I’m going through the motions, but I’m going through the motions, and that counts. At least on a “fake it ’til you make it” basis, right?
It means I’m getting up, putting clothes on, not letting my hair get entirely hedgerow-ish, and brushing my teeth when one should brush one’s teeth. I’m cooking food that’s healthy and eating it (why does food taste like cardboard when you’re down, and despite this, why is there an endless craving for it, as if it can plug the holes in you, which it can’t. Perhaps I should try eating caulk, or that stuff they put in leaky car radiators). Mostly people are being very nice, but from a distance. That’s what I need right now, but it makes me slightly nervous because at time of writing I STILL haven’t seen a soul since the 8th May. I just plain don’t want to. I feel massively exiled from humanity at the mo. Even email feels too close for comfort. If I could click my fingers and exist on a Hebridean island, population me, for the rest of my days, then sucka, those fingers would be cluck.
But! With Olympic standard glumness occupying one chunk of my brain, other chunks of my brain aren’t as dumb as all that. You can’t slump about the place thinking how much you hate yourself. Well, you can, but it doesn’t achieve much and I’ve got cat-food to buy and world domination to plot. OH YES. I won’t have you thinking that just because I idly think of hanging myself, I’m not still plotting despotically so I can leap into action when I recover.
It’s not like I’ve dropped the ball, here, people. It’s not like I’m not still made of fight.
I’m keeping it creative. Creative shit uses your frontal lobes. That diverts power from the bits of your brain that are encouraging you to acquaint yourself with railway tracks. It also requires total immersion, so while you’re creating stuff, you don’t think. It’s like a little holiday from existence. You’re just there, all your energy concentrated on this one thing that – and this is key – isn’t you. So creative stuff is good, and many people who suffer from depression naturally gravitate to creative activities.
For me, this means writing and painting. I still have a bunch of outstanding commissions (never place a commission with someone who suffers from ME, unless you’re prepared to wait a few years. I’m not even kidding), but I can’t face working on them because commissions have to be GOT RIGHT, and that’s quite stressful. No, basically at the moment I’m knocking out a few paintings and once I’m back up to speed I’ll do a few I can – hopefully – sell. I’m working bigger than last year, and on some really beefy paper. The downside of that is that watercolour paper is so bloody expensive, you sort of put off painting on it in case you screw up.
The above is very much playing-it-safe, and I’m doing a few like it to warm up my engines – I haven’t painted this year, except those magpies in my bedroom. Once I’m back up to speed with my drawing, I’m going to try doing a few less Beatrix-Pottery things. Some garden abstracts. Some Beardsley-inspired silly stuff with ink (I’m actually starting that this afternoon, if I can persuade my eyes to work). If I can get a few decent pieces together I’m going to see if I can find representation at a local gallery – there must be some in Dulwich, for heaven’s sake. It’s nice having stuff hanging in Yorkshire, but they’re really only interested in the Potter-esque stuff, and I find that a bit frustrating.
I’m sticking with watercolour because I find acrylics and oils really uncomfortable to work with, and because watercolour is not a medium I really associate with abstraction or bold block colour. Watercolour is also not a medium I associate with large pieces, and I desperately want to do some really big ones, but I can’t crack on with anything hyowge until I get a drawing board, and funds are tight right now.