365 Day Project: 72

I wanted to get my project photo done so I can just go and lay down. There is only so much people can handle (emotional, mental or physical) and I need to numbingly lay and do nothing. I did put a little more effort in the image today though.

#5B8793, #43D9D9, #D6BD92, #D98452, #BF5050

Take care of yourselves and happy Wednesday!

Are we REALLY family?

I have most of my portfolio done! EEK! I even started updating my resume. Outside of a few tweaks by the end of the day, if no one interrupts, I’ll be applying to jobs with a decent portfolio, updated resume, and awesome cover letter. Hopefully, I’ll be in a new job by the new year. Dream or goal? Actually, it’s ok for it to be both.

While taking a break from work and portfolio construction I was scrolling through my social media feed when I see that my cousin just had a baby. I didn’t even know that she was pregnant. Wondering how that’s possible especially if you’re close with all your family. Simple. I’m not considered ‘REAL’ family. How do I make a long story short when in reality it’s a long? My grandpa on my mom’s side and my grandma were young when they had my mom. They tried to make a go at it. It didn’t work and split. My grandpa never talked to my mom after that. Years later, my mom found her dad. They talked and we all met. While my mom was getting sideways looks from her stepmom (obviously reminder of her husbands past) she met her half-sisters. One was accepting the other was really giving off the Cinderella stepsister vibe. My sister and I were really not considered ‘grandchildren’ but rather children that tagged along. While my dad bought us happy meals (and a big girl burger for me) he was more than happy not to interact with people who didn’t approve of him or his lifestyle.

Forward years later too after the divorce and she moved north to be close to her family dragging us kids with I rebelled. I was a constant reminder of my mom’s past. I eventually screwed up enough where the judge told my mom, ‘She can go to jail here OR you send her back to her dad.’ I got to go back home. Forward many more years later, I moved north to be closer to my mom but nothing has changed with her side of the family. Now, my kids, husband, and myself are still considered the non-family members. We’re family by blood but if it wasn’t for that tie then they wouldn’t bother with the yearly Christmas card. While my grandfather is helping his other grandchildren pay off loans, purchase houses, and pay for weddings he takes time to send $100 in a Christmas card addressed to, ‘Family’. Thanks, Grandpa. He got married this past summer and the wedding invite my mom received was to her and ‘family’. I didn’t go.

I have cousins that think that we aren’t family and that’s what led me to find out she had her first child this past weekend. I have a grandfather that only acknowledges my presence around the holidays. I have two aunts that don’t consider me to be a niece until they need my blunt honest mouth to get their ‘beat around the bush’ ideas across. I did not chime in my congratulations on the baby picture post. I did not get invited to the baby shower so I’m not planning a belated gift for the baby. I’m going to skip being a part of their ‘family’ this year. I find that it’s better to get rid of all the toxicity at once.  What’s my point with this post this morning? Well, trying to focus more on self-care and what I want and need I need to remind myself to let go of all the people, including blood relations, that does not bring joy into my life in some form or another. With this holiday season coming up remember that it’s OK to let go of people including family.

May 24th, 2018

Journal confession time. I have been harboring a lot of guilt about a goal that I set and actually went the opposite direction. I wanted to lose at least 20lbs at the same time I quit smoking. I haven’t had a cigarette since January 12th but need to lose a LOT more weight. I’ve tried keto (didn’t satisfy) tried smaller portions (already do because of the gastric bypass) and a lot of other gimmick stuff. I realized that I’m happy with my ability to find time to paint and write but need to focus on my weight.

I took a walk this morning before work and writing and felt really bad about how I looked while doing it. How can I exercise when I feel anxious about people watching me and possibly secretly judging me. That’s the anxiety working in me and shaking hands with the depressive state that I fall in with. I could’ve easily gone home but reminded myself that it was still dark out and people are heading to work and are probably late. I walked fasted just to get home before the sun came all the way up. My daughter turned 16 today and I thought if I keep going the way I’m going I’m not going to be healthy enough to enjoy my kids anymore like I was before. So, part of getting healthy this year was to quit smoking and I think I nailed it. Now, it’s time to control and manage my eating and weight. This entails me going to the store after work, purchasing a weight scale, and possible leggings to walk-in.

