I haven't had a word to say since October... I fell into the black for a while there. Having my first seperation from my daughter (in her whole life) on top of health issues (do I have it? Don't I have it? What's wrong with me? How did a disease disappear when my medi-cal funding did?) just slammed me.
I've always been warned that girls go through this thing as teenagers, and I guess I thought we were immune since we've been best friends since I first met her. Then again, all kids need to break away and start to be adults at a certain point, and maybe it's just more severe when you've been bonded at the hip for 16 years. She's out of high school and into college, and I think she should still have me for a best friend? I think when I accepted that she's just growing up I started to recover myself.
As far as my health goes... Michael figured out (via the Mayo Clinic website and hours of searching) what was causing the headache I have devoted so many paragraphs to describing. The medication for it is non-narcotic! A Neurologist wouldn't take the time to figure it out, it baffled my regular doctor... it's a rare condition and my doctor hadn't ever heard of it. (Hemicrania Continua) and the only way to absolutely diagnose it is to try one specific medication; if it resolves then that's what it was. I had been living with constant agonizing pain, a head full of recovery and a body full of opiates. I finally caved, after asking for non-narcotic drugs for over a year, and accepted opiate pain-killers. They didn't make it go away, but they did help... but the mental gymnastics of taking narcotics (even prescribed, in the doses that were ordered and all the while admitting and being accountable to other addicts about what I was doing) was almost as bad as the headache. I've been opiate-free for months now and I could care less... I don't miss them because the new drug actually makes the headache go away! (I still have killer headaches that might stop other people in their tracks, but not the ice-pick in the eye headache I had for almost two years.) When talking about the narcotics I say "I went dancing with the Devil and came home with my panties still on."
Another thing I did for myself was to take over the attic when Andrew moved out. It's an art studio now, and I have so many mediums going on up there, I can do whatever I want. It's my own space after living in a house that was so crowded that the only room that didn't have someone in it was the bathroom. (There was always someone waiting for their turn, we had 6 people here)
Michael bought me a sewing machine for our anniversary last October, so I design and make handbags, which is very interesting since I've never sewn in my life. Some are really cool, some are part of the "pretty pile" of fabric that will never find a function other than a learning tool. I, for some reason, can't seem to want patterns, I design as I go. For hours.
I have an area for making jewelry, and have about 100,000,000,000 beads and other items as my pallette when I'm working there. I have a table that is all paint/ink/paper/ and sometimes I do boxes or other things. My laptop is up there, my Tivo is up there... I can disappear for a couple of days at a time when I'm in Craft Central (or CC studio as I like to call it when I want it to sound official) and I think in the long run this has been the most effective therapy for what was ailing me. I have been artistically creative for a living for so long, and for years neglected the part of me that creates just for fun. So now I do art all day, and to relax after work I go upstairs and do some more art.
Physically I'm still not 100%, and yet that doesn't even matter to me any more, because I feel GOOD! I mean really good. For the first time since the Graves'-that-is-not-Graves' Disease that started coming on four years ago I am comfortable in my own (psychic) skin. My body is just this old thing I drag around, my mind is soaring weightlessly.
I've left the professional plateau I was content to accept for so long, and my work is transforming before my eyes, as is the actual business result of that. All of a sudden, after 17 years, Flying Colors Tattoo is exciting again and this is the year I'll get to watch it grow, not just maintain.
The one thing I miss is writing, and I'm reacquainting myself with it now. It's hard to write from the deep black, it's hard to even be. New phase, new outlook, new results.
Let's just see what happens.