Anxiety, Art, Blog, Mental Health, Thank you

Thank you.

Blog Three

Friday 18th October (13 days till Samhain – Halloween)

“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.”
Oscar Wilde

I was sitting at my desk… surprise, surprise and I checked my emails. I find, to my utter astonishment, that I had…rather miraculously… gained followers, views and likes since my last post. The post where I detailed my acquaintance with a Queen….

I have no idea if you are reading this now, and let’s be honest… you probably aren’t. But just in case, just in that one in a million case that you in fact are reading. Thank you. Thank you for reading… for spending your time here, with me and my thoughts. It’s a lonely place most of the time, so it’s warming to know that I might not be quite so alone… if I choose not to be.

Choice. That’s an interesting topic. I think the term choice should be used subjectively. I would love to think that I have a choice in what I do day to day. Living in this supposed free world. I find myself quickly running out of choices, or in any rate realising that I’ve not had them in the first place. I find myself bound by the laws of myself, the constraints that my anxiety and depression impose on me. It’s constricting and infuriating. I feel myself boiling from the inside from the rage I direct at my inactivity, my unproductiveness, my procrastination. I chose to be creative and to express myself, but my mind has other more dormant plans. Or it creates a new list of a thousand things I must do before I can start on the thing that I actually need and want to do. It’s exhausting… and that adds to the fatigue. I mean mental fatigue when I refer to that, not a physical one… though it inevitably translates to just that later on, unfortunately.

I find myself sitting there, in the evening, just staring off into space. Mind a whirl with tasks, physically unable to talk or add anything meaningful to a conversation. I snap my mind and yell at myself to pay attention, to listening and be in the present… be in the now. But I soon return to my dizzying list of to do’s.  I may be perceived as rude or standoffish, and that’s fine… I understand that they don’t understand… and as my condition stops me from verbally communicating…. They are always none the wiser. Through no fault of their own their assumptions confound my isolation further and my need for said isolation which is in turn fuelling my anxiety,  negative space and perpetuating the problem…. HOLY SHIT! Breathe…

I’m not sure why I started to write just now, I think it was to remark on how happy I am about receiving support so quickly…and I truly am! For some reason, true to form I spiralled, forgetting the point and subsequently leaving me knackered!

What can I say? I did warn you I was a mess…. But seriously though, thank you. It means the world to me.

I am off to continue a piece I am working on, the base colour is the most stunning pastel green…. With micro gold glitter. Delish!

Anywho, Speak soon Blog xxx

Anxiety, Blog, Gardening, Mental Health, New Life, Plants

Innards on The Laminate Floor.

Blog 4

Monday 21st October 2019 (10 days til Samhain – Halloween)

One of my baby Spider Plants just hit the deck, hard. My fault? Yes, it was. I was mid flap (fluster) when I wheeled my boho blanket covered black faux leather office chair over to a small book shelf. I was trying to tidy up for a stream I was planning. My very first stream, might I add. So, of course my good pal Anxiety was rearing her uninvited head. Forcing me to fuss with this, mess with that, fluff up with the other; slowly increasing the franticness’ of my actions until the inevitable happened. I made a clumsy. In almost slow motion fashion I simultaneously pick up my empowerment stone from therapy and thwack the poor innocent, slumbering baby Spider Plant to her cold laminate floored doom. I watch her as she falls, not realising the full impact of what I had done. She smashed into the floor, her innards spilling everywhere revealing the glossy pearlescence of her intricate root system.

I jumped out of the aforementioned office chair and immediately go to her aid. I gently picked her up by her exposed roots and placed her onto the dish where her pot had sat. As she laid there slight dazed and extremely confused, I turned to my task, looking down at the newly formed soil rug. It had found its merry way into a dizzying array of places. Under my bed, on my books, in my croc’s (don’t judge me), in a bag and of course all over my vile laminate flooring. Probably an improvement to be fair.

I contemplate the issues one would face in daily life if there was a pile of soil at the side one’s bed. I concluded that a clean-up was needed and continued with my self-generated chore. I put as much of the soil back into her small pot as I could, finally giving up through fear of cat hair finding its way in. I grabbed the little one and we headed downstairs in search of more cleaner soil. I found some in the shed outside; drizzling wet weather, of course. I ran back into the kitchen and began the re-potting process. By the time I was finished she was sitting snugly in her pot, fresh dirt and feeling pretty.

