The Goddess Isn’t Letting Me Go

Mere days after my biggest artist tantrum, I sold my first drum at retail.

Oy.

I was feeling pretty sheepish after my 2-day fit this weekend. I throw tantrums! Wasn’t I supposed to outgrow that? I didn’t. In fact, they’re worse. I was always a tantrum kid, but they do more damage now. To myself, relationships, property. Like a drum I might have salvaged if I hadn’t stabbed it. (They don’t pierce. That’s something I know now.)

Self-abuse is so… painful. If I were a teenager today, I would have been a cutter. (I used to beat my own head with metal bristle brush until I bled.) (I wasn’t the first to hit me over the head with it; neither was I the only sibling to meet rage at the end of a brush.)

This goddess series has been beyond my capacity to create, but I keep seeing different versions and itching until I express her.

My first commercial sale is my first goddess, at Dancing Crane for $200. My optimistic self would see affirmation in that, but today I’m ashamed. It hurts.

I’ll shelve the shame, I guess, and anticipate joy in this sometime after Monday, when I see my psychiatrist. *sigh*
eve
****
June 20, 2017

I was mistaken! My goddess drum isn’t even on the wall at Dancing Crane. Silly me.

It was the first Tree of Life that sold! My first departure from the mandala. Oh, I’m so glad it brought full price! It would hard for me part with for less than $200, but I could have been talked down in person. I don’t know. Maybe not. A part of me hoped it would never sell, and I could bring it home for my very own. Looking at it now, I can hardly imagine what would have struck me then as a flaw. It’s perfect.

Let that be a lesson to you, Christie. Tantrums are wasted energy. Let your work be!
tree-of-life

Post-Meltdown Post-Mortem

Well, first, it’s clear that I have not accepted inevitable failures. Til now, I hadn’t created something I couldn’t save. Each piece had a feature I disliked, but I was satisfied enough to share it.

I’m a perfectionist. It’s held me back throughout my life. If I can’t do it perfectly from the start, I don’t do it. It’s a limiting worldview. I’ve always admired and envied those who take real risks, unfazed by a public experience of trying something – sometimes horribly – for the first time. Or if they were frightened by exposure or humiliation, they braved it anyway.

So there’s that.

Also, I’m looking with new eyes at a belief I’ve held for 2 decades. That I won’t kill myself because I promised not to at 23. I did try once after that, but never again. It made a difference. It got me through the most dangerous years of this illness.

And so because I’ve had success at not dying, I forgot to be vigilant. Yesterday, I told my cats to fuck off, because I can’t kill myself until they die. It makes me sick to even think how that feels to them. I try to tell myself they don’t speak English, but that doesn’t matter. They speak energy.

They’ll forgive me. They always do. I didn’t yell. But they know. My pain hurts them, even if they just register more stress. Dis-ease. God, I hate it when hippies do that. But it’s real. Disease makes us sick. I don’t want to hurt them.

I have to look honestly at my future. I have to fix this shit or I’m gonna kill myself in 10 years. Why not? I don’t fucking care. It’s a tragedy when a young person dies with all her promise and beauty. When a sick middle-aged woman goes… Well, as far as I’m concerned, it’s a choice that belongs to her alone. Some forms of cancer kill. Some don’t. Why is mental illness stigmatized for the same thing? And yet…

It goes against instinct. If I were attacked, I’d fight to live through it. Even today, with a wish for sweet death, I’d campaign for my life. We’re programmed to survive, so if my wiring is telling me not to, my circuitry is askew. So, time to get real. I’m not well.

Awareness… is a good thing, right?

Solstice Sunday

It sucks to be depressed on the most beautiful day of the year. We’re smack dab in the middle of the longest days, with a small cold front from the north. It’s only supposed to be 85 degrees today, in late June! I don’t want to go to the drum circle. I don’t want to go to Earth Jam. I don’t want to get out of bed.

Yesterday, I ruined the first drum I couldn’t recover. It sucks, too, because it was my first PERFECT piece, and then…

I’ve never made a mistake that I couldn’t modify or mask or turn into a surprise success. I told Jax, “There’s something I hate about every drum I’ve made, but she’s perfect! I love her so much. She’s perfect!”

