The last week or so, I've fought or gone through depression. Mainly since hearing the news of the paired pooling. Again, it wasn't the news that got to me, it was the length of time the consultant highlighted I may have to wait for anything and/or everything to happen, therefore making me feel like I'm putting my life on hold.
Then, the day before an appointment I was really looking forward to and therefore actually excited about, I heard something which nudged me back into a state of melancholia. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to pull myself back the way I normally do. So I took the safest option and stepped backwards....by shutting myself off from those emotions and putting my armour back on.
Since the start of my counselling, I've had my armour off and my mental wound (as I call it) exposed, therefore enabling me to get the help I need, prevent me from falling ill from mental stress and, in addition, let those around me who want to help me...in.
The news I heard threatened to push me back into the pit I was finally considering climbing out of.
So I had to shut all systems down for fear my brain would take an unwanted step, back into that pit.
I now almost feel like my old self again (in fact this is the first time I've written a blog with a clear mind. I actually feel like I'm saying what I want to say, rather than a jumbled, grammatical mess)....and this is a really weird feeling because I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not. I could also be feeling weird due to the high intensive storm which hit last night; the lightening bolts hitting almost directly over our heads (seriously, I'm talking 1 Mississippi between lightening strike and thunder clap here....it's a trick to find out how far the storm is: The more Mississippi's you count between each, the further the storm is).
My head is clear, but still feels the electricity in the air and mild lack of restful sleep.
But I don't think that's it as I've been feeling like this since the day of the news.
I'm hiding emotions/fears/worries to protect myself until I see my counsellor again (potentially a couple of weeks time). And I'm wondering how much of a good idea that is. The protection, not...seeing my counsellor again.
Then again, I don't really have much choice as only my counsellor can really help me and I feel I need to protect those around me from the potential avalanche I could have brewing inside my head.
I have the Schroedinger's cat (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schr%C3%B6dinger's_cat) of emotions in my mind. I still worry about things and it gets worse when I get tired...but it feels a little more controlled.
How much of a mental explosion is just waiting to happen? Because I know I'm hiding something. Even from myself.
The day after I put my mental armour back on, I got my tattoo...so you could say after I reapplied the bandage and armour to my mind, I obtained a literal open wound on my arm, in an artistic sense.
That which I've had put on my arm is the positive aspects of my head which struggle to get through:
Not the best picture, unfortunately as it appears to be a bit fuggy.
It's roughly an inch or so below the wrist so it can be covered with a sleeve for work.
Here I'd like to add, I've been considering a wrist tattoo for over 4 or 5 years, designed it myself (finalised by the artist) and had made the appointment a few days before I had my 'moment'.
After having the tattoo done, there was something about the Dragon that didn't click. It didn't demonstrate the passion and anger I'd wanted it to...I love love love it, but whenever I thought of the idea of emotional intensity, my gut instinct wavered when I looked at the final image as it didn't seem to match to the anger I had inside which I had originally aimed for. And I couldn't work out why.
The next day, I was driving to my parents to go shopping with mum and taking the time to think to myself as I drove (an hour and a half in traffic does that to a person). Then, randomly, this phrase came to me. I read it a while back and It's a phrase I think of every so often when I'm feeling blue:
A man said to the Buddha, “I want Happiness.”
Buddha said, first remove “I”, that’s ego,
then remove “want”, that’s desire.
See, now you are left with only Happiness.
I don't care what the source is, I don't care if Buddha actually said it or what, but for the first time since reading this...it did make me think. And then it hit me. Did I really want a dragon that was in a perpetually passionate/defensive/angry state on my arm?
No....in fact the Dragon I'd been given would from now on represent Happiness contained within something that's so strong, daring and magnificent.
As soon as I thought this, I was absolutely delighted. That fit it...perfectly. The image I needed and what I wanted: Happiness and Life.
A little back story: the reason I chose the Dragon was 1) because it's an awesome creature, so strong and powerful 2) I had a dream a while back about entering paired pooling. And my fears were represented by a very very vivid, angry yet absolutely beautiful Dragon. I remember just wanting to stand there and admire it, but the burning flames which came from its maw filled me with fear and dread and a need to run instead.
On waking, the image of the Dragon which stayed with me was as below, this colour, ferocity and intensity:
Image obtained from: http://sandara.deviantart.com/art/Fire-Breathing-Dragon-313884678
Yet in this pose, facing me (picture me where the flames are. But I got out of the way before they actually hit):
Image obtained from http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/dragons/images/29494216/title/dragons-can-breath-fire-photo
The Ankh, because I've always liked that sign: the Egyptian key of life. I have a heavy, metallic necklace I used to wear constantly and each time I wore it, I realised I wanted a tattoo of one, but not on it's own. And that's when I started considering a Dragon.
The tattooist I used was Eve from www.inksanetattooparlour.co.uk. She was a pleasure to have as an artist and took personal interest in ensuring the design came out perfect. So a mahussive thank you to her for being part of that experience. She's based in Greenford and I highly recommend her!
Also - she informed me I needed to name the Dragon...so I went for Rorschach, the name of my favourite character in Watchmen (comic and film) and the name of an inkblot test in which people see what they want to see. People can see what they want in my tattoo...and I'll see what I want to see!
Given the above entry about my change in head space...it's also possible having this tattoo placed on my arm had the affect I wanted it to. It's a personal message to me to stay strong and full of life in the face of adversity.
It's one of the first things I want to see when I wake up from any treatment in hospital. A reminder of what I'm capable of.
KIDNEY RESEARCH UK UPDATE - London Bridge Walk
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