little challenges (pages 26-30)

 page 28
this was a challenge to not repeat

 pages 26 and 29
these were challenges to leave a white background,
then to use no black outlines


 pages 27 and 30
a challenge to not fill-in the whole page,
and to mandala the whole page using at least one pattern i'm not fond of 
(in this case the leaf skeletons)


depression. OCD. bipolar-ocity.

it's like this.....
i have everything i need. i have a nice house, an extremely hard-working husband who says he loves me to death, and two amazing, smart and loving children.
i have 2 cats and 2 hamsters that light up my days.
i'm not very healthy but i'm not completely incapable of changing that either.
i consider myself an artist because that is my passion, i want to do nothing else most days, and i think i'm ok at it.
yet i feel uncontrollably sad and hopeless.

i have really neat collections of things i love and tons of old books to absorb, but i don't pay any attention to any of it. no-one else in the world cares. i crave the existence of all of it, NEED to look at it to survive each day, then i think of how much it bothers me that it means nothing to anyone else - because it's what defines me...therefore i am invisible. 

i am so much the same as every other parent out there....homework to help with, a ton of appointments to make and keep, endless cleaning and laundry, piles of things to go through and errands to run, but i resent it all. tiniest responsibilities tie me down and make me want to close my eyes til it's all over.
every day i wake up tired - no, exhausted because all night i have stressful dreams and fight to correct things in them. they are as real to me as day. thoughts never ever stop and just the slightest daily input of a phone call or even the sound of my computer fan can be too much. how badly i wish my OCD was about checking door locks...no, i have thoughts about fights i had years ago, things people say, looks i get....over and over i relive things that took me down as i try to change it all in my head. i know it's self-abusive and i cannot stop it.

"lighten up". "move on". it's disgusting and horrible to be around me so i avoid contact with anyone who might be offended by my ugliness. then i become guilty for being antisocial and worry how my kids will turn out if i become a hermit.
"just go outside, go somewhere!". "make a schedule". very difficult indeed and i don't care. i just don't. i am at my most level when i have no schedule, nothing that has to be done, and nothing to plan or prepare for.
in truth, i would hand it all over in a heartbeat. as much as i adore my kids and know they need me, i feel incapable of giving them what they need...even just time to play. i cringe when i think of them turning out like me, and think that if they were raised by "normal" people (another whole discussion, yes) they might have a chance.
i yearn to live alone. if i never had to see another person i would be happy. i know i would slowly kill myself by overeating and hoarding, but that would be ok. i would be able to do everything i want to- draw all day, eat, collect, watch movies, sit at my virtual world and sleep. i pretend there would be no bills, endless money and someone to do the shopping.

i'm not stupid. i have a degree- in psychology and art therapy! but it doesn't make me at all able to stop the cycles and change any of it.
bipolar cycles are a joy. i can cycle ten times a day or once in several weeks. depends on how much is going on. i'm not as angry as i used to be, so for that i am grateful, very grateful. my bottom is not as deep as it used to be, also great. i don't have the energy for the mania like i did in the past- all good! but levels i have now are still debilitating and can suck the life out of me. 

"you focus to much on yourself". "life is short-just enjoy and appreciate every minute". like i WANT to be like this. i enjoy being so self-absorbed! fact is, i hate most everything about myself so that is not what the reality is.
the reality is that from the moment i wake up (technically....though i struggle all night as well), it takes everything in my power to be "normal"....to not end up in a tailspin....to not end up in bed crying until i can't breathe. or just laying there staring off into my own head. am i depressing you? try living it. people hate how negative and pessimistic i am.... if they could only see what was on the inside of my skull.

i feel better now after writing it all out - again. maybe someone who reads all this can relate. maybe there is a loved one who suffers as well, and more understanding can be had by those who get to watch. if ONE person benefits from reading this, i have done something worthwhile. 
as for me, i'm now exhausted again and need to lie down. i have been trying to get through to any one of 3 new psychiatrists to provide me with prescription maintenance, but not one of them has gotten back to me after almost a week. 
so it goes...


the guilt contingency

contingency. another life-sucker. every single thing i do every day is dependent on something else. in order for me to do something, it either HAS to be done or attached to something threatening or looming. that's a joy. i need to organize this before can use those new pastels. i need to clean out the office before i can let myself enjoy a new set of markers. recently it has gotten to be too much effort, and i am not sleeping well at all, so there are areas of my house that resemble an episode of hoarders. i lash guilt upon myself every time i walk past the room, but i'm now ok enough with it to keep walking. for today. i'm immortal, remember? i'll do it tomorrow....

the most excruciating thing about my contingencies is what i call the quarantine issue. when i buy something, especially if it's something i have wanted for a while (could be a candle or a new marker, even just a spanking t-shirt or broken thing from goodwill) it has to make it through quarantine. it sits in a bag for an undetermined amount of time before it's allowed out. if it's used it needs sterilization. stickers need to be removed. all this only after it goes through my guilty conscience for another indiscriminant amount of time in the bag. it's price is a huge factor in deciding how long it waits...so does my will to keep it over returning it buy buy something for my kids or husband. not that i'm that considerate or unselfish, i just have to keep punishing myself for things. ?!