I couldn’t leave well enough alone. One thing too far.

I gave her weeks of detached consideration. There were several small attempts at a fix that didn’t work, so I put her away quickly and thoughtfully, certain the answer would come. Finally, I found the solution, which I applied yesterday, to her destruction. There was no taking it back, no coming back, no way forward.

Many years ago, an artist friend told me the secret. “You just have to accept that you will hate 29 out of 30 things you do.” And I had, I thought, but I just can’t let go of how much I loved her. To lose her is killing me.

After the week of tolerating this awful user who just won’t leave, I crumbled. (SO much more to the story of the unwelcome couch-surfer.) I fell deep, deep, deep in the hole. At first I tried to watch the self-talk, but that only made me more abusive. Just be honest about the useless, talentless idiot you are. Stop killing yourself with that insufferable silver lining, and those unbearable lessons in the loss. Shut UP!

There’s nothing to my future but the last of my desperately clinging looks and a body that doesn’t belong to me. I fucking HURT! I have nothing and will die with less.

I’m so sick with this goddamn depression. At the worst time. It’s far worse to shut the door and draw the blinds when the weather is so lovely. I can’t get out of bed.

wind in her hair

If only I’d photographed her after finishing her body and limbs, and outlining her curves and edges. Something to remember her by before ruining everything.

All Strong Women Are Called Bitch

nasty-womanI woke up Friday morning, suddenly aware that my belief that election stress hadn’t gotten to me was, in fact, a coping strategy to hide from what now feels very much like trauma! It broke my heart to see how disconnected I’d become from my emotions just to survive this shit. It was alarming, because I try to look honestly at myself and what my feelings are telling me. I was hiding from pain!

Post-election is going to be ugly, too. There will be no ideal reconciliation, or even real workability, but thank god this part is OVER. The longest, most vitriolic election in modern history. I feel like I’ve been beaten.

I ached again for the little girl who grew up in a violent home, who developed that coping mechanism just so she could breathe. I read once that Depression isn’t merely a pervasive low feeling, but the absence of all feeling, eventually the inability to feel. A person crying “the tears of the damned,” I call them, will do anything not to feel them. Not to feel. They stop being able to feel at all, even the good stuff. It’s horrible, and it comes from hiding from pain.

I would have thought that I had a special radar for noticing when that technique was creeping into my life. I didn’t see it at all! You hear the buzz words “election anxiety” everywhere, and I had perched myself above it, in very much the same way I would leave my body during violence that I thought would kill me. When I saw it – her – I ached, and went in again to be the grown-up I needed when I was a terrified little girl.

I decided that I will no longer watch any news or footage of any kind until Wednesday, and I haven’t. Of course, it’s everywhere. You can’t get away from it. But I’m not permitting the sound bytes into my life anymore. I’ll know tomorrow what happens tonight.

At one point Friday, I was praying and dancing – with my new beautiful mandala hand drum – and putting peace and healing into the meditation/energy bubble I’ve described before. I had this vision of Hillary Clinton ushering in a reconciliation era. I felt almost elated! I danced and celebrated, and put all of my love into that vision.

The next day, I woke up feeling like such an idiot! I’m so stupid! Hillary won’t be permitted to lead our national recovery. They’re going to eviscerate her! They are going to make her pay so hard! They will never stop trying to SILENCE THE WOMAN. And they want the rest of us to witness what happens when we dare to speak.

I felt like crying. I felt hopeless.

And then I didn’t. Immediately, I thanked her again. She is the only woman who could break this final fucking ceiling. Whatever you think of Hillary Clinton, SHE has opened the door at last for women to be taken seriously in U.S. Presidential races.

The United States hates women as much as it hates black people. It’s shameful that it’s taken so long for a woman to break through that insistent wall of fear and desperation. Germany has Angela Merkel. England has Theresa May, and the Iron Lady was taken seriously decades ago. Israel had Golda Meir a lifetime ago! She was born in 1898!

