So, I wanted to wind down my awesome weekend by chilling to tunes and puttering about the castle doing dishes and such…and I kinda did those things, but then I chose to multitask and started sorting things in other bits of the house between loads…and I kinda ended up quitting doing dishes about one load shy of all of the dishes being done as I found myself completely surrounded by embroidery equipment that needed my attention RIGHT THEN.
Well, one thing led to another and I found myself completely surrounded by not only embroidery gear, but all kinds of sewing notions, jewelry, beading supplies, boxes to be emptied and the like. So, while many of you were watching the VMAs, I was sorting and playing and admiring my fun but IN-FUCKING-SANE collections of goodies. And then I took a bath. And now here I am.
But I did get shit sorted. It’s amazing how many little, itty bitty, precious things I have for my arting and how crap I am at finding proper homes for things. Things have proper homes now.
I also took a bath and gave myself a pompadour and undercut my locks so I can kinda pull of said pompadour AND a ducktail when I do. I’ll probably need someone’s help correcting that in the not too distant future.
And I ate.
And walked the puggle.
And made earrings.
And posted stuff to sell on the interwebs.
And plonned what I’d like to see happen for the rest of the week…which will include more sorting and organizing, but also a date with watercolours that I’d promised myself tonight but didn’t get to because yay ADHD.
I done went and played with my meds again.
I know. I know.
I’ve already slapped my own wrist 18 times from Sunday and, when the black dog howled, I went right back on the meds. So let’s just get that out of the way.
Thing is, I felt REALLY, REALLY good while I was off them. I was employing coping strategies on a dime. I was motivated and getting shit done. I was feeling optimistic and faithful in my ability to roll with the punches and still come out relatively unscathed as I’ve done time and time again. I EVEN PMSed THROUGH IT.
And then a few things happened and everything was shaken. On top of things happening, I neglected to build things I could really look forward to into my days. I neglected to remember that this month marks the anniversaries of a couple-few losses in my life. I neglected to set aside time to honour those people I’ve lost (I’m not a terribly religious person, but this is a really big deal to me, my friends). I lost another friend this month. To suicide, no less. I’ve never been one to see suicide as any more or less tragic than any other kind of death, and tend to hold the rather unpopular opinion that all of our lives are our choice, including our deaths. I certainly do not, as many do, see it as the coward’s way out because…um…have you lived life? It’s not exactly easy for most, no matter how cushy many have it.
Though I’ve never felt suicidal myself, the suicides of those in my circles over the last few years have scared me. I’ve born witness all too often to how those in the inner circles of those who have taken their own lives attempt to make sense of it and all of the gut-wrenching, heart-breaking turmoil that causes. Many people have never been to that brink of wanting relief from their own brains so badly that they would cut or dope or (gods forfend) take their own lives just to escape that betrayal of everything that we’re told makes us human. Regardless of the bits of me that scream “THEY’LL NEVER UNDERSTAND!!!”, that turmoil is not something I wish upon any family. Especially (if selfishly) not my own.
Anyways, the day Tyler died was the day I went back on the meds.
And then I had a five day whiskey bender.
I don’t know what it is about me and death and whiskey, but we are awfully good (if toxic) bedfellows.
Coming down (or up, as the case may be) from that bender, my memory whisked me back to my initial appointment with my doc when I sat in his office, relating all that I was going through and all that I’d done to make myself better and, with the promise of a lovely chemical security blanket right within my grasp, explaining “of course I’ll drink responsibly. Anything…ANYTHING to make this (and I gesticulated dramatically at the slobbering mess that I was at the time) not me anymore.”
Thing is that it took me a year and a bit, a bunch of purging of icky relationships, some therapy, a couple-few health scares and a whole lot of “well, this is a whole other kind of suicide, isn’t it?” self-talk before I managed to manage “drinking responsibly”. I have a metric shit-ton of stories to tell about all that I learned about myself and the world at large in that time, but those are other tales for other times (hmmm…they also seem like good art prompts). But that was the part that scared me about my friend’s suicide: there are so many kinds, ya know? Some of them are very quick and others are slow, either way; it’s a choice. I don’t begrudge anyone either. I certainly know how it feels to want to escape. I don’t want that for myself.
Don’t get me wrong: I still imbibe. Probably more than many of you do and definitely more than is recommended by the surgeon general. I still self-medicate. I also take breaks from alcohol. I monitor myself and how I’m feeling, both physically and mentally in terms of self-check-ups as well as the science-y ones because I want to be there when the sprogs get hitched (should they choose to) and when they have babies (should they choose to) and maybe grow old with someone I consider friend enough to trust in my elderliness, or maybe just to grow into a white-haired cat lady with a purple hat and rad orange streaks in her hair and any number of awesome life events you get to bear witness to when you live to a ripe old age.
So, all of that to say “this is how I spent my vacation from pharmaceuticals and it kinda sucked” with a lot more personal than I really needed to get into, but feels kinda ok to share. In spite of my neuroses (and I could get into a shit ton of reasons why I’m not *actually* neurotic, but that’s also another tale for another time) I consider myself to be a pretty healthy, happy, self-aware, whole, and incredibly fallible human being and I further consider all of that to be share-worthy.
I’m going to spend the rest of the eve in my wee arting room, honouring loved ones lost (particularly my uncle/god-father, as today is his birthday) and probably making a concerted, if futile, effort to find my key card for work.
I spent a good chunk of last weekend purging the wee arting space I have in my home and I’ve been a bundle of distraction ever since. It was a royal pain in the ass to get through all of the junk the sprogs had dumped in there (they decided, at some point, that it was a good idea to purge their junk into my femme cave and, since I hadn’t been using it for its intended purpose for quite some time, I neglected to notice that they had been doing so – still, ew. buggers) and into the mountains of sewing/quilting/arting/whatever supplies that I needed to deal with.
I went into purging with mindfulness and the strength of conviction. I know my hoarding habit all too well. That little homunculus that sits behind my eyes takes control, all too often declaring “but, but, but we might NEED that!!!” so I buttoned her lip but good and went about my merry way. The process of sorting supplies was inspiring in and of itself: handling fabrics and notions and paints and all manner of do-dads, all of which I adore for different reasons, and thinking hard about whether I truly saw myself working with them in the near future was cathartic. Envisioning those things I’ll let go end up in the craft bins of some preschool or the yarn collection of some mitten-maker rather than sitting my room, collecting dust and taking up space is comforting and exciting.
The process was a gentle reminder that I come up with my best ideas and do my best work when I push myself beyond my comfort zone. This is something of an ebb and flow in my creative life. I’ll always have go-to creative endeavors, like cooking and sewing basic things and the like, but I’ve been sat on a wealth of new ideas that I haven’t made mental or physical space to explore and it’s high time to do that.
The result is the purging of what is easily half of my collection of goodies. I only took back two bolts of solid knits because it was a bit foolish to let those go. I’m proud of it and I really hope they all find good homes.
My little maker’s cave is far from ready to be put to use. I still need to do some rearranging of furnishings so that I can move my gorgeous easel and painting junk up there and move some of the furnishings within the cave to other spaces, but soon it will be sorted and I likely won’t emerge from it for days once it’s ready.