Forever Growing, Forever Changing, Always Dreaming: 2012
So once again it has been awhile since I have posted. I am going to tell a little story, the best way I can think to share what I have gone through and am still dealing with. It's a bit long, but I didn't want to break it into two parts.
Once upon a time...
there was a small town girl who dreamed BIG dreams and couldn't wait to strike out into the world to make her mark in it. She dreamed of love, travel, and adventures and everything seemed possible. Some would say she saw the world through rose colored glasses and who's to say that isn't true. During the transformation of girl to woman, she did travel. Maybe not to some of the faraway places she dreamed of but that just means she has more places left to go. As far as love goes, she fell in and out of love and left a trail of broken hearts in her wake. Through it all she was becoming who she wanted to be, learning her passions, and still dreaming big dreams of where she would go and wondering what her great love story would read like.
Let's call this girl Rapunzel (mostly because Tangled is my new favorite Disney movie right now). Rapunzel was a social butterfly. She knew lots of people and had lots of friends at the University of Mystical as well as her close friends from back home. One such friend, Lancelot was a great knight and was always fighting faraway in great and terrible battles. Even though he was usually off defending his country, he would always send letters and come see Rapunzel wherever she was when he was back home. They had a sweet and innocent type of love and friendship that grew over the years. But, because of her studies and him being a knight, they rarely spoke the words of love they locked in their hearts. One spring, Lancelot returned from battle and was living in a beautiful paradise, but the distance across the lands and ocean were still too far for Rapunzel and now she was being courted by another man. A decision had to be made, was Rapunzel to stay with her family, continue this courtship and her studies or would she travel to the unknown to be with Lancelot. It was a hard decision, but in the end she decided to stay. She was afraid... afraid of the travel across the ocean by herself, of upsetting her family, of breaking off the courtship, and of letting herself after all these years fall in love with Lancelot and risk ruining their beautiful friendship.
Rapunzel and Robin Hood, the man she was being courted by, both got accepted to the University of Dragons (that at times has been known to play a mean game of Quidditch, although most of the times that is not the case). Rapunzel and Robin Hood had barely moved and adjusted to their new kingdom, university and studies when the first tragedy hit Rapunzel's world. One of her friend's little sisters was killed in a car accident. Two weeks later, she received news that turned her world upside down. Lancelot had taken his own life. Rapunzel felt numb, shocked, and heartbroken. She almost didn't take the long journey to see and mourn with his family and friends. When she returned home, she was like a ghost everywhere she went. She was running completely on auto pilot during the day to get through her studies and work and when she returned home she would collapse on the floor sobbing, sometimes for hours until her throat and nose were raw.
Rapunzel turned to Robin for a little while, but could see her pain and anguish over Lancelot death was hurting him. After awhile, she would only cry and let her emotions come out when she was alone. She also started drinking with Robin while they played video games (there isn't a good fairy tale equivalent to video games). And the drinking and crying continued almost everyday for a year.
After a year of such emotional and substance abuse to her body, Rapunzel relapsed with mono. For the next two and half years, Rapunzel would deal with multiple blood works being done, an EKG, an upper GI, rounds of antibiotics, a weak immune system and low energy levels. Thankfully nothing serious would be detected, but the trips to the doctors, hospital for test and the unknown took a toll. And through all this she shoved the emotional grief of her friend's suicide under the surface so she could just survive through her day to day life. After awhile she cut loose the courtship that Robin Hood had hoped would continue in marriage. For that heartache she caused him and his family as well as the last harsh words expressed, Rapunzel was and still is extremely sorry. But in heart she knows it was the right thing to do and hopes the best for him and his family and for the right love to come into his life.
It's now been over four years since Lancelot took his own life and the grief Rapunzel still feels is raw and fresh like she got the news just yesterday. It's always there, lingering under the surface, waiting to spill over and out. She puts on a good face, but she is still dealing with all of it; health and anxiety issues, the grief and emotions and just trying her best to get healthy as naturally as possible. The anxiety came as almost a side of effect of all of the life changing events. Rapunzel did find love again, but only time will tell if this love story will be just another chapter in her life or if it will be the great love story of the rest of her life. She was also blessed to find a great fairy godmother to talk to and begin the healing journey. It's one step at a time, one day at a time.
And while the story is not over... here ends our tale.
So this is my jumbled up fairy tale to express my story. It's sometimes such a hard one to tell and I think it's a hard one for those around me to understand. But I do want to express my gratitude to my family and friends that have supported me through all of this. And for anyone that has ever dealt with depression, suicidal thoughts, or lost someone from suicide, I encourage you to seek out counseling and to not wait. I waited almost four years and I will confess that it is not an easy thing to do, but it is a good place to put my thoughts, emotions and to not always burden myself or family with it. I also suggest checking out and supporting TWLOHA (To Write Love on Her Arms). They are a wonderful organization "dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery."
Thank you for reading and checking out my blog. I hopefully won't be as long until my next post.
P.S. The drawing at the top is a sneak peek from one of my new pieces!
After today's class critique, I am going to get my interactive book ready to travel. The hope and goal is that the book will be written in and passed onto a friend, family member, a stranger in the coffee house ect... and filled up. I am going to add an envelope that holds cards with TWLOHA website on it to take away. Once the book gets back to me, I will type up excerpts from the book to my blog. This experience reminds me of the stuff animal in grade school every kid got to take home one weekend from school, and how we wrote about his adventures. It is the same kind of interaction of sharing and passing around an object and hopefully making a difference in someones life. I realize that it a HUGE goal but it is the thing I think about. If the book doesn't come your way, I hope you email (firstname.lastname@example.org) me your story so I can add it in. Everyone's story, BIG or small is important. What's Your Story?
the not so starving artist blog:
Here's the deal... I am an artist and I love food! I refuse to be labeled or included in the "starving artist" category. Now, while I have been broke... I want to be an artist and eat my cake too (metaphorically and literally!)
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