Saturday, January 31, 2015

Giving In

Paranoia and delusion have plagued me for as long as I can remember. Being convinced that your friends don't actually like you is no fun, and being petrified - to the point of physical illness - that every invitation to do anything is actually some big joke they're playing on you and no-one will be there when you turn up, well thats no cup of tea either.

While I've mostly managed to get over those thoughts, the low self esteem that goes with them is harder to get over. This manifests in a variety of ways (and while the relative lack of mirrors in the house makes fitting clothing difficult, it is also somewhat of a relief that I can easily avoid seeing myself), but one of the big ones is belief that nothing I do is very good, regardless of what people tell me. Letting people see anything I'm making - sewing, knitting, painting, embroidery, writing, even writing myself lists of household chores - is incredibly difficult, and there have been many times when I've immediately given up whatever I'm doing as soon as someone catches sight of it. Completely irrational, I'm well aware.

I can't stop those thoughts, but I can choose to ignore them, and do things I enjoy anyway, especially if other people seem to enjoy what I've done, too. It is hard. Its is very hard. But it is possible. I can also choose to say "thank you" instead of insisting that they are wrong. Thats harder, but I'm working on it.

Both my mother, and some friends, have asked me to paint for them. I love painting. It is soothing, and distracting, and allows me to retreat into my introvert's bubble without offending anyone. Embroidery is similar, and I pretty much view it as painting with needle and thread, but I really enjoy proper painting, with a paintbrush and liquid colour. Being able to change the colours as I go is almost magical, and painting over mistakes is much easier than unpicking stitches.

My mother's painting is taking a long time. I keep finding flaws, and putting it aside before I do something stupid like ripping the canvas or painting over it with black and starting again. When I go back to it after a couple of days, I either do not notice the flaws that riled me up so much, or I find I am easily able to fix them and continue. Most importantly, she loves it.

The amount of praise my friends' painting received was almost distressing, and definitely embarrassing, but I am glad to have been able to help them out, and in the end I am actually fairly pleased with the results, and they were thrilled, so thats great. I'm also impressed with how easy house paint is to work with. I generally use acrylics, but the texture of house paint vs. artists paint is quite different. I prefer artists paint, but the results from house paint were entirely reasonable. Working on such a large scale was interesting, too.

I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to take a compliment easily, or be feel entirely comfortable sharing my work with other people, but feeling joy in creation, and seeing joy on other's faces at the things I make is worth it in the long run, I think. And despite myself I have to admit that it's kinda fun to know that so many people will see something I've made, which I think is a step in the right direction.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Starting Fresh

I've nuked it. Its all gone. Well.. reverted to draft, anyway. I'll still read over my old stuff, since it helps me remember, but no-one else will see it.

This little blog of mine has existed in some form or another since 2007. Sometimes I posted a lot, sometimes not so much. Last year, I made one post.

Last year was crap.

I was not as over my miscarriage or the death of our puppy as I thought, and then the man's father passed away. The depression I'd been holding at bay for years finally broke through, and things went downhill fast.

I'm not sure if I sewed anything to completion last year.

I knitted almost one whole dish cloth. It has been going since last february, and isn't finished yet. It is less than 5" by 5".

I cooked a lot, but only because if I don't, we have no dinner.

I did finish one piece of embroidery.

I also did a few little paintings. But not til after I was medicated again.

I spent a lot of time feeling scared, and lonely, and angry, and alone. I hated my children. I hated my husband. I didn't want to see my friends. I didn't go to church for half the year. I spent a lot of time sitting on the couch hating myself, but being afraid to ask a doctor to fix it all.

And then, for a brief time, the medication that has always brought me relief before was my enemy, and I was very close to going insane. It is not a fun feeling. I don't recommend it. Thankfully, the new medication has no such nasty side effects.

The urge to create has come back to me. I want to sew. I want to embroider. I want to knit. I want to paint.

I want to write.

So I'm starting the blog afresh. Clean slate, no memories or expectations.

There might be sewing. There might be knitting. There might be painting, or cooking, or embroidery, or children, or random thoughts. There will probably be talk of depression.

I can't promise a lack of irrelevant pictures, either.

Pug investigating a blue tongue. There was a lot of barking that day.