I researched many options and due to my family’s strict budget I made the first step and signed up for Weight Watcher’s Freestyle program. Fingers crossed I’m able to figure out meals with what I have and will get what I need (portion size for one because my family eats regular foods without a care in the world) on my next grocery shopping trip. Speaking of grocery shopping with my C-PTSD and anxiety I learned that I can shop through Wal-Marts grocery app which will also help me from going through the aisles and shopping with, ‘Oh that would taste awesome’ mentality.

After joining (still needing to feel out a few profile fields), I saw where I can track what I eat. Banana, coffee with chocolate caramel creamer, a babybel cheese, salad with greek dressing and croutons all added up-QUICKLY. It was clear about my food choices and guilt turned to shame. I synched my Fitbit app to my Weight Watcher’s app, opted for water instead of V8 and only had 1/2 cup of spicy ranch popcorn. I will research tonight more recipes and things that I can change and do differently.

I feel better fessing up to my guilt and shame and I guess I’ll take my readers along with me. I’m still going to write, paint, and doodle just now I’ll do it hungry. Kidding, not hungry but mindful of what I put in my body.

6 Word Story: 5/24

I think my problem is that I have so many that I need to focus on just a few. But one thing that I’ve noticed is that since I started this blog I am less anxious and have something to look forward to. I know that sounds awful but I’m learning self-care and doing something for myself. Even if it’s only taking a few moments to myself to write that it counts and I’m worth it. Even my writing and painting have improved.


Prompt Word: Pastime

 

May 18th

I haven’t done a journal entry in a while. Today I woke up and took my walk and instead of telling myself that all the hard work will pay off it came out, ‘what the hell’s the point?’ I was being awful to myself. Getting to work, drinking coffee, and completing my daily tasks then my nemesis came into the art room. Believe me when I say I would much rather eat glass then help her with ANYTHING but that’s not being an adult (which is a BS by the way) so I helped her.

Having to deal with that and already being hard on myself I decided to take the rest of the day off. I SO wanted to come home and lay in bed. I pulled into the driveway and even headed to my room when I remembered that I needed another watercolor journal. I couldn’t do tonight’s challenge without one. Do I go to bed and fall into the depressive state that my mind needed or shop for my journal that my soul needed?

Next thing I know I’m in the art supply store. I felt better with my journal in hand but was stopped by a sale on a travel case of Winsor & Newton cake palette of 14. ‘You can’t afford to travel anywhere why in the hell do you need those?!’ That’s what I heard in my head. Then I told myself I don’t need to travel far just get out and paint. I am now the proud owner of new travel paints and smaller travel book (50% off I wasn’t going to pass).

Got home, cleaned up, cooked dinner, and got an amazing surprise. A fellow blogger honored me with, ‘Nice job, you’ve obtained this week’s GOLD badge!’ Talk about the boost I needed to keep going this afternoon. Matthew over at Normal Happenings is the positive breath of fresh air that I needed. Wander through his proverbial blog stacks and get lost. He’s also a fellow graphic designer which explains my draw to his newspaper style font.

I still feel like I want to crawl into bed and that’s ok too. I’m not pretending that everything is fine but I know that things will get better. Have a great evening ya’ll.

March 16th, 2018

A Fraction of A Friday

It has been a week of hell. Demands, nows, requests, and unforgiving illustrations that needed to be done. I made it through until this morning. I got to work only to be met with the largest load of BS I have ever seen. Mistakes were made but a different artist and I had to not only clean up the mess but meet the expectations of a customer that has already been let down once.

I completed their request with the quality that they were promised the first time. I have very little vacation time left but I needed a mental break. I needed to center myself and relax or I was going to go through the weekend frazzled and anxious. I would take it home and worry. Well, NOT TODAY! I walked straight up to my supervisor and told her to put me down for 1/2 day of vacation. She followed with a list of items that needed to be done and frankly it wasn’t in my job requirements. It’s not my fault that other people called in. I decided I deserved a little me time in a quiet house before the kids got home and write, doodle and dare I think nap? OF COURSE.

I stopped and picked up another watercolor journal for a personal project. The idea came from a talented artist Sharon. Please go and check out her work. I already do daily random word doodles and they are helping loosen me up and find confidence. So, I would like to attempt an

ABC watercolor journal. I want this to be done weekly making it a 26-week project. Super excited.

