I’ve been neglectful. Again. Part letting things get away from me and part hiding.
I think during a recent NBA playoff game (SIDENOTE: Woooooo Hoooooo, Go Spurs Go!!!!!), one of the on-air commentators said something along the lines of confidence comes from repeated success. I don’t feel like I can point to a lot of successes in my life, particularly with my art. That isn’t usually an obstacle for me, I just keep chugging away. But when my health is bad, like it’s been lately due to chronic back problems, it’s very hard to keep my mood up. Not that my clinical depression makes things worse. No, not at all. I end up feeling useless and frustrated, and after a while just need to check out. I immerse myself in a tv show (Leverage or The Office UK or Falling Skies) or film series (Marvel Universe to the rescue), just to step away from my troubles.
When I do start to drift back towards life, and towards my creative endeavors, it often starts with my viewing other artists’ work for inspiration. But even that can backfire, for, depending on how low my mood has dropped, I can start to get down on myself for not being as good as other artists, or feeling like I’m slacking with some of my repurposed items which I’m either A) ignoring or B) not doing anything truly innovative or technically creative. I see other artists doing all these amazing things with paint and canvas, or people repurposing with blow torches and band saws, and I’m, what, playing with a tablet and drilling holes in glass bottles? Big woo.
So, at this point I can either keep working on my art and make an effort to grow and improve, which should be everyone’s goal, artist or not (right?), or I can get bogged down in excuses and avoid working my craft, which GUARANTEES I’ll never feel better about it.
This is one of the reasons I drank almost a fifth of bourbon every night. Avoid, avoid, avoid.
But I’m sober now, going on nine years, but boy do I understand why people self-medicate.
So I’ve got a buildup of pain and anxiety. I can let it eat me up or I can channel it. Why did this scene just pop in my head?
I love Sean Connery. And Kevin Costner, pre-Postman/Waterworld.
But I digress.