Tuesday, July 31, 2012

It's a Joke. Get it?

I was feeling a little tense today.

To calm down and relax a bit,

I drew myself a bath.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Anxiety Is a Strange Animal

To begin with, THIS was in my mother's car a bit ago. 
It traveled with us to a friend's house and then vanished.  We assume it is no longer in the car. 

Next up!  Below is a sketch for a painting a never did.  It was to illustrate how my relationship with my now ex felt.  Very black and white, yet up and down.  I'm happy that I never painted it, but at the same time... a bit sad that I didn't get the chance to.

Below, I attempted to illustrate in a concise way what it was like to slowly but smoothly glide into a depression as deep as the one I am currently struggling against.  It includes what was going on at the time of each stage.  For those who missed it, the fish bone was this incident: A Fishbone is Slowly Driving Me Mad

And then, the climb back up to normalcy.  Or at least, to as close as I ever was to it to begin with.  My hope is to come up a different way than I had gone last time.  That way, I can be a functioning adult who not only eats again, but maybe also drives.

In an attempt to just express what I had been feeling about the whole thing, I made what sits right below this text.  Under that is a rough explanation of what is there, since it's difficult to really see. 

Okay.  Time for too much text.  Ready?  Go!

The easiest way to write about this piece is to pick it apart and then elaborate from there.

There are reddish words and greenish words. Only one is both. “Whole” has a green W to imply that I feel full of holes, and wish only to be whole again.

The rest of the red phrases are “Who am I now?” and “Where have I gone?” These are pretty self explanatory. Sitting among these is the symbol that was my first tattoo. It's a symbol representing my birthday, something that can't change, no matter what happens to me. The idea was to “re-brand” myself as my own and show myself that I have control over my body and my life. Because of this, I felt it made sense here.

The green phrases and words are less concise and more desperate. These are mostly yelling at myself, but partly for friends and family as well. Capitalizing is just a way of shouting in text form.
Help me
Find me
Open my head again
My own worst enemy

Scraps of bandages cover the whole thing on and off because I'm trying to piece myself back together and feel like everyone can see the bandages I've placed over the gaping wounds. Even if people are standing ready with sewing supplies to stitch me up, I'm too afraid to let them. Instead, I stand covered in bloody bandages, dripping all over everything, making a huge mess.

Separate yet attached to this piece is a tiny canvas towards the bottom right. It has a bandage on it linking it to the rest of the piece. The ripped out newspaper headline reads “Doesn't Deserve” because this is the single idea that has been festering and infecting everything else in my head. I wondered why I didn't deserve a certain someone's attention while everyone else did. I wondered why I deserved to get sick and have the pain I have while much worse people who live much riskier lives were fine and healthy.

The idea that I don't deserve the good OR the bad has on and off again messed with my idea of spirituality since I was a kid. In that sense, it doesn't surprise me that it's still a relevant issue in my life. The only force that seemed to be in control of things was a dark one with a terrible sense of humor. This even came up after the car accident. See: Birthday Bashing

I was so happy to even want to drive, and then got smashed in the side. I realize I could have taken this as “See? I can survive almost anything! Driving will be a cinch!” But I didn't. I took it as “Look how close I came to dying. Look how little power the driver had. Look how that couldn't be avoided by us at all. Look how little control we have over other people and the horrible things they do...” and so on.
Eventually it became, “Look how little my problems matter to those I care about.”
That last one is one that I'm currently struggling to shake, which is completely unfair to my friends and family who are trying so hard to convince me I'm safe and loved. I remember when I believed them and knew I was okay and safe. Remembering doesn't seem to cut it.

It's like I'm recalling someone else's memories entirely. “Sure, THAT person was fine for weeks at a time and never had any allergic reaction, but THIS one can't swallow anymore because she is constantly at risk.”


Other newspaper clippings:
“Being Average Just Got a Little More Fun” for the fact that I miss feeling like one of the group.

“seeks answers” “unusual” I put these two together out of bitterness. I felt like I was kept out of the loop in my own home. If I asked too many questions, I was called nosy, even when the answer would affect me directly. Some of it was sort of for my own good, but still really insanely hurtful.

“Relationship Advice Doled Out” is only partly true. Plenty of advice like “give it time” and “well, you two LOOK happy...” was given at the time. My friends back home realized there were things wrong towards the end, but being far away and only having what I was saying to go by wasn't easy to work with. Sometimes we were very happy. Those happy times were enough to let me know that we could be wonderful, so I stayed. The bad didn't seem abusive enough to leave.

