One Pulse

i had my severest anxiety attack a few years ago. it happened while i was setting up an art display in a public library. i wondered what the hell i was doing there. couldn’t the people in my illustrators group see i was just a fraud? an impostor? i didn’t deserve to have my pathetic shit shown alongside the work of actual proper artists. me being there felt like a mockery of everything the showcase was about.
it was awful. i was crouched on the floor for what felt like an eternity. i was lost in the crippledness and yet acutely aware of everything going on around me. outwardly, i willed for people to ignore my melodramatic nonsense. inwardly, i fell apart. it’s as if a swarm of carnivorous jellyfish was eating me from the inside out. all this while holding prints of carnivorous jellyfish in my shaking hands. yes, my hands were actually shaking. i couldn’t believe it.
fortunately, a colleague came over and helped me to finish setting up my display. i’ll always be grateful to her for doing that as soon other colleagues came and helped too. i don’t think i’ll ever know if they realised something was up and decided to come to the rescue. i never thought i had anxiety before. depression, yes, but not anxiety. that one incident convinced me that i’d been in denial about it for far too long.
so, why the story? well, since it’s a brand spanking new year and all, i’ve been reflecting on the past while cautiously looking to the future. i find myself coming out of darkness and squinting in sunlight… as if for the first time. the transition hurts a bit. frankly, i want to crawl back. however, i also want to move forward. really, i’m just scared of standing still, and i hope i’m not wrong about whatever it is i’m yet to be wrong about.
i hope i can do whatever it is that i need to do this year. i hope you can too. we owe it to ourselves. i don’t think we’ll ever be satisfied with even half the things we set out to do but maybe we need to be okay with that. maybe it’s good to be a little bit driven in the face of uncertain outcomes. life’s a journey and all that hoary jazz. so they say. yeah, I might just start walking now…

47 thoughts on “One Pulse

    1. yeah, you’re probably right, babe. who among us is really the full deal when it comes to anything in life? i guess we’re all just trying to muddle through as best we can. (and thank you for the lovely compliment.)

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Anxiety has got to be the worst feeling, even more so in a public setting. I like that you are telling your stories. I am too. It’s Drem you know…being real that makes me want to write to heal. It’s a long time coming but I have nothing to lose. Keep writing. Jx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. well, you’ll always have my moral support, clare. you’re one of those artists whose work i deeply admire. i hope you draw until your hands drop off… and that they never drop off. (that would be good too!) 😛

      Liked by 2 people

  2. That you have been able to discuss this so openly, is huge progress in itself. Do not underestimate the courage it takes to talk about such things with other people. I, for one, am incredibly proud of you. A touching and powerful piece that will resonate with many.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Reblogged this on Br Andrew's Muses and commented:
    Tags: art, hopefulness, phoenix rising, the future, tony single Categories: black & white
    That’s exactly the way I feel about my Art when it comes to hanging it in a Gallery. And I copy the mental situation – it’s like being in chains – for me

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Tony my brother! This art piece is genius and very Avant Garde.

    You are a true visual artist with a poetic voice. 🙂

    Speaking of poetic, you should use this art you have here and turn it into a poem. Write about it. 🙂

    Once again my friend. You are so talented and gifted. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think most of us who follow our artistic little (big) hearts tend to feel these sorts of overwhelm at different times. It is great that you are putting yourself out there, you have every right to be there (!), and I totally get those feelings of panic that can set in. Following your own beat means you are showing your vulnerability, and you are incredibly brave for this. I LOVE that Phoenix picture, now I must hunt down more of your work to peruse. Thank-you for sharing this !! Much love and peace to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. aw, thank you! it was seriously very cool of you to visit and share these wonderful comments with me! and, yeah, i think you’re right about most artistic types being a little panicky when it comes to displaying their works. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes dear – you need to sell this as a print, please! Says a fellow Artist/ Art Lover. Perhaps this could generate you a wee bit of extra income. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Secret is no one is an artist and everyone is. There are no “professionals” except the label we give when we get paid for our creations. There is nothing to feel fraudulent about or “less than.” We are all different and everyone has a right to try to be what they want to be. When I was young I actually thought there were “experts.” Some do know more than others about certain subjects, but many who claim to be expert are far from it, their egos beg to differ. Most of the art I now see publicly looks cookie cutter. Looks insincere and that someone tried to hard to look like they didn’t try. At my age, I’ve basically seen it all, done it all and I really don’t need someone else to validate the legitimacy of my work, as little as I do of it anymore. You will not be anxious when you finally reach the point where you no longer care. Unfortunately this has pros and cons. Good luck and God bless!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Po’, that’s actually the sanest and most fair handed assessment of art and the artistic process that I’ve ever read. Where are you and can I vote for you in our next election? 😀


  7. That first spark of sunlight after a long-haul of darkness. The recognition of what it is, a strange feeling. Your art is beautiful and honest Tony, always has been. You are great 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Well, it’s almost July and it appears to me that you’ve been doing a great job of moving forward. Don’t look back – just keep taking those steps. I really enjoyed today’s Crumbiest (6/27) – philosophical and optimistic in the end. I think i’ll listen to it again.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I can’t believe I haven’t read this before.
    I didn’t realise you had suffered with this. I’m glad you wrote about it too. I have been there as well, a couple of times. Ugh, not good times. Not good times.
    I agree, we are all “genuine imposters”. Realising that really helped me with my anxiety issues as well. Everyone’s as shit scared as everyone else. How are things for you these days with all of that?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. firstly, thanks so much for reading this! i appreciate your support, vanessa. as for the anxiety, it’s not something that ever goes away. it’s always there in the background. and, fortunately, there are many days where it’s buried DEEP in the background, so i’m grateful. how about you?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. firstly, you are very welcome! I’m glad I saw it!
        And I am doing better, thanks. It kind of started with self awareness I think. I mean, I didn’t realise how my whole life I had these anxiety issues, I just kind of took it as the normal me. So really, it comes down to management now I guess. Still a lot of things I am working on, but I am not nearly as hard on myself, or others. I’m not a fan of going to doctors much. I like alternative therapies. And you know I believe in the spiritual so I would be lying if I said prayer didn’t help me. So, it’s a combination of things. The bummer is that I have developed a fear of flying for particular reasons, which is really hard as I love to travel, and my hubby being from the US, it is a necessary part of our lives. I’m sure you understand 🙂 So that is really hard, the mental exhaustion of just getting through the travelling. I am so glad that people do talk about this stuff more than they used to, I think that helps a lot!

        Liked by 1 person

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