointments.
Over the years, slowly, things began to change. My reward for being a loyal patient seemed to be shorter and ever more terse appointments.
Eventually I was seeing him for about fifteen minutes every three months for a prescription refill and a brief chat that often sounded like this;
“You’re still off work because of your chronic pain problems? It seems much of your depression is tied to the loss of your career.”
“Yes, and I would give anything to be deemed fit enough to go back.”
“You’ve had a hard time but you have to find other things to replace what your job did for you. I think it will be difficult. I would be very upset if I could no longer practice.”
“I’ve been focusing on art and writing as much as I can but it never seems to fully fills the void.”
“Well, keep working at it. Be positive. Here’s your perscription I’d like to see you again in about three months.”
I was delighted one day when he asked about what kind of art mediums I was working with. He seemed genuinely interested and even gave me an assignment.
“I want you to paint a self portrait by our next appointment. Paint how you see yourself. Let’s book a month from now. You bring the painting then and we’ll discuss what it means to you and how it makes you feel.”
I agreed with a smile, “challenge accepted!” and fairly skipped out of his office. I’d never considered a self portrait before, preferring to draw others instead, but the introspection of the assignment intrigued me.
I began my portrait that day with a little help from my art teacher at Grasby Art Studio. I finished my portrait in record time and was thrilled with it which surprised me as I generally don’t like pictures of myself.
I eagerly awaited my appointment and, when the time came, proudly carried my canvas into the Dr’s office.
“I finished the assignment you gave me last time. Would you like to see it?”
He glanced at my file with a confused look.
“You asked me to paint a self portrait. To paint myself as I see myself. I enjoyed the project and I brought the painting to show you like you asked.”
He nodded and I presented the piece for him to look at.
“That’s not really my taste. I don’t think it looks like you.”
That was the last we spoke of it. Dejectedly I put the painting on the floor and asked for a refill on my meds. I couldn’t wait to flee that office.
This one time I didn’t want him to see me cry. I couldn’t find the strength to get angry at him, defend my artistic liscense. I could only think to attack myself and my stupid, ugly painting.
I have since reminded myself that if I love my self portrait and good for me! Fuck what he thinks. The painting hangs proudly on my bedroom wall now.
After careful consideration I’ve decided instead of ditching my art it’s time to ditch the Doc! Obviously it’s time to move on. I’ve found someone new and I’m not going to look back.
Check out http://www.grasbyartstudio.com
Tonight I made dinner. Tonight I made dinner and this is significant because, since my Mom died 3 years ago, I haven’t had the patience or desire to cook anything but the barest of minimums.
Thank goodness my husband took over in the kitchen to a great extent and coaxed me to at least eat a bit when I had no desire. My appetite has slowly returned but between my issues with anxiety, depression, and chronic pain I feel as though I often have to force myself to eat the simplest of things, let alone the inventive meals I used to love.
I associate the kitchen with my mom. She was an amazing, adventurous, and fearless cook. I followed in her footsteps after leaving home, cooking up a storm and often phoning her for advice. So when she died I just couldn’t find that desire to channel my creativity into the kitchen. It felt too overwhelming, still does to a great extent.
I am pleased to report in the past couple weeks I have slowly begun to edge back into my old domain by baking muffins, banana bread, and even some cookies.
Today, for whatever reason inspiration struck and I found myself topping cucumbers with cream cheese and chili pepper jelly. Then I drizzled olive oil over shoestring sweet potatoes to be baked later along with sliced prime rib I rolled up with Italian Coppa Di Parma.
While I may have shed more than a few tears as I assembled everything I’m pretty sure this meal is going to kick ass! And even if it doesn’t… deep breath… Tonight I made dinner.