I went back and forth for a long time over whether I should write this post. After all, this blog is supposed to be about miniatures, right? Except you might have noticed that I don't approach my blog that way. I have several reasons for this. For one, art, including the art of miniatures, does not exist in a vacuum. What I create comes out of who I am as a person. And what has made me into who I am today is rich, varied, complicated and deeply personal. As personal as I do tend to get on my blog, I don't share EVERYTHING :)
But what was I saying? Asking for help. In Western society we are taught that we need to be strong and independent. Asking for or even requiring help is a sign of weakness. Well, I am here to tell you, that to use my favourite British cuss word, that is simply bollocks. It takes tremendous courage and humility to ask for help. For years I was a perfectionist, determined to fight my demons and my illness on my own. That didn't work so well for me. I have come to believe there is a kind of hubris in refusing to accept help. There are two parts to this. We are part of a huge, living, breathing, loving organism that is constantly interacting with itself. To imagine we can exist on our own is stubborn pride, pure and simple. And I am telling you this with pure compassion because the only reason I know this is because I fight against this pride as frequently as any other human. The second part of my hubris argument is that by allowing others to help us, we are giving them a huge gift. We may feel like we are being a huge burden but that's not so. If you need help, find the right place, and you will find plenty of compassionate folk who will be happy to help you, and find it a blessing to be of service.
So I will tell you a brief version of the story. After a year of resisting the idea that I needed more support, structure and assistance, I checked myself into the hospital for two weeks to get help for the chronic illness I have battled for over a decade. It was the best thing I've ever done. It was pure relief. I felt such compassion for the other patients there, all fighting their own battles with the limited resources they had, with all the humour and dignity they could muster. I found that having compassion for them allowed me to have more compassion for myself.
For the next six months I will be participating in some very intense out patient treatment that will help me learn some coping skills for dealing with my illness. I'm exactly where I need to be, and where I want to be. I'll be blogging as much as I can, and will be keeping up with my miniature projects as I can as well. You can definitely expect some action from me on both fronts, since I enjoy both activities immensely. My friends, you have been beacons of light for me during the past year, at times when I thought the darkness would engulf me. I am grateful for each and everyone of you. I have not had an easy time of it since the first whispers of this illness began in my teens, but I wouldn't change a thing, since it brought me here, and here is a good place to be.
~What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.
T. S. Eliot