Category Archives: Health in Mind & Body

I just can’t hold my stomach in anymore – or 10 weeks pregnant and Happy Valentine’s Day

Artist Jessica Doyle 2013

I have never felt more hungry in all my life than during the last 10 weeks. I can’t seem to get enough food into me before my stomach is growling and howling again for more.

We eat a relatively well balanced, organic diet that does contain grass fed beef, free range chicken and organically raised pork. We eat many vegetarian meals too. We avoid soy products except for Bragg Soy Seasoning which is GMO free and certified organic. I love food so much that I’ve already put on 5lbs and can not fit into any of my clothes that don’t have stretch in them.

I do not take prenatal vitamins. I do take 500mg folic acid and 650mg calcium with vitamin D daily. My blood and urine tests show I’m healthy except for the deviant hypothyroid in the neck. The doctor raised the dose of Synthroid two days ago that I’m on to 125mcg from 88mcg. I already notice a positive difference in how my brain is functioning. But, unfortunately, the norm persisted and around 2:00 in the afternoon I started feeling dizzy, extremely bloated, bump into things and need to lay down for a couple of hours until it passes. And while this can be pregnancy related I’m realizing that it could be the dang thyroid wreaking havoc too.

homemade indian food, black rice, tomato, pita bread, chick peas, garam masala

I don’t know what is potentially crohn’s, thyroid or pregnancy related anymore. These last couple of weeks feel like the chron’s I had 15 years ago has been reactivated but then again it could be my uterus stretching. I spent so much time in the bathroom two days ago that could be because of the Synhtroid increase, it could also be because of the spicy food I ate or it could be a bug. I go to see a high risk pregnancy gynecologist/obstetrician on the 26th due to being over 35, pregnant and hypothyroid. I’ll be 12 weeks pregnant by then. The adjustment in Synthroid played havoc with my metabolism yesterday.

And today on this lovely Valentine’s Day I’m feeling a bit better albeit still dizzy I don’t feel the need to incessantly lay my head and body down like yesterday or the day before.

They say you should enjoy all of your pregnancy. And while I am I can not be happy about the pain of not being able to breath at night due to not being able to take my preferred antihistamine or smile about the candida that wreaked havoc on my body earlier this trimester.

These side effects could very well be first trimester agony’s that will pass by the end of this month. I really hope they are. I know something has recently passed because I’m able to write and form sentences again.

IMG_0335

And the dreams of water… they are wonderfully incessant. I dream of water nearly every night. Calm dark waters that I float in and urgently awake and run to the bathroom to pee usually like clockwork at 4:00AM. Another dream was a mystical garden filled with large carved stone hands on long arms with each finger sprouting a single fountain of water streaming from it onto a green wonderfully overgrown garden bed. And last night I dreamt of sitting in a circle with people with my belly round and hanging out and drinking water.

So yeah, I’m pregnant. After wanting a baby my whole life, well, since about age 24, and it not happening with my exes, it’s actually happened and it was planned between Chris and I. And we couldn’t be happier.

first-response-pregnancytest

Getting a positive pregnancy test on New Years Eve was incredible.

Be unique and wondrous at all times – drawing

drawing inside fabriano quadrato artist journal by jessica doyle

Ideally we’d all be unique and wondrous at all times. This, however, would be difficult to achieve and maintain.

As children we were so. But, as we grew into adulthood we were taught to let go of this wonder and form into lines one after the other as we proceeded to checkout. While we are unique, we are more the same than we really want to admit. It is only through actions that we render each other indifferent perhaps.

detail of drawing inside fabriano quadrato artist journal by jessica doyle

Maybe it comes down to being honest with what makes you tick with those you love, admire and trust.

The drawing above was created using Prismacolor Verithin coloured pencils and Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens inside a Fabriano Quadrato Artist Journal.

Want to support the artist who wrote this post? Go and buy some snazzy wall swag directly from her.

The Physics of Being Busy

Have you ever noticed how busy people seem to get more done?

I’ve heard that if you have a task that needs completing, give it to a busy person. They’ll get it done. Probably in a timely fashion too.

Maybe it has something to do with physics. People with a lot to do have a lot more energy whirling around them. They’re already moving fast. Adding something else just propels them faster. Tasks are easy because they’re used to doing them. They cook and clean simultaneously.

Now think of that person who never does anything. Their biggest contribution in life is unlocking a weapon in a video game. They sleep during the day. They have all the free time in the world to complete as many projects as they want. Yet… Would you have any confidence whatsoever that this person would be able to complete your task at all, let alone quickly?

I wouldn’t either.  Continue reading

Gulp – simple fish sketch

simple fish drawing by artist jessica doyle

You gotta swallow hard when what’s around you is changing more rapidly than you are able to handle. This is the point when you realize you can not go back, but are terrified to more forward, and more than that, numb to the present. For me this point hit on Day 4 while detoxing in late January.

You can’t breath and you can’t exhale.

1. Sobriety and Addiction
2. Yin and Yang
3. Alpha and Omega

I forced myself to draw while in detox for fear that if I didn’t I would not know how to afterwards.

Coming out to play or how an introvert fails to thrive

jessica doyle self portrait

If you are a creative person you likely have many drafts or unfinished pieces of work in various stages of completion laying around your studio or stored on the computer.

In early November, 2011 I began entering a burnout from working online and from life in general. And by mid-January 2012 my health had completely failed and I was hospitalized for seven days. It’s only now that I’m coming out of it (publicly) so to speak.

