I am currently in a period of what my boyfriend calls: Active Recovery. Not bed rest as the Victorians liked to treat “hysterical women”, no, doing things is the way to beat this depression.
First of all I have told myself that this period up until the end of the year is dedicated to me feeling better. After week after week after week of feeling bad more often than good I said enough is enough and I contacted my counsellor again. I’m seeing her once a week on a Friday and it’s been good so far.
So I’m rediscovering what makes me feel good, or more stable (heehee) or gives me the hope I will recover. I’m trying to exercise when I’m not ill, which has been frustratingly rare this past couple of weeks. There’s nothing like going for a run on a windy beach to clear the misery cobwebs away. The yoga goes without saying and has been the most conflict-free part of my life since it’s been in my life all of these 3 and a half years.
Some of this doing is actually non-doing, or mindfulness. I bought Jon Kabat-Zinn’s book “Full Catastrophe Living” this summer and decided that this Active Recovery period is perfect to work through it. It’s been fantastic, I feel like I’m coming home. I’ve done a mindfulness book course before which I talked about here. This is more of the same but is not primarily for people with depression, it’s aimed more at people suffering with chronic pain or anxiety or stress. Stress and anxiety I know a bit about, so I thought it would help anyway. It’s all connected. So now I have a mindfulness meditation practice and I’m already feeling the (good) effects.
Finally I have been gently trying to rediscover joy in painting again, curiosity, fearlessness, un self-consciousness, all that wonderful stuff that came so easy when I was 18. I’ve been looking at a lot of other artist’s work and thinking more than producing stuff myself. I’m trying not to force it because I have this little “work work work you’re only as good an artist as your last painting so just do it and shut up” demon on my shoulder and it’s not good for my mind to listen to it.
What I have NOT been doing is pursuing other people for exhibitions, advice etc because that is a bad idea when I’m so vulnerable.
Then why the hell do I get an offer for a full SOLO exhibition in April? Why?? What are you doing to me universe??