An artist producing personal work has a great chance of discovery. Responding to a brief is perhaps harder or more compromised; you have to try and get inside something. For me, I suppose that means trying to break down subjective judgements and surrendering to a deeper process.
A teenage thought on mental health issues probably linked to considering seats on a train. Them and us, crassly separated by some consideration of a visible outward distress; some sort of difference in a non-physical way, however small. Trying to keep one’s own environment stress free through maintaining a personal bubble.
Thinking more about Cart Shed trustee Jenny Watt’s point on mental health issues having the potential to affect anyone – us – made me think more deeply about myself and our position as receptive/responsive organisms within a changing environment. What are the factors that can result in a changing balance that could lead to a normal life becoming much less resilient? When does normal cerebral functioning end and imbalance begin? How and when does happiness, or the enjoyment of happiness (as a comedian with mental health issues on R4 raised) decline? Feeling alone, fragile or threatened must all be directly involved with our wellbeing.
When I started writing this I still had two parents alive who were relatively fit and healthy. I have two children within a stable relationship. Both being self-employed yields stress but contained within a supportive family unit. I don’t smoke and have no debt.
I consider myself high functioning, largely motivated, but in late 40s, aware of inertia creeping into tasks that I don’t particularly warm to doing. I am also aware that age results in a realisation of others being younger and more thrusting. Do I care less now about my position within it all, perhaps?
Doctor’s visits are infrequent, but the most recent brought up ‘anxiety’ linked to a long-standing pain under an armpit. After a scan and then a self-referral in fact I ‘just’ needed physiotherapy.
Having had six weeks with my writing hand out of action through a nagging finger joint injury has probably given me the lowest ebb for a long period; a seemingly trivial problem, but that could affect my working with stone for the future, as well as a large proportion of my leisure pursuits.
Then my dad died. And I took the dog for a walk in a wood.