The mattress of life

It's that time again when I write about how I'm feeling in the hopes of helping myself out of a slump. There's quite a lot of discussion about depression and anxiety out there but there's always room for more normalising I say.

The Mattress of Life cartoon by Sam Hickman

Every now and again I find myself falling back into a place of doom and gloom and stress and tension and it's happened again. These days it normally takes a few days of me taking time to realise what's going on and I can stop it in it's tracks. Let's hope it's that easy this time.

I'm mostly struggling to concentrate on anything.

I should be cutting commissions but I'm here writing this to you.

Last year I was asked by my local arts group to do a talk on my exhibition and how I got there. I decided to face the demon of nervousness (should draw her sometime) and agreed. Of course, it took until last week, the week before the talk, to actually plan it. I knew I was going to be anxious - I took my propranolol in anticipation - but I was also looking forward to it a tiny bit too.

I did it. It went ok and everyone was very kind. I then proceeded to really enjoy my bank holiday weekend. On Monday night at about midnight, my daughter (who was a bit poorly) called out. I woke up, went to her next door, went to get her a drink of water, felt lightheaded because I'd got up too quickly and then passed out on the landing. I get lightheaded quite a bit when I get up but fainting has only happened like this once before. Anyway, my husband looked after me and after a lot of throwing up and having my hand wrapped in frozen vegetables I had a restless night. I have felt terrible for a couple of days - achy and very tired. My body most categorically told me to stop. That's all fine and apart from a bruised hand my body has recovered. My brain has not.

I'm struggling to get it to function properly. But I know why so I'll try and cut myself some slack.

Here's a spider diagram of of what's going on in my brain. It was easier for me to visualise it all this way. Some of these things seem very silly or obvious but that's just the way it is.

I'm turning 40 at the end of this month and I'm not happy about it. And that's ok.

I'm having drinks with friends and have some lovely times with friends and family being planned. I did have the opportunity to go away but wanted to be near everyone - now I wish I wasn't here.

The ugly heads of depression and anxiety have reared but I'll face them down - hopefully sooner rather than later.

I hope that if you're actually reading this and you experience similar things - you know you're not alone, and yes you are marvellous . Ok so sometimes you suck at life (I know I do) and life sucks at you but you are marvellous.

Love you

Sam xxxx

#art #creativebrain #life #depression #anxiety #mentalhealth #fainting #lowbloodpressure #commissions #publicspeaking #artexhibition #turning40 #40 #lifesucks #mattressoflife #uglyheadofdepression #cartoon #funny #concentration #easilydistracted

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