Problems and Solutions

Problems and Solutions

The moment I walk into my studio I know this is precisely what I need to be doing right now. I am still out of white paint, so I need to think outside the box. I go in with a peach colored crayon. Then iridescent pearl, black, cerulean blue, green gold, a saturated bright, yellow, ink and collage.  I’m a good painter.  Today, in my messy, messy, closet, before I went to my studio, where I searched and searched for a lost check at the same time I tried to figure out how I am going to make money or cut expenditures somewhere else, so I can afford my fairly new eye brow artist and hair Styling Team. My new spa and salon prices are double what I’ve ever paid in my entire life.  I think it’s inflation. I also decided not to go grey gracefully. I stopped dying my whole head of hair several years ago. I was letting the grey grow in and just adding highlights. I don’t have much grey hair, but recently I’ve noticed a ton on the top of my head. They grow in crazy, like cork screw sheep’s hair. It’s super expensive to get a full dye job nowadays! The only other alternative is to shave my head. I’ve done it before. I could just keep it super short. Like a monk. I thought letting the grey grow in was being a good feminist. Maybe it is. But I can tell you I’ve successfully weened myself off wearing bras, putting sugar in my coffee, and taking anti-depressants. I also thought of a possible solution to my salon situation. While my color was processed, I noticed several paintings hung up in the processing area. It’s a neat space for viewing paintings. Hanging was a series of Valentines inspired work on canvas.  I enjoyed looking at the paintings. I had brought a notebook to re-write a story for my new book, so I did that and drew some sketches and looked at the paintings. I think I should hang a little show there of my older work. The customers who go to this salon could afford a piece of art and I bet the salon doesn’t take a cut. I can use the money from sold paintings for my hair do’s?

I Trust Myself

I Trust Myself

Blue and Turquoise, abstract color play, figures, gardens. February painting. I never stop doing what I love, painting. I always paint, it’s consistent and will remain so until I die. In the last two weeks I have found myself not taking celexa.  At first, it wasn’t a conscious decision to stop, I was sick, missed a few doses. Then I consciously decided not to take it anymore. That night we were in the kitchen, I was preparing dinner. I told Alan, “I have something to share with you”. I can’t remember what detail I went into about how long and what drugs I’ve been taking for the past three years, but I said, “I’ve decided to stop taking my Celexa, I didn’t do it right, so I don’t what’s going to happen.” Alan knew I had tried some things for PMS and Insomnia. He told me I should try to do it right, go back and ween off the pills. I didn’t listen because I’m so impatient. I really can’t tell which discomforts I’m feeling are from the celexa withdraw or my flu. I had questions about what would happen when I quit, but painting in my studio just now I realized I’m just like always, I always do the things I love, no matter if I’m depressed or not. This week I’ve also been trying to quell any negative self -talk. I started to wonder if the whole reason I had to start taking anti-depressants was because of my terminal negative self- talk. I drove myself to madness. The next thing that pops in my head is, “You’ve always been crazy and done crazy things.” But is it necessary to change? To not do crazy things? Or think crazy thoughts? And where’s the red line? As I took my medicine for longer and longer and increased my dose when needed I started to distrust myself. I am afraid to see who’s behind the door, but it’s only been three years. How could that person I am have slipped away? I definitely got through a super rough patch, I started them six months after Jack and Fiona were born. Before that, at the very end of my journey through infertility, I took klonopin for insomnia and depression. That was great, but I was scared to let go and trust my bodies own ability to rest and sleep. When I stood back and looked at my crazy painting I did today I realized I’m an artist, I’m a painter. I trust myself in my studio. I trust myself.

