First of all...HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
I hope 2016's been good to all of you so far and continues to be as winter rolls into spring, spring rolls into summer and so on and on.
I know it's been a bloody long time since I was last active on dA and already some people around here are like "You're alive!", "Frankenstein's monster lives!" and generally wondering what rock I crawled out from under back into the light of day.
I missed being here a lot more then I thought I would now that I'm back and kick myself for drifting away in the first place, even though it really couldn't have been helped. It's still good to be back. ^-^
2015 was a pretty rough year for me and my family.
I make it a point not to mention my off-line life very much online just because, really, it's not necessary and I like to keep what's private, private. In the last six months I've had to learn how to be more open with my true feelings, however, because things have progressed to the point that it's just too big for me to handle alone and I've needed the help. I'm glad I did.
Little known to those who know me online, I'm actually a full-time caregiver for my disabled and aged parents as well as work full-time and pursue my passions on the side. Mostly art, video games and general geek culture. For the past few years I've successfully balanced everything pretty well until now. Everything hit the fan, however, when around summer 2015 my mother's health took a steep dive and in October of the same year she was diagnosed with a stage of cancer that was beyond treatment, told she'd not likely survive the next 12 months and placed into palliative care.
Since then I've been laid off from my job and have been looking after her full-time along with my father and some help from the family.
I won't lie; things have been hellish.
My mother and I have always been close and able to get along; I've always liked to joke that one minuet we might be yelling at one another for something, then the next we'll be laughing. My mother never coddled me or hid things from me as a child into adulthood, laying things out straight for me since the beginning and teaching me how to stand on my own two feet as a strong independent woman. She'd never had an easy life, being brought up in poverty and marrying young. She'd talk for hours about her life, the mistakes she'd made, the good times and everything she'd learned in the process. As a child, to me she seemed invincible, able to do anything. As a teenager she became human, capable of flaws and mistakes as the rest of us. And finally, as an adult and the one caring for her instead, she seems so frail and sad.
I don't even pretend to understand what it must be like to be told you only have a year to live, never mind both the emotional and physical pain involved in what she's going through. All I can do, besides meet her physical needs, is be there to listen for as long as she's home because by the time she'll be in the hospice is when she'll have to be sedated from the pain until the inevitable end.
It's hard to watch your mother die.
Which, I guess, is the long and short of it.
Naturally, all of this has effected my creativity and for the most part a fair amount of my art materials have been set aside and collected an impressive layer of dust by now. I've often tried time and again to pick them up and start something, but more often then not whatever glimmer of inspiration that spurred me on fades and I'm left catching myself looking off into space or daydreaming. Either that or whatever monstrosity I try and force myself to create end up in a pile of half-finished projects that will likely never be finished or thrown out altogether.
The biggest mistake I made after mum's diagnosis was withdrawing from most social media online, as well as family and friends off-line, isolating myself and trying to take everything head on on my own.
It's only recently that I've seen that error and since started to get back into the online communities that use to lend me support and open up to those close to me, admitting this is way to big for me to handle solo.
As a result some of the stress has been lifted from my shoulders and some of that old creativity I thrived on is returning; I've got a few projects already underway, have plans to revamp some of my existing artwork and reboot this gallery. It won't happen over night and I'll be taking my sweet time, but eventually it'll turn out one step at a time.
I'm not okay and I won't pretend I am, but I'm alright.
And I'm glad I'm back.
Thanks so much for your time.
Listening to: Ghostbusters theme by The Living Tombstone
Watching: catching up on The Walking Dead