Panic

I have extreme anxiety, including social anxiety. I second guess and ruminate over nearly every interaction I ever have with another human being. Every social mistake I make triggers self-loathing thoughts. I struggle with this every day, and I have for well over half my almost-26-years of life.

This one is a self portrait. The last time I drew myself I looked a lot different, I shaved my head a few months after Birdie was born. I’m autistic and I desperately needed one less sensory input. This isn’t the first time I’ve done a buzz cut, and it likely won’t be the last, but it’s the first time in a few years. I’m not fussed about it, I can grow it back whenever I want, I’ve done it before!

I’m not good at drawing people, but I don’t have to be. I think this piece effectively communicates what I was trying to convey, and art is all about communication.

I believe that venting is one of the most important uses for art. When words alone fail us, the visual arts can come in to pick up the slack.

That’s all for now, but I have a more positive post with the same color scheme underway! See you next time.

That vent art I was talking about in my previous post…

I drew this the week after we found out I was carrying our rainbow baby, as you can see I wasn’t feeling very optimistic.
[Glitter markers and black Posca on rough sketchbook paper]

So, I’m pregnant again. I updated my “about” page a while back to reflect this, but unless you’re new here you probably haven’t seen that.

They say it’ll happen when you stop trying. For us that really was the case, I conceived the same month that I completely and utterly gave up. It’s really annoying it worked out that way though because that is the most condescending and insensitive advice you can give to anyone trying to conceive.

Due to how traumatized I am from my first pregnancy ending in miscarriage, I have spent most of this one convinced that something will go terribly wrong. It doesn’t help that I already have a severe anxiety disorder, I worry about everything all the time no matter what!

So far though, everything is going suspiciously smoothly. We have seen our dear “Birdie” (their nickname until they are born) twice now, and both times they were in perfect health for their gestational age. We are now in the 14th week and if everything continues to go as planned they will arrive in October.

Of course, now we’ve been exposed to COVID-19, so I have a legitimate reason to worry about the health of our baby. That hasn’t been fun at all, I had an extreme panic attack the day we found out, and now I’m worried I hurt Birdie from panicking so hard! Hopefully nothing terrible will happen, most pregnant women who get COVID end up fine and have healthy babies. I just can’t forget the stories of loss, those lost mothers and children matter so much to me. I wish this pandemic never happened.

The longer this pregnancy progresses, the more I get my hopes up. It’s impossible for me to regain the naivety I’ve lost though, I’ve read plenty of horror stories about late miscarriages, stillbirth, and neonatal death to know that you’re never truly out of the woods. Life is just crazy like that. If it’s alive, it can die. It’s not fair and we don’t have to like it, but life in general isn’t fair and shit just happens.

Sorry to be such a Debbie Downer but honestly that’s just who I am. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m extremely excited and grateful for this child. I even dedicated an entire blog to writing letters to them. (Although frankly a lot of those are pretty depressing too. I’m not the kind to lie to my kid and try to shelter them, life is hard so I’m gonna be honest about it! I want them to get to know ME… not a projection of who I wish I was.)

You shouldn’t be all that surprised that this isn’t a unicorns and butterflies kind of post though, it did say “vent art” in the title didn’t it? Haha.

Well anyway, thanks for reading, if you read any or all of that. Any well-wishes, prayers, words of sympathy, etc. are very much welcomed and appreciated! It’s gonna be a looong 6 more months.