Everything Dies Anyhow

Everything Dies Anyhow

I still feel there is hope. My sandwich tells me this, my glass of chardonnay, 2:20 PM on a Friday afternoon in June. Babysitter day, house to myself, paranoid they could come home early, that my solitude will end. I get scared. Quick, need to finish sandwich so I can go work in my studio before anyone gets home. I turn on my computer. A news flash, a woman, maybe an actress, someone I’ve never heard of, “Dies at 63”. O.k. I think to myself. A lot of women die around this age. A lot of people. I accept this, I need to accept this, it needs to be O.K. The inevitable death of everything. I finally watched “Where to Invade next?” By Michael Moore. I think about the Italians, how vacation is important, taking time to oneself is valued. Not how much a person works. Or in France how lunch in grade school is a class. The kids learn about food and table manners! I think about my art making practice, my writing practice. Do I push myself too hard? I worked today while the babysitter was here. I worked hard and fast. I had fun. I want to paint more. I am inspired, I have ideas. I won’t have a babysitter until Thursday. In my selections for my Book, Naptime paintings, I didn’t choose any that talked about babysitters or nannies. I felt like they were boring. I didn’t like how they read, and I don’t know why. I am uncomfortable because it’s such a luxury. But a necessary one. It sounds like in other countries child care is not so expensive and women avail of it. I feel guilty for taking time, as if I need to justify it. What did I do today? So much. I work all day, childcare and art business stuff. Totally engrossed, that’s how I felt today in my studio, but I went in there too late. Now it’s 6:00 pm, Fiona’s watching Peppa Pig, Jacks still asleep, and Alan’s on his way home. It’s June, 9th, 2017.

Process of Greif

Process of Greif

Process of Grief. “I feel so depressed” I say to myself. “I’m so tired” I say as I yawn a big mouth yawn. Trying to exercise, to eat, to stay up past 7:30pm, to not snap at my children. Take a deep breath. In the nose, out  the mouth. “Why am I saying these things to myself, about myself?” It’s not normal? Is it just PMS? Is it just not having enough free time to myself? Or am I this way? Is the world the way I think it is? What’s true? What’s not? What matters? What doesn’t? I find myself several times picking up my phone to check Facebook , to see if anyone posted anything, to read about what horrors are going on in America and around the world. To be reminded of scum or told to just forget about it, don’t think about it. I forget that I deleted my Facebook account. And then I feel relieved I am not part of that right now.  My heart is starting to beat fast, this was supposed to be a time of relaxation. Jack and Fiona are taking their nap; the house is quiet. I’ve worked in my studio, taken a shower, and here my mind goes again, in the loop. I think, “I should be happy.” Why am I so down? The election has taken a real toll on me, the Trump presidency and the Bannon appointment. I feel like I’m panicking. I could try to make myself believe I’ll be fine so I shouldn’t worry so much. I don’t want to put my head in the sand like an ostrich. I don’t want to become a medicated zombie. I don’t want to go crazy. Where is there balance? I remember growing up and hearing my mom and her boyfriend talk about Carter and Reagan. They said Reagan was bad.  I didn’t know what that meant, I just Knew our house didn’t like Reagan. When I became old enough to vote my mom had stopped voting. “Why mom? How can you not vote?” I asked her. She told me it didn’t matter anymore, that everyone was corrupt. Around this same time she told me she “Hated white people”. I wonder what my mom would say if she were alive today. Maybe she wouldn’t be as surprised as me. I was naïve. I thought things were getting better, but they were festering. Now I’m festering, trying to keep a grip. I am in the midst of raising twins in the heart of a dramatic developmental stage. During the breaking apart of mother and baby, I still want Jack and Fiona to be my little babies, they still want me to baby them. But they are getting bigger and finding their own independence and individuality. I am also changing, some by choice, some not. I must be more stern now, Jack and Fiona are heavy, strong, loud. They need direction and supervision almost all the time. The only time it’s easier now is at the park. I can sit and eat my lunch while they run off and play on the structures. It’s relaxing. There’s just a dark cloud hanging over my heart and mind. I feel like my mom died all over again, that type of shock. I feel like crying.

“You shouldn’t cry over spilt milk” but I do. And it’s hard right now. 

“You shouldn’t cry over spilt milk” but I do. And it’s hard right now. 

