anxiety

Moving: It’s An Adventure (Part 5)

It has been well over a month since my last update, and Moving Day is only 12 days away.  I am both excited and extremely anxious & sad about it.

What a whirlwind this past month has been.  Among the things that have happened in the last 30 days or so:

I’ve had the student art showcase at school, some doctor’s appointments, got my hair done, celebrated my 10th Second Life anniversary (aka my Rez Day), spent time cat-sitting, went to a couple of local theatre productions, had my graduation ceremony, (finally) had a (pretty successful) yard sale, went to a going-away party hosted for me by some dear friends, spent bonding time with my family, discovered that one of our outdoor/stray cats had died unexpectedly…  In between I’ve been packing like crazy, selling things on Ebay & local town classifieds.  Trying to sell the big items, my car & my exercise bike, sometime this week.  All the while, the process has become more complicated due to major road construction on my street.  Great timing.

My self-portrait diptych, ‘Hyper-Sentient_Self’ (archival inkjet print), 28×44″

Swanky doctor’s office

Neb’s 10th Rez Day

Neb’s 10th Rez Day

Cat sitting for Mr. Clover ❤

My graduation cap. Yes, I did use glitter. Yes, I did get it everywhere. Design is based on a painting I did, with a quote by my patron saint, VvG

Graduation panorama

Graduation ACC 002

Class of 2015!

I was awarded the President’s Medallion for Academic Excellence for achieving a perfect 4.0 GPA

Yard Salin’

Friends around the fire ❤

RIP Chewy 😦

Car 4 sale 😦

Construction

This week is crunch time.  I have to actually finish packing, for real.  I’ve been putting the rest of it off, because I am still somewhat in denial about the idea that I will never live in this house again in less than two weeks.  All of the things that make my room look like my room (the things hanging on the walls, etc) will have to come down.  It’s a weird feeling.  I’m excited for the adventures ahead of me, but also very traumatized about leaving behind my loved ones who live here on the east coast.

More updates soon, hopefully!

What A Weird Week It’s Been – But, Hey, I’ve Finally Woken Up From Cyberspace Cryosleep!

It has been a crazy week full of ups & downs, but my big news is that I was FINALLY able to purchase a (refurbished) laptop, which means I can finally devote more time to getting down with some art that requires some heavy-duty computer processing power.
Nebby returns to SL_001
Except that I don’t have a lot of time at the moment — my big move to the west coast is only about 5 weeks away.  Between now and then, I still have a TON of stuff to do.

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Nobody Cares About the Poor and the Mentally Ill People of This World

As I sit and type this, my old laptop is probably in its death throes.

I had been playing a stupid browser game, and it got slow and laggy and I noticed that the laptop’s monitor started sort of flashing — and it looks as if there is a semi transparent double image of what’s on the screen that shifts a bit, sort of blinking.  It’s hard to describe.  I’ve tried various ways to fix this and nothing has helped.

Seems like a minor annoyance, right?  Shit, something broke — guess I better get it repaired, or buy a new one.  Except that when you’re living in poverty, EVERY seemingly minor mishap becomes a huge, horrible crisis, because you don’t have the money to deal with said mishap.  And dealing with crisis over crisis really, really can wear a person down, and seriously affect their mental health, especially if they’re already dealing with mental and emotional problems.

I’m tired of being ignored and brushed aside because I am afflicted with anxiety, depression, and PTSD.  I’m fucking tired of being told to look on the bright side and to stop focusing on negativity.  Nobody wants to give a fuck about people with mental issues unless they make some sort of recovery, or overcome some sort of obstacles despite their illness & the hardships that come with it.  Or if they make their story into something cute and funny like Hyperbole and a Half.  So, unless someone’s struggles have a happy ending, the general public doesn’t want to acknowledge those people suffering, at all.  If they acknowledge you at all, it’s to point out that it’s all your fault somehow, and/or that you’re not trying hard enough.

I think a friend of mine said it best —

“We don’t do mental health in the US. I mean, not just that we don’t do it right, we really don’t do it at all.”

And she’s right.  It makes me angry — so fucking angry.

Today Has Been Canceled, But Here, Have Some Art [Redux]

Here are the student artworks I would have matted today for an upcoming show at my school — if it had not been for my anxiety.

For what it’s worth, I’m going to post a preview of those works.  All of these were completed in my Independent Study illustration course (which I created myself) in the Fall 2014 (and my final) semester. I don’t have really great pictures of the non-digital ones, unfortunately — some haven’t been scanned yet for higher-res images, and one is too big to scan anyway.  Add a potato quality camera phone, and… well, they won’t look as good as they will in person.  Eh, I guess most art is like that anyway, right?

Posted in the chronological order in which they were created.

