Friday, May 29, 2015

External Processing and Secrets

I am quite open about a lot of things:

* Bipolar Depression and its ups and downs, vulnerabilities, realities, etc.
* Suicide
* Psyche Ward Stays
* Motherhood (well, maybe 70% of it)
* My art processes, whether successes or failures.
* My daily ups and downs

I talk a lot. I like to talk and/or type because I feel like I'm having a conversation, even when there's no one home with me.

It is strange, however, when people I've never met before come up and talk to me as if we're best friends because they've read my blog. It's very surreal. I don't really know how to handle it when I'm staring them in the face wondering who they are. I suppose because I'm so open and let people see a lot of my inner thoughts, in a very real way they do know me.

Yet there are pieces of me that no one sees. I do not share everything. Some things I hold close and will never talk about. A few of those things are painful and hurt my heart. Others are wonderful and joyous and are too precious to be shared.

One of those precious pearls was my affection for Antelope Island, my love for that place in the middle of a giant smelly lake. Thus my wish to die there near it. Although now everyone I know and love is aware of that fact. I suppose it's for the best, but that's a part of me that was once very private and mine alone. I still don't talk about the why's of that island, although a couple of my daughters think they know. A part of me mourns that the secret of its existence in my heart is no more. However, that lock was broken open by my own hand whether I meant to do it or not.

Once in a while I wish I could talk about the painful or the happy bits that I hold close, but they are mine and mine alone. There have been a few brief moments when I have thought, "Maybe if I share with so-n-so, or *that* person, the emotions surrounding this won't be so intense."

Perhaps that's true. It usually is for me; I talk about things or write about them, and it feels easier to live with whatever it is that I've ranted, whined, explained, or proclaimed joyously about. 

I don't even know why I'm sharing this, except to admit that I have these feelings, thoughts, and wishes that sometimes surface. Private secrets so intense that they put huge smiles on my face and I dance around. And sometimes they hurt so badly that my chest and heart physically ache. 

This is how I know the difference between sadness and depression. 

I'm probably not making a lot of sense, but I felt the need to admit this much. While I refuse to talk about the specifics, I had to take the time to at least admit that they exist. That in and of itself helps a little bit. 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Saturday, May 23, 2015

One of My Favorite Things

I have mentioned several times that I use World of Warcraft as one of my coping mechanisms when I need to shut off my brain. If you're not a gamer and don't care about this kind of thing, this post will have no interest for you.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Art and Obstacles

When I started this second art project, I had envisioned the body at the bottom as the left over char with some flames coming through, or perhaps just the hint of embers. Then smoke rising from it to become a flaming beauty rising from the ash, having overcome ... I don't know, whatever it was that caused her to burn to begin with. I can see it in my mind, beautiful and shining, with a dark background.

However, not being experienced with producing flames by hand, I had to do some trials. I don't know *why* I am showing you my process of thinking out loud, but here it is.

First thing I did was play with the shape of flames. And whether or not I should give her wings.

In the end, she just looked furry, but I figured that's what sketched flames look like, since I wasn't coloring anything, just messing with shapes.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Uplifting FB Posts Sometimes Piss Me Off

On days like today I shouldn't look at my Facebook newsfeed.

Yes, my meds are working. Yes, I still have down days; it's the nature of my illness. Some days my filters work better than others. Today my filters aren't so great, and everything seems to hit like a baseball bat.

You know those uplifting posts that people share about how they have enough faith and know that God can and will cure everything? Those pretty pictures with the quotes about how you should choose what kind of day you're going to have and then have it? Those f-ing reminders to live better, keep trying, don't give up, and have faith because it's all going to be miraculously better if you just will it to be.

I think it's awesome that people find comfort in those words. That they feel uplifted and gifted and that they can conquer the world. It's great for them, it truly is.

Today, those posts just filled me with guilt and the sense that I was being judged. I feel defensive and perhaps a bit petulant and severely irritated.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Things I'm Glad I Bought

I am always grateful I purchased the following:

1 - Safety Plan for my daughter's glasses. $50, and she got a free replacement pair when someone knocked her glasses off and someone else stepped on a lens. It's still in effect, and if she needs it again within the next year, she's covered.

2 - Oil Change Punch Pass. I paid $100 in January to get six oil changes throughout the year. Because we also bought our tires through the same place, they include tire rotations. With the hubster being laid off, I can still get maintenance done on my vehicles to keep them running. Awesome purchase.

3 - Legos. Come on, you can never go wrong with something fun to build. Then tear apart and build into something else. Then tear apart and rebuild again into something even fancier. I will never regret the cost of Legos.

4 - My weed whacker. As much as I'm not a fan of yard work anymore (I used to be, but then I turned 40 and, well, there's this whole blog I keep about what happened) I love the weed whacker. It keeps the grass from blocking the automatic sprinklers in the corners. It makes the front yard look under control. It gives the yard a finished look, even if it's just camouflaging the weeds and making them look like grass. LOVE that tool.

5 - My drill. I bought a Makita cordless drill about ten years ago, along with a drill bit set. I can hang pictures, take apart and put back together just about anything in the house that needs repairing or fixing or painting. The one I bought is light enough for me to handle easily but has enough power that I don't feel like I have to ask a big strong burly manly man to do something for me that I can do myself.

6 - My art supplies. One can never have too many art supplies. I am ever so grateful that while I was in college, I took my professor's suggestions and tried out a bunch of different mediums and grounds. Now when I want to experiment, I have the majority of the tools that I want to play with. I have never regretted investing in brushes, paints, papers, inks, tapes, thinners, wood boards, canvas, molding pastes, etc.

