Beauty Grows In the Darkest Places

About six months ago I realized my mind had changed. My mind – not just my brain – but my mind. I was diagnosed with a mental/mood disorder and my world crumbled. Telling me my brain was not working correctly is like telling a beauty queen they need Botox. My husband always says he married me because of 1. my smile and 2. my intelligence. I was always smart. I always could count on my intelligence and ability to use that to command a room or flow freely in a crowd. No I don’t have dementia but you better believe the drugs I have tried have made me feel that way. That’s another blog post. Back to my brain.

After being diagnosed BiPolar 2 with a severe anxiety disorder and agoraphobia I felt lost. The world became dark. I mourned my sanity. I feared the loss of creativity due to drugs putting me on “baseline”. I was a photographer that loved creamy dreamy light only achieved by sunsets. I could capture that glow of life and beauty of the world around us all day long but my inner world seemed so dark and cold. Still working would mean evening sessions but I could no longer make it to the evening without anxiety taking over and keeping me chained to my home.

During that mourning I came up with some of the most creative ideas I’ve ever imagined filling journals with sketches, ideas, plans, projects. Slowly color started to creep back in my life through these quick sketches that I hope to bring to life one day. That dark place and the fear in my short-circuiting mind I think made a connection somehow to a place I’ve never been able to connect to. I’ve always be crafty creative but this has inspired in me a spark to become an artist. To share the beauty of what only my eyes see. This makes me understand the story of the Pheonix rising from the ashes. I’m definitely not to Pheonix strength yet but finding the beauty in being so lost is a step. Baby steps right?

I am very proud of the things I have been able to create with the “freedom of thought” my mind gave me – for a lack of better phrase. I sometimes wonder if whatever misfired  to send me to BiPolar hell opened up the gateway to my full creative ability. Take the good with the bad they say.  The image above is a composite of five images dreamed up from a field I drive by everyday and a hope that somewhere in the future the dark and grey will disappear.

Part of me is still mourning and may always be. I’m in therapy trying to accept the things I can not change and change the parts of me I can. I’ve accepted I may be forever changed. I may not be the girl people knew in college or high school. I may not be the woman my husband had planned on spending the rest of his life with but that’s ok. Going backwards seems even more daunting than going forward. So I will keep moving – forward.