GentleSoul Arts

Living a Creative Life


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Adventures in Painting (a shed)

Oh it was a busy weekend! First I road 30 miles, my longest distance so far, in training for a 33 mile ride in November. A ride I signed up for next month has been changed to a virtual only event, so I wonder if the November ride will follow suit. Get your vaccine people! So that afternoon I was pretty immobile. I did not get my normal post ride headache. I started to get a headache so I would grab some salt and put it under my tongue. I did that every time I felt a headache starting, which seemed like most of the afternoon, but it didn’t go into full blown migraine mode. Maybe I’ve solved the post ride headache mystery.

The next day my mother-in-law was in town and helped paint the shed that was built last month. I think we have about 90% done. I’ll work on the trim this week and my husband will paint the top sides that I wasn’t comfortable painting on the ladder. This was the 1st time in over 30 years that I painted that wasn’t an art canvas. My mom’s voice was in my head loud! “You’re dripping paint, watch what you’re doing”. “You’re getting paint everywhere” “You’re not doing that right, you’re just making a mess”. Every time time a drop of paint landed on me, or the ground, BOOM there’s my mom. I kept reminding myself paint was getting on the walls and we bought WAY too much paint so it’s not like it was being wasted if I dropped some.

I was on the edge of an emotional breakdown. Comments made were hitting a bit harder than they normally would. I tried to explain to my husband, but was told “Don’t be X, be Y instead”… and repeated questions about what color the doors would be, I had to get away and hid in my closet for a bit. No more than 5 minutes, I don’t think anyone noticed I was gone, or upset.

I’m glad to have a quiet day today, prep for the beginning of next month and have time to myself. If you’re struggling today, you’re not alone. Let’s take one moment, one task at a time, pause to rest when needed and if you’re able to have a self-care day enjoy you’re favorite activities.


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Cycles of Depression

I’ve been feeling down lately. It’s hard to describe if you’ve never experienced it. I’m restless, easily agitated, I want to be included but I want to be left alone. I want to be recognized but I don’t want attention. I don’t feel anything. I go through the motions of life, smiling when expected and trying to appear as normal as possible to others. I really just want to go to bed and sleep until I feel something.

I was diagnosed with depression and general anxiety disorder almost 20 years now. I’m a lot better than I was at that time but I still feel like I’m on the edge of a chasm, trying not to fall back into the darkness.

I know this feeling won’t last. Little things seem to be magnified out of proportion during this phase. Everything is personal, even when it isn’t. I feel like I could disappear and no one would notice.

These are the times when I stop writing on my blog. I don’t want to share about my fighting depression. That means I’m not perfect. Which I never claim to be, but like others, I strive for perfection even though I know it’s unattainable. Maybe that feeds into the voice that tells me I’m not good enough. I’ll never be good enough.

It’s a struggle.

I know it won’t last. It will flip like a light switch. Almost in an instant I’ll feel like myself again. I don’t know what will trigger that but it will come. Until then I’ll retreat into myself. Get my work done, speak only when spoken to, try to look for the little things that make me smile.

Depression lies. I’m not going to fall for it but I accept this is a part of me.