Project #1: Photo reproduction combining 2 artworks and/or photos

project 1 finished

‘The Ritual’ 22.5 in. X 36 in. Marker, and Prismacolor pencils on bristol paper; approx. 34 hours. Tough to get a decent picture of this because of its size.

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Moving: It’s An Adventure [Part 3]

It has been a trying day.

I think I pretty much have the book-packing under control.  I’m shipping off the books I want to keep box by box (the rest are being sold on Ebay and/or via tag sale); some of my more treasured books (autographed copies, etc.) will be traveling with me.

My next plan of action has been to go through my closet and get serious about sorting out my clothes — what to keep, what to donate, what to throw away.  Of the clothes I am keeping, I wanted to also sort out the bare minimum of what I want to keep here, and what I will be shipping out west.

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Stretching My Legs

The weather is FINALLY getting nicer in New England, which is making it easier for me to work toward my goal of getting more physically active.  Today was a beautiful day for a walk.  This was my first visit to the canal trail since last year.

Hardly anything is green yet, but I’m not complaining.

IMAG0276

Old tobacco barns in the distance. One of the landmarks I’ll miss about moving out of CT.

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“You’re Not Going to Be a New Person, You’re Still Going to Be You”

When I visited my therapist a couple of days ago, I told her that I hoped my move to Washington would be a transformational experience for me.  I’ve been stuck in a rut here for a long time.  I’ve been an emotional & mental train wreck for the past… well, forever. I need to resume better eating & exercise habits.  I’ve been able to motivate myself to do it before, and I need to do it again.  I’m not getting any younger, and the older I get, the harder it’s going to be for me to get where I need to be.  But anxiety and depression — largely caused by my current home — has me feeling confined, trapped, and unable to move forward.

She told me, flat out,

“You’re not going to magically become this new person when you move out there.  You’re still going to be you.”

Of course, she didn’t mean that in a negative way.  She wasn’t suggesting that change is impossible.  Rather, she wants me to assess the situation for what it really is.  She explained that yes, the change in my living arrangements is most likely a very positive thing, and it can lead to many improvements for me.  But all of my inner problems are not going to just disappear.  And I shouldn’t expect them to, because it would set me up for a big letdown.

Which makes perfect sense to me.  Back in 2003, when I first moved into my current residence, I had that mind-set.  Prior to that, I had been living a miserable, cramped, no-privacy existence for eight years at my grandmother’s house.  I thought that moving into a new home would free me, that I’d be like a phoenix rising from ashes, that I’d be this completely shiny brand new person.  But, I wasn’t.  My life fell apart in other ways after that.  The disappointment that I was NOT a “new” person who was suddenly happy and fulfilled added to my despair and only made things worse.  Instead of being able to appreciate the new improvements that moving did for me (a bigger house, more room, more privacy, fewer aggravating people to live with), I was really let down that I was not magically happy.  It took me a few years to pull myself out of that funk.

One of the good things that came out of that miserable time is that I found Second Life.  In May of 2005, I think I read a short blurb about it in a magazine — I can’t even remember which one.  It was, quite honestly, just the thing I needed.  I’ve never really been a gamer, but have been known to occasionally really, deeply latch onto a game every now & again.  I was obsessed with Animal Crossing for awhile, and logged many, many hours playing Morrowind on my roommate’s Xbox.  It was just about the time I was getting tired of Morrowind that I first created my Second Life account.

*Nostalgia* -- Neb in Blue (circa November 2005)

6-month old Neb, in November 2005

So, in a way, I did become a new person.

Through my avatar, I learned a lot about myself.  But I was not a completely different person in the way I had anticipated becoming when I moved.  I was still ME — but by spending time logged into Second Life as my cyberspace-self, I was able to deepen my introspection.  I learned to grow and to become stronger.  I learned how to accept and make peace with certain things about myself that I had been blocking out for a long time.  I learned more about relationships, both friendly and romantic.  I learned a lot about being an artist, too.  I have not cured all of my problems, but some of them have gotten less severe.

When I finally get to my new home in Washington, I will try to keep in mind that, yes, I will still be ME — moving to a new place will not be a magic wand of change.  However, I will have new experiences and opportunities that can help me to grow and change for the better.

*Postscript:  Moving is expensive as hell, and you can help me to raise money AND reduce the amount of stuff I have to bring with me by buying some of my items on Ebay.  Or, by passing it along to people you think might want some of it.  Most items are books, but I have a few Children’s DVDs too.  Subject matter: Art, craftmaking, photography, New Age/Wicca/Pagan items, blank journals, cookbooks, graphic novels, psychology, movies & film, poetry, collecting, animals, fiction/literature, science fiction, fantasy, humor.  ALL CHEAPLY PRICED. Have a look!

—->  http://www.ebay.com/sch/nebulosus_severine/m.html