The rage

I’m a fighter. I’m the kind of human that will get mad if I come across something that’s not fair. And I’m pretty vocal about my opinion.

But I never had anger issues. Until I did.

For the past couple of months, along with my therapy realizations, the anger showed up. The suppressed anger that was building for years surfaced, I let it surface. And it’s been one hell of a ride!

I never lose control, when I get angry I never let words come out of my mouth without thinking about them first. I know very well how to keep my cool and I do so even in the most intense moments. But with the anger levels I’m going through lately it’s been a little bit harder to stay “calm and collected”. It helps that I have practiced keeping quite calm, but creating also helps a lot.

Being an artist I have learned to put my thoughts and feelings into my art. And with anger it’s super super useful. Making something helps me keeping it under control and in the same time externalize what I’m feeling in a very healthy way.

It feels great that I’m not letting myself go and that I don’t let the heat of the moment get the better of me. And it’s jind if weird thinking what I would have done without art, where all this baggage would go…

I believe that this period it’s a phase that I have to go through, until I fully accept my new discoveries and become my more, normal, calmer self.

The searching

The searching, a.k.a. the therapy.

I have been in therapy for the past four years. And it’s one of the best things I ever did for myself.

Being in therapy, talking, searching has helped me discover things of the past and aspects of my life and who I am.

I chose the “hard way”, I have chosen to reach pretty deep in the past and in my feelings. In therapy is the patient that basically chooses how much he/she’s going to share, and I believe in sharing all.

I feel like the deeper you go, the better base you create so you can recover and build again.

Currently I’m in the space in between: I have changed a lot since I began therapy, I have set new boundaries, realized a ton of things, and….I’m in the phase I have to accept the bad ones. And hopefully things are going to become much better at some point.

I have realized and accepted that my OCD was born inside the family. My family is a family of four, and I’m the oldest kid. And my trauma was created during my teenage years, from the really bad relationship I had with my father, and basically the way he was treating me.

I believe that the trauma deserves a seperate post, so see you in the next one!

The mental health

As I mentioned in the previous post there are going to be six posts with thoughts and updates about mental health, and after them I will continue writing about it more frequently again.

This one is a little update.

Hello to the new people in the blog! My name is Angelina, I’m an artist, living and creating in Athens (Greece), while having OCD. I’m 31 and I’ve had it since I was 17.

It was untreated until 2016 when it reached a point where it caused me to have depression and suicide ideations. And that’s when I got help (if I could go back I would have gotten help much earlier!).

Dealed with all that, have in therapy ever since and I was on meda for 2.5 years until 1 year ago when I stopped taking them (the proper way, tapering, it was my doctor’s decision, etc). And it was some kind of journey going off meds, oh my!

Now, I have reached a point when I will probably go back to them soon, because my OCD isn’t at its best.

For the past 4 years there have been many downs and only a few ups, which definitely didn’t help my mental state: I took care of my sick (with cancer) mama until she got better, my father got sick as well and has been in dialysis ever since, I happen to live next to my grandmother and her husband and they have really gotten old and their needs have been so many for the past couple of months. Plus, I’m an artist that tries to figure things out and reach a point where I can live off my art (not even close to that yet).

But, I have survived all the above, I have a couple of good friends and a very good man. And my OCD.

I’m functional even though my brain doesn’t help me a lot most of the times, I have my routines and my goal is to someday being able to live without it (or at least with a tiny part of it in my brain).

These are some basics about me, for now!

The next one will be about being in therapy, the searching and the discoveries I have made so far.

Take care until then!

Those teen movies

Today “According to Greta” was on TV, a 2009 teen romantic drama. I have watched it before back then, but it was fun watching it again.

It reminded me of all the the similar movies I was watching during my teenage and early adulthood years; all the romantic comedies and dramas.

The heroines were close to my age, there might have been problems in their lives, but everything around was colorful and with pinches of romantism.

Usually the girl was an artist or at least she had artistic. She was looking for her way, a new beginning, a solution to something, and in the meantime she was discovering herself. Of course there was always a cute guy who was falling for the girl, for who she really was.

In those movies there was a lot of positive thinking and will power. But they were leaving you (me) with a sweet sense. That’s the sense I was reminded today….

OCD & the pandemic

What it’s like to live with OCD through a pandemic?

Well, it’s like an episode of The Twilight Zone basically. It’s like that for everyone I think, but if you have OCD it’s one of the hardcore episodes, the ones that the world as the hero/heroine knew it is coming upside down.

It’s weird seeing everyone doing what you usually do because of a mental condition; doing routines and actions that you have mastered through the years of (unwilling) practice.

Now everyone washes their hands regularly; I wash mine countless times daily, for years now.

Now everyone keeps their distance from others; I try to keep my distance from others all the time, I basically hate it when strangers come too close (aka approximately 1 meter).

Now people use antibacterial tissues, which are basically one of the top 3 essentials I always bye from the grocery store and I use them even inside my own house (and, yeah, now I can’t seem to find any).

Now some people clean their phones, their cash, the groceries, all these things that I always clean.

Now some people throw their clothes to the laundry basket straight after they enter their house; well I have been doing this for years (only wear something once and after I wash it).

Now people pay attention to where and what they touch; this is a constant thing for me.

Normally I’m the odd one out of the norm and, now, my “abnormality” is the new norm.

I have been living with obsessive compulsive disorder for years now. You know that fear you feel nowadays, that you’re going to get sick, that something bad is going to happen if you’re not careful enough? I feel like this each single day; I create through this, doing everyday chores through this, live through this. And it’s not easy at all.