I have also been exercising my short story writing skills and not only learning a lot about myself but finding my voice. My 6 word storied of daily prompts helps boost my creativity. I have a deadline of the 20th to submit a piece to Carrot Ranch. I’m working out where I want my 99 words to go and can’t quite make it come full circle.

 

I also did something I NEVER do. I RSVPd for a WordPress meetup. I will be bringing my husband as I’m nervous and he wants to see more of what I do. He’s a rock of support helping me find time to write and paint. I would also like to thank the great community of bloggers. There is so much talent in the writers’ fingers or the artists’ palms. You guys are the people I wanted to be when I grew up. There is a great deal of encouragement and support.

I also have started a Facebook page and Instagram. I hope I can handle it. If for one minute I think that it’s taking away from my writing and painting I’m taking them down. My husband recommended it to me and I will try. Tomorrow morning I am trying strawberry jam on toast with bacon. Recommended by a fellow blogger.

 

Watercolor and Self-Care

I promised myself that I would add better quality paints, inks, pens, etc…little by little. Yesterday before sitting down and working on a longer short story I wanted to purchase a better quality gel pen. I have been working with cheaper quality and it showed in my art. I really wanted a white gel to gain better highlighting details. So, I did just that. The really good white gel pen was in a locked case so I went with the second recommendation that I received-the Gelly Roll. I am in LOVE with the pigment and water resistance.

I watched movies with my husband last night so I didn’t do much else. But this morning, I woke up and realized daylight savings time occurred while we slept so I rushed to get ready and do the weekly grocery trip. Even though I was early I ran into a LOT of old customers from my bartending jobs. I heard about how much they missed me, that I needed to return to clean out the bar and get better people in there, that the whole town suffered…the list goes on. All that did was stress me out. I wanted nothing more than to get out of there but I had to finish the marketing. I did and I also forgot some things which I will send my husband to get. I was anxious and on the verge of a panic attack. I came home and cleaned out my writing/art area because my kids just can’t understand that it’s my safe space but they’ll get there. Now that I rambled on about my CPTSD and how my flight overran my fight here’s something I did to help calm me and get me back to a healthy frame of mind.

This is a watercolor Strawberry Finch. Fun fact, I have finches next to my desk because their songs help me relax.

The supplies I used:

  • 140lb cold press (it’s a journal and I’m not ready to move to large projects plus I like the texture of the paper which is also soothing for me to hear the brush against)
  • Gelly Roll gel pen (white)
  • Faber-Castell pen (fine point black ink)
  • Indian Ink (still learning to play with the ink)
  • Watercolors (right now Daler and Rowney tubes-they’re affordable for me at the moment)
  • Brush Pens (cheap and learned they don’t work well on wet paper)

I want to attempt a colorful rooster and something fluffy but that’s for a different day. Completing this small bird was an accomplishment for me. I was able to relax and focus. My heart rate slowed and my mind wasn’t overthinking anything. It was my self-care. I took time to do something that made me feel better.

What is your outlet to calm down or something that you do for your self-care? Don’t feel guilty. I’m still learning not to feel guilty and not to give too much of myself because there isn’t anything left for me.

March 10th, 2018

It’s been a hell of a week. I can take the stress of deadlines and last minute projects because they are few and far between until this past week. On a good work week, my workload will average between 20 and 40 color-up requests. That does not include getting orders ready to be printed. This week I managed 152 color-up requests, an emergency banner (that needed to be completed within 8 hours to make the printer deadline) and an emergency handout that needed to be printed and ready to go within 24 hours. Then there was the imprint work for uniforms, approval forms, and they also needed me on the floor to help print.

Understand, I was a blue collar worker before my graphic design job. I was raised by a roughneck oil field worker. He taught me that nothing in this world is free and if I want something I have to work for it. So, I worked hard in college while working two jobs, three kids, a house to run then a divorce from my abuser. I maintained a 4.0 GPA and paid my dues. I worked odd design jobs and internships before landing where I am today. So when they asked me to go on the floor I did just that. I left the floor when I saw that the employees that were supposed to be too busy to print were talking, laughing, drinking coffee and checking phones. I refused to be used like that. I cranked out my order of 160 and went back to cave. There I was met with more work 15 minutes before I was to clock out and leave for the weekend. I decided that I would take my time. I was mentally exhausted to the point I had a headache, eyes were aching, 3 major panic attacks, one crying meltdown, and physical exhaustion. It took everything I had to write my short stories and doodle.

