We Get By

My partner is out of town this weekend and has been for the better part of the week at a conference on the other side of the globe, so I’ve been working to keep myself busy while I’ve got the apartment to myself. The quiet is nice, as long as it doesn’t get too quiet, and I’ve found myself enjoying working on little projects for myself. The ability to stay home alone for longer stretches of time is a newer occurrence these days that I am taking to hesitantly but gladly. I had spent so many years fighting deep depression that the idea of being left alone on my own was not just daunting, but possibly dangerous at times, and I pause to say I’m reveling in this newfound freedom, but it’s certainly nice to have the option.

I’ve been doing a lot of drawing to pass the time, mostly a larger project that I started after my partner left for New Zealand. A couple weeks ago, I bought a mixed media pad that measures 18″ x 24″ because I thought it might be fun to take on some larger projects. I finished the drawing today, though I found it’s really hard to get a good quality photo of something that large and my scanner is much too small for the paper.DSC_0006 scaled


(The above image is a pen and ink drawing consisting of a large swath of circles, each slightly overlapping with a different textured design inside.)

Still, you get the gist.

There’s still a fear I have that as quickly as this remission in some of the more severe symptoms of my illness came about it, the illness itself could rebound. I’ve been trying to fill my life with quality things I enjoy, hence the art, but lately I’ve been wanting more. The terrifying part is that being dissatisfied with the size of my world and the beginning symptoms of my mental illness don’t feel terribly different to me, at least not recognizably, and so I keep having these moments of panicked thoughts that the world is really crashing down around me. I think I’m a bit too Chicken Little at times. Fortunately, I have a really strong support system and people to help me realize that I’m not slipping back into despair but rather into regular old boredom and that this is actually a really good thing! It just doesn’t feel like a good thing…

Art is one of those things that makes me feel alive though. There was one time when I was in the hospital where I drew almost every spare moment I had because it was one of the few things that made me feel connected to anything. I don’t consider myself to be an artist, probably along the same reasons I don’t consider myself to be a writer. That would involve taking some sort of positive credit for what I do, but I do enjoy it. I’m hesitantly looking forward to seeing what comes out of this slow expansion of my world, that is if I can keep from running for fear that the sky is falling.

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