Username:

Password:

Fargot Password? / Help

Tag: stress

0

Alive Day IV

tree_aliveday4
Four years ago today I smashed myself into a tree.

I'm getting better.

The tree I've illustrated the last three years for these entries means little to me now and its hold over me is fading. A couple years ago, my daughter, Emily joined me for a pilgrimage to the area where I had the accident. I tracked down exactly where we drove our snowmobiles to the scene, hopped a fence and began our search. We'd packed snacks and water for our long hike, but our efforts were fruitless. I'd hoped to make peace, become a tree-hugger, literally. I hugged some other tree instead.

My snowmobiling partner of that evening told me we'd probably never find it, given construction in the area, and the fact that new trails and paths are carved out each Winter. But recently he's told me he thinks he's found it. And I find I have no interest anymore. I've moved on. The tree, the accident are receding, finally, but after effects linger. Linger - HA! They inform my life, each and every day.

So, here I am, coping, living, struggling day to day, like we all do, yeah?

2

Alive Day III

It's been three years today since I slid a snowmobile into a tree.

It seems like yesterday...and an eternity. Doctors tell you the trauma will always be with you, but that it will fade. And they're right. For me, that tree becomes less solid, less an immovable object ahead of me I'm going to run into and more something I can leave in the distance. I may not have passed it that night three years back, physically, but I'm passing it emotionally and metaphorically. I dwell less in the icy, windy, frigid darkness of that night, less in the moment in the hospital nine days after when I thought I was checking out for good. More often I strive for the light, the sun, my family, longtime friends and new, for activity and life.


Doctors will also guesstimate how long recovery will take. The say six months, a year, maybe two years. Then after two years pass, they say I'm on track, that a trauma like this can take 4-5 years to overcome. They project because they don't really know. Each person and experience is different. They favor less time for the sake of hope, and 'cause a shorter recovery time may turn out to be true. And maybe not.

My bones are still healing - I'm no spring chicken. I can still hear and feel them click and clack as I move about, and I'm sure I always will. But they don't hurt as often, pain comes less sharply to trigger anxiety. But sleep still bleeds into the sense of dying and panic is not always a thing of the past. In the Summer of 2009 hearing or speaking words about death would send me into a tizzy. I'd have to turn off quickly the baseline of a Michael Jackson song used in an online commercial lest it spark an anxious tingling through my body. I was that sensitive. News of celebrity deaths don't have the same effect now. From a purely selfish perspective: what a relief.

My challenge now is beating bad habits that have formed over time as I ween further off medication. Going to sleep at a regular time each night is something with which I've had little success. I snack too much before bed and don't exercise nearly often enough. I've got to go cold turkey on nervous, twitchy compulsive behaviors. And I don't find those tasks as easy as they may sound. But my path is more clear to me since my accident than ever before. I'm more active and social, interacting and connecting, producing more. Leaning towards the light, making progress.

I'm confident I can get over these next hurdles, and hope it will be sooner than later. And I'm pretty sure a year from now my next Alive Day, I won't feel the need to draw that darned tree again.

0

Christmas Deadlines

xmas_2012_deadlines_process

I know - not so cheery. Just an image/idea that came to me, though I'm not particularly feeling Christmas stress this year - I can't afford to.  C'mon, even Santa has to take the edge off as the Dreaded Deadline Doom looms....

With a lot of my drawings lately I've planned them for color, but sometimes like the black & white art better. Not so with this one. It works all right, but seems way too busy to me. The dramatic, muted flat color helps simplify the piece some. It began simpler, with a very rough pencil, leaving much of the drawing again left for the inking stage. As I drew, I added detail and busy-ness - too much, as I said.