I Must Be Getting Better…

…because I have no more fucks to give.

Oddly, my bipolar and binge eating symptoms hibernated while I was sick with bronchitis, sinus and ear infections (Can my body not multi-task?  Is my brain too small to hold it all?), so the return of mixed-state depression/rage must mean the other stuff is on the way out.  Yaay (?)

While being physically sick is no fun, the vacation from mental shit-storms and out of control compulsion is heavenly.  It’s like being normal, only full of snot and really, really tired.

I’m still tired and semi-full of snot, but yesterday I rode sad anger back to bed and built a nest of portable projects around me to keep the yammering in my head at bay.

Henry and Emmett attended, but even they knew not to poke the bipolar bear who had no fucks left to give.

One of the hard things about coming back to my normal state of mental abnormality is that I’ve done so much cool art stuff these past two months.  When I could barely breathe, I read a bit in Susan Wooldridge’s Poemcrazy about collecting words, then made Word Cookies out of old art magazines.

I carry them in this little bag that fits nicely in my purse, and offer them like Fortune Cookies to whomever I’m with (which has mostly been people at the drug store, my therapist’s staff, and a few civilians willing to chance my germs).

I’ve been brave about drawing in my journal.

And I created a spread that fell together like a story.  Poor Tom Hiddleston, dumped by the harlot Taylor Swift, gave a heart-wrenching interview in February’s GQ that reminded me of Sting’s song Why Should I Cry For You?  A little research gave me details I’d missed just listening to the song, like “under the Dog Star sail,” which refers to Sirius, and “north, northwest, the Stones of Faroe,” which led me to the tiny cluster of Faroe Islands off the coast of Iceland.  I loved the metaphor of a broken-hearted sailor on the bleak, Arctic seas.  And I loved pulling together all the elements for the collage.

The wall quilt I started before I got sick is turning into a fabric collage—a place to try new skills like painting and stenciling on fabric.  Tearing apart my old art magazines for the Word Cookies, I found wonderful tips and examples.  When I gave a fuck, the possibilities thrilled me.

The materials to make three new art journals came out of my cupboard.  I finished two.  The third now languishes on my table, waiting for the fucks to come back.

The Buckaroo Banzai journal

My favorite quote from the movie by evil Emilio Lazardo.

Art by Andrea Matus DeMeng

I took a class with Andrea at ArtFest.

One week in therapy, Megan and I looked at commitment, not just making commitments to others, but also keeping promises to myself.  I realized that my longterm goal of writing a book to be published carried no joy for me anymore.  In fact, working on it was often painful.  Why was I doing this again?  So people at my funeral could get a party favor?  Morbid, bipolar-based reasoning.

I don’t have to prove myself a writer anymore, or leave something “of substance” behind.  I can spend my life pleasuring myself with weird art that practically falls out of me, instead of grunting over tortured prose.  So, I let that ancient goal go.  There are, my friend Sue tells me, only so many fucks a person can give.

Yesterday, in my Nest of Apathy and Rage, I emailed Megan, just to whine.  I knew, eventually, that the anger and depression would shift, but it was big and ugly yesterday.  Even if I had none, I wanted someone to give a fuck.

Have I mentioned that my therapist is awesome?  And funny?  She wrote back later:

I hope a fuck ton that you feel better soon. 

The Adventure Continues.

17 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Littlesundog
    May 04, 2017 @ 16:31:40

    Around here we say, “I don’t give a flyin fuck”. I hope your health has improved… but on the flip side it seems to bring productive and creative juices. Your artwork is exploding! I LOVE the Word Cookies and your journal entries are outstanding! I hope that snot and lethargy is soon a thing of the past. 🙂


  2. Catherine Cheng, MD
    May 05, 2017 @ 00:56:37

    “When I gave a fuck, the possibilities thrilled me.” …and “we only have so many fucks to give.”
    So true. And yet so often I operate on a subconscious assumption that I have infinite fucks, and that I have to give them all right now, do something constructive this very moment, or they are wasted fucks! Maybe it’s that I need to rotate the fucks I give. I gave this one already today, time to let it lie and give another one elsewhere. I can come back for this one later. Or something? I also hope a fuck ton that you feel better. 😊


  3. David Kanigan
    May 05, 2017 @ 03:53:29



  4. donnaanddiablo
    May 05, 2017 @ 08:15:19

    Sandy, though you may not give a fuck at the moment, the art you’ve been creating is fucking fantastic! Those word cookies are fabulous and the journals–wow! May the snot subside, the energy return and the fucks fly as frequently as needed…..


  5. Leslie
    May 05, 2017 @ 12:26:53

    I was recently felled by bronchitis and a sinus infection and the same miracle happened to me. I don’t know why our minds can’t deal with both, but I was grateful for the relief. This art that you are showing here is amazing. It’s seems that it’s where your true passion lies. ❤


  6. Alice
    May 06, 2017 @ 03:57:59

    Love love love your Word Cookies! And Buckaroo Banzai is truly an underappreciated masterpiece.

    (ps. I too hope a fuck ton that you feel better soon.)


  7. pegoleg
    May 08, 2017 @ 09:21:03

    Your art is fabulous. Good for you for jettisoning the book idea. Must be something we agreed to subliminally when we signed on the WordPress – blogger must work on book. Forever.
    That really is a fascinating relationship between physical and mental illness, especially since one of your other readers experiences the same thing. There’s GOT to be some sort of research project involved.


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