The Artist’s Way, Week 7: Recovering a Sense of Connection

in my garden
in my garden

It’s taken me three weeks to do week 7, so needless to say getting back to writing (and good habits in general) hasn’t been going particularly well. If I had actually written this check-in one calendar week after starting week 7, it would have been great – I did 6 out of 7 days of morning pages, my artist date, and 6 out of the 10 tasks. Week 7, or at least the first week of it, was actually really enjoyable. And then things fell apart.

Sometimes life is challenging, even when good things are happening. Moving house and planning a wedding both fall into the ‘challenging but good’ category, but doing both while recovering from years of illness is possibly insane. While writing my journal pages one day in the past three weeks I realised that I’ve already tipped over the edge from ‘barely coping’ to ‘actually not coping’, and that my old friend/foe depression has returned. It’s somewhat ironic that a week with the theme of ‘connection’ made me realise that that’s precisely what I’m not feeling at the moment – connected. To anything, really. And that (for me at least) is a warning sign that I am already depressed. It isn’t bad yet – I’d class it as minor depression, not major, but it’s bad enough to be classing it as anything at all. It’s something I’ve survived before, and will again, and I am grateful that at least this time I realised relatively early. B is aware, I have a support network, and we’ll work though this. I’m already on medication, and seeing a therapist, and I don’t think any particularly drastic action is needed at this stage beyond being aware of it.

As for how it will affect me doing the Artist’s Way? I’m not sure. Probably the structure of the Artist’s Way is precisely the kind of tool that would be useful in working through something like this. But finding the motivation has gone from ‘hard’ to ‘who cares anyway?’. I was filled with optimism earlier this year, and it feels as though all of that has just evaporated. If it was possible for me to feel that kind of positivity and motivation before though, it will be possible again. Hopefully this is just a blip, and I will keep going, with both the Artist’s Way and everything else that should be done. It’s taking me a long time to get anything at all done at the moment, but the important part is that I am still managing to put one (very slow) foot in front of the other, and will continue to do so.

 

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