2017 turned out to be one of the most challenging years of my life. I was faced with a number of personal losses, was forced to admit that the anxiety I was feeling was too much for me to handle without assistance, and I was also able to challenge myself artistically in new and amazing ways.
I have never considered myself a particularly anxious person. Sure, I had anxiety like we all do but I did not see it as impactful to my life. Last June, that changed. Looking back I can see that my anxiety had been slowly building (and was already impacting my life) for a long time, but after the loss of my Grandmother, another family members sudden illness followed by their death. Compounded by other life stresses – I broke. I just snapped. I broke down with a massive anxiety attack that had me hyperventilating, crying and at a complete loss all at once. The location of that pivotal anxiety attack is both horrible and funny simultaneously, though. I was with my husband on the lawn in front of the hospital about to I go in to see my ill family member and I received a series of text messages and a phone call that pushed my stress past the point that my mind and body could handle. Seriously – a major medical event that changed my life forever – on the grounds of a hospital. I should also note that I did not once think of seeing a medical professional in that moment. I find this pretty funny, but I am weird. Once the immediacy of that moment had passed I knew that something had shifted, I felt very disconnected and almost separate from my body and even my mind to a point. Even with that moment having occurred and my mental acknowledgment that something had changed, it still took a few weeks for me to discover just how affected I was by the stress I had been experiencing. After a few weeks of debilitating and near-constant anxiety, I went to the doctor and pretty much begged for assistance.
Thankfully, I received the help I needed so desperately that day and have had a wonderful experience receiving continued support from the clinic I am seeing. Six months later, I am happy to say that I am better. Not all better, but I do not feel as broken as I did for those first few months and I am starting to be able to look at the factors that made the anxiety build before that pivotal moment on the hospital lawn. I will need to continue to utilize the support systems I found through the clinic and in other places, but I am going to embrace the calm and peace the medication I was prescribed has assisted me to find.
On an artistic note, my Mother was nice enough to gift me with Silversmithing lessons at Bedrock Supply here in Edmonton. It was awesome. Andrea of Peanut Gallery Jewelry was an amazing teacher and I out I continue to love the (sometimes overly) complicated and intricate projects. That said, silversmithing is so much fun. The challenge is so different and I am really looking forward to exploring what I can do with this more in 2018. I have posted a few pictures of some of the items I have worked on last year. I do not have much that is finished in this area right now as I wanted to get to a point where I could focus better before playing too much with fire – I strongly felt that a short, anxiety-ridden attention span was a bit of a safety hazard to myself and others.
I am not very active on my blog right now, but I do pop up on Instagram and Facebook intermittently so please do follow my antics on either of these platforms. As always I am also available via email or the contact forms here on my blog.
Thanks for listening and I hope you are having a great 2018!
A few other images from 2017:
Technically this is from today – but look at how awesome my iPad is now!