Creating this body of work about my journey of being diagnosed with epilepsy has been very cathartic and being able to talk about it without bursting into tears has taken practice. There has been a lot of struggle physically and mentally on who I am and what I can do now with this new knowledge of myself.
Images above, from left to right: Captive, sketchbook page, When the Abyss Stares Back
I have been keeping a sketchbook/ journal of imagery and ideas that are helping me cope and heal since my serious seizure a year ago. Here’s a list of ideas or themes for paintings:
Shock, death, broken
Scorched earth, lost, alone
Drugged, distanced, separated mind & body
What’s my new normal?
How do I survive?
I’m a ticking time bomb
Listen to your body.
Talk more about what happened, acknowledge the moment.
Does my body/mind define who I am?
Am I an epilepsy warrior? Is this part of my identity?
My body is not me. It is just a body.
Make peace with my cavernous angiomas. They are part of me, at peace.
What do my cavernomas look like?
What does a chronic disorder look like? Feel like?
I have also had unusual encounters with animals showing up in unexpected ways repeatedly which makes me take notice to why they are there and for what purpose. Most recently it has been lizards and geckos and a pair of Cooper’s Hawks. Across many different cultures lizards are a sign of renewal and resurrection and this makes a lot of sense to me considering what I’m going through. There were expectations, ideas, and pathways that died that day and I have to grieve them and move on listening more closely to my body to make the dreams that I still hold on to come true. It’s a daily fight of learning new ways to keep going but not over exert myself. And reconciling that I’m enough, I did enough, and I will keep going.