Mother of Light
Finally complete. It is painted on a 2ft square piece of plywood. I will look for a frame and find a place for it on my wall. This painting may make the least sense (having no clear idea when I started), but the colors I find calming to just gaze at. The background gets across a refreshing energy I wish I could take with me.
This past Thursday I went to my first support group meeting with NAMI. I was the only new person this week, but I was lucky to come in on a day where the room had all seats filled and we all shared a great amount of useful tips and support. Just getting through that without feeling shunned or diminished was a relief. I intend to go back and make it a regular thing. I found myself really hanging on to the very thought of meeting the group during the days before because of the strong sense of loneliness I’m unable to shake. At work I go largely unnoticed. No family to turn to, no friend to even keep company with, and the brick wall always being run into for how unending it all seems.
I know that is all it is though. A feeling that will pass. Yet it’s the return that becomes unbearable. Again fighting the same fight, surviving one wave only to be threatened with another. That’s hard to build any life around. But others have done it and I’m not a meaningful exception. I’m not taking for granted how good my situation is overall right now. There is a trip returning to Chicago next week to look forward to and I won’t trouble myself to think far beyond it to worry about. Not now.
I have recently finished a book called How Psychotherapy Really Works and truly found it helpful in understanding my experience with it the past four years. How unique the patient/therapist relationship really is and how it made an impact even without my realizing. I also wanted to understand better the grief I was struck with when I knew I’d have to say goodbye. The fear of what exactly I’d be without. But I basically came away with it clear that my previous therapist only helped me help myself in the end. May seem obvious to the outsider, but when you’re in a place of desperation, saving myself meant total death and it’s taken a very long time to replace the strength of that idea to my strength to create alternative choices and to be more resilient when things go wrong. I’m still learning, always trying to “figure out” what is not solvable, but at least the search is something. It’s action where otherwise I’d have long given up as nothing it would change.
I look forward to sharing some new art I’ve completed. And a lot of music I haven’t quite gotten arranged yet, but on the way. This photo was taken today when I got home. As little an influence I feel I am to this world, I’m not the only one struggling to belong. I support the efforts of TWLOHA in spreading awareness of mental illness and helping people who seek treatment. We’ve got to help one another somehow and one day I might be able to do more than small donations, but for now I’m sure anything helps. That’s what I hope and will hang onto.
The hours at work are spent in endless rumination. It’s what I tried explaining to my previous doctor when I said something always comes over me when I’m there that makes time there feel unbearable, causing unexpected tears to well up and a battle to keep my composure. As much as I might try keeping a tune in my head to distract or try focusing on my breathing, it doesn’t get me through the entire day. And I’m aware that it’s all me. I could be anywhere and I’d still experience this and I feel guilty that it isn’t so easy as to just think positively or being able to shut my thoughts out, but it is how it is and may always be. When days like this happen to be particularly bad, I really wonder if I am doing well at all or am anywhere near it. Or if my definition of “well” is far off from what I should ever really expect.
I tried to get in touch with the new psychiatrist earlier this week and didn’t get a call back. So I give up on scheduling an additional session and will wait until the June appointment. By then I hope I haven’t slipped too far back, but somewhere inside I wouldn’t mind seeing that happen. I’m much less convinced it matters what I end up doing to myself, especially when there isn’t truly anyone to turn to. I’ll leave it my business. My own secrets.
Happy Mother’s Day :)
While we were out at breakfast this morning, I handed over my mother’s day gift and a homemade card. I painted this small plaque on and off throughout the week and wrote a quote on the back saying “The beauty you see in me is a reflection of you.” I know it’s an image similar to another recent rose painting, but I’m just stuck on the idea right now. It focuses my mind and I don’t feel like it’s something I’m failing at with my attempts. Makes a big difference when I have all thoughts of the day’s time spent running in my head before sleep. I just need one thing to hang onto.
“Death is not the greatest loss in life.
The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.”
I’m working on a mother’s day gift at the moment. What comes next for me is being left for another time to worry about. It’s exhausting to care. I have a job, a roof over my head and parents who have not yet kicked me out of the house and disowned me for my past mistakes. I see blessings where they happen and if/when my sickness causes me to unsettle again, this time right now where I’m being constructive and better will do enough in getting me through.
This is just some hope I’m putting out there. Next time will come and I’ll need to hang on somehow…