Trying to look up, not down.


Thank you to everyone for the kind comments and private messages, which helped so much. A month on and the first few weeks of being in numb shock have worn off; try as I might, I cannot find any fighting spirit. I had my first proper cry the other day, just as my ‘work horse’ computer permanently died, as if it, too, was tired of me. 

My eyes seem to be permanently leaking - whether from the cold, tiredness or from the all encompassing, aching sadness which fills me, even when I am immersed in work. And work I must, despite the urge to bury myself and howl for a lost future. So I pick up my brave face and attach it as firmly as I can. I try not to think about the rapidly approaching winter; how chilly and dark the cottage becomes. I spend my mornings in my studio, well wrapped up and then take my work to bed for the rest of the day, when hopefully some sun will come through the window. I force myself to eat twice a day, even though I have no appetite. I try (unsuccessfully) not to torture myself by wondering what on earth happened and how did it come to this - the lack of any firm facts has left me in a state of horrible limbo, yet somehow I have no anger, nor need for retribution. It is what it is, and despite myself, I cannot help worrying about him and whether he is feeling wretched too.

And so it goes. The only thing I have is work and trying to prepare for an uncertain future. Beyond that, I cannot see. But I am strengthened by the sympathetic wishes left; I am not the first person this has happened to (it is as old as history) and sadly I won’t be the last. So I am trying hard  to shake off this unattractive self pity and to keep on looking up, not down, as a wise friend advised. Because down is very scary indeed and I’ve never been good with heights.

Discover more wanderings by supporting me on my Patreon page 


Di said...

Oh dearest Gretel. I didn't see your previous post. Like others, I've followed you for ages and wept when Andy left on his last walk.

This time is different and won't be so hard to deal with I'm sure. You are strong and loved by so many of us - keep looking upwards sweet girl. This too shall pass. It's his loss and could very well be your gain. Please let me know if there's anything at all I can do to help. Sending love and virtual hugs, Di xx

Granny Sue said...

I think it might be harder because of the time of year. In Spring, when everything is fresh and green such changes are a little easier on the spirit. Please keep writing. It makes all of us out here worry less when we know what you're feeling.

And now, I have a suggestion for possible income. I don't know if this would work but it might be worth considering. What if you set up a subscription-type thing, where people could pay in, say 10 dollars or pounds or whatever currency, each month to your account? Then, once a year, you would send your subscribers something you've made. It wouldn't have to be anything big or elaborate, just some little thing you think we might enjoy. Could be a sketch, an illustrated poem, a small felted piece, whatever.

I know I'd sign up right now. I do something similar with a wine club. Each month I pay dollars. I can cash in on my investment anytime with a wine order. So last time I let it ride for 2 months, then ordered my 12 bottles, and only had to come up with an extra 40 dollars or so--and often they include a free bottle. The money paid in each month by subscribers is divvied up among the various wineries so they have some money in advance to invest in their wineries. I like knowing I'm helping small wineries, and I get good wine for a good price, and paying for it over time like this makes it easier for me.

Anyway, please consider it. And if you decide to go with this idea, please sign me up as your first subscriber.

Sending lots of love, dear friend. And wishing I was there, with my wine, to commiserate with you.

Di said...

It's Di again. I like Sue's idea a lot and if you go ahead then I'd also sign up! Love, Di xx

Lin said...

I think you will find your way, but you need to grieve too. I mean, it was years that you put into that relationship. How can you not grieve for it? BUT...don't let it sink you, dear friend.

I think your followers are supportive. I'm not in a place to subscribe to a blog, but I think you can find other creative venues to create an income. Maybe virtual classes? Or tutorials? Or set up a paypal account and if something comes up....say, like a new computer....post about it and see if your supporters will send a contribution? It will come to you as to what to do.

Settle a bit, catch your breath....but get outside in the sunshine too. Go for a walk, take that bike for a ride....anything....outside heals.

Sending positive vibes....

floraHerbarius said...

We are many followers who would like to support you in one way or another. I see that your products in the Etsy shop have fairly high prices, which is not surprising when we know what quality handicraft it means. But perhaps you could put in some other more reasonably priced things also - like printed posters of your watercolours? A5 or A4.The cards are beautiful, but still a bit small for some purposes. When I look at Jessica Stride's Etsy shop, I find that her prints are very tempting to buy for a customer with a smaller budget. A price between 15 and 20 pounds is much more affordable and makes it easier to use the purchase-button - especially for customers outside UK, who must pay more for postage and possibly taxes in addition. As I am a producer myself (of homemade jams etcetera) and lost both my little extra job and the market sale during this corona-year, I found that it helped me a lot to launch a wider range of products in the 3 grocery stores where I recent years just had a limited selection to offer. Without this extension of products I am afraid my economy would had collapsed.

Kim said...

I supported an artist via Patreon on YouTube at $4 a month. Was great! She shared watercolor classes and the sketch to go with it. I stopped because I started knitting, but would love to try your style of watercolor and sketching. :)

One thing I find myself doing, when anxious and depressed, lately is rereading books that I know are good. And watching programs that I already watched. And doing physical work until I fall facedown to bed at night. The books especially bring me comfort. I could always hook you up with my Kindle account :)

Caroline B said...

Oh Gretel, I've been where you are and it is miserable. We get through these things the best way we can - in my case it was get angry, refusing to let the actions of another person ruin my life. But there is a huge grieving process to wade through and you can only cope in the way that is best for you. I agree with comments above - look into Patreon, check out somewhere like RedBubble that do all the hard work of making prints of your work - they can also do other products with your designs on such as t-shirts. There is something called Buy Me a Coffee, which allows your supporters to make small donations to you just as a way to support you. Also, look into the benefits side of things, you might just qualify for some extra financial help there too. Hang in there, you will get through this.xx

Pam said...

Oh no - I've just read your previous post and am so sorry! You certainly didn't deserve this after everything. All your friends' suggestions seem very sensible - do take some of them up once you have the energy to think. With very best wishes from Edinburgh.