Several walls got knocked down. I need to figure out how to build them up with security but also openness.
Dr D and I talked about how I now see life as before and after the hospitalization. It’s as if it blew a hole in the middle of my life, my reality and sense of self to the point that I struggled to pick up and move forward. Today we talked about building with fallen blocks and reproducing what I can and reinventing what is broken.
My goals have to be a bit different for now. I don’t have the physical ability I had before the hospitalization and amputation. I now require daily inhome assistance and spend more time in bed than not. Life with a helper will continue to be tumultuous and stymied while the rest of my existence begs to move forward.
How do I build a new life? I honestly thought that was the question I needed to answer, but I don’t need to start a new life. I’ve got so much of the old still. I’ve got all my experiences, my hopes and wishes still intact. Those were not amputated. Oh, it feels like everything was, like that hospitalization crushed my bones. But really, all of the true me is still here. The parts that fell apart, that broke during that long 5 months can be mended or worked with in pieces. There is no need to “start over.”
We talked about fearing that the art in me was somehow lost during the trauma. It’s not lost though, I simply don’t trust enough to paint. I’m vulnerable when I paint. I’m the most exposed when I paint. Even if no one sees the work there’s still great vulnerability because I have to deal with all the emotions brought on by art. Color, curves, certain images like the sun and stars bring up strong emotion. Right now I don’t trust what emotions might come up during a painting session and if I can handle it without losing my mind, literally losing it. I’m hanging on by a thread sometimes so asking myself to let go and paint is asking a lot. The art has to be inside, I’m just afraid to touch it.
Where does this leave me? What do I do about my little shop, about creating to sooth myself? We discussed doll making and how I can create dolls without the emotional strain I feel when painting. Why? Lack of bright, emotional colors, a controlled surface and because I know what to expect with the dolls. No surprises. From beginning to end, unlike a painting, the doll has been planned and has significantly fewer risks. I enjoy doll making and will focus on that aspect of my creative flow with the goal of increasing skill, increasing business and self confidence. I can work at this goal and use the building blocks I had before the hospitalization, before things fell apart. I’ll use those fallen bricks to mend my walls as I move forward and through this stage in life.