Surfacing After Silence

Life. After.

after long silence

my "art"

So the end of the semester really caught up with me and my blogging time slipped through my fingers.  Now I just have a couple of final projects and a Latin final and one stack of papers to do before I can do my students’ final grades for the semester.  Then I can breathe a little.  A little.

Things have been a bit . . . stressful and overwhelming here.  I have some decisions that need to be made, things are not improving on the depression front (Bipolar I) at all, and there are a great many days when I doubt whether or not I should be in the program at all.  I am counting on things getting better after two more semesters.  But right now, I’m focused on each day.  One day at a time. . . I think I’ve heard that somewhere before 😉

One thing I realized is that I need an outlet.  Some creative outpouring.  My listening ears I have always counted on are 1000 miles away.  So what you are looking at is my kitchen table that is in the process of being mode-podged and a few art projects on top of it.

I am not an artist.  I took art classes in high school.  I was a decent drawer.  But I sucked at painting.  Which is, perhaps, why I am turning to painting now.  I have no prior expectations to live up to.  I can make a mess.  I can use whatever “technique” I want to.  I have a bunch of brushes and I know they are each used for certain effects, but I have no idea what those effects are supposed to be.  I kind of just mix paint and choose a brush.  What I’m working on now is a book.  I bought a children’s board book and have painted the cover and back and will paint the lyrics of a song on one spot of the cover.  Inside will be more painted pages, collaged pages, pages with pockets, pages with paper to write on, quotes and poems and whatever I feel like putting in it.  My “treasure the book at all costs” self is cringing at the destruction of the book but is pacified when I tell myself I’m simply making a different book.  Recycling it, if you will.

I think maybe a lot of us need to find outlets.  I know a lot of my readers are highly creative people, but maybe it’s time to try something you haven’t done before or that you know you’re not skilled in and just let yourself play.  No judgments.  No expectations for a perfect piece.  Just your vision for the day or your words for the day or your sound for the day.  Something to get what is inside outside.

This whole idea of getting what is inside outside is something I’m really working on right now.  It sounds so much easier than it actually is, but I recognize it’s importance.  And I really do think every time you try something new, non-eating disorder related, you strengthen yourself and the eating disorder loses some its power because you find out you are capable of doing something without that eating disorder peeking over your shoulder.

So challenge yourself and do something new.  Something fun.  Something imperfect.


December 12, 2010 - Posted by | coping, depression, feelings | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. As someone who is relatively new to your blog, I’m wondering if you’re in school and/or what you teach.

    Congrats on branching out into art! I’m not a fine artist either, but I love painting as a creative outlet . . . and as far as imperfection, I read that art is about knowing which mistakes to keep.

    Comment by Elaina | December 12, 2010 | Reply

    • I am both in school and I teach. I’m a doctoral candidate in English-Creative Writing. I teach English and Creative Writing classes–two per semester–and I am still in the coursework phases of my doctorate. I have two semesters of coursework left. Then my comprehensive exams and then my dissertation. Fun times.

      Comment by surfacingaftersilence | December 13, 2010 | Reply

  2. Hey, good to hear some of your story. Classes make life crazy. I’m working on my master’s degree (and working 30 hours a week as an editorial assistant), and being on the verge of losing my mind normally, I’m a little over the edge now! I have two semesters of coursework left, then comps, and then it’s on to do some undergraduate coursework in art before I can apply to an art therapy master’s program. We’ll see how much of my sanity is left after the next four-and-a-half years are over! What will your dissertation be on? Do you know yet?

    Comment by Elaina | December 13, 2010 | Reply

  3. “…there are a great many days when I doubt whether or not I should be in the program at all.”
    this statement is so true for me when i’m in my depression-specifically before my period-i have severe pmdd.
    i’m just going to speak from my own experience and from what i know about u.
    this is the depression talking, which u probably know. the depression just creates this black hole of…just feeling so overwhelmed by life. for me, as i’m in grad school in my first semester, every time i experience pmdd symptoms, i have doubts and fears and feel that i should not be in the program, there is no way i can get through it, maybe i shouldn’t be doing this, etc etc….
    and i know from what i know about u that u 10000% have what it takes to be getting through it. it’s unbelievable how depression fogs the brain.
    and i know this because right now, it’s the day before finals are due. i have a shit ton of work ahead of me, yet i’m not sinking in a hole of despair and panic. of course i feel anxiety but i will do what i need to do. depression is so fucking hard to live with. i’m here for u always.

    Comment by shira | December 16, 2010 | Reply

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