But not here. Never here. Here, they don’t want to hear. SHUT UP, said white male privilege to every woman and every person of color. “It is the existential fear of displacement from a world that has slowly – too slowly, for too long – been chipping away at white male supremacy.” -Rolling Stone

Hillary Clinton was the woman to break through that blockade, not because her place in history is that of a peacekeeper. That woman is a warrior! She’s strong enough to take anything they say and do to her. And only that woman can handle what’s coming after she’s elected. She’s a battering ram! And she’s willing to do it.

So I’m grateful. I don’t love her perfectly. That’s a childish world view. Politics is messy business. No one is 100% happy 100% of the time. That’s dictatorship. But Hillary Clinton is among the most honest politicians (Deal with it), and she’s accomplished things across both sides of the aisle, that make the world a better place. That has been her aim.

Unfortunately, I doubt we’ll see any of that ever again. This bipartisan bullshit is an attempt by the Republican party to bring down everyone if they can’t have their way, exactly as they want  it. It’s so dangerous. It breaks my heart.

And that’s where I come in. I have to learn my limit of exposure, and pray. Ironically enough, I’m a warrior, too. But it’s in this way that I came to my calling, which is to heal. Myself. My friends. My family. My neighbors. My world.

I can’t get bogged down by the futility of it all. I just have to believe in my ridiculous mystical bubble – and I do – and send all of my love into it. I can imagine myself into real visions of peace and cooperation, and when that sight takes the pain from my heart, I pray and pray and pray. “Let the world feel this, NOW. Let everyone who sees this in their heart send the power of their healing into the bubble, too, and make it grow!”

“Do the best you can until you know better. When you know better, do better.”
-Maya Angelou

drum

Here she is again. I love this drum so much! She is a healer! I love her voice.

Tonight, I will go to a belly dance class, and come home to work on my next mandala. In this way, I’ll hear none of the nonsense that I don’t need. It’s done.

I’ve found that the repetition of each rotation brings on a trance state, where the mind forgets its being-ness, and what’s inside comes up. I’ve caught myself putting hatred and anger into these beautiful lines and curves, but Sacred Truth stops me. I really feel like something else jumps in and says, “Not here! Not this!” So I redirect my thoughts, and pour love, joy, healing, humor, and everything beautiful about my inner nugget into these drums I’ve come to love so much. They contain prayers and magic!

Kumbaya, bitches!

womens-suffrage

I Needed That

new-moonI finally made it to a New Moon Sister Circle. It was just what I needed to snap out of it! We discussed what the new moon in Virgo might look and feel like, and my friend Bonnie said, “I’m just glad Mars is out of retrograde!”

“Is that what’s been going on?” I asked.

All of the women laughed and exclaimed. Everyone, it seemed, had an example of how she was either contrary or useless.

I’ll take it! I’m content to chalk it up to the stars and let it go. I’ve been beating myself up trying to demystify and define that months-long funk, but now I don’t feel so much pressure to learn something from it. It’s done. I’m fine.

The next day, I went to my niece’s wedding and had such a lovely visit with my family in Idaho. The reception was at my sister’s house. It was a dream country wedding, with hay bale couches covered in denim comforters, kids running everywhere, and chickens clucking and crowing in the background. I can’t think of a more pleasant time I’ve shared with my family. I got to hold my first grandniece, all of 2 weeks old and only 6 lbs!

My roommate and I went back to his ranch for Labor Day. It was a wonderful follow-up to my own family visit. His family made me feel right at home, and we spent the evening singing Broadway hits, old classics, and camp-style rounds.

Yesterday, we went to the Mountain Man Rendezvous in Ft. Bridger, Wyoming. Today, we canoed, rode horses, and I chopped wood.

Oh, and I finished my drum!mandala

on casper

Casper the Friendly Horse got a little feisty, especially when Bella kicked in front of us!

riding horseschopping wood 4

Aug. 28th, we climbed to Timpanogos Cave National Monument.stalagtitesdripping rust

Here’s one from my artist niece’s Blessingway on Aug. 12th. blessingway
5 days later, Violet arrived! ~ August 17, 2016 ~violet
On Sept. 2nd, my sporty niece married a fellow marathoner.kolten-and-em

Long, Unusual Depression

I’ve decided to call this month-and-a-half-long aberration what it must surely be, a Depression. I didn’t recognize it as such, because it didn’t progress into anything. I’m just dissatisfied and irritable. At last, I missed the enthusiasm that once so characterized me.

