I don't know how I'm feeling.
If I were to pinpoint where I need help with:
How do begin to enjoy my life again? I've tried a lot of new things, but I never get any pleasure from them. I want to draw as well, but I'm constantly haunted by the huge expectations on my back.
A number of things stand out in your, very honest post Jiero.
My eldest daughter is an artist, a really good one and an ex teacher. She is about to have her first major exhibition but Covid is hindering it. She has sold one painting in 10 years regardless of her talent.
For that reason it isnt negative but more realistic to treat such interests and ability as a hobby until your products sell in large numbers. Expand your employment areas to provide more disposable income which leads to less stress and more ability to shop for things which leads to greater happiness.
Friends. It doesnt seem you have the best friends around. Such people do depress us and often we dont realise it. A short comment can plant the seed to negativity and hours later we regurgitate it when we are alone. Abuse of the type you describe from your friends is common in younger adults. It might be time to meet other new friends.
Depending on your circumstances professional help could assist you through this dark time. Back in 1987 I had several sessions with a therapist that steered me in the right direction and changed my life. I also attended some motivational lectures that really made a huge improvement to my thinking. You can start these processes by a visit to your GP and looking in google or searching for motivational speeches.
We often have goals that are wonderful but less realistic than we think. Perhaps employment in signwriting could include you in the industry at least. Whatever you choose there is help out there and being proactive is hard to implement at this time but when you find the energy and drive then go for it.
Pertaining to those here is two threads that cover them-
Jiero, you need to surround yourself with friends that tell you the opposite. You need to feed your ambitions, not poison them. Try to find and join some groups of like minded people, online or in real life. People or groups that will inspire and empower you. Not drag you down.
I've been a pro photographer for 33 years. Many many people, even people that love you, will not believe in you and tell you that it can't be done.
If that were true, there would be no successful artists or photographers. The nay sayers do not know what they are talking about. Don't lose your dream. Find your answers.
White Knight, regarding your daughter, she needs to find or identify her audience and she needs to get her work in front of them. That is always the trick. Also, if it is art buyers and collectors she wishes to attract, they do not buy cheap works. Yes, they want bargains, but they want works they believe have value.
She needs to work out how to attribute value to her works, and to herself as an artist, and she needs to price her art accordingly. Successful artists learn not to undersell themselves. Your belief in her and support could even be the key she needs.
My heart truly goes out to you. It's so hard to feel where you're at when suddenly an altogether new feeling or set of feelings come into play. As you say, you can't quite put your finger on what it is you're feeling.
You mention it could be burnout. May sound kinda weird but when you just don't have the right amount of energy a consequence can involve losing the ability to get a feel for things. Personally, this is what I've found. Whether burnout comes from mental and/or physical over activity or it comes from not refueling or 'charging up' in all the right ways, I can feel the lack of energy. Basically, when the lack of energy is intense enough, I can't feel a single emotion. The thing I probably miss the most in this case is feeling inspiration. There's nothing quite like the feeling of pure inspiration. I just charges you up from zero to 100 in a flash.
Besides restorative sleep, good energising food, a bit of kinetic energy (exercise), some solar power (vitamin D), hydro power (good quality water) and other things, add the energy that's produced through specific forms of chemistry and it's all high vibey stuff. Personally, I'm treated for both sleep deficiency (apnea) and B12 deficiency, big energy zappers when good levels are not maintained. Maybe it couldn't hurt to get a blood test to see where your Vitamin D, iron, b12, thyroid etc levels are at.
Certain people can be energy zappers or what some refer to as 'energy vampires'. Such people just suck the life out of you, whereas inspirational people put life into you. I can quite happily make fun of myself, enjoy the humor. I can also genuinely enjoy other people making some fun of my quirky nature but if someone's sense of fun is triggering me to anger or sadness, that ain't fun baby, that's just twisted. That's people sucking the life out of me for their own amusement. We deserve better than that. Have found it to be quite an intense process, going from people pleaser to challenger. Have found it requires a lot of courage and the acceptance that we'll lose people along the way, making space for the right people.
Have you considered a period of experimentation with new forms of drawing or even painting? Something a little outside the square may involve some freestyle drawing or painting, to music. Draw or paint what you hear and feel. Translating the music you feel onto paper/canvas may put you in touch with new and interesting feelings. You may even begin to feel inspiration 🙂
Hi again, Jiero,
It is an admirable goal to become a professional artist.
I have never imagined I could turn professional. I think the burden of having to meet others’ expectations would hamper me too much.
I wonder, who is placing all those expectations on you? If yourself, then you can remove them again.
What is it you want from life? What are your needs? What does a happy Jiero look like?
I think if you can find someone who will allow you to talk these thoughts and feelings through, without judgement, but someone to bounce things off of, that could help more than having only yourself to talk to.
It seems you have been a more gregarious person in the past.
Why is it you seem more comfortable being alone now?
I have a tendency towards keeping to myself, being alone, and I realised my thoughts and feelings went round and round, until I felt sick. I was getting nowhere.
After I had said some things about a 'friend' I had, my first PDr asked me to consider what sort of friend this was, who would treat me that way. I would ask you the same question.
I too, had asked why I let myself be treated with so little care or kindness. My self-esteem was below my feet. I think it bounces around my knees now. I do hold that question in mind, review and check, how is this person treating me? Is there respect? Do they really listen? Do they needle at my wounds or try to sooth and help me? I am more vigilant about how people treat me, now.
Don’t we deserve better? It is something we give to ourselves to be careful about who we have around us. If we don’t think we deserve to be treated with respect – why? We think other people do, right? Why not ourselves?
I'm still not so good at treating myself with care and compassion. I'm still learning, wondering if I will ever grow up.