She is languishing in her preferred spot now and I am knackered. I haven’t even started my stream yet! This is another new thing I am starting. I’m a gamer, if you didn’t know. And of course you wouldn’t, as I haven’t ever mentioned it. But, I am and I actually have a new channel on YouTube. Which has been another blessing and a curse. I love to do it, I look at it as a diary of my favourite moments in my gaming life. I get to look back at things and not lose them to my over saturated memory.

It has also opened me up to the gaming community on social media, which has been absolutely incredible! I isolate myself quite a lot, as you know, as I HAVE mentioned that before. So, this has given me a connection to something, to some one, to a group of people. I bounce ideas with them, they support me and I support them. It’s a real positive in my life and I am petrified I will lose it all. My usual insecurities and anxieties rule my head, what if they don’t like me? What if my content is crap? I don’t have the right equipment, so my work looks awful. All these thoughts and more can cloud me until I completely forget why I started it in the first place; to have fun, to meet some new friends and to keep a diary.

This post hasn’t been as depressing as my others… so a joke may not be needed here. Instead I will leaf* you with a pun instead:

 Why do plants go to therapy?

To get to the root of their problems!

Anyway, that’s me and now I am going to try and stream some game play. Wish me luck blog! xxx

Anxiety, Blog, Mental Health

When the Queen Came to Call.

Blog two

Thursday 17th October (14 days till Samhain – Halloween)

I rescued a Bee today. From almost certain death, might I add? I noticed Yuki (my tabby with the softest fur in the world) was on the hunt as I sat at my desk minding my own business. I immediately sought out what had gotten her attention and what do I find? The largest, fluffiest and most beautiful bee I had ever seen. She was sitting quite neatly on my sash window sill, just above the radiator warming her small and perfectly adorable feet.

I didn’t know what to do for her, but firstly I had to evacuate the room of cats and make sure the visiting Queen had privacy. After shooing away her audience I threw my dressing gown at the foot of my door to ensure no unwelcomed four legged friends could enter, my door doesn’t shut, you see. I went immediately back to her highness once the perimeter was secure (can anyone else hear the mission impossible theme tune? No? Just me then…)  She was languishing on the side, slowly rubbing her hands together, as if she had her own plan in the works.

I sat with her then and waited hopefully for her recovery. I didn’t want to capture her and simply put her outside, its cold today and I thought it cruel to throw her out when she had clearly been seeking warmth. I had no raw cane sugar with me, only honey and brown sugar. You can’t feed a bee honey unless it is from their hive and you can’t feed then brown sugar, it would make her poorly or worse. So I sat there and hoped she would perk up. I was always taught, if you ever come across a Bee that seems out of soughts’, give them some space and allow them to rest if you can do nothing else. So I sat there and hoped she would perk up. I spoke to my fiancé and sent photos to my friends, trying to seek the best thing to do for the tiny monarch so unexpectedly in my care. It was a fruitless endeavour, there was nothing more I could other than sit there and hope she would perk up. My work stopped, I couldn’t focus on or doing anything other than watch this small important visitor. Hoping she would perk up. She stole my afternoon with worry and anxiety. I was so scared she wouldn’t perk up, I wondered how long I would sit and keep guard of her, meanwhile my fur babies beyond the door kept scratching, trying to gain entrance. ‘Our little Guardians’ as James likes to call them.

I fetched a large pint glass (Fosters to be precise) and a sturdy notebook (Paperchase with winged unicorns… to be precise) in hopes she regained her perkiness and was ready to fly again. She slowly made her way to the lip of the window sill, dangling her feelers and front legs over the side. It was comical in a way, like when you are sitting poolside at a spa and enjoying the calm. She seemed so peaceful. I on the other hand was in full anxiety panic mode, heart pounding in my ears, mind going a thousand miles an hour. ‘I must save her’ ‘How do I save her?’ ‘What if I don’t save her?’ ‘How will it feel if I fail?’ ‘What would I do with her little body?’ ‘When will I move on from not helping this helpless creature?’

Yeah…. I was sure doing a number on myself. I sat quietly, notebook in one hand and pint glass in the other. Poised and ready to catch her if she fell or capture her should she feel better. So, I sat there and watched her wings begin to come back to life; she raised her regal head and took in her surroundings. The Queen had been with me for around half an hour, sitting together enjoying the heat gifted from the radiator. As she began to move more, as did my logical thinking brain. I dragged myself out of my stupor and started to formulate a plan.