Now, during this weird and hard period we’re all going through, I am cool about it, because this is life for me, I do what I always do, keeping the pieces of balance I have managed to create for myself over the years. And because it’s all these repercussions are second nature to me, I’m quite sure I do my best so I and the people around me won’t get sick.

Think about it, how you feel with the coronavirus pandemic. Imagine having all this pressure and paranoia 24/7 inside your head. This is exactly how OCD feels like.

The madness of this epidemic is like being inside the mind of an OCD patient. And the virus is like every fear and obsessive idea that someone with OCD has. It might not always be so real as this virus, but it’s 1000% real for the brain and the body of the patient.

Maybe all these words are food for thought… something to think about if you’re in quarantine and you have so much free time in your hands.

Take good care of yourself and we’re all going to be just fine in the end!

Diary

So, I haven’t been writing a lot lately here. A lot of things have been going on:

* I stopped creating for @daily_art_by_angelina (I was making colorful boho-inspired jewelry). The shop that I was providing closes soon, the Etsy sales weren’t good lately, so I felt it was time for something new. But, 8 years with this brand I have created it’s a long time, the decision took time.

* Alongside the previous thing, I also decided to stop making art as @drawing_tales and art photography and digital collages as @a_mavrogianni_photography and create a new project with my original drawings, my photography, my digital art and new kind of art jewelry. Under my own name this time. This was also a big decision, having the courage to do this step. Ptomote myself from now on, as an artist, and not under a brand name. You can check my Facebook page at Angelina Mavrogianni or my IG profile at @angelina_mavrogianni for updates and blings on this project!

* The decluttering project I have started in autumn has been delayed, a lot. Kind of postponed, cause many things came up in my personal life, one of the biggest is that my grandma and her husband who live right next to me have taken a turn for the worse, my mother (grandma’s daughter) lives in a different city, so I’m the “lucky” one that lives next to the grandparents and has many things to do (they also have help, but still there are many things to be done for them) and apart from the rising anxiety levels, a big part of my energy is drained by all these.

So, that is a small update. I’m going to write more about it in the following posts. Especially for the ongoing roller-coaster of my OCD (before all the latest events with the grandparents happened I was on a mission to get rid of it, which mission is actually postponed now).

My photography project with the one photo a day for a year is still going on, you can see the whole project so far in my parallel blog amicrocosmof366photos.wordpress.com, which I use as a gallery for all 366 photos (today is going to be photo no.72/366).

Take care, talk (write) to you soon.

One photo a day

So, as you may have noticed, lately I haven’t been posting my #onephotoaday project here.

This year I’m taking and posting one photo each day, and from the January 1st I have been posting my entries here, until I noticed that the blog started to get a bit overcrowded with all the photos.

So, I created a separate blog that I use as a portfolio of my project. You can check it out at “A microcosm of 366 photos”!

That girl (who cries on her birthday)

I don’t just love birthdays, I adore them. 2/2 is my day!

But this year… there’s something off about my birthday. I don’t actually cried because I’m turning 31, but I can definitely feel the stereotypical girl in the movies that cries because she’s getting old (plus, it makes a very good title for the post).

This year, I’m feeling a bit sad in between the cheer of my birthday celebrations.

Last year, the number 30 was a new era, was fun. This year, 31 seems weird, like it’s someone else that’s turning this age. It seems like time starts passing by faster.

Things have been happening lately, I have old relatives very close to me, relatives that start getting too old, I see first hand the way time passes. And I realize how fast time passes for me as well (how did I reach 31?!). And I’m wondering how much time I have left, and what’s going to come.

And I realize how precious time is, and I’m brainstorming about the best ways to live a good and happy life.

And I bought myself a very “adult” gift this year: a coffee maker. That’s one good and wise idea. Many more to come!

First post of 2020!

Happy/healthy/bright 2020 everyone!

A great chance for a new beginning starts today, with a brand new year (and decade).

Lately I haven’t been so active here. There was a lot of working and creating going on (my art and jewelry mainly) and a lot of working with myself as well.

For some time now I wanted for this blog to enter a new era, refresh the content a bit. And I finally came up with a couple of ideas (and many more to come)! I will continue sharing my mental health story and add some more personal stories as well.

Plus, I have many more creative projects in mind for the new year. One of them being the “one photo a day” project/challenge. Each day, I will be taking a photo and posting it here! 2020: 366 day, 366 photos! I won’t go with a prompt list, I want to be a diary of everyday things. And maybe I will add a little caption to each photo/post.

So, that’s all folks, for now!

Have a great day & a wonderful year!

P.S. The cake in the photo is the traditional Greek New Year’s cake. A cake that has a little coin inside and is considered a good luck charm for the one that gets to have it in his/her piece! It wasn’t in mine, but the cake was very tasty!

It’s not a wonderful world (diary)

No photo for this one. Because I believe that there’s no match. Not 100%.

Lately, while reading articles online, looking around me, or listening to stories and news, I feel more than ever that this isn’t a wonderful world.

I have started to believe that we live in a world that goes through a massive crisis. Wars, people that run for their lives away from these wars, more and more poverty, violence, rapes, murders, fourteen eyes for one. It’s no big news, but I get the sense that things are getting a turn for the worst day by day.

All this seems so sad and scary. Seeing all the hate that grows in people. Instead of humanity becoming better, it becomes worse. Instead of the majority of people working on becoming better, we become more irritable, focusing on our image, hiding what’s not convenient, and even if we talk about important matters or taboo themes, we do it in such an intense way.

Personally, when I see and think about all these, I try to see the other side as well, the good things, the beauty of things. But it’s not always so easy.

Sometimes this idea stucks in my mind: why is the world going so wrong?!