Rolling with the waves

Today was awesome. Which is pretty surprising considering I was sobbing with exhaustion in the small hours of the night, dreading all the driving and running around. It was a crazy day, made worse by one of those terrible series of events by which little miscommunications become big, last minute stressful horrors for all involved. The upshot of which was that I was now giving a talk at TAFE at 10am instead of 1pm. So, with some early morning rescheduling, I was dropping Rose off at her work out North before flogging down South and just making it to the talk in time, then driving that same damn highway another three times always slightly late for the rest of my appointments today.

But, despite being up since 5am covered in hives, I’m in a great state of mind. I so enjoyed giving this talk today. It was a small group, which surprised me as I usually have a full class and so give more of a lecture. I adapted and aimed for something less formal and more conversation, not a workshop but hopefully a little more appropriate. It’s such a privilege to be invited to share my experiences, to talk about what worked and what didn’t, to get people thinking critically about the ideas we take for granted in mental health. These are the people who will be working in our services, and I feel humbled to talk about issues of dehumanising treatment and unbearable pain with them. I came away inspired.

I’ve been working on my business website lately, combining what have been two separate sites into one. Up until recently, I’ve kept my work as an artist and my work as a mental health consultant very separate, concerned about stigma. But this week I talked with a fellow art student about their struggles with self harm, and I showed a collection of my artwork about madness and life to mental health students. I’m happy in this place where two of my passions overlap, where I hope I’m of some use to the world. It occurred to me recently that I haven’t promoted my talks and workshops very often, unless people have already come to one, most don’t know it’s something I can do. So I’m updating my website to showcase my skills in this area. I’ve asked people who’ve attended a talk or training I’ve done to send in an endorsement for me to use, assuming they do endorse my work! I hope to pick up more work in this area, it is tremendously meaningful to me, and I often hear from attendees that the experience has been very meaningful for them too.

In more good news, I am finally back to normal iron levels! I’m so thrilled about this. I was suffering from extreme anaemia due to endometriosis, but I’m back on a med to control it and the anaemia has completely resolved. Unfortunately the med is also causing rapid weight gain, I’ve gained 7.5kgs in 7 weeks! The previous med I tried for it caused severe depression. So I’m off for more advice and hopefully I can find something else without such problematic side effects! Sigh.

Nevertheless. A great day. I’m exhausted but feeling hopeful. The wind of change are gusting and I’m bending with them. Something will work out and I’ll have direction again. In the meantime I’m gathering information about what do with work, studio, and studies, staying on top of said studies, and working on my book! Here’s to finally being home today, my lovely girlfriend making dinner, and if I’m lucky, a decent sleep tonight! 🙂

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