I barely have the energy to write this, let alone the mental power to put words together, but I think I should. (Don’t count on me editing it either.)
I’m sitting here with dry eyes (even after drops in them – which, by the way, I’m still using the drops leftover from caring for you before you died. There was a lot left, so I brought them back with me. I’ve never liked being wasteful, but they do remind me of that time. I can’t throw them out.)
Anyway, I was saying… I’m sitting here with dry eyes after two days of tears. I hit an all time low yesterday – well, the lowest I’ve been in some time anyway. I actually sat here in despair and wanted to be dead. I have wanted to run away, live in a cave, or the like before, but to want to die is a rare thought for me. Yet, it happened and I can’t deny it. I am desperately unhappy, mom. I wish I wasn’t.
A number of things are creating this unhappiness. I am flailing at my business; sales are slow and I am trapped into a couple of little jobs that, combined, get me about £130 per month. I can’t quit them because sales are too infrequent. I feel trapped and crippled by that and by my own brain. On the positive side, I’m creating more than ever. I have always looked up to Andy Warhol’s take on doing art- it’s work. You get up, go to your factory and make stuff. Until the last year or so I was incapable of accessing that part of my brain. I believed the inspiration muse needed to lure me to the easel. That’s bullshit, and I know it. There are plenty of times I have the inspiration of a pile of wet socks, yet I go into the studio and make something special. I tore down that muse lie and go to my factory now. It feels good. I know I can change my brain. I know I can do the work and succeed. Getting it marketed and sold is another demon, and is one I’m determined to conquer. It’s fucking hard though. I’ve been entering big competitions and approached galleries earlier in the year. No bites. To say it is disheartening is a gross understatement.
I took down all my art from the entryway of the house today. Must’ve been nearly twenty paintings and mixed media drawings. I couldn’t stand looking at all this great stuff unsold. Looking at the work was some sort of millstone taunting me with the notion that the only walls my work would hang on would be my own. I know this is untrue, and I’ve sold many works this year, but seeing it all up there began to smother me. Pete is storing them at his house for me. Thank goodness they’re not here, as I may do something I regret to the lot of it.
Things have been difficult enough with my teetering mental health this past year or two (oh, Hell, who am I kidding… I’ve not been right since you died) and it has put enormous strain on my marriage. Neil and I are essentially housemates with an emotional bond. We love each other, but I am not sure what we’re doing. I know we both hurt. And again, things haven’t been right since you died. I came back changed. I blame myself. I know my failures hold him back.
I want so desperately for my mind to level out. I want to feel functional again. I don’t know if I need to see the doctor about my medicines or not, but I’m getting to a point of such internal pleading that if I don’t make some kind of change soon I am concerned about my own wellbeing. To put your mind at ease, I am not feeling suicidal, despite that statement contradicting the feelings from yesterday. I just feel empty. Numb. Vacant. I am not helpless, but even simple things are hard. I come up for air now and then, but mostly I’m in a sea of dark thoughts, drowning.
Seems like every year since you died, I become a little more like you. I understand the Hell you went through with your own mind now. If it was half as bad as I think it was, I thank you for sticking it out as long as you did. Not like you wanted brain tumours to be your guide into the ether, but I know you were relieved it was time to go. I, on the other hand, want to live a long life, fucked up brain and all. I have things I need to do. I have always believed that there is something I’m going to do that will be special, remembered. I hope it’s a painting. I think it could be.
I have no clue how to snap out of this fear I have of everything right now, this dreadful fragility, but I’m going to try. I have good friends and people who love me, so I’m pretty sure I’ve got a fighting chance.
I miss you every day. I know you were already proud of me, but I want to feel it myself. I’m glad you aren’t seeing me like this. I’m not the me I know I can be. There’s got to be a way I can break this shit and get me back. There has to be.
I love you.
[about Letters to Mom/LtM]