My husband listened to what was going on which helped a lot. He encouraged me to write more after telling him about submissions and what I wanted to do and what I am doing. I realized work was the reason why I was in a funk. I’m looking forward to this weekend. I will be doing some much-needed self-care. I will write, paint, read, and rest.

February 8th into the 9th

I started this post at 11:30 tonight as I needed time to myself to get certain thoughts and ideas out of the way or in the way. I have been reading every day and last night I finished ‘Cinder’. I want to go to the next book in the series but since my book list is extensive for me to even attempt for this year I, not possible. As I stated before that I will read the first book in the series and then make notes and move to the next on my list. When I have completed my list I will then go back and start the next in the series.

My husband set up a table in the dining area and I have my laptop, art supplies, notebooks, charging station and all that good stuff set up. I kind of feel bad that I haven’t used it much this week but it’s been rough.

Work

So for the past few months and more recently the past couple of weeks ‘Bob’ the guy that I work with has been really oppressive, entitled, and really hates the fact that I’m a female with certain knowledge that he doesn’t possess which leads to him pushing the fact that he is a man and is always right with me. I know what a brow beater is and I know what gaslighting is…I was married to it for years. I also know that I’m not his personal secretary. The straw that broke ‘my’ back was his friend, another colleague had asked me to do some artwork for him for a shirt. That wasn’t the problem. The problem was that he was taking my art to another company to finish his product and not with ours. I told him how much I charge an hour and to sum it up, my talent is worth the fee but I still need to do it. WTF!? I left crying from all the stress from those two men. I couldn’t enjoy being home or my kids.

The next day I went to work and waited for about two hours before approaching my managing supervisor. He listened…now whether or not I’ll be fired is still up in the air because we all know how that situation ends. The man is always right…from my experience and how many times I was let down by law enforcement seeking safety and justice from my ex. So that is to be continued as the two men have a different supervisor and so there was a meeting of the supervisors (also men) and I’m feeling pretty confident that I’m going to be ‘let go’ for some oddball reason. Back up plan you ask? Not a fucking clue. I could freelance, I could try to find another job in my field, or I could just hide in my closet.

My Goals

Even though this week has been absolutely horrid here are the things that I have completed: Finished a book, did some sketching, kept up with my short fiction stories (barely) took a shower. All of those are accomplishments no matter how small. I sketched my character out (I want to start a comic journal of sorts. I need to work on simplifying my character and sketch my puppy a character fitting to her.) and hope to include her on my blog. I also have been keeping up with my reading journal. My thoughts on Cinder: I couldn’t read it fast enough, well written, very freakin’ creative, used it as a great escape from my reality, and guessed who the main character really was. My shower was cleansing in more ways than one. I was able to cry out some bottled feelings and I almost feel like myself again. My next book is either going to be Macbeth or one of the longer ones. Something that will take me more than a week to read and more difficult. I am proud of myself for refusing to get an audiobook and a pack of cigarettes. Now if only I could lose some of this weight.

Like most things in my life…to be continued.

 

 

6 Word Story: 2/8

I made it with only minutes to spare to do my 6-word story a day post. This is what happens when anxiety and depression hit at the same time. I’m going to count this post as a strength and self-love. I think it’s also fitting that the prompt word examples my life these past few days.


Prompt Word: Challenged

 

Her ‘everyday’ is her distressful trials.

January 9th, 2018

First Step

I was super excited to pick up my prescription for Chantix. I have made a conscience decision to quit smoking. I think I kinda shot myself in the foot though…I also chose to eat healthy, diet, yoga and possibly gym. It doesn’t help that I don’t have support from my husband. As of right now he’s sleeping on the couch and I’m in the bed with my dog. I’ll tackle that whole fight later.

