Juggling life through a bi-polar lens. Sometimes up, sometimes down. Mostly trying to tread water in the middle. Creating a likeness to a normal life. Whatever "normal" is...

Thursday, 11 June 2009

A review of things, and a beary cook

Starting this blog was, I thought, a way to monitor how the ups and downs of bi-polar affect my creativity. And vice versa. If I am low, can I still draw? And if I can, do I draw better or worse when low or high?

I think the answer might be similar for both highs and lows- it is definitely more of an effort because, whether high or low, it is more difficult to concentrate. The outcome is different though- when high I need to pull back, create a bit less, as indulging in every whim my hyper brain wants to do just pushes me higher and higher. And 'high' does not mean happy, giggly, without-a-care, dance around and sing. 'High' can also mean shakes, racing thought, paranoia, hallucinations, palpitations and chronic fear. Not good!

When low, however, though it is an enormous effort to get the pencils out, it does help me if I can do it. It lifts me.

I suppose this means I have confirmed what I had wondered- that arty stuff lifts mood. It isn't always a good thing though!

*** *** *** *** ***

I have been low lately, which I think is quite a hormonal thing at the moment. But also, I seem to have a lot of worries at once; my mother's health, my cats' welfare, helping to get mum moved up to Essex so that we can all keep an eye on her.... the actual work of finding a place for her, and getting her old place fixed up so she can sell it, well it's just starting to hit home how much hard work this is. On paper it's all a great idea and exciting. In reality it's phone calls, planning, worry. Mum's memory isn't great these days, despite that she is only 67. So most evenings I am on the phone explaining stuff that I've explained 6 times before, whether it is to do with the cats' food, or how to write a cheque.

To turn to doodling seems an unimportant, frivilous pastime under the circumstances. But I steered myself into my craft room on the grounds that it is good for me. Must try to stop the downward spiral. Blogging is good too, as it is a way of keeping in touch with people 'out there'. I have to tell you, I feel so lonely sometimes. I was up last night in tears again. The slightest thing upsets me at the moment. Like I said- hormones! I wept at finding a dead woodmouse in the garden this morning. So tiny and helpless and perfect he seemed. The world seems cruel and horrible.

*** *** *** *** ***

Father's day is coming up, so I turned my attention to that.
My Dad was a Head Chef in the Royal Navy, so I thought a Beary cook would make him smile. The background 'cupcake' paper was free in a magazine. I wrote the greeting in the same fake snow stuff that I had used on Christmas cards last year. Still had a drop left. I wanted it to look like icing. I like the way it looks on the spoon, too! I coloured the Bear and all his accessories in water colour paint. I wrote Dad's initials on the apron.

Yeah, I reckon he will really like this one!


Feronia said...

It does sound like you have a lot on your plate at the moment, Helena. I understand how you're feeling - I have some very similar worries. And I also know that feeling of 'why am I doing this when I have so many other things to worry about?' but I do think it's important to have your own thing that you do, that you can escape to.

Love Chef Bear - another great card! And thanks for your comments from the previous post - very encouraging :) A 'seasons' card will be winging its way to you soon!

Julie said...

Your Dad will love the card :o) The beary cook is lovely and your touch with the fake snow looks just right.

No wonder you are struggling at the moment, you have so much to cope with. Try and keep some creative time for yourself, it will help.

When I had a lot on my plate I kept lists of things to do and prioritised so that anything that could be left to the next day I would leave if I ran out of energy or felt overwhelmed. I still do this now and it helps. Ask the question 'must I do this today?'

rozzy said...

This card is so cute, what a great idea
sending you hugs Helena nad thanks for visiting my blog
love rozzy xx

Angel and Kirby said...

I think your Dad will love the card. I catch myself asking my Mom how something came out when she starts retelling the same story , again. It is hard when you have to start taking on an adult role to your parents!

Princess said...

This is the nicest father's day card ever. Well done. I just read that you have a struggle. Life has so many challenges and I will purr for you.

<3 Prinnie

Lorianna said...

Hi my sweet Helena. I have been thinking of you so much.
You are so very talented and creative and I think it is a wonderful refuge for you. I can't even seem to muster getting out my stamps most days now. :(
My husband is obsessed with being on his laptop, programming and researching stocks. (stocks that never make money mind you) He becomes irritable if he's away from it for any length of time. It's as if I'm by myself most evenings. So, I truly know how you feel. I wish you could have a chubby, fluffy kitty to keep you company. My kitties are nice companions. My special kitty who passed away two years ago this month was truly my best friend. She understood me in a way no one else could.
Feeling adrift is such an awful feeling. I am so glad to know that I can share this with you as you can share so much of yourself. I am so glad Miss Peach directed me to your blog so many months ago!
I think your dad will really love his card. That bear is just too adorable and the frosting is perfect.
I keep you and your Mum and your kitties in my thoughts. I know you worry about them so. You're a good kitty mommy and daughter.
I am trying to visit people's blogs more often. I just got into this rut where it didn't seem like anyone would care if I did or didn't and I didn't have the energy. I have missed you so much!
I will be by again. Thank you for visiting me and my kitties. Toeshee sends purrs and headbutts for you. He is huge! I can barely lift him!
Take care, lots of hugs,

Pinkllilac said...

Hi Helena I think your dad will love this card.Beautiful card and colours. Thinking of you
Hugs Linda

i beati said...

mighty clever - you are all better I presume - no more tissues for awhile ??sk

Lynda (Granny K) said...

Hi Helena, That is a super special card for your dad. He'll be tickled pink by it, i'm sure!
Try not to get too down and worried, you are stronger than you realise! Hugs from Lynda

Helena said...


You're welcome! I look forward to receiving your card :) that'll be a nice surprise in the post for me.

I sent Chef Bear off today- hope he likes it!

Thanks for your words. It's nice to know when someone knows what I mean, if you see what I mean!

Helena said...


I do keep lists, but i haven't done any lately. Forgot! LOL!
I was taught that, when you write a list, make the first thing on the list 'write a list', then when you finish writing it you already have something to cross off. HAHAH! It was an Irish nun taught me that one.

Helena said...

THanks ROzzy,
I enjoyed looking at your creations as they are so bright and fresh. They gave me a lift. :)

Helena said...

Angel and Kirby,

I do sometimes feel I am being pushed into the role of the spinster childless daughter in a Jane Austen novel- my brothers don't help!! In fact I'm often called on to do stuff for them as well!

Helena said...


Thank you for the purrs! I'm sure they will help as furry-purrs always do! I wish I could sniff your wee pink toes, too :)

Helena said...


I do sometimes think that my partner's laptop is hermetically sealed to his trousers so I know exactly what you mean. I sometimes veer from feeling that I live alone to feeling that I run a hotel for one. Can't say the later at the moment as I would be sacked if this were a hotel, it is in such a state! I wish we lived round the corner from each other as we have so much in common it's uncanny!

I DO care that you are in touch. LIke you, I am finding it hard to log on and visit people and leave messages or email at the moment.

Please give Toshee a squeeze for me :) I haven't had a pusscat headbutt for so long! Scooter and Fluffy's Mama would always do that! She was so sweet.

Helena said...


THANK YOU!!!!!!!!


Helena said...

i beati,

Yes the cold seems to have cleared, though I am coughing a bit, but that might just be a touch of hayfever and asthma lingering. Arthritis is playing up in the rainy weather now! Thank goodness for ibuprofen!

Helena said...


"Tickled pink" LOL!!! My dad uses that expression but you're the only other person I've known to say it!