I approached her silently and with care, slowly bringing the notebook to her side. She slipped onto it without decorum and was less than impressed with the pint glass. Though in retrospect I probably should have gone with something that suits her stature, a crystal champagne flute perhaps? Oh well, maybe next time… We travelled together then, through the house, past the loyal guardians at the door and through the nightmarish hell that is my studio come closet. We defeated the stairs and made our merry way through the dining room.

We found ourselves in the kitchen; she sat impatiently in her sub-par temporary accommodation while I busied myself with my plan. I grabbed one of the furry bums lesser used treat boxes and continued to cut into the side of it, creating an entrance. I then placed two soft, clean and dry tea towels inside before finally placing two sheets of soft tissue on top. I carefully closed the lid, trapping the soft furnishings in the lip and sealing the newly formed Bee Convalescent Home.

I slowly removed the notebook that was keeping her majesty inside and tilted the glass creating a tunnel to her new home. Apparently she was far from impressed with my impromptu decorating style as she was not keen on paying the new home a visit. With some honeyed words and persistent encouragement, she walked her royal butt into her new palace and soon settled in.

I unlocked my backdoor, and after fighting with cobwebs and looking like an insane person flailing around with a broom, I found her the perfect little spot to recoup. Besides my large flowerpots and next to my weathered red fence. I placed her gingerly on the ground and walked back to the back door. Mission, accomplished. I had gone the distance of my bedroom to my garden and it felt like I had ran a marathon.

She was safe from my fur babies and as comfortable as I could make her. I knew I couldn’t do anything more, but my anxiety will forever berate me for not doing enough.

I have a hero complex, it stems from my childhood. I saw terrible things and could do nothing to stop them as I was just a child. It has translated into crippling guilt if I don’t save everything and everyone I come in contact with. Yes that includes the worms I find on my walks through The Rally (A park near my home on the way to the city centre), if I don’t move them to grassier pastures… they will either be stepped on, eaten or fried in the sun… All of which I couldn’t live with.

This is what I do to myself with every aspect of my life, I anxiously predict everything and punish myself for nothing.

It is a blessing and a curse.

That’s my entry for the day, I hope I haven’t depressed you too much. Just in case I have, here is an appropriate joke:

If you have a bee in your hand, what do you have in your eye?
Beauty, because beauty is in the eye of the bee-holder.

I’m sorry… that one was bad. Just know that I tried.

Speak soon blog xxx

Anxiety, Art, Blog, Mental Health, New Life

I am a Mess To Be Fair.

Let’s start talking, and see what happens…

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”

— Pablo Picasso. .

Blog One.

Wednesday 16th October (15 days till Samhain *Halloween*)

Hello my names Micha, as the website would suggest…. and I am a mess to be fair. I am currently sitting in my bedroom in my two up two down terrace house in the West End of Leicester listening to the rain pour on my sash windows. I have just put dinner on and sent my fiancé James to ‘Look at the Cat Litter please’. I hear him going to the bin now, good I’ve been doing it for days… Anyway, subtle shade aside he’s a good man. He makes me laugh every day and has what I perceive to be the near godlike ability to bring me out of one of my… shall we say darker moods. He’s the only one who has this ability….

I had a decent day today, I think. Better than others anyway. My anxiety has been really bad recently, (I was going to type ‘of late’ but decided against it because… I never say that… or should I start saying it? Maybe I will…) My anxiety has been really bad of late…. Yeah we are going with that. I’m not sure what is triggering me at the moment. But it is pretty daily and pretty crippling. I experience near breakdowns every time I leave the house. Or my prison, as I have started to affectionately call it. I refer to it as a prison, and yet I fear to leave its boundaries. It’s an odd thing, anxiety.

It’s as though you knowingly and quite willingly create fears and negative feelings around certain events; so whenever that event happens, no matter how frequently or infrequently will inevitably result in an anxiety attack. Mild to moderate to severe depending upon the severity of the feelings your anxiety has allocated for said event.

Leaving the house for instance… pain in chest? Check. Shortness of breath? Check. Need for inhaler? Check. Double checking, triple checking and quadruple checking the safety points in my house? Check, double check, triple check, quadruple check. Need to brush hair? Check. Need to immediately don headphones to block out world? Check. Sunglasses for added armour? Check. Lipstick? Check. Backpack on one shoulder not two? Check.

