I had a great weekend. On Saturday, I worked on NaNoWriMo and followed it up with a fantastic evening complete with Thai food, wine, friends, and Mad Men. Then, yesterday, a friend visiting from out of town and I took the Caltrain down to South Bay to see our other friend’s (too adorable to exist) new baby. Finally, last night I started knitting a new sparkly scarf and decided to re-watch a couple of my favorite episodes of Gilmore Girls before conking out for NINE UNINTERRUPTED (HUZZAH!) HOURS OF SLEEP! It was a fantastic weekend, full of friends and activities and fun and personal time.
It was also the weekend containing one of the worst breakdowns I’ve had in recent memory.
From about 11 to 2 am from Saturday night into Sunday morning, I cried uncontrollably and felt like a horrible, worthless, bad, evil person. The demon voice in my head was at full volume. I’m not sure why I lost it so hard. It’s likely that the equivalent of a whole bottle of wine I drank had something to do with it (note to self–when your brain chemistry is already effed up and making you clinically depressed, do not consume additional substances that are known depressants), but I know it’s also likely the effect of the season and the upcoming holidays. November and December are two of the best and worst months of the year. I love Thanksgiving and Christmas in general, but I hate the pressure to enjoy food and drink without gaining weight (ha! hahaha!) and the societal expectation that I have a significant other to share all the festivities with (whether or not I want to be coupled at present). I love the decorations and lights, but hate the fact that the sun sets IN FREAKING CALIFORNIA at 4:45 pm, which makes me want to vomit endlessly and also live inside a giant onesie until March. As Dickens said, it is a good and bad epoch at the same time (I think that’s what he said…ish? I’m paraphrasing. I haven’t read that one since high school because I have an aversion to stories depicting decapitation).
The point is, I had a really bad night of weeping and dark thoughts. I wanted to talk to someone, anyone, but it was too late to call friends or family without being exceptionally rude. So I had what turned out to be a good idea: I went online to my favorite website’s Saturday Night Social open thread, where a wonderful poster gave me the following advice:
If you’re at a loss for something to do tonight, while you’re in this dark place, create something beautiful. A painting, a sketch, or (as a friend of mine who battles self-harm herself does) use markers to draw beautiful designs wherever you’re tempted to harm. Make beauty there.
I read this person’s post and immediately went to my “Crafts” box (yep, I have a crafts box because I AM IN MY THIRTIES AND LIKE TO MAKE HOMEMADE GREETING CARDS SOMETIMES OK?) and dug out my markers and colored pencils, and I drew this:
It took about 30 minutes to make, and it’s obviously not, you know, good*. But in those thirty minutes, I stopped crying. I also had some fun. I explored, uh, symmetry (is that a thing you can explore, art people? You know what, I’m just going to say it is. Go symmetry!). Best of all, after finishing my doodle I was able to curl up in my bed and finally fall asleep so I could spend the following day with my friends and one hella cute baby without passing out.
So it was still was a great weekend despite the breakdown–not just because of my great friends and fun activities (and in spite of too much wine), but because I discovered a new tool to dig myself out of a tough spot. I discovered the Power of the Doodle as yet one more way for me to manage my often unruly brain. All Hail the Doodle!
Have a great rest of the week, and stay strong through those early sunsets 🙂
*So, art people, if you actually do think this is good in some sort of avant-garde way please let me know so I can sell it for one million american dollars. That’s how art works, right? RIGHT?