What happens to you when the nights get longer?
I get miserable, and I have full on lethargy. When the weather starts to change I can appreciate a few good sunsets, and doing long exposure photography, but 3 months of Winter is too much! December is alright but January and February can go take a hike.
The studio is an industrial work space, so the lack of real heating causes me to shift the work load across to the house. Where I can work in glorious pj’s, drinking damn good coffee, and puffing away on the vape like a steam engine.
I have some kind of pain condition, so I’m going to blame that for my Winter weather loathing. This winter has actually been markedly better than the last few years were. I started medicating around 18 months ago because I was in agony all the time, and if I’m being honest, I was getting to the end of my tether because I didn’t want to continue if my life was going to only consist of pain, exhaustion, and crying.
It took months for medications to start taking effect. I couldn’t work. I was grumpy and sad. Things were radically going down hill. My photography was crap. It’s really hard to take good images when you’re in all consuming pain. Photo walks were becoming impossible. I was turning into a phantom.
I started writing the novel in brief periods of lucidity when I had rested enough to climb out of the brain fog. I had to give myself another option in case my mobility continued to decline. Luckily, after around 4 or 5 months of 4 times daily painkillers (naproxen and codeine), and two different antidepressants, vitamins, and rest. So much rest. I started to turn a corner.
Just before my 33rd birthday, still reeling from illness, I saw a commission advertised. It had my name all over it. Even though I was nervous of my body, I knew I had to go for it. Do or die moment.
I got the commission, and I was honest about my situation. The commissioners were very supportive, and during the project I tried to be more careful with my timetable. Making sure I had good rests in between delivering the workshops.
My pain condition hasn’t gone. I know it’s still there because Winter is still really difficult. But, I am so much more hopeful than I was this time last year. I feel stronger. I feel less overwhelming pain. I’ve been on photowalks! I’ve put up and taken down tents all summer, and though I had bad days, I had so many more good days than in the few years leading up.
I haven’t settled on exactly which path to take this year. I’m hoping to get my work shown, to make new projects, and to finish my book.
To everyone out there who struggles with illnesses that no one can really see, keep going. Be as much of you as you can be, in whichever way you can. You are vital. You are loved. Don’t give up!
Bring on 2019 and it’s multitude of f**k ups. I am ready.