Learning to be kinder …

It has been a long time since I felt motivated to write.  In fact, the last time was about 6 months ago just after “reset day” and now I am due for the latest lot of injections in a couple of days’ time.

It has been a busy few months with the end of the year rolling round and the new one starting quietly.  My normal end of year re-evaluation and word selection was slightly more meaningful this year.

My migraines affect my thought processes and my anxiety.

I was feeling quite down and sorry for myself thinking that I hadn’t met my goals or lived up to my own expectations.  When I updated my CV earlier this week I actually surprised myself with how much I accomplished last year despite my illness.

I had entered work into 12 separate exhibitions.

1 acquisition award, and 1 sale, at the Ipswich Art Awards.

The landmark2a

 

Number 11

 

I had a piece selected to tour as part of the 2018 Queensland Regional Arts Awards Tour.

20170712_152938 (2)

I’ve made a number of sales, and now have a range of prints and cards available.

20180113_095438

Art Before Housework on Etsy

So even though it “felt” like I wasn’t doing as much as I had promised myself I still managed to tick a few things off that enormous to do list.

Learning to be kinder to myself is one of this years’ goals.

 

 

Today is “reset” day…

Today I had my needles…  I have just had over 30 injections into my forehead, jaw, skull, neck and shoulders.

I have an invisible illness.

I haven’t talked much about this journey … I am not very comfortable showing my vulnerability…  it doesn’t define me… but it does shape parts of my life.

Over the last 4 years I have suffered with severe chronic migraines, almost daily.

Early last year I had a turn and the migraine medications I was taking stopped working. After much angst and searching for answers I found a new neuroligist and we started botox therapy.

It is not fun.  It hurts.

A needle phobia means I feel physically sick before and during the procedure.  I get a dry mouth and sweaty palms.  If it wasn’t for the fact that my gorgeous husband drives me there and holds my hand I might not go.

I have to have these injections every 12 weeks.  Every 3 months I sit and cry and have my needles.

This time round I tried to be strong and stupidly put it off for a month – I pushed my appointment out to 4 months.  Not a good idea.

I am not a lot of fun when I get my migraines.  I am not as productive.  I don’t feel like doing much of anything.  So I have to suck it up and have my medicine.

It is not fun.  It hurts.  But it works.

Today was “reset” day.  I have just gotten home from having my needles.  I am going to bed to rest.

Tomorrow I might draw.

Tiny Dancer

 

Art For the Soul

This post was going to be about inspiration, but that is going to have to wait for another day because I want to share something more personal.

There has been a lot of rhetoric about the arts.  It seems that there are quite a few uninformed politicians and even some members of the general public who believe that “Art” has no value.

In Queensland funding has been reduced, courses dropped, awards axed.  And it appears this diseased thinking will continue.

Art, in all its disciplines, permeates every single part of our modern lives. 

You wake in the morning to your alarm clock playing a classic from “Queen”.    Wearing your designer dressing gown, you collect the morning newspaper.  Watching your favourite morning show on TV you notice an advert for the latest best seller from your favourite author.  Using your “smart” device on the train allows you to catch up with the episode of that show you missed over the weekend.  Later a friend calls to ask if you want to join them to see the new play at LaBoite.  Then after work you go to the local pub to listen to live music.

And this scenario is just a tiny example.  The reality is that art is literally everywhere and unless you live under a rock, in a cave, you are being exposed to some sort of art all the time.

Not only does art enhance life aesthetically but it also has other uses. 

It has been proven that listening to music can help calm and heal.  Artistic play helps children’s cognitive and communication skills develop.  Carers for children within the autism spectrum and mental health workers use music/theatre and other art forms to connect with their charges.

I can personally attest to the fact that the act of creating art helps heal.

 The first time I painted in acrylic’s I was going through one of the darkest times in my life. 

I had an ectopic pregnancy that ruptured at 12 weeks.  I nearly lost my life.  The weeks following that were difficult  – I was healing physically – but emotionally I felt empty… like I had a hole where my heart should have been.  I saw a psychologist and took little white pills for a while.

Then I picked up a paint brush and began to paint.  What I painted wasn’t important as the mere act of pushing paint around a canvas was therapy in itself.   An overnight cure it certainly wasn’t but it gave me a calm space in my mind to process feelings of guilt, longing and hurt.  And eventually the darkness lifted and I was able to carry on with my life.

Since then I have found that quiet space extremely useful.  Many times I have sat down to draw or paint and I am able to completely lose myself to the piece of art I am creating.  I am one who tends to think way too much and stress is not my friend, so having the ability to still my mind is extremely valuable.

This skill has come into its own recently. 

As some of you may know I have been very ill lately.  I have an unexplained pain in my pelvis.  Ultrasounds and CT Scans have left my doctors scratching their heads.  I have endured 5 weeks of pain which at times is quite severe.   I find walking uncomfortable and haven’t been getting much sleep. 

One thing that I have been doing a lot of is my pointillism art.  I am working on a set of three pieces based on the end of the world.  Because of the nature of my pain, sitting and doing dot work is very therapeutic.  It is like meditating.  I am concentrating on where the next fall of the pen should be and not the pain in my tummy.  I am sure that if it wasn’t for the distraction of completing these pieces I would be climbing the walls.

The next step is to do some exploratory surgery to hopefully find, and fix, the cause of my torture.   I am booked into have a Laparoscopy next Wednesday.  The fabulous doctor who saved my life 7 years ago will be the one performing the operation.

I wonder what sort of music will be playing in the background…