Friday, May 8, 2020

If an Archeologist and Anthropologist Dug up Our House; Reflections on Beliefs, Assumptions, Chronic Illness, Creativity and Depression.

We were watching a history documentary and I speculated, "It's interesting what people believe and still do. Also the conclusions we come to about what they believe based on their stuff. If someone in the future dug up our house in the future they'd make assumptions that aren't true and do not fit our neighbours."

My eldest son responded, "It's weird says the mother who is like 'kids let's hangup another crystal in the window or put up another mirror or triangle' ...yea it's weird what people do." I cracked up.

But it is odd- all these assumptions. While I do believe "things" have incredible meaning and are more than just "stuff", I also believe, that more than anything, I would want people to come to different  conclusions in the future if they studied our home. I would want them to know that we were just creative people who loved to make beauty the way it was interpreted for us. It had nothing to do with the current culture we were ingrained in and everything to do with the whims, planning and joy of the moment. I think if they made assumptions of what we believed based on our things, it would be wrong. Some would give a glimpse but a lot of it, would not touch the complexity.

As in all things.

While uploading and deleting photos from my phone my computer lost over 400-700 photos ( I am unsure on the total.) Thankfully Instagram saved a heap as well as my texts to people so I recovered about 200. Losses like that can feel disconcerting when you don't have a memory. I lost some great moments that I was saving to marvel at later.

Luckily, I figured out what was happening in the midst and unplugged my phone before it deleted our latest Star Wars themed footage.

I was exhausted that day and didn't feel much like getting ready or being creative. Neither did my kiddos but I knew if I made an effort they would get into it. So I told myself to take it one step at a time...which I often do with a ferritin of under 3 and low hemoglobin. Sometimes waking up is hard. I sat at my make up table and thought 'Padme' (the least powerful woman but the most obvious of Star Wars by make up) would be an easy make up choice to do. I thought I would wear normal clothes but realized that Padme wore outrageous things so I could use my wedding dress! I didn't like my arms due to recent gain again so I put on a button up with a belt and voila!

The kids got super excited and made creative outfits out of what they had in their rooms. My son used a blanket and belt and stuffy to be chewy! It made us laugh.

 My daughter used a scarf and random bits to be Osoka Tano. I was impressed. (She is the awesome character on Star Wars rebels which I  highly recommend as well as the Clone Was cartoon.)

Afterwards I changed immediately due to sensory overload and exhaustion...but it was worth the fun of the pictures. Which would have been lost if not for my almost micromanaging obsessiveness.

See, sometimes our weaknesses and things we work on in therapy- also save us. It's about balance and perspective. Acceptance and growth.

                                                              (Creepy picture right?:)

I digress.

I have loved our busy days of Spring. But I have also struggled again with health related depression. I almost gave up the other day when at 4:00 I had tried all day and nothing was working. I was melting down (and it had been up and coming for a few months.) I shut my blinds in a rage to crawl into bed when I accidentally hit my Instagram stories button. (Pictured below.)

Right up front was a picture of a triangle decorative shelf sitting in the sun for effect. Suddenly I had a burst of inspiration. I was upset about many things (weight, energy, lack of creativity...same old...) and that the idea we had for our front deck would make me feel too contained. We had gone to the hardware store but came home empty handed and I felt defeated. When I saw the shelves I ran up to my husband outside, "I've got an idea! We can do larger versions of indoor shelves outside! Why not??? People will think it's crazy but it will feel open while still containing hooks for hanging baskets and such!" I was breathless and it was the first time he had seen me animated in days.

He responded, "Babe if you draw it- I'll do it!" And I drew a kindergarten outline which he laughed at and then he built while I was available for opinions and stained everything. He would sigh as I would stain where he was working and his hand would come out with stain. We laughed a lot. He kept saying he loved me. The kids did touch ups on the rest of the fence. It was perfection.

My point in that story is that the lady who posted her new small triangle shelf had no idea she was saving me from a depression. She did not know that a flash of brilliance would come from showing off her new purchase. If I would have gone to bed...I would not have surfaced properly for a few days to weeks. It happens to me about twice a year or every couple years...and sometimes can last a long time. I have a lot of control until I don't. If I feel it slipping I usually need to do something physically creative...usually on my house. Most of our projects have evolved from desperation.

(Above pic is our "Day of the Dead" themed luncheon) 

I think that is interesting.

My sister and I made a 30 day playlist for Instagram. (see below.) I came up with the idea and all the days and she formatted it for me with the colours I wanted. I think it looks beautiful. Already a lot of people have been doing it. Feel free to share or use. 

I would like to use this as an example of how self-defeating my thoughts can be. On this day, I not only made up an Instagram playlist but I also emailed my Premier about dandelion sprays with a well constructed email. I sent in two manuscripts /book to a publishing company following  the guidelines but I still felt like I did nothing and that I was a failure...I can be a go-getter. My husband is afraid of what I would be if I had my full Ferritin stores and Iron. But I also can spend days doing nothing. It comes in waves in cycles and I find that I need to honour those waves in cycles. However, I still seem to judge myself. Today was day 26. A Disney song that best describes you. I picked colours of the wind by Pocahontas. It was very validating to me when a friend responded with this; 

Sometimes I am so relieved when other people see me the way I see me in the better times which is usually when music is explaining me.

Our beauty has mostly been created from initial darkness. My creative brain both tortures and soothes me. My paradoxes give me life and also a bit of death. Growth is often pain filled...but then it is also sort of easy at times.

This is what those who would study my home in the future would not understand unless they read my perspectives. They would see aspects yet not truly know. I just felt I should point that out.

Song choice:  (I have been listening to the song heavenly Day by Patty Griffin on repeat. Let me state that just because I struggle with depression does not reflect on any way on how I feel about my life. I love my life. I love the decisions I’ve made I love my home and family. What I really struggle with is my capabilities and who I am. I struggle with energy. I struggle with my limitations. I struggle with my capability. I struggle with a lot of things about myself and that can throw me into depression. And it takes all my control to try to see her what I can while still honouring the depression that I have. Both are real. Both are my reality.)