Friday, January 13, 2012

What's Stopping Me?

What's Stopping Me?

Yep, it has been more than ten years since I’ve painted. But why?

Well, after I left RISD (Rhode Island School of Design, my first college) in the spring of 2000, I applied to RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) in the Fall of 2001 and was accepted. (For those of you who do not know I left RISD on account of my first paranoid schizophrenic episode).

Because Interior Design was the closest thing offered at Rochester Institute of Technology (or anywhere else in Rochester for that matter) to architecture, I decided to declare interior design as my major, as it was as close as I could get to what had been my intended field of study at RISD—that is architecture.

Despite my leaving RISD, both colleges had been design schools. This would mean that most of my work as an interior design student, (or what would have been as an architectural design student) would be in the area of design, meaning that there would be little time for painting as most design work is done with computers these days. Therefore, most of my drawing was done in a computer aided drafting program known as AutoCad.

Now, as an interior design student, part of the curriculum is to also do some hand drawing, using special design markers, and/or colored pencils. But very seldom do we ever see a designer using paint as his or her medium to do perspective or architectural drawings in architecture and interior design. In the art world paint is just usually reserved for artists and not designers.

Now, I completed my schooling at RIT in the May of 2005 and graduated from the Interior Design program there with a Bachelor in Fine Arts. Following graduation I worked several jobs, but sometime around the year 2008, my health started to deteriorate on account of the voices. Despite taking my medication, I had begun to experience experiences with the voices that I had never experienced before. For whole days, weeks even, and perhaps even months the voices began to yell and scream in my ears issuing threats and insults at me. And the volume of the voices were quite loud, and I had been extremely uncomfortable as a result of what I had been going through. The comments, the insults, the threats were ongoing and the voices did not cease, and very seldom was I ever able to find sufficient rest. Most of the time I was lucky if I found rest. Yes, there were many sleepless nights, and when I did finally find rest there were many nights when the voices would yell in my ears and force me out of my sleep and then I’d have to listen to them torment me until everyone else awakened in our house—until daybreak— but even when they awakened—even still the voices would not cease. There were many occasions where the voices yelled in my ears every second, of every minute, of every hour of every day, for weeks and for months and for what has now been years.

But things have gotten somewhat better now. Most of the time the voices are more like whispers—Although, they do elevate their voices from time to time, usually when I’m out in public places so it can still be pretty uncomfortable.

Now, to be honest, there were times that I did go off of my medication on account of the side effects. But my truth is that I have good days and bad days no matter how much medication I take or don’t take. However, at this point, I still continue to take it, and I recommend that any individual who has been diagnosed with a mental illness does as well. I take my medication hoping that it will help to provide some relief (even if very little).

Simultaneously, while I had been a student at RIT, I focused most of my energies on writing instead of art, when I had free time. As, after I came back from RISD, having experienced my first schizophrenic episode, I just felt like I had a story to tell that must be told. So I wrote for several years, eleven years really, and the result is a book that I hope to publish soon entitled “If We Could Tape Record Our Thoughts.”

Now, in this day, I am the proud mom of three beautiful children, And I do not find much time to draw let alone write my book. And if there has been very little time for drawing, then there has also be little time for painting.

Luckily, my husband, the girls, and I have moved back to our home town in Rochester New York, from Laurel MD. With a very little support system and no family in MD we had been taking care of the girls,
ourselves, solely.

But now that we are back and we are where family is, I know that we’ll have a lot more help with the girls which will free up a lot more time.

Their nana has been wonderful helping out and so has one of our neighbors, Mrs. Hopkins.

So, maybe if we pay their nana, we (myself and my husband, who is also and artist) can get some painting time in. I’ve already discussed it with my husband and my mother and it looks like my mother has agreed to watch the girls for us every other Sunday so that my husband and I can draw and paint or write, or whatever we feel the urge to do every other Sunday.

My mother had already been watching the girls for me, in the summer and the fall of 2011, but that was for my art show “Beauty in the Midst of Voices.” Now that I have completed all of the work for the exhibit “Beauty in the Midst of Voices,” she will only be watching the girls every other Sunday now, instead of every Sunday.

So, to make a long story shorter, that’s my story. That’s why I haven’t painted in ten years. But something else is stopping me from painting now . . . I want to do 60 paintings in 60 days which will sell for 60 dollars, as discussed in my last blog posting, but something’s stopping me. . .

Read my next blog post to find out just what.

Until then, please take a little time out in order to sign up for my FREE newsletter. You can sign up at this link below:

That’s all for now! ‘Til later BlogSpot friends!

1 comment:

  1. I would like to tell you and tell the world how proud I'm of you for being so open and honest about your struggles. It takes a lot of guts, a lot of courage and strength to do what you're doing. I want you to know how much I love you. I love you more every day. Thanks for allowing me to coming into your life and be part of it.

    You're already a winner because you’ve not given up. Winners don’t quit and quitters don’t win goes an adage. Thanks for hanging in there and fighting all the tough challenges you deal with on a daily basis. You're a winner because despite everything, you've managed to achieve a lot in your life. Not all your dreams have come true, like becoming an Architect for example, but look at what you've been able to accomplish. It amazes me. You make be very proud and I feel blessed marrying you. You've opened my eyes on so many things, realities I would have probably never come across. You’ve made me a better person in so many aspects and I'll forever be thankful to you. You make me wants to stand strong every day and fight for you and me and our beautiful daughters. You are a fighter and you’ve made me a better fighter sweetie. Together, we will keep fighting. Life is a struggle. We won’t give up.

    I will probably never know exactly what you have to put up with daily. Your writings give a glimpse of what your struggles are. Thanks for sharing what your reality is. Your posts depict your struggles but also hope and strength. I’m sure somebody out there who reads your entries will find hope and maybe the strength and courage to talk about whatever struggles, adversity they are dealing with in their life. There is a lot of stigma tied to mental illness because scores of people don’t know a lot about it. That’s why your writings and your openness about your illness can help others. There is still hope and possibilities despite the debilitating effects of mental illness. There is a lot of potential. There is life with mental illness.

    I applaud you and praise you for your courage, your awesome talents, your love, your compassion, your beautiful soul. You’re really beautiful, inside and outside and I’m in love with you every day. I will be there, as long as I will be alive, to encourage you to keep fighting, keep trying. Even if you feel like giving up, even if the sufferings are so unbearable, don’t give up sweetie. I will ALWAYS be by your side until death separates us. And even when I'm gone, I would like to remain part of your existence if there is anything like "life after life". I couldn't have married a better woman. You're the best and I'll always love you sweetheart. We’re in this struggle together. Together we’re going to fight.


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