I wanted to write and tell you why I haven´t written on this blog for a pretty long time. I have recently been to a psychiatric hospital for some weeks. This year I have been feeling increasingly unwell. Actually, I have been feeling increasingly very unwell. Earlier this summer I got an appointment to an excellent psychiatrist who diagnosed me with bipolar disease, probably of type I. This is a disease that must be treated with chemicals, there is no choice there. However, I am extremely sensitive to these kinds of chemicals and their side-effects. And the side-effects I got from the chemicals that were tried on me (one of them is called Prozac) were gruesome. So many people are helped by Prozac, it´s a widely used medicine in the western world. But for me it didn´t work. I was in great pain for two weeks and I got symptoms that bordered on being a psychosis. On the morning of Midsummer Eve I have some vague memory of falling down on the floor. My mum and I were able to get in contact with my psychiatrist who said that I had to get to hospital immediately. From the first 24 hours of my stay at the hospital I remember almost nothing. I do remember though feeling scared and lonely. And I had a feeling of being in some kind of prison-like place. It was heart-breaking when the visitor time was over in the evening and my mum was told to leave. Also, I remember someone giving me a new medicine, and me falling down on the floor immediately after I had taken that medicine. I do remember some people lifting me up.
I am home from the hospital now and the new medicine is working better. However, it does have some very, very unpleasant side-effects. For instance, I can hardly sleep at night and being around a lot of people scares me. Also, the chemical is making me physically weak, so I can´t do any arts and crafts right now. I hope, and believe, it will get better in the future. The side-effects of the chemicals alongside years of untreated bipolar disease is making it impossible for me to live a normal life right now. It will take a long, long time until I can spend time with friends or go to work. Writing on my blog is beyond me right now as well. I will write on the blog when I feel well enough, but until then I will hardly spend any time on the internet at all. I haven´t even looked at my e-mail for the whole summer as far as I can remember. My mum is taking care of me right now, and she is the most wonderful support who I could never do without.
However, I love to write cards and letters and that is mostly the way that I communicate with friends right now. If someone would like to write to me I would be more than happy. I will write back and send you some lovely little pictures and things like that.
My adress is:
Hjalmar Brantingsgatan 11b
I do try to enjoy life as much as I can during the circumstances. And actually, being ill has taught me to appreciate the little things in life more. Such as taking evening walks in my neighbourhood, picking flowers. Little things like that mean the world to me right now. Today I have had some very delicious ice-cream. Also, becoming ill has made me worry less about certain things such as work. And one thing I have promised myself is to never again do something that I do not in my heart want to do. Illness is teaching me a lot about life right now. And hopefully I will become better and healthier in the future. But right now I am doing my best to live a life that I am capable of. I really have little wish to have a social life or anything like that right now.
I hope you have a beautiful summer.
Thursday, 22 May 2014
I´ve had some days where I have not been feeling so well. So to visit a small herbal garden where white flowers blossom was a bit of a remedy for the soul. I walked around in the garden just feeling the scents of the herbs and absorbing the soothing atmosphere.
There is an old church ruin by the herbal garden. I have such a vivid imagination so I get these images in my head of medieval times, where monks and nuns were tending herbal gardens, making beeswax candles and creating beautiful illuminated books.
And today I found a beautiful quote by Jack Kerouac: "All human beaings are also dream beings. Dreaming ties all mankind together".
Saturday, 17 May 2014
I have by own little book of dreams. It is a book where I write down poems and words of inspiration. But there are not only words here; this is just as much a visual diary. The pages of the book I decorate with flowers that I have pressed as well as with pieces of lace and lovely pictures. All of the words, images and little objects are so much me; they all come from my heart and talk to my heart.
The book is filled with images with plenty of symbolism; angels, birds, dragonflies are some of the most common motifs here... Today I have been out in the forest, picking flowers and green leaves that are now in my flower press. Those flowers will all be added to the pages of my book. I think I will glue some cotton into the book too, to resemble some kind of mysterious mist that floats over the pages of my book of dreams.
Friday, 16 May 2014
I have been absorbing the sunlight at a beach where my favourite flower the dandelion grows. I often tend to like the most humble and modest flowers, like the dandelions, the most. Flowers that many people would label as weed. To gaze at a whole field that glows yellow from all the dandelions that grow there, can be a pretty sublime experience.
In old folklore dandelions where sometimes called `fairy clocks´ because their flowers open and close predictably. And it is said that you can send a message to another person by visualizing your message as blowing on the snowy white seed head. Sachets of dandelion matter can also be used for good luck and psychic dreaming.
Thursday, 15 May 2014
Everyman I will go with thee,
and be thy guide.
In thy most need to go by thy side.
When visiting an antiquarian bookshop I bought a book by Victorian author Charles Kingsley. When I opened the book I saw these lines of poetry: "Everyman I will go with thee, and be thy guide. In thy most need to go by thy side". I think this piece of text is pretty sublime as well as a bit haunting.
In the same antiquarian bookshop I also found the book The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser. The Faerie Queen is an old, epic poem from England. I couldn´t resist buying this book; after all I am a bit of a collector of books on fairy themes.
When I came out of the antiquarian bookshop I opened the first page of The Faerie Queen. And my eyes fell on the text "Everyman I will go with thee, and be thy guide. In thy most need to go by thy side". Here it was again, in this book too! I felt as if I was getting drawn into some strange, magical web where these lines of poetry had a message to convey to me. Some beautiful synchronisity seemed for sure to be at work here!
Monday, 12 May 2014
I have created a little book, using a very simple book binding technique. The pink, marbled book covers originally belonged to a boring book that I found in a flea market. I removed the pages of that book and stitched new pages into the covers instead. Then I chose to decorated the book with lace, 1960´s white beads and pictures that I cut out from old books.
There are black, handmade papers inside the book. I will use my book as a visual journal where I glue in pictures and pressed flowers. I remember reading an interview with someone (I don´t remember whom), who said that journals are sacred to her. And that´s pretty much how I feel too. Some of the journals I have are among my most treasured possessions. Sometimes when I need some inner strength I go back to those journals, looking at the words that are written there.
Sunday, 11 May 2014
I believe this crown is for the queen of the woods... to be worn when she walks through the mossy, nocturnal woodlands. I created the crown yesterday and it´s made from pinecones and wire that I covered with lace. I think I will be wearing the crown a lot this summer. Sometimes the world we live in seems a bit grey to me, and wearing this crown might bring a little bit more magick to everyday life. And to wear the crown while having a picnic drinking home-made gnome tea seems nice to me (what exactly gnome tea is, I don´t really know, but I imagine gnomes drinking tea made from green moss).