Depressions used to terrify me. Each time, I really believed that – this time – it would never end. Now, I just acknowledge it (“Oh, you”) and check out for a couple of days (I’m going to bed”). Ordinarily, Depression saps all of my strength. If I were to stay awake, I’d be sobbing anyway so… I’ll see you in a few days. I let myself have a good cry but the tears of the damned are not healing, so I sleep through them.

This time, I’ve been bored (I’m never bored!) and AGRO. And unable to escape to my dreams. Horrible. I’ve had to live with this awful person for months! I can’t cry. I feel nothing. Well, I do. I feel over it. I feel superior. I feel inferior. I feel numb. I feel stupid.

Keeping busy is easy. I’m always puttering around on something. Unfortunately, I ruined 2 art projects. They turned out fine, but I put so much hate into both pieces I can’t see them now as anything but ugly. I’m going to use/share them anyway. Hopefully, over time I’ll see their beauty again, and not hear the running abuse that accompanied their creation.

Man, I’m mean! I’m distant and difficult with others when I don’t feel well, but I make Christie pay! *sigh*

I’ve tried to write about it several times, hoping I could snap out of it. You know, Depression. Losing interest in things you once loved. Well, I love to write about myself, and when I hate me, I can really crucify this self-serving blog.

Today, I made something that actually lifted me up. What a relief! I’m EXCITED. I missed my gusto! I’ll post again when the drum is finished. 🙂drum

About-face

I went back to Salt Lake Homeopathy today for my follow-up appointment. I had faith in this once, and excitement for what it might do. It’s easy to lose faith on pain days, so I decided to stick with it for awhile longer. I haven’t yet reached the dollar amount I committed to the experiment and, really, I can’t be disappointed if it doesn’t work. I was willing to risk that, and I’m going to.

Don’t make decisions when you’re discouraged.
Don’t make promises when you’re happy.
Don’t makes speeches when you’re angry.

Something like that.

The homeopath asked me, first thing, “Are you feeling a little rough?”

“Oh! Does it get worse before it gets better?”

That was a relief. It was also heartening that, once again, he knew how I was feeling. Maybe this is real and still has the capacity to help me? To heal me?

I told him I didn’t see any worm corpses. He was nonplussed. “Well, you could. I didn’t think you would, but I didn’t want you freaking out if you did.”

Take that as you will.

The most compelling evidence, for me, if you can call it that outside of science, is the muscle testing. He can tell me what he picks up from my muscular responses to his inquiries. I can believe him or not. He can lie to me and I’ll be none the wiser. That’s why this is a leap of faith. However, when I hold a bottle of herbs, minerals, or medication and cannot keep my fingers together – or conversely, can’t have them pried apart  – how can I believe it’s anything other than he says? “You don’t need this.” “You do need this.” I’m not making up how strong or weak my grip is! It’s quite incredible.

(I brought all of my supplements and prescriptions to see what the homeopath thought of them. He muscle-tested me holding each. I need none of the supplements – they’re all made from crap – but I need my antidepressant. He couldn’t pry my fingers apart holding the bottle, and asked what the pills were for. When I answered, he was surprised.

“You need it.”

“Well, yeah,” I teased. “That’s why it’s prescribed to me.”

“Well, a lot of people are prescribed antidepressants unnecessarily. I never tell anyone not to take their medication. That’s not my business, but most Depression can be healed in other ways. You need it.”

“Yep.” 10 tiny miligrams of Citalopram, and thank god! Better living through Chemistry.)

So I bought more herbs and tinctures. Now that the parasites are vanquished, we can get to the real problems – like deficiencies, and scars from old injuries and traumas (car accident, 2006; bike accident, 2009; surgery, complications and surgery, 2008).

“I don’t have kids to put in braces, college, or therapy. I do what I want!” And I want a body that can travel again, and dance, and not sleep and ache for days/weeks at a time.