Updated: Aug 9, 2022
Yes, I've written ANOTHER blog but before I start waffling on too much about my feelings I want to write about this image a little, I did it a few weeks back, It's called 'intrusive thoughts'. It was very fun to shoot and edit, if you follow my work you will know this is one of my favourite techniques to use! As long as the camera is on a steady tripod and the lighting doesn't change it's an incredibly easy, quick and effective process! Yes as always maybe there are a few parts of my editing that could be better, but I like it! I'm also enjoying my new colour scheme i'm working on my tones and consistency...I obviously like to use shadows and keep my images a little moody. I do keep promising myself that I'm finally going to go and do a self portrait project on location but i've yet to actually do this! Grrrrrrrr me.
I heard someone say once “a blog is just a conversation that no one wants to have with you” or something like that, I think there are two different ways to take this. Yes us ‘bloggers’ are just off loading our messy heads and quite often sharing our disfunction and hurt very publicly and people don’t care, they don’t want to read it. They don’t want to talk about or think about it. And that’s the truth, sometimes, and that’s fine. However just to contradict that first statement, people might not want to have the conversations, but they need to hear it. Well some do, even if they don’t admit it. I say it a lot awareness is key so is my freedom of speech everyone gets a voice, even the ones who don’t want to shout, it’s ok you can whisper, or ask someone to speak for you. It’s important to get whatever we need out right? So let’s keep writing these tricky conversations and experiences down. Which is why I want to do more collaborations and tell other peoples stories as well as mine.
So I’m ill. Gross. It’s not Covid, but still it's been rough, i'm feeling stronger now. But illness meaning I’m now behind on editing and I couldn’t go to work so I don’t have a supply of dopamine from getting tasks done either… so in all honestly I’m feeing sorry for myself. My house is also messy now and I have messages I should reply too, so I’m stressed and exhausted on top of that. Motherhood is magically rewarding and all that yes, but it’s also hard sometimes, and when you are ill resting is a luxury, when your children are also ill it’s very tricky almost impossible. Feeling dehydrated and achy while breastfeeding isn’t that fun either! I express around 8oz a day so Tom can do a feed. a few days ago I was so ill I dropped the milk that I managed to squeeze out all over myself… what’s that saying about crying over spilt milk? Admittedly I’m lucky that breastfeeding came quite naturally to me and I have a good supply but this doesn’t mean it’s without any difficulties. We have also started weaning Lunar, ideally we would be doing full baby lead weaning but I’m still very weary of her condition and we were unable to attend her 6 month appointment with her surgical team because we were ill! So it’s a little bit half and half until I’ve been given the full go ahead that her intestines are fully functioning as they should be now she’s eating! I wanted to do a blog all about Lunar’s first 6 months as it’s #GastroschisisAwarenessMonth. However as we have not had her appointment yet and I have no energy for her photoshoot I’m holding off for a few weeks. I’m a big believer of tempting fate and my luck isn’t always great! So let’s talk about mental health, yeah I know what you are thinking… again, really Velvet!?! But hear me out… and maybe it’s helpful to somebody.
I had a counselling session Friday, I slept for a few hours after before I started to process the conversation and feelings. I was exhausted after maybe because I was coming down with this virus perhaps. Counselling is tricky, it’s hard to allow yourself the raw honesty and vulnerability that is needed, maybe that’s why I’m so exhausted now still, even days after. As I sit here surrounded by, but not drowning in my feelings I’m a mixture of heaviness and relief. Heavy that I have so many feelings that I’m not great at dealing with and relief that I’m finding ways to talk about them. Slowly. My head is very loud, intrusive and intense. Creative thinking is brilliant when it’s controlled and understood. Having trauma and neurodivergent traits is also a tricky combination to navigate together in a world that wasn’t designed for people like me and is feeling less and less friendly.
I joke my way through my counselling sessions, we do then on zoom. All hail Zoom, the gift of the pandemic. I’ve been doing counselling on and off for just over a year now so she knows my personality I guess. I had a fun task of writing down some of my feelings which I will not go into much, however I even managed to make the simple task of documenting my feelings down into a hyper focused fixation with colour coding, categories, 26 pages long that became mentally draining and problematic to read back. Here’s the thing, I’m realising more and more that most of ‘me’ is a trauma response. I think I’ve said that before though… Is this who I was meant to be? This question now swims around in my mind getting swept away into the darkest corners before drowning in self pity and doubt. I’ve talked about using humour as a way of detaching from my feelings before in past posts so I will not bored the very few people who will read this one! However one of my worries is that people will see me as unintelligent because of my jokiness. Having a quick wit isn’t always helpful. Someone asked me a few days ago what I had for breakfast that morning, I opened my mouth ‘an antidepressant and a Jaffa cake’ popped out as my reply coated in laughter. I’m at the age now where I really want to start progressing career wise, so I want people to take me seriously… I ask myself many questions these days, like what is the meaning of life? I’m I as funny as I think I am? Do I use too many emojis?
I always worry and think, I hope I don’t come across as insensitive or mean. Sometimes my own jokes echo in my head as I cringe. Shut. Up. Velvet! I have strong ethical values, I care, but I also say stupid things. A thing i’m learning from counselling, memes and talking to wise people is this ‘people don’t remember the statements you say as much as you do, everyone is busy thinking about themselves’ translation, the world doesn’t revolve around you, you are a fleeting thought in most peoples minds if that, we are all too self conscious, don’t worry about it… maybe that’s helpful to whoever is reading this too, the world is full of over-thinkers we are a common breed.
