For those of you who still follow this blog, thank you. For those who have and have wondered about updates, I offer my apologies. Not sure why this didn’t get updated between February and April of last year. I’m going to offer depression and anxiety related distractions as an excuse. Otherwise, I don’t know what happened to updating those months.
As far as absences from April of last years to the present, keep reading. This will require a long explanation, which will follow.
A couple of times in the past I referenced a considered move. Because of some family health-related issues, my wife and I made the decision to move closer to her parents in Kansas. The packing began in April of 2021 and the move took place the first part of May. Moving is quite the chaotic event and everything is still not unpacked almost one year later.
Because of the move, we were able to be present as my father-in-law’s health worsened, which was a source of comfort for my wife. Unfortunately in June, he passed away. But I was glad she was able to be near him during his last days.
Fast forward through the summer and fall with job searches, unpacking, getting used to new surroundings, getting established with a new psychiatric team, and other things, the blog took a back seat to other things. Summer, Fall, and early Winter involved Art shows, Festivals, exploring areas of Kansas outside of what we called home.
Then in December my worst nightmare imaginable happened. My wife, Sheila Reynolds, passed away. She was experiencing a panic attack and some fainting episodes the weeks before her passing. On the morning two days before Christmas, she experienced another fainting episode and asked me to call an ambulance. When they put her in the ambulance to head to the local hospital, that was the last time I saw her alive. At some point between, the house and the hospital, her heart gave out.
After leaving the hospital later that morning, I started playing the Hellyeah song “Black December” on repeat and that’s how I got through the first 24 hours and the rest of December. (Thanks again guys for voicing the emptiness I felt that morning.)
A few books got me through the initial weeks of shock and numbness. Philip Yancey’s Where is God When It Hurts, C.S. Lewis’ A Grief Observed, and Philip Yancey’s The Question That Never Goes Away: Why? were all instrumental in getting me though some of the darkest days and I highly recommend them to anyone experiencing grief, loss, or just stunned by the end of something.
Another thing that helped get me through some of the darkest weeks are the ASMR videos of Maimynyan:
and The Healing Room:
I highly recommend these two YouTubers if you’re struggling to sleep or even just relax. Both have helped tremendously. (Thanks Mai and Dee.)
The last three months have involved me just mostly going through the motions of being a functioning adult. I go to work when I’m scheduled and do my job, but outside of that I’ve struggled to produce art, paint miniatures, or even write. Most nights I experience nightmares and struggle to get more than three or four hours of sleep.
In a lot of ways, I’m still just going through the motions, but I’ve finally gotten where I can do things I like again. About a week ago, I cooked my first meal since December instead of surviving off fast food and snack foods. I started painting my first set of miniatures since before December, or at least the Mission Model primer. And I completed my first model kit since before December.
If you’ve been here a while, then you know my past struggles with alcoholism, depression, anxiety, and OCD. I’ve managed to make it through these struggling months, so far, without seeking solace in a bottle, thinking suicidal thoughts, or yielding to my obsessive impulses.
Have I full recovered? Oh God, no. In fact, I just experienced my first full night of sleep last night. (Thanks again Mai.) Hopefully that continues and I’ll try to keep this updated better now. I’m actually adding blog updates to my scheduled to-do list, so here’s hoping.
Clipart stolen from Clipart Library.