I didn't realize how needy I really am. Fact is, I should be with someone who wants that much to be around me too.

“The Most Unlikely” “Suicide” is for the fact that I really was absolutely at risk, but not because I wanted to be. I went out there so full of hope and wound up in such physical and emotional distress... When I got to the point of not eating and being too depressed to even want to try anymore, it was beyond giving up. I wouldn't have slit my wrists or taken pills because it would have been too much effort for an outcome I really didn't want.
I just assumed that I was going to die and that it was whatever Powers That Be deciding to make me miserable enough that I finally would give up.

My life, like many lives, is a lot of constantly fighting and checking and testing and running.

The food allergies really have finally gotten to me. Beyond physically. The idea that a normal food, even a healthy one, could kill me by me just having a bite... It's so sick. The idea that this cause of death even exists in the world is horrifying to me and the knowledge that allergies can spring up any time is what is currently ruining my life.

“flattering” for what I didn't get.
“thirsting” “water” for knowing that I have what I need in order to get better. I just have to tap into it.

“biggest test” is self explanatory.

“Scares its Way” is right by a caution sign to the right. It says, “CAUTION: Contains functional sharp points and functional sharp edge” There are certain things one often has to do in order to succeed, and sometimes these are nasty things. I could not do these things, so I wasn't good enough or taken seriously. I was too honest, too giving a shit about others, and too hard to argue with. I would stand my ground, and that made me unlikable in action. I say in action because I was still being told that I was so “unique and wonderful” for it. All lies. I just didn't fit in with that subculture and that wasn't anyone's fault.

Beyond scaring people off and using my “sharp edge” only when needed, I've become this caution sign for a different reason. Now, I am entirely a functional sharp edge. I'm on edge all the time and still feeling so broken and strange and wrong, but I function enough to feel less than completely useless.

“Shakes Thing Up a Bit” is not something I generally follow, but something I know I need to do. I need to go out of this new horribly constricting, not so comfortable comfort zone I've created for myself.

“When will this stop?” is an honest question.

“Adding Injury to Insult” is what I felt about the entire situation after the fact. This includes breaking up with me while I was having a panic attack and then IMMEDIATELY taking me out on a date, though in super-retrospect that is pretty freaking funny.

Still, so much of what I decided was fine was really an amazing amount of not okay.

“can't cope” ...How I still occasionally feel, though less and less often.

“Stabbed” “Swing back” Even though I felt betrayed, I need to hop back up and understand that it is, in fact, okay on some level. I am okay and my relationships with others are still intact.

An “Exit” sign is stuck on here towards the bottom left. It includes the icon of a man walking out a door. Under this sit three more newspaper pieces. “Clock Finally Starts Ticking” for not being able to pretend that I don't have some kind of anxiety disorder, “A Necessary Evil?” for moving back in with my family (Also, “return” and “home” keys sit next to each other underneath this.), and “Dr. Answers” for the fact that I immediately went to a bunch of doctors and found that, yes, I actually had real damage in my throat. So, as in my head as it all is, it's not actually ALL in my head. There is something physically wrong. You can read about this here: Okay, So it Wasn't The Fishbone.

Also by this sign is a keyboard key that just reads “esc” for obvious reasons.

    ...I escape by coming back to where the first trauma happened? Really? But as sick as it is, it's a comfort. I have an easier time “testing” foods (even ones that I know are okay, but just haven't had since coming back) when my mother is around. However, I successfully did this with a turkey dog and mustard. I hadn't had either yet and my writer friend actually cut the hotdog into little octopi. I say “successfully” in that I ate one. I had a panic attack, but I still finished as much as I could and talked through the attack.
    I've determined that having an attack is okay. It's the getting through it and having them get less and less intense and shorter and shorter each time that is the important part.

The other keys, going from top to bottom are a symbol for making things quiet (because I felt hushed), shift, control, clear, end, ?, delete, shift, control, alt/option, help, delete, and a symbol for making things louder at the very end.

The two fortune cookie papers read, “Learn from how people in the arts react to criticism.” for the fact that I took it all like a champ until I just couldn't take anything at all anymore...
And, “The hard times will begin to fade. Joy will take their place.” As a reminder to me.

The thin red yarn spiral is to show how I've been feeling. Spinning, downward spiraling, dizzy in every sense. Still, spirals remain one of my favorite shapes.

