Thursday, 9 July 2009

A bit about me...

I am an artist with a mood disorder. I suffer from PMDD, Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder.

I've had it since my hormones kicked in during my early teens, but it wasnt diagnosed until I was 27. Up till that point, It was assumed I was depressed. I began to notice cycles, and correlations between my moodiness and my menstrual cycle, and began researching mood disorders. I discovered PMDD and realised that my symptoms checked all the boxes. I went to my doctor, who wouldnt entertain such a thing, so, I found another doctor. By this time I was in full blown severe mood swings, with anxiety attacks and agrophobia, something that I had last experienced during my first pregnancy. Untill I knew that there was a recognised condition, I truly believed I was going insane, or had gone insane. I couldnt cope with being a mother, having a child, work, life.. there have been many times when I have been close to leaving this world forever. From the age of 16, I had been having mental heath assessments, counselling, sessions with psychiatrists, and everyone has tried to get me to take anti-depressants. I always said no, believing there were better ways to survive, but in my years of suffering, I have realised that the only way to survive without medication is having an amazing support system of friends, family, support groups... and even then, it will be very difficult. The chemical imbalances in my body, lead to imbalances in my brain, which in turn, create crazy thoughts, depression, lethargy, agrophobia, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, negativity and a general sense of confusion and frustration.
I have taken various anti-depressants over the years, but my dose had increased and with such a scatty head, remembering to take them was half the problem. I came off Fluoxetine 2 months ago. A choice
made because my life has dramatically changed, I am happier, I have been strong through a whole heap of bad times, I have a roof over my head, two beautiful children and a man who loves me. If there isn't a better time to come off the meds, I dont know when is.

Having said that, the moods are still swinging like a pendulum, and life is very difficult at times. The ups are great, the downs can be very bad, and trying to go with the flow and accept this is a very hard task.
I have have developed ways of coping, but still struggle month to month, day to day. I am in unknown territory now, no meds, but a happier life... Painting, creating and cooking are all things that help, but
sometimes the demons are so hard to shake off that even the doing the things I love cant drag me back from the depths.

I have always been interested in the alternative and esoteric. I never felt like I have fitted in, always the outsider, always the one left behind, but I became devoted to the spritual from a young age. From
faeries in the garden, making potions from plants, to asking for Tarot cards on my 13th Birthday and reading books on ghosts and spirits. Since leaving school I have studied Performing Arts, Art, Graphic Design, Photography, Aromatherapy, Massage and Tarot Therapy. I have self taught myself about Crystals, Astrology, Sacred Geometry, Art Therapy and Mandalas and have been practicing Yoga and Meditation on and off for 10 years. Many of these things have helped me survive over the years. Learning new things excites me, and there are still so many things I want to know about. Astrology is a huge interest of mine, and I still plan to study to Professional level. Normal life is difficult for me. I have such severe fluctuations in my mood, things get cancelled at the last minute, even when I'm in an 'up' phase, anxieties can rear up, and some situations are just a no-no for me. I live in the countryside where life is slower and much more simple. I enjoy my occasional flirts with towns and citys, shopping and nights out, but I feel much safer at home, surrounded by places and people I know.

My Art, tends to arrive in bursts. Like cosmically alligned planets, I have to be 'in the mood' to draw, plus have enough time away from the children to get something started. Once something is started, I usually have to leave it during it's creation, then come back when the next alignment happens! but the painting/drawing never leaves my head until it's finished. I am spontaneous in my work and usually, with very little planning I will attack a canvas. Mandalas take more consideration before I start, but having geometry to work with, gives me somewhere to start. I find Mandalas very relaxing to draw. I went through a furious Mandala creating stage, which has slowed up now in favour of painting, but I still occasionally go back to my pencils and dive into a circle.

I face opposites and balance in so many aspects of my life. I am a Pisces Sun, with a Virgo Moon, so not only are the Sun and Moon in opposition naturally, so too are Pisces and Virgo at opposite sides of the zodiac wheel. Pisces, itself is the sign of two fish swimming in opposite directions. I have two sides to my personality when the moods hit, as any woman with PMDD will describe. Jekyll and Hyde come to mind. To top it off, my Rising sign is Gemini, the sign of the Twins. In Numerology my life path number is 33/6.

I have followed a pagan path all my life, but began reading and studying around the age of 18. I worked as a solitary witch for many years, and joined a coven in my early twenties. I still follow a pagan path, although my witchcraft is reserved for my own personal use, and is something very quietly personal to me. I am a Witch, (if you class a witch as someone who observes the seasons, honours the God and Goddess, and uses knowledge of nature to initiate change and healing for the good of all). I used to wear the symbol, I used to hold rituals and cast spells... but the need for such public and outward displays of my spirituality no longer interests me.

We barely remember who or what came before this precious moment, We are choosing to be here right now. Hold on, stay inside, This holy reality, this holy experience. Choosing to be here in This body. This
body holding me. Be my reminder here that I am not alone in This body, this body holding me, feeling eternal. All this pain is an illusion. Alive, I. Parabola by TOOL

Every comment and piece of feedback left for me, helps me keep on creating, it encourages me, it inspires me. Thankyou to everyone who spends time looking at my creations and reading my words...

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