‘Are you any good? You should do it for a living!’

I often feel stressed about my art being good enough to sell. Even though I work in IT and have no plans for working with art. (!) But it’s like you have to strive for making your creative hobby profitable. It isn’t enough to just do it for fun.

Yeah, we live in a capitalistic world, but it’s perfectly fine to just enjoy art and craft on your spare time. Or as a side income. I don’t have to be good enough, I can just splash the colours for enjoyment. For the visual pleasure.

I do many things I don’t plan on working with: writing blogs, taking walks, reading books and sharing the knowledge, raising kids, gardening, etc.

I sometimes think I should ‘follow my dream’ and start a gardening company. Or write books about mental illnesses. Because this is what I read about in the inspirational stories in magazines. ‘She quit her job as an accountant and started a business in yoga/art/inspirational speeches/similar.’

But maybe the rest of us are just fine with doing yoga at home? I understand that some people want to take their hobby to the next level, but I shouldn’t feel this kind of pressure. I can enjoy painting on my spare time.

Getting dressed when meeting the doctor

Description: A person holding a cardigan in one hand and a hoodie in the other.
Text: ‘When you have a doctor’s appointment and have to balance between dressing well enough to be taken seriously, but sloppy enough to still look as sick as you are.’
She is thinking: And what about make-up?’

When meeting your new doctor

Description: A doctor and a patient are sitting in front of each other.
Headline: ‘When meeting your new doctor’
The doctor says: ‘I read your medical record, but please tell me about yourself in your own words.’
The patient thinks: ‘Let me grab my resumé.’ and ‘OMG! You just read it…’ and ‘‘I was born on a cold Sunday morning in 1983…’’ and says ‘I don’t know where to start…’

Swedish version:

Odd new thing

Weird thing: I’ve started feeling nervous when having (phone) meetings of importance (regarding my health, rehab, etc.). I haven’t felt nervous for years since my anxiety has completely devoured that feeling. Often up to a point of half panic with almost fainting due to a shortage of breathing.

But since the anxiety is now lowered due to a lot of therapy I am now experiencing feeling nervous again. Oh, my.

Anxiety all day long

Everything is a struggle and nothing works right now. So much stress and anxiety. I can’t sleep at night and have lots of upcoming stressful deadlines and stuff I have to handle. Nightmares last night and an ongoing anxiety I try to get out of by drawing my feelings and selfvalidating. 2021 has been nothing but rough for me yet.

Expressing anger

I am digging in my childhood traumas by expressive writing. It’s a tough exercise where I am writing about my feelings for 15 minutes. Then I write what I have learned for 15 minutes. And I validate myself.

Yesterday I wrote about a teacher that didn’t support me when I was bullied. She victim blamed me and asked why I even was in the forest when the kids had been throwing pine cones at me and teased me. She didn’t support me at all.

I guess my inner child believed I was not worth caring for. I was the weird bullied kid who made my teacher uncomfortable.

In expressive writing you get to be angry with the person and write what you want to say and do. It’s a channel for the swallowed anger. 

In the next step you get to think about how this has affected you. And I realized I was not a troublesome kid, my teacher was wrong. Such people should not work as teachers.

I believe a lot of my anxiety and PTSD problems in my adult life comes from being invalidated as a child. I was not taken seriously when I was emotional (angry, sad, afraid) and I never learned to soothe myself.

But I am now practising self validating my emotions and soothing myself.

I can get well

Four weeks into my ten week online theraphy I realize I can get well from my complex PTSD, and I write a list of how that would change my life.

I applied for the therapy to treat my psychosomatic pain in my legs at night time and my chronically tense body (muscle armoring).

But I have realized how both my pain and my c-PTSD comes from the same childhood trauma. And if I recover from it I can heal most of my mental illness issues. That’s just amazing.

I hardly dare to think of how much that would change my life. It’s like a dream come true. (To not be living with fatigue, pain, these severe sleeping problems, not being in bed for about 12 hours per “night”, having energy to start working out again, not having PTSD symptoms, etc.)

I have lived with these disabilities for so many years now. I struggle with imagining what a life without daily anxiety triggers would be like.

I will do my very best during this online therapy. I have high hopes of getting better. It would mean so much to me.

It’s coming back to me

It feels like I am finally back to painting for real again. I haven’t posted a painting since November. It’s been some tough months. But I am now enjoying painting again.

Today I even considered creating a comic again (the most time consuming but fun thing!).

I haven’t updated this blog much since I’ve felt so bad, I haven’t felt creative and I hate the Instagram algorithms (I double post on this blog and on “@mental_illness_by_pebbel” on IG. And I have been out of topics.

But I will tell you more about my online therapy for “mind body syndrome” and show you my latest paintings soon.

Tough times

Life is very tough right now. I’m working hard with my online therapy and try to go to rehab in town. There are energy consuming practical problems at home and I am mourning my father-in-law who suddenly died from cancer a month ago. (We didn’t know he was ill until five days earlier.)

In the online therapy I practise self compassion and self validating and it’s so good. Especially in these times. I need to be kind to myself in order to keep going. I am doing the best that I can. (I can’t do more, I’ve already tried that and got terribly exhausted for years.)