When I first came up with the framework for this blog in late 2016 I knew I wanted it to be filled with creative inspiration, helpful resources, and random life musings as I journey along the path of personal development. It was my hope to provide some sort of inspiration to my readers.
I wasn’t able to stay consistent, though.
I’m a stay-at-home mom/housewife with a vibrantly energetic three year old and I’m battling mental illness.
When it comes down to my blog, there’s also the pure anxiety about clicking “publish” and having my creative work out there for the whole world to judge.
Gasp. Must delete. Re-edit.
I finally click publish.
Then subconsciously I don’t want to go through all that again for a while.
In reality though, I have never received any negative feedback. There have been so many wonderful things people have said about my creative work. My heart feels full when I look back at all the wonderful comments.
I say that not to brag, but to point out the flaw in my thinking. All of that fear of being judged and seen, has no foundation. There’s no reason for me to make myself believe my work is worthless. So I’m here. Writing, allowing myself to just be… on my blog.
I finally feel I am capable of being transparent and vulnerable in this space.
It’s a safe space that I created, after all!
That being said, my blog is going to take a shift for a while… I’m welcoming you to stay with me.
This could be a healthy outlet for processing my mental illness as an artist/housewife/compassionate mama. Hopefully it will also help me be more consistent with writing.
The thing about mental illness is that it seems taboo. It’s something not many people understand or want to talk about.
In reality though, there are millions of people struggling with mental illness. Nearly 1 in 5 Americans suffer each year. Maybe you aren’t, but your sister or your best friend or your spouse is.
If you are quietly suffering with mental illness, have you considered speaking your truth?
What would it mean for you to be heard and understood?
What would it feel like to have support?
What if it helped you heal?
Please know this is a safe space. If you have a story to tell, you can share it here in the comments below or you can reach me by email any time.
The one big thing I struggle with is fear. It’s been an ongoing struggle my entire life.
This I know, fear is necessary for survival, but not necessary for anything in the creative realm.
I know this and yet..
As soon as I make huge progress and get to feeling good, the past traumas start slowly and quietly resurfacing until… Bam. I’m in a depressive funk, and so frustrated by it all.
I crave the feeling of being inspired and motivated, but it’s all lost in the fog.
I’ll even totally shut off my creative zone all together, and binge eat while either watching Netflix or designing houses on The Sims 4 every night of the week. It’s an incredibly unhealthy distraction.
At this point in my life, I’m used to the ups and downs, but I’m also ready to have some mastery over my emotions and positively direct my thoughts.
Instead of giving up and giving in to my illness, I’m going to blog about my experiences with PTSD and Depression/Anxiety Disorder.
The past few years of my recovery have already been transforming, but there are symptoms that keep me from feeling well and like my true self.
The most challenging aspects of my PTSD are the nightmares and feelings of detachment.
Also, flashbacks. The most important advice about flashbacks: know your triggers. I came across a great article on understanding what a trigger is and how to cope.
Click here to read it!
Depression comes and goes like the tides. It is a heavy wave of emptiness, fatigue, and complete lack of motivation or self-worth.
Anxiety is racing/worrying thoughts and on rare occasions a panic attack.
These things are complicated, but they’re more common than you might think.
I’ve done some research, and will continue to as well. I’m on a quest to understand how to best manage the symptoms, and hopefully provide some helpful information to those who need it.
I think the main thing to remember is that healing is a lifelong journey. As with most illnesses, treatment and often times medication, is necessary. And that’s okay!
The illness does not define a person. You’re not damaged goods; you’re simply human. Everyone has a battle to fight, and everyone has pain.
Actions define a person.
So for me, journaling, gratitude meditation, and loving on animals are actions that help me feel better when I’m feeling depressed or anxious. I’ve also realized the importance of comforting and talking to my inner child, as it is a necessary part of healing.
I endured the pain from the past back then, I endured it today, and I hope to overcome it someday.
I know I’ll keep growing stronger by believing in the goodness that lives inside of me.
“We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.”
Here’s my formula for this New Year.
Routine + Good Habits + Positive Influences = Improvement
I think these three things are going to transform my life.
I’ve never wanted a structured routine. I’ve always been a “fly by the seat of my pants,” spontaneous soul.
Up until now I’ve embraced that to some extent, but I’m ready for change.
Creatively speaking, my current goal is to play in my art journal twice a week (I came up with a list of meditative, fun Art Journal Prompts you might like!)
I also have an oil painting in the works, which I’ll be sharing my progress on my Instagram @akatielynngallery
Alrighty, I’m going to wrap up this long post now.
I appreciate your support and I treasure you.
Thank you for being here!