One time, instead of getting ready for school (8th grade, I think), I locked myself in the bathroom and tried to kill myself. I laid at the bottom of the bathtub as it filled up, not resolved but terrified. I don’t think I was scared of dying, I was scared of myself…that I could have that much hate and anger in me, to take a life. I’ve thought of suicide before and after this episode, but this was the only time I ever actually attempted it. Thankfully I screamed my intentions to my dad, who was furious and broke down the door. Strangely, I don’t remember what happened next.
This is the problem I have with writing a memoir, or any story. I have gaps in my knowledge of the events. I think it has something to do with the bipolar, but it’s very inconvenient.
I don’t know why I’m thinking about this today. Probably because I’m still trying to figure out exactly what went wrong in my novel writing last night.
Here I am, in the aching place that hypomania left behind. This one was so brief, but blazed hard and burnt me up last night. I had to take an impromptu two hour nap just to recover, and today I still don’t feel quite right. I miss having the inspiration, the excitement. Now all I have is longing. I look at my writing notes and wonder if I will ever be able to write this fucking novel. Maybe it’s just not in me. Maybe it will only happen in the short moments of manic glory.
I thought that medication would make me perfect. That the pills would carve out all the doubt and self-loathing and replace it with confidence and commitment to the things I want for myself. Today I feel like all it’s done is made it hard to cry, and instead of big episodes that sweep through the household like a windstorm, I have just these little earthquake tremors. And that must be life.
I journaled last night. Just a page or so of whining. I don’t think it helped anything but I didn’t feel like I could draw or paint and I certainly wasn’t able to write with my heart broken up over yet another failed novel attempt. And what do you do when nothing is possible? When nothing helps?
Perhaps I need to go back to reading about my condition, studying the exercises that are supposed to give clarity. I could take my doctor’s advice and run around in the sunlight for a while, but lazing about and eating sounds much more appealing…
After another bad day, a simple, whimsical idea struck me. I haven’t begun painting it yet, but just the process of drawing it out has been cathartic. After the muck my other painting became, this is a good sign. A much needed one.
Sometimes, all I’m capable of is weird art. It begins with a concept that’s more of a feeling than anything else. Then I attach color and shapes to that, and then I try to put it all on the canvas. I would tell you that I’m usually between 30-60% successful. I’ve never had a piece of art turn out exactly how I pictured. Sometimes I like it anyway, and sometimes I am seconds away from painting over it. Or both.
Right now it’s both.
Oh my! I sat down and painted a picture! I had fun and even worked my way through a big mistake without panicking or getting discouraged. Thank you medication adjustment!
My art has taken a weird turn. And writing anything but smut with my husband is a challenge. I don’t know if I am just in a funk, or if this is your art on drugs* kids… But I keep having visions of clay pieces in frames with this’s and thats. But when it comes time to actually paint said pieces I fat finger it and end up with…slop. So that’s a problem.
*The kind that are legally prescribed to me by my doctor for bipolar. Settle down.
I did some more things while cooped up/should be resting but is arting everywhere instead. I made music note shaped wax melts! With (too much) bamboo fragrance, my own dried basil, and soy wax! I call them “Bamboosiled.” Eeee!!!
Oh and this painting came out of a low cycle…
And this thumbnail doodle comes from a happy place.
Bouncing round the
Memories and critics and lies
Where are my thoughts safe?
So I’ve been working on this for a while. There are a lot of components here… The weird little gremlins who live in the cage — they are Anxiety and Depression. I made a girly, flowery bed to put them in when I’m done with them, but as with all things when it comes to me, it can’t be contained. I wish it looked as cool in pictures as it does in person, but maybe that’s part of the beauty of it.