7 - A new computer monitor. This is in the "I want that" category, although I did feel I needed it, too. I have all kinds of reasons and rationales about how I use the computer for photoshop and to design stuff for people. And yes, back when my brain worked, that did make me some money. But the fact of the matter is that the primary use for the monitor now is for me to play WoW on my bad days, type when I feel the need, and goof off on facebook or play sudoku when I need to numb my brain. I use it to look up reference pictures for art, and I do use it to help kids with homework; I certainly don't regret buying it. I will never consider it a waste of money, no matter how much time I waste with it.

8 - The Wii. Yes, I know there are more advanced game systems out there. Yes, I know its outdated. But you know what? This game system and all of the Just Dance games as well as the family game night series has done more to bring my family and kids together than anything else. We dance, we play, we cheer each other on, we goof off, we giggle. It's a wonderful thing. My younger girls get on the Wii Fit and do basic yoga and other exercises they think are super fun. So yeah, new systems may be out there, but I'll keep using what I've got because it works wonders for cementing my kids together in spite of all their personality differences.

9 - My Canon Rebel xTi DSLR. I bought it for my Beginning Photography class in college. It was a required class for my Illustration degree, because you take a LOT of photo references for accurate paintings. I love that camera. I love being able to affect lighting, exposure, and depth of field. I love the quality of pictures. I don't necessarily love how heavy it is, or how bulky it is to carry around, but I am glad that I invested in it all those years ago. It was worth every penny.

10 - My Epson six-ink printer.
A - Beautiful, awesome scans. I have never had an issue with scan quality, size, or dpi. My favorite scanner, ever.

B - When I used this printer for package design, it gave me the best colors of red. I hadn't seen some of those colors outside a print house, and this lovely printer gave them to me. Also, the photographs, oh they print gorgeously.

--- Granted, the ink is NOT cheap. It costs close to $90 to re-ink this baby. I only buy it when I'm doing a job for someone that requires color proofs. I have a laser printer that is much easier and cheaper to use for everyday homework and other print needs.

I had a list of other gadgets around the house that I love, but I've lost it and can't think of any of them off the top of my head. So there's my top ten. :)

Monday, May 18, 2015

Wish List

What I wish for.

Because I like lists, and why not?

1- A tattoo. Not the money for the tat, because I'd spend it on my kids. But a booked, pre-paid appointment for some time ON my birthday to get it done. Because that is a day I'm neurotic and could totally handle all the pain.

2- Hot press water color paper. A big stack of the 18x24 (or something close/bigger) kind. Or heck, even two or three of the big sheets.

3- An accessory bit kit for my dremel. I love to work with wood, and I'd really like to have some of the fun bits to go along with my favorite power tool. 

4- More paint brushes. Both oxhair and synthetic

5- More goauche paints. I love they way they interact with ink.

6- A variety of nibs for my inking set.

7 - Additional colors of India Ink for my inking set. I'd REALLY like some of the metallic golds and silvers and blues. Those are yummy.

8- The program Poser for more accurate figure drawing

9- A few more of the 18x24 drawing pads

10- Two or three more of the good sketchbooks. The kind with the GOOD paper.

11- A marker set. You can laugh, but I want the good markers. They're kind of awesome for color comps. But, in a pinch, I'd totally take a variety of Crayola. And they'd be just for me and I wouldn't share them with my kids, because MINE.

12- A better mp3 player. I know, that's kind of dumb and ungrateful, but the one I have now is a sports one. It doesn't have playlists, shuffle, or even a way to view what I'm listening to. It just plays. I'd kind of like something that I can select what I want to listen to, have a couple different playlists for different moods, and variety. I LIKE variety.

13- A hair cut and color. Please, for the love of Helvetica, let me color my gray with purple. Or at the very least, carmel highlights. I really am tired of looking at the gray, and I like feeling pretty.

14- A pedicure.  Those are lovely. No calluses, beautiful toes, and a foot massage. mmmmmm

15-  New jeans, pretty please. I have ONE pair I can wear. They are already starting to wear on the inner thighs.

16- My piano tuned.

17- Some silver and turquoise jewelry.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Call the waaaa-ambulance

This is a whining pity poor me vent. Just ignore it, I had to get the thoughts out of my head. This one really is for the nether.

Some family members have the power to hurt me even though I'm an adult now. Logically I know where they are in their life and understand their limitations when dealing with others. But it still hurts that they don't care.

It's not like the hard parts of my life are a secret. I'm not trying to hide skeletons in my closet. Any of my family can check my Facebook feed or read my blog to get a pretty good idea of my thoughts, feelings, the psyche ward stays, and various other forms of crazy. I'm pretty damned open about what I go through. 

Sunday, May 3, 2015


Consequences are something we don't get to pick when we make a choice. I made a choice a month ago, April 1st, to take a long walk of doom. Granted, my brain said "this is the right choice, I need to do this" but it was still a choice. And so now I live with consequences.

*  My family is afraid to leave me home alone. It doesn't matter that my house was full of kids when I left, they are afraid to leave me home alone. I either have to have someone chatting with me via text, have someone with me, or someone online talking to me and keeping tabs on me if everyone else is going out.   -- it gets annoying really fast, but I understand why.

* When I leave the house, I have to call and let my husband know where I am going. And I can't forget my phone or my purse.  -- again, understandable, and again annoying.

* I walked close to 15 miles that day through a dried up lake bed made of soft sand. In 40 degree weather. I pushed myself past the point of exhaustion and still kept going. I was dehydrated and had hypothermia.  The consequence of this: A month later and I'm still recovering. My stamina is super short. I get exhausted after doing menial tasks. I've been trying to mow my lawn, and I can't do more than 10 or 15 minutes before I am covered in sweat, breathing so heavily I think I might pass out, and want to cry because I'm so tired.