I Couldn’t Write But Was Feeling Restless So Instead I Painted

My laptop crapped out on me today. I was planning on spending 45-50 minutes journaling and writing some posts, but when the screen on my craptop went black for the fifth time, I gave up on that idea and wondered what to do with all the restless creative energy I was feeling.

The last couple of days I’ve been feeling restless, wanting to get lost in being creative. Colors are dancing before my eyes-I envision their placement on giant stretches of canvas when I sleep at night. My mind is busy writing my life experiences into chapters for my memoir (more on that later), and it seems even the simple and smallest details of my daily life are the perfect fodder for blog posts. ( Don’t worry, I’ll spare you from having to read 95% of them. That’s what the draft folder is for.) When I hear music, my body wants to get lost in movement, and my desire to take a dance class reminds me to put it on the “Things I must do once we’re settled in Austin,” list. (Again-more on this later)

Paint. Write. Dance. I’m craving creativity & expression in these areas. While I’m putting concentrating on dance until after we move, I plan on directing my creative energy into writing and painting this summer…. I want to spend at least 30-60 minutes a day exercising my creative muscle….I’m intrigued and excited to see what I come up with, especially as I continue to explore the world of paint, which is a new one for me. (And yet again, more on this later. I owe you at least 3 posts-remind me)

That’s why when my laptop gave up, I figured the next best thing to do was grab a piece of canvas, my brushes & paints, settle into a corner of the living room and just…paint. I did this last night as well.


The pieces I did last night and this afternoon kind of caught me off guard. I did some experimenting with thinning out my buttery acrylics with water, and here’s what emerged…

This one describes how my thoughts and thought processes are when I’m hypomanic. Everything is colorful, vibrant, I feel alive, full of energy…some of it is anxious, agitated, restless energy, some of it is productive and punctuated with lots of laughter & creative projects that range from painting to cooking. Things are fantastical, special…My thoughts run & bleed into each other blending reality with the fantasies my mind conjures up. This of course makes my concentration and focus blurry at times. I haven’t settled on a name for this one yet, but it will probably be “Manic Thoughts” or something along those lines.


This one is called “Distortion” or “A Distorted Perception of Self,” I haven’t decided yet which sounds better. It started off colorful and very bold, but halfway through turned into a mishmash of colors than blended together to create a muted look in terms of color. I spent about 10 minutes just throwing water at it, watching the paint leave trails on the canvas. It’s ugly, it’s messy, distorted, and a little chaotic…but to me, it’s how I see myself sometimes through the dirty lens of mental illness.


So, I didn’t get to write today like I wanted but I guess it’s just as well. I did something I enjoyed, and that has me feeling pretty grounded….even though hypomania is trying to lift my feet off the ground. I’m trying to stay level. We’ll see how it goes.


9 thoughts on “I Couldn’t Write But Was Feeling Restless So Instead I Painted

  1. I love that you can channel your illness into something…and it’s so beautiful. You have a wonderful talent friend. Love.
    I scrapbook. Right now I can’t even lift the veil of fog to do that…fucking sucks. Trying to find something to keep my mind focused is so hard.
    Kind of wish I was hypo….

  2. So glad that you have painting as an outlet for all that energy and agitation. Your self-portrait looks like how I would see myself through the lens of depression. You have a gift for painting. Sending you hugs & love that you stay level.

    • Jen I love you and your spirit. So encouraging, thank you, seriously. It’s hard remembering who we are when we’re struggling with something like depression, but my prayer is that we get to a place where we can see real selves and our value even when we’re looking through depression’s dirty & distorted lens. Thank you for sharing

  3. I’ve been meaning to tell you for the last five post or so how awesome I think you are. I have been reading your blog for a year now and I just can’t say enough how proud I am of you, doesn’t matter that I do not personally know you, I find you to be courageous and inspiring. Congrats on your engagement and your upcoming move. From all the way in Rhode Island I think you are doing a great job as a woman and mom. My prayers are definitely with you

    • I haven’t been able to respond to this comment because every time I try, I start to cry…I’m fighting back tears now….THANK YOU…especially for continuing to read throughout all the ups & downs over the past year. I don’t take it for granted. You have no idea how much your words have touched my heart and left an imprint. Thank you.

  4. I vote for distorted as the title for the one painting. I agree with Jen, that is how I see myself with the fog of depression, so hard to keep and put thoughts together and all the colors of my life get blurred and muted, to the point of fading away, but the color is still there!

    • I still haven’t decided, but I do like distorted. It’s crazy how MI does this to us, isn’t it? It’s so hard to hold on to any real sense of ourselves when we’re being overtaken in an episode. I’m praying we get better at seeing who we really are when those moments engulf us. (((hugs)))

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