The past week or two have been insane. The contents of each day weren’t particularly remarkable but I found myself wholly unable to deal with them. I was a robot, going through the motions of my days without much interest or care. Responsibility powered me completing tasks out of obligation with no emotion in it at all. There was no art. No drawing. I did finish one pair of hand knit socks and am done with a first sock on a second pair. But having that much time for knitting is usually a mark of high depression for me.
After two separate sessions of hard ugly crying, I contacted my doctor and am adjusting my antidepressants. Today is day 2 of new meds and while I know I can’t feel the full effect, There is a tiny bit more hope and a lot less despair today. Even if this is placebo, I’ll take it.
While I do deal with a chemical imbalance that causes depression, I do not want to depend on medication to fix everything. So Chris and I have talked about non medication based ways to combat the stress overwhelm and depression I’m battling these days. Morning pages is part of that. And now I’ve started a 3 item a day gratitude journal. But the biggest change I have to make is setting boundaries. I need the ability to say no, to put myself first and have some time with the door closed where I can count on uninterrupted time.
I grew up in a large family. 2 parents (1 of which was a never home workaholic to avoid life dad0, 5 kids (2 with behavioral issues) and my Gram. Then at 18 I added my own daughter to the mix. Being the oldest in a family that large means I was a parental figure to my siblings, and the main person caring for Gram’s needs. I learned to be a people pleaser to keep the peace, to put others first because any little bit of added sanity was worth it. There was no such thing as boundaries, as personal space, privacy and after a while you just stop trying.
Lack of boundaries is another coping mechanism that I carried into adulthood that is no longer serving me.
This week we are prepping for a trunk show with 1 Sheep 2 Sheep, so I’m not sure I’ll be doing much painting. Then a short vacation to get away for a while and visit some family. So starting August 1 I will be setting up work hours – 10am to 1 pm. Studio hours. Chris says to use my studio hours to do whatever the hell I want – at the beginning the important part is teaching everyone I live with that unless they need the hospital there is part of the day where they leave me alone.
The more I read about setting boundaries the more I realize that I have a lot to learn, and they are more important than I thought. Below are a few links I enjoyed. I’m going to have to find a book and do some indepth reading on boundary setting but I think starting with studio hours is a good place to start.
Links on Setting Boundaries
So many great thoughts in this video. But my favorite is at the end: “Boundaries are respect. They are here’s what’s ok for me and here’s what’s not.”