About the art
I’ve been working on this drawing over the past three or four days when I’m alert enough to do so. I’m pleased with the final version, especially as I kept to just a few basic motifs. It was in the deep, dark depths of last night that I finished adding the final textural patterns.
Is this entirely finished? I’m still trying to figure it out! It would benefit from shade/contrast to bring out the layers and volume of the various elements. I’m still determining how I want to accomplish that; part of me thinks digitally is the way to go, but another part considers pastel pencils may work well.
There is no rush to complete it. It is in an A4 sketchbook – Talens Creations, to be precise. Now it’s been scanned in, I can either work on it digitally or edit various sections, such as the too-dense patterns in the bottom centre and the fine, white strands with blobs on the ends.
I used 05 and 01 Sakura Pigma Micron pens and an 08 White Gelly Roll pen to complete the drawing.
I tend towards the digital for such tasks. I can try things out without the fear of messing the artwork up.
Emotional and Mental Wellbeing
However, I won’t be trying to do so today. This is because I’m zonked out and so sleepy. The higher dose of anti-depressant/anxiety meds is working, for sure. I know these side effects will subside as my body gets used to the increased levels of the meds and serotonin. So all is to the good, and onwards I go.
It can be hard to be gentle with myself at times. I know I’ve not done much regarding social media or YouTube for a few months. First, I had a severe injury to the muscles between the ribs. Although the muscles are fine now, I still have tenderness/soreness with some ligaments/tendons. That will heal in time, and it’s manageable.
Then, there was a decline in my mental and emotional health, followed by the new medication. I’m so grateful you are bearing with me during my trying time.
I know this time will pass; it did in the past with the help of meds and therapy. This time, just the meds are needed. I know what provoked the decline – too many changes at once and too many people-y times too. And last week had some people-y times – another funeral to attend and some serious bits of adulting in person.
Being gentle with myself is essential this week. I don’t want wonderful, grand, or amazing days. I need days of peace, gentleness and contentment. Then, with some awe and wonder of nature, I can feel alert and aware enough to venture forth for a walk.
The comfort of a good mug of tea, quiet and calming activities -drawing, crocheting (I’m faffing around with hyperbolic crochet just for fun and because I can), and tv/films that make me smile and even laugh.
We’re all under too much pressure to be ‘productive’ and have a ‘grand day’ every day. That’s not possible. Even during dark days, I can find things that bring me some contentment and peace, sometimes awe and wonder at nature and the universe. Those small moments mean far more daily than the colossal mountain of a ‘wonderful day’ or ‘grand day’.
A gentle and good-enough day. Good enough, such an important ideal, especially from an inveterate hyper-perfectionist! I’ve been learning in the last decade or more that being good enough is good enough! Perfect is unattainable. Accepting our imperfections in whatever sphere of our lives is necessary. They are part of us.
Recently, I’ve realised I wear a mask to cover up my ‘imperfections’. Quirks or individuality could be a better way of saying imperfections. But it’s exhausting to keep that mask up. That’s part of why I’m so exhausted after being around people.
The mask I wear is from very early in childhood from the ‘don’t do that’ and other messages that made me perceive I was not good enough and just plain weird. How many of us have experienced that? So the mask was to help me fit in and not receive those criticisms. It had layers added to it over my lifetime, so much I don’t really know who I am; always trying to be the person everyone else wanted me to be rather than myself.
Again, how many of us are like this?
I discovered during EMDR that I am good enough, warts and all. So, I started to uncover the real me and show it to someone I’d built trust with. But it was just a start. Now, it’s time for me to discover more about myself and what my mask is hiding from me and learn that there is nothing I need to be ashamed of. If I can embrace my geeking out over Star Wars, steam locomotives, art, and many other things… Well, I can start to embrace those parts of me that have been hidden as they were deemed different, weird, odd, and quirky to others in some way.
It’s a process, and I’m still determining how much I’ll achieve it. But if I can accept my style of art is good enough and an expression of what goes on in my mind and heart, then I can discover and accept the other bits of me.
A genuinely unsettling time, yet one with the hope of finally answering some questions about who I really am, which is not really the person I’ve been forced to be by other people’s expectations. It’s both causing me anxiety and depression, but also it’s exciting me. Yes, we can hold more than one conflicting emotion at any time!
And, again, how many of us are like this? I do know I am not alone in such a journey.