It’s reflection time of year for me, almost anyone who knows me knows my years end and begin with Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. It’s the easiest milestone marker for me, it’s a reset, it’s a chance to see my family up on that hill. Some I only get to see once a year Paul, Steve, Lori, the camp across from us, others I have grown intense beautiful relationships with, Carolann, Mark, Gordon, Craig, Alexis, Matt, Akshar, Katie. Occasionally deep connections are made sometimes you don’t even get the other person’s name. I spend a decent amount of time meditating and feeling safer than I do in any other event from my life.
My website and blog will be deactivated as of August 1st, times are tough, I’m on leave from work for a variety of mental health reasons. Trying to get myself back on track without having to spend time in inpatient, which at this point is my worst fear. So this is probably going to be the last entry for a while until I can get it back up and running again. I will still be selling prints and watercolors, just through facebook and individual PMs would help me so much. So my post-Falcon Ridge Entry might take a minute.
Financial stress should not be a problem when dealing with crisis, even if it’s something really important to you. Right now mental health comes first and if it means cutting something important, it’s a risk I’m willing to take for now.
This past year has been full of the most incredible joys and the most intense heartaches that I’ve experienced. It has tested me over and over again. I have hurt people I love more than words can express, I have gained new friendships, deepened old ones. I am part of a supportive and inclusive community who love me and I love them. I have isolated myself because crowds have become too hard. I’m working on it, I’m working on being more social.
I’d like to address guilt here, because at the moment even a picture or post on facebook can cause my stomach to drop and my heart rate to skyrocket. If I could come up with a way to make up for the trust I lost, the hurt I’ve caused. I’m lucky my friends are the most lovely, understanding, people in the world. I know this is mostly my brain full of anxiety.
I am sorry. I am so so sorry.
Despite reassurances from those I love my brain tells me that people are going to hit a point where I’m too much. I think mental illness is something that affects every aspect of our lives, physically, mentally, emotionally etc. I have hurt people I love deeply in the throes of being sick, and this last low point made me realize that I need to take myself seriously. I hurt someone I love deeply because I neglected myself long enough that I was in enough pain to make irrational, impulsive, and bad decisions.
I had to get treatment at all cost. This is twisted, but I can deal with the suffering on my end, the second I hurt someone, even when I am in the dark throes, I feel an incredible amount of shame and guilt about it, all they’ve shown me is love, and all my mental illness has given back to them is stress.
Every time I fall into this hole I climb back out of it. This time it’s been a little harder, a lot harder. I’ve never had to take off work, I’ve never been more broke than I am now, and I’ve rarely been this unstable, but my support system is incredible. I am afraid to make phone calls, even to those I love and have never judge me, because I always fear the person on the other end dreads my name popping up on their caller ID. I’ve been reassured that’s not the case, but the overactive brain tells you otherwise.
Maybe this post is more about personal accountability than anything else. I am struggling to find the balance between being a burden and being a friend. The last month or so I have not been pulling my own weight, so burden feels more likely. Crisis is hard to look at objectively until you are out of it.
I’m hoping for some mental health stuff to get sorted before hospitalization is necessary.
Another thing I can recommend is I waited way too long, I didn’t have to, but I waited way too long, and it is not my friends job to help in a mental health crisis, but boy did they stand by me when I was at my darkest.
I can only hit home how much my friends and family have gotten me through crisis after crisis without asking for anything in return. I feel filled to the brim with the love and support I have gotten.
I hope I can continue this blog and website so soon, for at least the month of August I’ll be down, and after that here’s to hoping I get some good paying job or go back to Michaels.
There’s so much more than I need to communicate in this piece but it’s far too complex to dive in it.
There’s nothing more than I want for this blog to turn it it into what I intended it to be, talking about art and how it relates to mental illness and creating in the chaos that is our world right now. At the moment, crisis is on my mind.
For now I am focusing on the hill, I’m focusing on the peace and processing I experience at this magical. I’m focusing on whatever the greeter guy is dressed as this year. I’m focusing on the constant smiles and music all night. I’m focusing on my family being with me, both my chosen one and my blood relations. I’m focusing on the peace I leave with and the little too much eye contact that happens after I get home. I’m focusing on the power of people coming together just to love the same thing. My people are there. It is home. I’m excited to absorb as much of the positive vibes that permeate the festival.
Life is complicated.
Love each other