I think  to myself Alan and I should have a minute to eat our dinner, we had to get it to go from the Thai restaurant    because Jack and Fiona refused, were UNABLE to, sit at and enjoy the experience. They cried, whined,  stood up in their high chairs. There were moments they ate the sticky rice, seaweed salad, and fried sweet potato and Alan and I thought “maybe?” But no, those moments lasted seconds and they were in between  moments that lasted minutes and were difficult for all and embarrassing for Alan.  (he’s hasn’t witnessed alot of this craziness because he’s at work all day) As we start eating our dinner this time at home, I look out into the living room to check on  Fiona and Jack. She’s spilling her bottle everywhere. I get really mad, “fuck” I say as I throw my utensil onto the kitchen floor.  I’m not proud of my behavior, being that frusterated, experiencing rage like that. lately, I’ve been feeling that way more and more, exhausted  from the constant “no” and “don’t do that” I don’t have the energy all the time to redirect in a positive way. Maybe if I just had one baby, but with two it’s really hard because  for example, as I turned my back to clean up the milk Fiona had just spilt Jack started pouring his milk out.  I know he’s not doing it on purpose to be bad, it’s a science experiment. I wish I could say “that’s so cool, the patterns you’ re making, the creativity, but I can’t. I have to say “no, that’s bad!” A thought crosses through my mind, maybe I should just say fuck it and let everything go to shit until they are old enough not to be messing everything up all the time! But no, I can’t live like that. A messy house makes   me even more crazy! 

This weekend we spent A lot of time together as a family. Alan also spent some extra alone time with the babies too so I could go to the gym Saturday morning. I appreciated that so much. Saturday was also Alan and my day together with a babysitter. We had a great day, we bought a beautiful painting from Heather Wilcoxon:

  I couldn’t believe Alan bought it, he’s really begun to appreciate art! I think it’s so cool, and the fact he is supporting a local artist who I love made me feel warm inside. It also makes me believe he supports my career   As an artist more than he would ever say, and that someday people will fall in love with my work and buy it! 

After that We  went to the movies, saw The Martian in 3d,  and then got Thai massages! (It was an expensive day!)  My anxiety felt better and I thought maybe I haven’t been taking enough breaks. Relaxing enough, taking days off from painting. But there’s just no time for that on a regular basis. I have TOO much work to do, not including all the chores, laundry, shopping, cooking, but the drive from inside to paint and write that if not satisfied causes more  anxiety and depression.  Which is a place I can’t afford to go write now. It’s made me question trying the new anxiety medication my doctor recommended, but I’m really on the fence. I know all my feelings and emotions are normal, that I can live through this, but should I make it easier for myself? I’m just super sensitive, I internalize everything, I feel for everyone who suffers, even the bad guys. I’ve been like this from the begining. 

Sunday Alan and I did Yoga together, the babies went to play center. Again I realized I haven’t been doing yoga enough. It felt great and was so fun to do with Alan. What if I try to take more breaks do more yoga, less painting, writing, and reading news articles? I could probably eliminate alot of angst I’m feeling. But would I fall into a deep depression from not expressing my creativity?

I woke up this morning , babies calling out “mama” I went straight in to get them, change their diapers. “Bottle bottle bottle” I have to listen to the crying and whining because I didn’t wake early enough to get the bottle ready. We come upstairs, toys still everywhere, I make bottles, waffles, and toast. I feel myself getting more and more stressed, all I want to do is go to my studio and paint. I have a home visit from Linda at 10:00 and a dentist appointment at 2:00. I feel like cancelling everything. 

Linda’s visit went well, but she made fun of me the way in which I tell the babies “no”, we all started laughing! I was way too meek. But I have no energy, I’m tapped out. And I feel bad, I don’t want them sad, I don’t want them to cry. I don’t want Billy sad and barking and feeling like I’m not giving her enough attention too. I want my husband to feel wanted, know how much I love  him, be able to give him my love and attention. But I feel like it’s impossible to do all of this, maybe I am breaking down, having an depressive episode. Bummer. 

I love everyone so much and want to be my best self for my family and friends. I just feel so overwhelmed. 

I think I may have three hours left until Lindsays off work.   Time for a painting session. That always makes me feel better.Especially Working   through anxiety. Depression is different, it may not be good. We will see.