Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Fatigue and Isolation and Anxiety

All I want to do is hide out and crawl into bed. I feel so tired I feel literally sick. The tiredness is not "sleepy" tired, but rather, "exhausted" tired, like I cannot move and have no energy reserves to do anything. I pushed myself to paint on Monday for an hour or two, but it took every ounce of willpower to do that, Yesterday I went to the Art Clubhouse for a meeting, again only by exerting my will over my desire to hide out at home.

It is strange, I do not want to see, or contact anyone; I am not picking up the phone, or returning calls and I hide behind call display and feel dread at the thought of having to call people back. On the other hand if I push myself out of the house to go to the studio, it is like I get energy from other people. The problem is when the contact is finished I feel even more exhausted than before. It is as though I vicariously absorb all the energy from people around me, but when I touch the door to leave it is really apparent that I have pushed myself to hard to be up and energetic FOR other people. After the interaction I feel even more sickly fatigued.

Today I am forced out of the house as I have committed to volunteer at the studio this afternoon. I know in my role I am expected to be welcoming, available and helpful. All I really want is to stay home, or go there and hide out in my own little world.

Tomorrow is the beginning of the next set of drawing classes I volunteer to teach at the studio. I feel dread about tomorrow. I am really afraid I will not be what people need me to be. I think part of that is because I have no formal art training. I feel like a fraud; someone who got this amazing volunteer position, but really is not qualified to teach what I teach. I am always afraid someone in my class will call me on that and then everyone will make fun of me and than I will die of embarrassment from the ridicule.


jcat said...

...the walking, talking doll is how I think of it - you do what you absolutely have to do, and fake it the whole time, and as you walk out it's as if the air just rushes out and you kind of crumple up....
Not having training shouldn't be a problem for you, because you have so much awesome artistic ability. You are really talented, and you are a good teacher as well, and those two things more than make up for courses that wouldn't teach you either skill.
And the sheer willpower that keeps you doing it is also something that probably everyone in your classes would love to learn.
Hope the new term goes well.

Polar Bear said...

I can understand that tiredness. It sounds as though you are going through a low period. And I suspect that is partly to do with your thinking that you are a fraud in this volunteer teaching position. But from the few pieces I have seen (art pieces you have done), i think that you are very talented and would be more than qualified to teach regardless of not hvaing formal training in this area.

Having talent and being a "Practitioner" is often more important than merely having a formal piece of paper that says you have done a course on it.

Aqua said...

Thanks Jcat and Polar Bear,
Despite the rest of my day from hell, my first class seemed to go really well and I already got really positive feedback from some people in the class.

Even when I am really depressed I can put on my "walking, talking doll and fake an enthusiasm even the enthused would have a hard time russling up.

I am so good at making people feel safe and comfortable in a classroom. In an art class(any class really) this is integral people's ability to learn, and especially in an environment where all of us have difficult to treat mental illneses.

I know how to teach drawing I am going to just let go and try harder to enjoy teaching.