That’s a choice I make, to focus on the colors, to face life as a blank canvas and throw as much paint at it as possible. As Richard Paul Evans said, “Some people in this world have stopped looking for beauty, then wonder why their lives are so ugly.” I’ve faced more than my share of heartbreak and tragedy, and at times I’ve felt cynical and bitter. But I’ve been blessed with the nature to notice beauty wherever I may find it. As long as beauty and grace exist to light the way, darkness cannot overcome.
I also have struggled with depression since my youth. For most of my life, I was told to stop feeling sorry for myself, and I managed to pull myself up by my bootstraps, slap some happy on my face, and soldier on. In my late 30s I began to see a wonderful counselor, and with her help I began to make sense of my truth and grow into who I was instead of investing everything I had into trying to be what I thought I should. Clarity.
But it wasn’t until my late 40s that life began to double pile tragedies on our house, and I spent years in crisis mode, prepared for the next bomb to drop. I was also struggling with a chronic health condition myself which was most often relegated to the back burner while more urgent circumstances needed my care. At the urging of my doctor I entered into therapy again, and was diagnosed with clinically severe depression and PTSD. I was over 50 when I finally began to receive medical treatment to deal with my depression, and tools to cope with the ongoing trauma that was part of caring for my special needs family.
A wise man told me when I was young, “If you think you’re an artist, try not to be. And if you can be happy doing something else, forget art as a living. It’s too hard.” So I did. I tried to not be an artist, and I couldn’t. The spark of creativity that is planted into me by something akin to the Divine won’t be denied. Over the years it manifested itself in a plethora of ways, but always creating. And that divine spark and the relationship I have to something greater than myself are what helped me hold on.
As of today, I’ve had so many losses in my life, but so many dreams have come true. I continued counseling with a truly extraordinary doctor who taught me not just skills to cope, but the means to finally heal and grow. I live in California with a wonderful huzzband, and our task every day is to make art. I take my meds, work as I need but take it easy, and enjoy the life I have as long as I have it. And I notice the abundance of beauty that exists everywhere I look. It’s all about the colors, Baby!™
Grey Forge LeFey
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