Brief update

I say, ‘brief update’ but honestly I may go on a bit if the words flow…

I have survived the week. It involved a lot of social situations that made me anxious and uncomfortable, drained me of energy, but ultimately were probably the best thing for me.

Tuesday I had yoga. Wednesday I had a class to teach (life drawing) and I barely had my shit together enough to get there, let alone face people. I’d secretly hoped the session would be lightly attended but it was my best turn-out in months! Fourteen students, a model, and myself. My confidence came back and my normal banter warmed up after about a half hour of teaching, and at break I had a good, frank chat with a few students about depression. Some of you may be reading now, as I offered up my blog address (not that it’s a secret) to read more about my experience with depression, ADHD, and self-harm. It’s amazing how people open up once someone admits to having these difficulties. We are not alone, and there is no reason to be ashamed of the brain you have.

So, I survived Wednesday and then had a social meeting with an energetic individual on Thursday. Got through it, exhausted.

Friday was vineyard day and I knew there’d be at least a few of us there planting vines. The weather was remarkably good, the conversation enjoyable, and I was honest when asked how I’ve been. My tip: be honest. If you’re a person living with depression (or other brain wiring irregularity), tell the truth when someone asks how you’ve been. You’ll feel empowered by owning the feelings, they’ll get the straight dope and perhaps you’ll have an enlightened conversation about it. Tearing down the stigma that surrounds mental illness is up to us. Educate those around you and the understanding will spread. Live well and don’t hide who you are.

The vineyard work was hugely therapeutic. Fresh air in the country, hands dirty, 175 vines planted, good conversation. We ended the work with a glass of our own, young wine and I felt satisfied with the experience. The week had been an exhausting ride, but ended in the best way possible.

This next week is going to be a little strange; my best friend is away (from yesterday) for a week and we’re in the habit of hanging around each other every day. I am very aware that part of my routine is temporarily removed and a part of my support network is physically gone. I’m burying myself in work and having some thinking time. I’m still fragile as I’m coming up from depression, but I’m determined to stay strong despite Pete being away with family. At least I seem to be through the worst of this particular low…

I’m going to spend some time outdoors today. Yesterday (at the vineyard) was really good for me and so I’ll likely go do some yard work over at Pete’s house. I like mowing his grass. Sounds weird, but I have thinking time, get exercise, and have the satisfaction of tangible results after I’m done. I’ve always like mowing. I’m probably weird though.

Other than that, I have another blog post to write on the topic of recycling old denim jeans into an artist apron. Look for that in the next day or two. Later today, I plan on slopping paint on this new apron… blank canvases need dirtying and I’m just the girl to do it.