The cards are the last thing. There are three sets of them.
-Two of Clubs, Three of Clubs, Ace of Clubs and Four of Clubs are for the fact that I went there imagining it being a romantic scene, but then it was us three buddies all the time. This was awesome until I wound up the lone Ace. Then, with another housemate, it was the four of us for a while.

-Later, there are a Jack of Diamonds, a King of Hearts and a Jack of Hearts to represent the three of them, with the lone Queen of Hearts off to the left, separated by text and bandages.

-Lastly, at the bottom is the Joker. This is for the humor and ridiculousness of it all, and also for my friend who was sort of helpful? ...Kind of? Supportive. The word is supportive. That he was.

The specific colors have no meaning beyond trying to separate the words more.

 Now then.  On to current affairs. 

 I haven't posted any new Deddrie comics because I'm waiting until my computer gets here.  That should be pretty soon.  ...Hopefully.  Also, a friend is helping me revamp the www.deddrie.com site again.  Woot!

Another friend and I are collaborating on things that will hopefully become a show at some point in the near future.  Here is a small preview:

Finally, in most of my free/personal time, I'm working on Donna Pierce.  Here is a new panel: 

And now...

I leave you with this!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Laundry Day Is A Very Dangerous Day

And really any day in this household is a chaotic mess.  ...They mean well.

Living at home again is very odd on several levels, beyond being something I hoped would never happen.  I'm in my mid twenties, so I'm very content with the idea of at least pretending to be a real adult type person, but these are strange times in our economy, as well as in my life.
I forgot about the dangers of doing laundry here, for example.
Going down the basement steps with a hamper:

Spiders in the basement:

Also, the dangers of a bored out of her mind cat.  This is a very pretty cat:

She is an indoor cat, and lived with dogs and another indoor cat who was de-clawed, but she was never de-clawed herself.  She was also raised by a dog, for the most part.  These each come with their own special problems.
Mainly though, her playfulness causes a lot of danger.  If you've ever seen "Simon's Cat," you'll quickly get the idea.

Pain when feeling playful and one is not wearing shoes:

Face planting on stairs when she feels like playing at bottom and you are going up:

Face planting with everything broken when she feels like playing at the top of the stairs:

Lately, she has also started trolling my family.
We've decided this is all because she doesn't get enough attention.
By “we” I mean my family has been watching cat shows on television too much.  The vet said she's healthy, so yeah... this shouldn't be happening.
She'll use the litter box, but still shit wherever she damn well pleases. 
She'll shit by the computer, by my parent's bed...  Every goddamn place. 

She also has an issue with my sister's dog.  This, I find understandable.  The dog looks like a failed muppet.
It's like something Jim Henson shat out on an off day and went “Ew.  That'll never work on Fraggle Rock.  Better put the sad little pathetic thing up for adoption before Gonzo accidentally blows it up or something.”

To clarify, this is a “hairless Chinese Crested” and it's the same breed as the dog once voted ugliest dog in the world.  That particular dog was more like what my sister's would be after reading the Necronomicon, but as this particular “dog” ages, it's getting close to that anyway. 

Still, she's a smart stupid little thing.  Smart because she is very manipulative for a dog.  Stupid because we, as a family, aren't great at training things.

I'm amazed that I can take a shit by myself.  ...Though I learned by getting a treat of M&Ms every time I did it.  ...That says something.

So, while the dog adds a creepy factor (and likes to go for my kneecaps when I enter the house) and the cat is sharp... there are also the other things in the house.  We have a turtle who my parents desperately wish to get rid of (it lead to the death of the other turtle), a snake that is so freaking lazy that it doesn't even want us to try to pretend the food is alive anymore, and bugs.  Some bugs, like my sister's pet hissing cockroaches, are on purpose:

Some are not. 

Seriously.  So many freaking spiders.  I honestly don't mind spiders, until there are tens of thousands of them in my face.

They have hammocks now.  It's like a freaking spider hotel.

I mind silverfish a lot less now than I used to, but I think it's because I looked them up and took the time to learn about what they really do.  Cockroaches are neat to me now too.  ...Spiders just get worse the more I know about them.

EDIT: The actual web-hammock:

I had also forgotten about the kind of non-sequiturs you hear in this house.  Things like “It's on fire again” and “I didn't know if it was poison ivy, so I touched it just in case” or even “Dad, I'm trying to learn how to wire a cat's jaw shut!”  ...Most of these are from my older sister.  The fire related ones tend to be my father.  Either way, the fuck.