Saturday, 4 July 2015


This page is about the way I hide how bad I often feel from my beloved - he worries about me, but since I can't be better even though I want to be, I'll sometimes smile and say I'm OK when actually I'm not. He doesn't always believe me, and although I try to be truthful most of the time, who wants to hear negative responses every single day?  I don't believe he does, because then he has to carry that knowledge and might feel powerless.  We've developed a points system, a kind of code to say how I'm doing.

The page began with a very simple background of yellow acrylic paint, and then I used a collection of black/white and grey collage scraps to create a border.  On the left is the page at that point, and on the right you can see how it looked with a grey shadow and a black outline added.  Makes a big difference doesn't it?
As far as I'm concerned every page needs to have a face of some kind, even if its just an eye or something like that, some human element I suppose.  That's when I put down the head and shoulders (cut from a magazine) bottom left.  She had a smiley face and I thought "that's not how I feel today", so I added the weary-looking face at the top right.  All this got me thinking about how often I put on a brave face when I feel rough, and the fact that out of love I will wear a mask so as not to drag either of us down.  That was when I cut out a mask to cover up her true face.
And acknowledging the truth that this is what I do, led to me writing it down.  Believe me I'm not complaining here - lots of people have it so much worse - but I am trying to acknowledge to and for myself that this is one of my coping strategies, and to remind myself not to over-use it.  Its important that sometimes I'm completely honest with the people who care about me.  

Having said that, there's scientific evidence that smiling puts you in a better mood, so I practice a lot and hope it works!  Its the difference between half full and half empty isn't it?  I know I've said this before but its something I firmly believe, that attitude helps, and that people don't want to spend time with you if you're always negative and miserable.
So then I finished the page with just a few dots and doodles - it didn't seem to need a whole lot more. I'm pleased with the black, grey and yellow - it was a colour scheme I'd seen in a bedding shop and liked, which just goes to show that there really IS inspiration everywhere.
We all wear masks but most of us don't admit it or even know we're doing it.  I know I do, out of what I perceive to be necessity. In a lot of ways I probably shouldn't, but I do it because it helps both of us get through.  Its my own personal Brave Girl thing .... my way of shouting to the rooftops "I'm still here"!!


Carol said...

Gentle hugs - and I think most people live behind a mask xxx

Beacee said...

Love and prayers xxxx

alexa said...

Oh ... I find myself very moved by this, Rosie. Apart from the wonderfulness of the page itself, I am struck by your commentary too; living with my glass-is-always-half-empty-Dad, I am touched that you try to keep positive for others where possible and can really appreciate how helpful and lifting that must feel for them. And - hopefully - for you too :). Inspiring ...