What’s sad, is that I knew it was happening all of last year but didn’t know how to stop it or where to go for help or how to financially afford treatment by taking time off of working as I have no health insurance or employment insurance. I wrote the following on November 7th, 2011, the night before my 38th birthday, and never published it here on the blog.

What exactly does it mean when you hit burnout or rather when you succumb to not be able to creatively think or do anything else other than change who you are.

And when you are introverted, adjusting to extroversion is almost painful at a cellular level. To an introvert, extroversion feels like being tickled everywhere for an extended period of time and forced to exert and use one’s senses in life in an outward fashion that others can see, taste, smell, watch or feel immediately.

An introvert on the other hand basically sponges all that external sensory stimuli, balls it up, swallows it, mentally digests it and assimilates it all into the brain for use in original and unique regurgitation onto paper, instrument or dialogue that extroverts absorb in the form of entertainment.

The above few paragraphs are by no means a finished thought but they do summarize how fast my fragile boundaries were eroding. I was utterly overwhelmed most, if not, all of last year. Only those people closest to me knew the extent of what I was trying to deal with if they even knew at all. I didn’t share too much here on the blog… I don’t think I knew how to. Yes, my failing thyroid is playing a part in all of this and yes I’m keeping up with the blood tests and adjustments in medication again.

And what finally prompted me to sign into this blog and break the silence and actually write today was perhaps the most awful therapy appointment I’ve ever had the pleasure of sitting through yesterday. And it wasn’t that it was awful per-say, it was just unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before… and I’m going to submit myself to it all over again next week. Haha.

A few weeks ago my Mom gave me a camera to use, that she had won at work, as she already had a camera of her own. It’s a Canon Powershot SD 3500 IS, 14.1MP. I’ve begun playing with it. I snapped the pic above in the upstairs bathroom.

Staying in Creative Shape

It’s easy to forget that our creativity needs practice. We often take artistic abilities for granted, because it’s just “been there” since we were children. Most of us are artists because it comes naturally. Sure we might have to learn discipline about the business aspects, but the art! Hey, that’s the fun part! That’s eeeeasy.

Until you hit a block. Then you spend each day staring at an empty screen or a blank canvas, cursing at the white space, convinced your career is over. The crying. The despair. Or maybe that’s just me. Continue reading

The Artist’s Drug of Choice

What’s your poison? Chocolate? Video-games? LSD?

Self-consciousness?

Artists have become notorious for substance use, addiction, and a good measure of crazy, which is probably intertwined with our ability and our need to make art. Not that all of us are crazy (yeah, right) and not that we’re all addicted to chemical head changes.

Or… are we?

As artists, our way of processing things, everything, is a bit different than people who don’t have the inclination to make art. We feel everything strongly, we see color differently, we look past reality into a world that doesn’t exist without our imagination. That in itself is a bit trippy, and we wouldn’t have the wherewithal to make grand, fantastical statements out of paint, thread, or music without a tendency to latch onto the emotional vibration of life. It’s not that everyone doesn’t do this to a degree, but artists take emotion to a whole new level. We breathe emotion into life. Often in beautiful, awe-inspiring ways. There’s an ebb and flow to be sure, with much of our time spent in frenzied creativity, overflowing with inspiration and ideas, high on nothing more than our need to create.

But there’s a flip side. Sometimes, if not properly nurtured, our emotional processing skills get broken. Sometimes everything gets black and dull and scary. Continue reading

At this time of year anything is possible

Three Wise Men, Christmas Owls, Hoot Hoot, turquoise, red, cute art, wall decor, jessicadoyle

And at this time of year anything can happen.

Over the last month or so I haven’t wanted to talk about me or what is going on in my life online save for the occasional tweet or Facebook update. I’ve been doing my best to pay attention and more than that just to be present with what is happening around me and within the circles of people that I spend time with in real life.

It was a needed break from online activity and this change of pace gave me a chance to attend and sell my art at five live art shows and sales during the months of November and December. These shows were amazing and I got to speak to many people and fans and it made me feel very humbled to be able to create for a living but more than that break out of a stagnant routine that was ultimately killing me.

I quit smoking five weeks ago. Passing that one month mark last weekend was almost more than I could stand. The moment was surreal as I was prepping for my fifth and final art show of 2011 in a neighboring city, planning a first date with a man (whom I’ve since been on two more dates with BTW) and fighting mental exhaustion from producing enough stock to bring to the shows to sell.

And shit has happened over the last five weeks and people have been mean and things have occurred that would have easily made me smoke in the past but for some damn reason I don’t care about any of you who want to see me fail or anything that wants to undermine my health or safety. I don’t wish any of you ill or harm or anything bad I just need the space from the negativity and harsh judgements that you seem to have.

I began the year 2011 talking about not being afraid and I must say this year caused me more angst and fear than any other in recent memory. But what a beautiful year it has been and what a wonderful time it is to be alive and to be not afraid.

I am fortunate to have not have lost my house this year.
I am fortunate to have regained my health.
I am fortunate to have conquered the last addiction that I had.
I am smart enough to know the difference between a good a guy and a bad guy.
And I am so lucky to have family and friends who love me.

I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season. I’ll be transitioning into blogging and working online more over the coming weeks. I miss talking with you all.

Merry Christmas from Missy two the cat, Little Orange the cat and myself!

xo

The Three Wise Men are available matted in the shop!