For the longest time I have been stressed and felt the general strain of life, not only with my mental health but also my physical well being. I have been dealing with chronic pain for half of my life due to a serious RTA and although I try to be positive and wear my scars proudly, I am run down, sick, depressed and loosing my motivation. Don't get me wrong, I am thankful for everyday I've had since 11th February 2001 - I was given a second chance. I got to go to university, I worked hard, met my husband, fell in love and I now paint pictures for a living, I'm lucky. I have great friends and an amazingly supportive family, so why has everything become so hard to manage?
Since mid July this summer, I took time out. It wasn't really my decision, I'd pushed too hard since the start of the year, ignored advice, dismissed the aches and pains in my body because I wanted to feel 'normal' and if I worked harder for longer then this year would be full of great things, but 6 months in I hit burn out. An already fused spine caused disks to bulge, nerve issues in my legs, arthritic joints seizing up, at only 35 I'm feeling more like 85. I can't seem to make it through the day with out a 2-3 hour nap and I'm struggling with everyday tasks, like putting my pants on! My productivity is beyond minimal when it comes to making new art. I've fumbled my way through the summer months, finishing a couple of projects that I had already committed to before my health took a turn. 7 weeks on I am making some progress, some days I'm better than others. I'm gently exercising (swimming and yoga) and I'm eating healthy, trying to be kind to myself, giving my body the best chance for the years to come. I've even redesigned my tired website to mark a new chapter of moving forward but I am afraid. I'm afraid to start to a new painting because of the fear it won't be any good. That I've lost the stamina and ability to be an artist. And I'm afraid that I won't be able to manage the pain in my body and that my physical health will deteriorate further. I have THE FEAR. I was even afraid to start this blog, to be honest with myself and anyone who ends up reading it.
Since letting my followers and clients know via social media that I was taking some time out from my creative process due to ill health, I was surprised to be contacted by so many other people who have been suffering from chronic conditions too (fibromialgia, crohn's disease, colitis, endometriosis) Hidden conditions that aren't shared through the glamorised, curated posts of instagram. I felt not so alone by our shared stories and that's the reason I wanted to start this blog. Of course I will fill these 'posts' with art and inspiration but I felt it was important to fill them with honesty. Everything isn't always perfect and that's ok.
Love G x