Saturday, May 30, 2009

Art Blog: Self Destruction

The other day, I watched Suze Orman talk about her action plan for 2009. I have listened to her financial advice for years. I don’t have any big money. My financial plans are demure to say the least. However, I have listened to her and made lists of things I should do with my paltry piggybank. Even though I don’t have millions, I knew I could do better. So I took my list and started working on it. As Suze spoke of actions we should take this year, I was so happy and proud. I have come a long way since last year. I have been taking care of business. Good for me!

I wish I could feel the same about the rest of my life! Right now, I am in one of my “gloom and doom” cycles. If you have never experienced clinical depression, you might not understand what I am about to write. However it is so real, energy sucking, and devastating, it almost defies a verbal explanation. This is familiar territory for me. I am thankful for this because I have been fighting the good fight to keep this malady in check my entire life. My genes are full of mental and emotion wackiness. I refuse to take meds because I don’t like having to be reliant on any kind of medication. I stopped seeking therapy a few years ago because I saw the fruitlessness of having a 20 something year old therapist tell me how I should run my life. No offense to the youngsters, but it is very hard for me to heed life advice from anyone who hasn’t lived much life yet.

So, I go it alone. I realized today maybe I need to make an action plan for Sheree’s mental and emotional health. Summer is here and I have tons of art work to do. However, it isn’t going to get done unless I work on making Sheree a happy camper again. Rather than recreate the wheel, I turned to Google and found this prepared list: 10 Easy Paths to Self Destruction I looked at this list and realized I have a LONG way to go. I giggled because this is the same feeling I had listening to Suze Orman two years ago! Right now, I am self destructive in certain ways. As I read down the list of self destruction, I have a few of the tips under control. GOOD! I am not doing as bad as I thought. However, I still have a lot to work on in coming months.

Whenever I get into this blue funk, I always ask “WHY” am I beating myself down? Lately, I have learned to forget about asking why. That isn’t the issue. The real question should be “How can I turn this around?” So I am going to do just that. I know how because I have done it many, many times before. The driving force when I spiral down is APATHY. So the first step in climbing the mountain to find my true self again is to reteach myself to care.

I have my list. I have to start working on it. NOW!

“True” by Sheree Rensel
Acrylic on wood panel
Click pic to enlarge


gilda said...

"the first step to success on any path is to first acknowledge the existence of that path"

you have always been a realist, have never fooled yourself. Your positive example is the main reason your daughter has been able to make her own way successfully when other young people are still living in their parents basements.

keep up the good work

JafaBrit's Art said...

that is a tough path but I really like the list, is a nice framework to follow or not :) I don't have clinical but I have had several bouts of situation depression and yes, I can remember being so exhausted I could barely lift a telephone. I kept a happy journal which was not about trying to be happy as much as listing things I needed to do to get through the day. Brush teeth, put on makeup, read 30 mins, watch a funny video, listen to music, walk the block etc. the list would change daily but the basics stayed the same.
sometimes sheree I think accepting the blue dog and then working around it is healthier than always fighting it with pills (I have seen what the cocktail of pills have done to loved one's with clinical depression and pure luck when they find one that actually helps).

kathy casey said...

Geez Sherree...we really are the same person,it seems...
I have been having this same battle all of my life. Clinical depression is my family curse. The meds that I have tried bring on a destructive euphoria that makes me a raving lunatic. In the last year and a half, I have decided to go without meds - and therapy (because frankly it felt like a bunch of hooey) - It is a very hard road to try it med-free...but so far it's just the only way I can deal with it.
I am currently re-reading a book that I have read several times before - it always seems to help when I'm in the "blue-funk":

Art and Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland. I am making new notes and re-reading my previously highlighted sections and it does seem to help me quell alot of my self sabotage- and doubts. I highly recommend it! I wish for you (and for me) a very productive summer!!! Thanks for sharing.

Sheree Rensel said...

Realist for sure. Did OK by my daughter, very TRUE. However, it is interesting. I am not sure whose genes she has. I know she is a little of both. I am just not sure which is which in some cases.

Sheree Rensel said...

Oh yes. You are so right! When I was in my 20's, I would fight tooth and nail. Now I am older and wiser. I just accept it and figure out ways to work with it. Older and mellower now.

Sheree Rensel said...

Kathy! Gee, I hope we aren't the same person because I am pretty wacky!!! LOL
Seriously, been there, done that. I think I have (and read) every self help psychology and art books ever printed. This includes Art and Fear. Really, my "stuff" doesn't have much to do with my art at all. In fact, art has been my savior. My depression is all encompassing and TRIES to make me not do art. I call it the Black Muse.
Here is a poster I made for my studio about fighting the demon that tries to prevent me from creating:

He and I are very familiar with each other. He still stalks me, but he knows I am a tough bitch. He hasn't won yet! LOL

meika said...

I've gotten over my sub-clinical chronic depression. Taken a good ten years. Don't now how bad it was compared to others. Best part is that I now don't do my best work in depression.

Sheree Rensel said...

That is great you "got over it". Unfortunately, it is in my blood. I'm not getting over anything. I just have to work with it and go with the flow! :-)

meika said...

had a relapse the other night, differs from the past in that while I chose not to indulge it, previously I wallowed, if one cannot yet make this choice (like about every five minutes, its not easy.... constantly reminding oneself...) then one is not 'over it' (if ever)
I sympathise, but don't want to let anyone wallow in it, (if it is possible) as that would be like cheering on some pro-anorexic weight-loss site

Sheree Rensel said...

This is exactly what I meant when I questioned "getting over it". It is funny you mentioned the weight loss site. I belong to a group on YouTube that is weight/fitness oriented. One of my mantras and never ending pitches to these people is it is never "OVER". So many say stuff on their videos stuff like "When I get done with this diet" or "When I get to my goal, I will be free to do what I want." I keep telling them, no you won't. You have to keep doing this the rest of your life or you gain the weight all back. It is a never ending journey. This is the same for anyone suffering from life issues like depression, addictions, etc. We all have relapses of stuff we thought we fixed. All of us do.