So counselling, ideally I’d be doing it once a week but the cost of living keeps going up with no sign of slowing down and sorting my head feels like a luxury unfortunately in this current climate so I’ve opted for once every two weeks which has also worked well for me in the past. I could maybe do once every week if I budgeted better but I REALLY like a Chinese so you know, priorities… counselling is weird because you have this conversation where you let it all out, admittedly in my case I make jokes, apologise for making jokes, laugh then say something that traumatised me and laugh again. End the session by waving awkwardly, close my laptop, call myself a fucking idiot and sleep it off… the way I talk to myself is also one of the things I’m currently working on. It’s going ummmm, well, everything takes time right!
I overthink everything, I also often over explain myself when I have ideas because I don’t feel they are of value or they might be misunderstood due to poor communication on my behalf. It’s so frustrating so I over compensate by giving as much information forward as possible, but then I get worried I’ve been annoying or I’ve overshared. I even think I do this in my blogs. But I can’t stop. One of the subjects we talk a lot about in my sessions is how self aware I sometimes feel and how I feel that this isn’t as helpful as it should be. Knowing you are doing something wrong and you can’t stop yourself because it’s now part of your process is hard. Ignorance would be bliss… apparently I’m an empath which is very on trend right now right?! Jokes aside it’s easy for me to put myself into someones feelings because I’ve had an array of life experiences and it’s easy to pick up on vibes when as a child you grow up in a turbulent environment. But me being self aware and overthinking can be useful too, for example I’ve started looking more into my ‘happy hormones’ and how to try and make my brain more functional. I also take antidepressants which help, they are not enough on their own, just taking them and not doing the counselling would be like putting a wet paper towel on a broken arm. I’ve been learning more about my nervous system and the effects that everything has had on my body over the years, I didn’t even realise that everything was connected as it is, it’s actually incredibly interesting! Healing is ongoing work.
I do unfortunately feel a little off at the moment again, like I’m not in my ‘flow’. Apart from motherhood that is, my children are wonderfully mischievous and happy. It’s just everything else even my artwork, so I feel depressed because I’m not being creative enough. I’m now back in work, working is the healthiest coping mechanism I know so I’m actually counting on it to help get me back into some kind of more functioning mindset and routine. I want to feel productive and useful, but don’t we all? I’ve also come to realise that this blog itself is also a coping mechanism, so yes maybe a blog is a conversation nobody wants to have with me, but its one I need to voice perhaps. It also felt really rewarding sharing someone else’s story with my last blog Staying up all night in the NICU Club... and starting my The shape of us project because it’s been a long time coming! I want to do more! I need to do more! It was also slightly triggering, because I then thought about my own experiences and feelings, I missed out on so much this last year, I think that while I continue to do this project being triggered is something that I will have to deal with from time to time. I’m actually ok with that because I need to get better at controlling my feelings anyway but also allowing them.
I’m a sensitive person, I was just almost sick in my mouth admitting that. But it’s true I am, I’m also really passionate about subjects I feel deeply about. When you grow up and you are constantly put down for being sensitive, passionate or over reactive because you can’t regulate your emotions due to being overwhelmed and anxious you learn to mask. I mask very well, in fact sometimes I trick myself and end up burning out, but here is the thing, again I want to have deeper conversations, build connections, talk about art, writing, to be more comfortable being my authentic self, learn more about healing while working on my ambition and artwork. I need to learn to self regulate and but I don’t know how which I guess is another reason I’m in counselling. I’ve been told I need to work on my self compassion… which is harder than it sounds, and the second I say something positive to myself my head gives me a snarky comeback, because my internal monologue has a quick wit partnered with a dark sense of humour and reminds me of all my shortcomings and flaws. But my nickname growing up was “mong” (sorry I know thats an offensive word I hate it too) but these are the kind of names I have to learn not to call myself in my own head when I feel frustrated, it’s incredibly hard.
So what area do I want to blog about next I hear you ask? I don’t really have a list, which believe it or not is weird for me. I’m keen to spread any kind of awareness that can also be partnered up with my artwork, I’d love to work with creative people showing their process and their projects, exploring why people create is of interest to me but I’m also happy to document family journeys through different struggles and developments and of course I'm very keen to spread awareness for different mental health issues… so, yeah basically I’m open to all ideas about collaborations so please take a look at these blogs linked below to get some ideas-
Click this link to read more- Staying up all night in the NICU Club...
Click this link to read more- The shape of us
Click this link to read more- Strong women, collaborations and getting TikTok at 30
I wish I had new art to share... my last images are still RAW not even looked at them on my computer as i'm just to exhausted, I will get round to editing them soon, but the rest of the week I need to catch up and finish my wedding galleries so they can be sent out this weekend now i'm feeling less ill!
I really like blogging, It feels very 'me' and it's great to do something we love right!? I've wanted to do this style of work for years but I really wasn't ready to open up about my art work as I am now.
I'm really finding my voice and this has given me a deeper reason for creating! However having my own voice doesn't feel like enough. We all have stories and struggles that are all different. Art for me is about connection, awareness and story telling, and I believe that together there is so much awareness to be spread.
Sound like something you may be interested in? Great! Let’s tell some stories together!
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