Ok so, I could go on with the mental list I feel compelled to do each time I venture outside of my home. Its exhausting and something I have created and forced upon myself. No matter how many times I say I am going to leave the house today and it is going to be smooth and I am going to be ‘normal’ and just leave! Just leave and not freak out, just leave and not waste 15 minutes of my day on nothing but mental anguish. And each time I try to plan ahead… where are my keys? Got them. Make up bag? Found it. Sunglasses? In my bag. Purse? In the fridge… wait what? Fridge? Just joking… seeing if you were still listening. Oh, you aren’t? Well, that’s fine. I’m going to carry on anyway….

I know I am not alone in experiencing this, but I still feel isolated because of it. It is made harder by the fact I work from home. A studio to work in is a long way off yet, so I have to make do with our spare bedroom. It’s cramped, lacks storage and has minimum natural light, so yeah, the perfect place to paint and create master pieces (laughs maniacally). It has been a strange transition, going from working in a close knit team to working solo. I’ve been in sales since the tender age of 16, working as a team and enjoying the camaraderie you get from those that celebrate with your success or commiserate if it doesn’t go to plan.

I’m all alone now, no one to help guide me, no one to bounce ideas off of or receive feedback from. I’m officially an adult. If I don’t do it, it doesn’t get done. If I don’t overcome my crippling anxiety that holds me back from any form of self-promotion, which as an artist or even a sole trader, is kind of essential for survival. I need to work through my shit basically and get it the fuck together. Hence why I am here… typing at my laptop and getting down the first things that spring to mind. No pressure to make it sound interesting or intriguing. Not writing to hook the reader in or keep them guessing that something mysterious is going to happen. It’s for me, to help myself get through this unholy funk I am in. I paint to express myself and having just completed my first Abstract Collection ‘Let’s Play’ I am proud. Proud of what I have accomplished so far, but scared. Very, very scared. What if I am not good enough? What if I lose my creativity? What is no one cares? Am I a fraud? A fake? A wannabe’? The answer to those tantalising questions is ‘All of the above’.

Those questions have been burning in my mind since the very first day I decided to quit recruitment and follow my ‘dream’ of being an artist. They have become my mantra, a damaging, a self-deprecating limerick that is far from being humorous. My hope is that this process, should I stick to it (PLEASE STICK TO IT!) will help me to find the confidence that is buried deep within or in the very least help to get my head clearer…

Anyway, I have some painting to do, so I am signing off for now. Thank you for joining me in my first Blog entry, hope I haven’t depressed you too much… but in case I have… here is an appropriate joke:

My ability to turn good news into anxiety is rivaled only by my ability to turn anxiety into chin acne.
Tina Fey
(1970 – ) American actress, comedian, writer & producer

So true, thanks Tina!
Speak soon blog xxx

Art, Blog

Micha Staples Artist Bio

Micha Staples Art

Mixed Media Artist

Micha Staples was born in Boston before moving to Leicester at a young age; where she currently lives and works with her musician fiancé, James Scattergood. She has been fascinated with art and expressing herself from a young age, and as soon as she was old enough to hold a pencil she did so… and hasn’t let go since!

Micha is a Mixed Media artist, who is passionate about experimentation, narratives, textures and colour theory. Starting her career as a Portrait and Character artist, Micha chose subjects both in real life, such as her Homage to Jeffree Star – a self-confessed Icon for Micha, as well as drawing inspiration from her own imagination; creating ethereal characters where she utilises skills learnt during her time as a Make-Up Artist. Often dreaming up elaborate back stories in order to fuel her creations.

Most recently, Micha has ventured into the Abstract side of Art. “I woke up one day and had the overwhelming need to grab a canvas and just throw some colours at it. I was going through some really tough things in my personal life at the time, and I treated this as a way to vent… my usual work is so detailed and my go to paint brush is more often than not a super thin liner brush. I felt the need to de-shackle from my self-imposed constraints and start expressing myself in a far more fluid and immediate way!”

It has been a year of change for Micha; coming away from her career as a Recruitment Specialist and starting her journey into the Art community has been a ‘whirlwind’. After a needed break, Micha started to volunteer with a Non-Profit organisation ‘Leicester Art Zone’ after entering their Annual Competition. Going onto work as an Art Teacher for them, Micha led such classes as how to properly use Artist Resin and ‘Paint Pouring’. “I wanted my lessons to be fun and easy going. Nothing too structured or stressful, but you still walk away, hopefully(!) having learnt something new!”

Since then Micha has continued her experimentation with mediums and techniques, as well as starting a position with a prominent Art Gallery in Leicester. She has a lot of projects planned for the next year, promising to delve deeper into her passion of Pop Culture and ‘binging out’ on her more rebellious side…