Over a week ago I saw my nurse practitioner. We talked about the PTSD from the hospitalization in 2018. I told her that I just can’t paint anymore. I added, “When the legs failed and my foot was amputated, so too was the art in me.” Well, I’ve said that before. I’ve been saying it for nearly two years, but that time I truly heard myself say it and I knew I believe it. That’s a problem for me. Don’t tell me I can’t do this anymore. I was mad at myself. How dare I speak to myself that way?! I can’t be the person I was born as? I won’t accept that.

Point blank, I was born an artist. That art comes in many forms; culinary arts, painting, making dolls and creating terrariums. I’m driven to make things in an artistic way. The only way I stop being an artist is when I stop breathing. It was close back in 2018. Even still I want to be in an artsty urn. It’s already been chosen cause y’all can’t put me in any ol’ thing. I’m just happy I’m not in said artsy urn right now.

When I realized I actually believed that I can no longer paint, like I said, I was mad. Later that evening I got out my paints and started painting. While painting I remembered saying something very important to myself – It doesn’t matter if it’s good, just enjoy the process. That’s the moment things changed.

It doesn’t matter if it’s good! I was willing to have the art piece fail and that is significant. Before getting new depression meds and having a little more clarity, I was too afraid to fail. It felt like I was a failure instead of the art piece not working out. But this time I didn’t internalize its possible outcome. That’s how I know I’m in a different space. I was able to separate the two. I’ve been painting for over a week now. I’m risking a bit more and it feels good.

I didn’t die in 2018. I’m still an artist through and through. Regardless of any amputation, there’s no way to amputate my art. I can’t tell you how relieved I am. I worked hard to get to this day. Oh my goodness I worked hard from the day they told me I wasn’t going to make it until this day. I’ve worked hard. It hasn’t been pretty, at all. Some things I messed up beyond fixing. I know I’ve hurt people by spilling anger or responding while unhealthy instead of just walking away. Why did this happen? Because I’m a speck of dust like everyone else and I do and say reckless things. But I am not a vicious person, just a profoundly imperfect one battling mental health and physical health.

I understand something now. You’d think I grasped this four years ago but I didn’t. I understand that I didn’t die in 2018.

My entire life changed. I can’t walk anymore but I’m alive. I’m extremely limited, but I’m alive! The person I knew myself to be left the hospital and the nursing home, then moved here. I don’t need to be afraid to live.

I was living this life of “why bother, I’m just going to fall over dead anyway. ” I was afraid to live, make attachments and risk a little because I just didn’t want to lose anything else. I feel like I lost so much in 2018 that the thought of losing anything else was unbearable. I was afraid to live. I’m in a better spot but I’m not OK. There’s so much more physical healing and emotional healing to do. I no longer worry I’ll have to endure it without my art.

What I’ve learned is that I believe the words I say to myself. I know you reap what you sew. If I plant tomatoes I get tomatoes. It works that way with words too. I was planting fear in my garden and that’s exactly what I got. Words matter. What I say to myself matters.

Art work – The painting changed quite a bit from when I started. It’s a collage now. And true to form, I’m working on multiple art pieces at once. My studio mascot Joe Schmoe is helping with quality control. He’s such a good studio cat and mascot.

I’ve been putting art in people’s homes since 2007. My 2023 art goal is to fill my own walls with my artwork. It’s time I did that. I’ll give an Etsy update soon.

Speak kindly to yourselves,

Until soon,


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