Deaf Dog!

Back to the desk

Posted in Uncategorized by Heather on August 8, 2012

It’s been a very hard year.

The last post ended with some excitement about drawings I planned to make. Shortly after it was posted, a medication change left me with terrible hand tremors that made it impossible for me to make art for about eight months. Certainly people have had worse infirmities and managed. Learned to work around it. Accept the shake. I couldn’t bear it. I would just sit at my desk, watching my hands tremble while my throat closed up. Eventually I stopped sitting at the desk. 

I haven’t been very clear here. In January of 2011, I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. They’ve spent all the time since, trying to get the meds right. I gained forty pounds. Maybe a third of my hair fell out. Every day I woke with my head under water, everything slow, faraway, unconnected. My hands. After a year and a half of passionate refusal to go to the hospital, I demanded to be admitted so they could drastically change my medications in a safe setting. All the books say that you shouldn’t stigmatize the hospital, that most people with a mood disorder end up having a stay eventually. I can’t speak for everybody, but I had a really nice time. Made some friends. Learned to play scrabble. Talked about my feelings.

A week in, my tremors stopped. Until I was still, I had no idea of the constant anxiety my shakes caused me. I took the opportunity to try to relearn how to draw. The skill lay dormant for so long, I was very rusty and extremely embarrassed of what little I was able to do. It’s been a month and I’m still very nervous about showing the things I’ve done. I am forcing myself to display my work.


As part of my personal therapy, I’m taking a figure drawing class at The Art Student’s League. It’s been frustrating and humbling but I feel like I’m improving.


Today is an especially good day. Not only did I draw something- I made, photographed, and posted something for my Etsy Shop. Ripple drawings are one of my favorite things to make. I love the devotional repetition of small marks that make a complex pattern. This style was completely closed off to me while I had the shakes.



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