New Front Door Color!

October 23, 2018


My uncle B is in the process of giving our entry way a makeover. He started with a fresh coat of new paint on our front door. The color is a shade of gray, but it’s called Behr “Intellectual.” I’m so excited. He is also going to paint the trim around the front door.

Old Front Door Color

I didn’t hate the red from before, exactly, but it had faded. And red wasn’t really us. The new is awesome and makes the house look stately, as my mom said.

New Front Door Color

New Front Door Color

 


In Which I Talk about Thyroid Hormone Resistance and Being Real

October 22, 2018


I can remember so easily what it felt like to be the me of over twelve years ago in the photo with Porter, above. That particular me was tired and carrying a lonesome, heavy load of new mama depression and terror, with Porter roughtly 48 hours or so out of the NICU. I’m not in terror about Porter’s well-being anymore– well, I do worry about his increasing need for independence because I will never be ready for that. But, the depression from that time is a well-worn friend that never really left.

The fact is, I don’t let people in very much. I have a core group of three girlfriends I trust, and I have Jared. That’s really the sum total of the people who get the real me.

It’s fear that holds me back. I don’t trust my own brain to show me an accurate reflection of reality, and I don’t trust most people around me to be able to handle my reality. Bridges have been burned because people– people who I thought were close at one time or another, even– couldn’t handle the reality of what it’s like when my brain goes psychotic. It’s made worse by the fact that some of my darker truths– truths I keep to bundled deep to myself in ordinary times– are harder to hold in when I’m psychotic. It’s easier for some people– even people who are supposed to be close to me– to pretend that maybe they’re not truths just because my filters disappear in those moments. I know all that is cryptic but suffice it to say that I just don’t trust easily. Jared. Three girlfriends who know who they are. That’s it.

That having been said, this blog is taking a new direction. I’ve noticed I’m far too harsh in my censorship of my thoughts here. This censorship used to be less of an issue than it is now. As I age, I get more fearful. It’s shown up over the years in my photography. It’s shown up in the content of my social media posts. And, it’s definitely shaped how I write on any blog I’ve had over the past several years. It’s even shown up in my private journaling.

So, I’m going to make more of an attempt to be more authentic here. Sometimes, that will look like posts about painting the dining room. Sometimes, it will be long depressed laments. Hopefully, rarely, it will be manic gibberish.

I haven’t said anything about it, but after the thyroid ablation, my thyroid hormone levels have been impossible to regulate. It should have gotten easier– follow up closely for a few months but then released to every 6 months or year for follow up– but it didn’t because my body has an intolerance for thyroid hormone. Like literally, the tissues in my body resist absorbing the thyroid hormone. So I have to go back every two months. We tried a six month follow up recently and it was a disaster. I’ve been researching this resistance to thyroid hormone thing I have. The endocrinologist says it’s really rare, and my particular endocrinologist is a realist with very little tolerance for exaggeration. I looked up how rare this condition is, and supposedly about 1 in 50,000 people have it. And, studies show that people with it have a correlation with depression. Because the resistance thing is a gene screw up thing, that means I’m hard wired to be down. Yippee skippee for that– not.  At least there’s a reason anti-depressants don’t really work. At least thanks to modern medicine I know all this.

Anyway, that’s it for now. I’ll try to be more real. On that note, I voted for Stacey Abrams today. Because the alternative is a moron.


Painting the Dining Room Part 1

October 21, 2018


I’ve moved on to painting the dining room.

Before

Before

 

One Coat

One Coat

The second wall will have to wait until at least Tuesday.


Last of Painting the Kitchen

October 20, 2018


I finished painting the kitchen, finally, last night. I procrastinated and delayed and dreaded that project.

My thyroid has been wonky and I don’t think my levels are quite back to where they should be. I did finish the kitchen, and I had enough energy to do so yesterday. But today, I have felt like sleeping much of the day.

Anyway, more kitchen pics:

Behind the Refrigerator

with one coat– no more green

 

one coat-- no more green

one coat– no more green

 

Finished Kitchen

Finished Kitchen

It feels so great to have the kitchen paint done. I’m torn on which project to start next– the dining room or the master bedroom. I should probably do the dining room next but the change will be more dramatic in the master bedroom. We’ll see what happens.


I Love Photography

October 8, 2018


This is mostly a copy/paste from a personal Facebook post published on October 5, 2018.

On December 26, 2016, I wrote in my journal, “I want to photograph a wedding. “

I had mostly stopped taking pictures and wasn’t doing terribly well mental health-wise at the time. I’d stopped taking pictures a few months prior and was considering graduate school again, in a subject unrelated to art. Jared gave me a camera scarf and a journal with cameras all over it that Christmas of 2016, in the hopes that it would remind me to get out and take pictures. He told me to write my dreams for my photography in the journal. He told me to dream big.

But, it was more than just the wanting to photograph a wedding. I dreamed of being in business with my photography.

I’d had a business license for my photography in 2015. I never did a thing with it. Not a single thing.

But in April of 2017, I set everything in motion all over again. I marketed. I spent more money on business stuff than I ever will admit to anyone other than Jared, who supported my dream more than he worried about the money spent in pursuit of that dream.

And so, here we are in October of 2018. By the end of December of 2018, I will have photographed fourteen weddings between May of 2017 and December of 2018. I’ve done way more portrait and engagement sessions than that, and I photographed one proposal.

I realized that dream of photographing a wedding. And the dream of having a photography business.

However…my dreams for my photography have shifted. I’ve found as I take more pictures for clients, I take less pictures around the house. I have all but stopped the still life photography I loved so much for a while. I don’t get out the camera just to play around anymore. We don’t have many pictures of the kids from the past year. I rarely get to Johnny’s shop to take pictures of his art— one of the highlights of having a camera in all the time I’ve had one. I’ve found myself procrastinating to take photos for church. I find myself longing for the energy to get back into fine art photography.

While I’d say it’s very unlucky in most respects, there is one benefit to being disabled. My SSDI status, which has withstood two separate reviews now, affords me a certain amount of freedom to choose whether to work. There was never any danger, income-wise or with the amount of hours I was ever able to work, that I would ever have worked my way off disability through photography. So, the choice of maintaining the business was always just that— a choice, not a needed part of our household income.

And so, it comes back to the fact that being a hobbyist photographer isn’t so bad after all.

I’ve waffled on this decision for months now, going back and forth as to what to do. However, it comes back to the fact that I love photography itself far more than I love being in business for photography. As such, with a full and grateful heart, I won’t be renewing my business license in 2019.


On Stumbling Grace

September 27, 2018


Some things have happened in the community I love most in the world and I don’t care to rehash them here. However, I notice now that I’m in a very vulnerable mental state at this point as a result of all these things. It’s time to use this vulnerability as an opportunity.

This vulnerability happens to me occasionally like this. Sometimes it’s more depression-oriented; this time it’s really just emotional energy depletion. Each time it gets to a point where I recognize there is opportunity. I am in a good place to rebuild self-esteem and self-care techniques, as well as contribute in small ways to my community that I love.

Today, it’s time to start at home. Dishes and laundry are in order. Some small exercises and hydrating myself well is called for at this time. Hugging my babies and seeing to their needs when they get home from school is important today. Brushing the dogs will help everyone. In the heat of crisis I freeze, and I’ve been frozen for several weeks now.

All of this sounds really basic and I know that it is, but basic is precisely where I have to go when there is hurt. Extending myself and my community some stumbling grace is exactly what is needed in this moment.


Liam

September 17, 2018



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