Right now, I’m focusing on me and my health. I want to still be around to live life after 50 whether it’s with or without my husband. I know that mentally I’m struggling and not in a good place and I know it’s because of this relationship but first things first.

YAY to keeping up with my resolutions…I have ALL year to work on them.

Learn Something New

I haven’t had the chance to be creative. Who the hell am I kidding-I haven’t been me in years. CPTSD isn’t something that goes away because the scars of abuse last longer in the memory than it does on skin. I know my kids and husband suffer because of it. So, I tried to learn something new (art wise). Believe me when I say I had to FORCE myself to complete the little art course and that was even after I stopped a few days in a row to make way for my depression, anxiety, and dealing with the kids.

Kawaii according to the Urban Dictionary – An adjective in Japanese meaning ” pretty; cute; lovely; charming; dear; darling; pet” It’s stem is two kanji meaning “can love”. It is

commonly used by anime and manga fans. I had NO IDEA what this was but wanted to dabble. Now I can’t get enough and want to draw and learn more. Unfortunately I don’t have the money from some of the tutorials and even though there are images I can sketch from, they aren’t truly mine. Anyone have any ideas? But I was able to do some more sketching and then creating some digital graphics.  I would really like to do a daily comic about my life with CPTSD and interactions with family and the outside world. I’ll never do it though. As sad as that statement was I don’t have the time.

I love drawing both traditional and digital but I really want to write. I have all these story ideas and just can’t figure out how to get the ideas to make sense. I’m the type of person that needs to be shown how. Not to be belittled, talked down to or made to feel stupid. I pretty much take care of that myself. Maybe I can find an online workshop so I don’t have the anxiety of being around other people? Any idea…one’s that won’t cost me an arm and a leg?

May 2, 2017

Hell of a Weekend…and Beginning of Week!

I posted yesterday about saying goodbye to a girl that is more like my daughter. It wasn’t as tough as I thought it would be since I was able to put a gift crate together with a lot of thought and planning. Lack of money or low funds (positive spin because low suggests a refill) forced me to really THINK about what she would need rather than what I would want her to have. I realized I was exercising suggestions from my therapist and it felt good to be so self-aware. The only thing I was worried about and it didn’t even throw me in a frenzy of ideas was if she would like the gift. Without even asking her, she said that she really appreciated the thought and that no one else had even given her a card or letter and it was very intimate and sentimental for her. All my  worries subsided and I was able to focus on asking the big questions and just keeping conversation to quiet her fears. Such a large move and leaving so much behind is difficult for anyone of any age.

Last Thursday I worked my day job then at the bar due to a bartender calling it quits and leaving everyone in a lurch. I had a bad day at my day job and was super excited to work that night. Many of my customers were very happy to see me that night instead of having to wait another day. I have never left the bar feeling like a failure as I do almost every day at my day job.

Day job at 6:30 am Friday morning and the only thing I accomplished was a catalog and hardly any illustrator work came across my desk making for a VERY boring day. I am a Podcast junkie and have all sorts from comedy to horror to writing and even inspiration. One of my writing podcasts showcased Robin Rice and she stated, ‘There is no problem going back and editing a post that was published. You’ve overcome a challenge that most people cannot do, hitting published.’ (Side note: I REALLY REALLY wish I had the money to take her new writing course but I’ll live.) 6 pm bar tending and had such a blast. I don’t drink behind the bar now that I have prescriptions to help with my PTSD and the associating depression and anxiety. I think I enjoy my job a whole lot more at the bar without drinking. Customers are a little uncomfortable with it as they think drinking in front of me is an issue and when they offer to buy, I settle for a coke and that eases their discomfort a bit.

Saturday I had breakfast with my daughter that was leaving for Florida and her three step kids then it was off shopping for a semi formal dress with my daughter. I did a little of self care as I was out of body spray and stopped at Bath and Body and purchased some fragrances (advice well received from my therapist and I didn’t feel guilty then off to tend bar. It was a slow night but steady.

Sunday at the bar was even slower but I was able to close early and hang out with my kiddos and finish the gift crate. Which all lead into a Monday from hell at the day job but enjoyed the end of the day with a my oldest daughters band concert.

Long story short, hitting publish, self-care, and being self-aware are great things to accomplish. DO NOT hesitate in doing any of those!

 

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