On January 11th I was struck with vertigo. If you have every experienced this you know how horrible it can be. I spent the first day throwing up every time that I moved. By the second day I could sit up but walking around still brought back the nausea. By the third day I could walk around and with Dramamine taken regularly I no longer felt like I needed to vomit, but did feel like I was on a shifting platform or a boat rocking on the water. At that point things stopped improving.
For over a month I felt like my world was shifting and moving around me. Some days the seas were fairly calm and I could function and work. Usually if I was sitting down it wasn’t too bad, but walking and stairs remained arduous.
I won’t bore you with all of the nitty gritty details and what all we tried to get rid of it. (I was eventually diagnosed with vestibular neuritis and told there was nothing that I could do but wait it out)….But what I would like to talk about is what it did to my mind.
I went through some serious evaluation of my life and who I am as an artist and as a person. If this was never going to go away, tattooing was not going to be able to continue to be my artistic focus (nor my source of income). On the best of weeks I was cancelling about a third of my appointments and put a hold on booking anything new once I realized it was not abating.
I could sit down to draw, create and even tattoo on the better days.
Around the time all of this started my friend Holly sent me a box containing a “starter kit” for needle felting and an adorable little Meowl that she had made (from needle felting) that was based off of one of my drawings. Being confined mostly to the couch I had a lot of time to explore this new hobby and creating kept my mind off of what my body was up to.
I am obviously just learning this new art form, but I intend to stick with it and see how far I can push it and what I can create.
During this time I decided that if I was going to be needle felting I wasn’t going to be able to keep up with my daily drawings as well. I decided for a while that I would post progress on whatever I was working with… labeling them “daily maker” or “creative commitment”. Ultimately I decided that no one but me cares how many days I have been making things for. So there will be no more posting of the count, but I will continue to commit to creating outside of work every day.
I will be selling the little felted critters. Perhaps through an Etsy account or perhaps via social media and in person. For now they are mostly little Sanity Savers for me.
I don’t know how often I will be here. Part of the evaluation of my life led me to conclude that some of my priorities need to change.
As I sit here I have been symptom free for about 18 hours. I don’t know if it is coming back, but I have been super productive within the hiatus. It definitely hits home the whole “One Day at a Time” thing. Today I am grateful for stairs that can be navigated successfully and with barely a thought at all.
Some photos of the needle felting for you (in chronological order).
This is the one that Holly made for me:
My first attempt:
and the following:
this little purple bird is the only thing I have made so far that I was super disappointed with. It promptly became a cat toy.
well that’s all for today and apparently the end of my vertigo reprieve (the doctor did tell me that “visual stimulation” would aggravate it). Glad that I was able to update here and get so much done today.