"The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." Psalm 18.2

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Little Woman Who Could

Saw a quote recently: The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do. Sarah Ban Breathnach
Which got me to thinking: why don't more dreamers become doers? I've known many, MANY folks over the years who dream big dreams: changing careers, leaving an abusive relationship, going back to school, becoming a secret agent and saving the world from the evil villain - well, not so many on that last one. And these dreams aren't always great big dreams. Sometimes they're simple, private dreams: learning to dance, taking art lessons, learning how to program that  **bleep** DVR!
One of the perks of bipolar disorder is having delusions of grandiosity, which was one of the toughest things to reckon with after my diagnosis - you mean, I'm not as fabulous as I always thought I was? Bummer.
Anyway, a byproduct of those delusions is that I've jumped feet first into so many things I'd never done before, completely believing I could do it. You know, we worry about what people will think - will they like it, will they approve, will I look like an idiot, all sorts of negative things. But, guess what, there's another kind of "what will they think" that can bring you down too. People, esp. other women, can be pretty hateful when you shine. I actually had a "friend" say to me, "Well, it's a good thing you're not a size 8, or I would really hate you!"
When I was diagnosed with bipolar two years ago and began therapy, I started a therapy journal. One of my spreads was, Whatever happened to Beverly the Magnificent? On that spread I listed things I had done well, just reminding myself that I am competent and talented, that it wasn't all delusions.

Disclaimer: my purpose with the following is not to impress anyone. Just sharing some first-hand observations.

For instance:
  • For an Easter production at my church, I volunteered to turn the sanctuary into the city of Jerusalem! I painted 24 4x8 panels that stretched across the front of the sanctuary, and also built a "mountain" that Abraham and Isaac could walk up. Had I ever done anything like that before? No! But I had no doubt I could do it. And I did! (Wish I had photos to share.) Since then I've painted many murals of all sizes; I'm no longer able to - fibromyalgia is no fan of going up and down on ladders! So now I paint smaller.
  • When my best friend couldn't afford the wedding cake of her dreams - to serve 300! - I made it for her. And it was gorgeous and delicious! People kept saying, I didn't know you make wedding cakes. And I was thinking, I didn't either!

    Am I cute, or what?
 Anyway, just a couple of examples. Of course, these were from the "manic" periods! But even during the "depressive" periods, I still had a tendency to jump in where angels fear to tread!
Do I recommend such reckless behavior? Not really. I've been very fortunate to not have any epic failures, but there certainly have been failures and near-failures. On those occasions when I did succeed at some crazy idea, I believe it was due to confidence as much as any ability. Maybe it was delusional confidence but it worked!
So, my point is: fake it until you make it. That little voice that keeps saying, You can't... what will people think... this is a stupid idea... that voice is lying to you! (No, I don't hear voices in my head - that's schizophrenia LOL)
Now before you say, well, she sure thinks she's special! - that's not what this post is about. I'm just trying to say that if you think you can, you most likely can! So - think you can! Believe you can! And then do it, and prove you can! And to hell with what anyone else thinks! Do you want to wake up one day, look back on your life and say, I wish I had...?
And now I will take my soapbox and sit down.
Until next time,



  1. What a heartfelt post! Way to go! Great Journal pages as well...they really help with moods, don't they! BTW, that tree was from Quick Quotes.

  2. wonderful pages--thanks for sharing!

  3. Great art journal pages, Beverly! A little art therapy is always good for the soul!


  4. Beverly...I came over to thank you for leaving a nice comment on my blog. But now I have to thank you for this wonderful post. You see I have depression and suffer from seasonal disorder. This to can make you have highs and lows. But I tend to beat my art up for it.
    So thanks for your post and thanks for your comment!

  5. I know just how you feel Beverly, been manic/depressive most of my life. The meds help but
    its easy to slip back into that deep dark hole.
    keep on keeping on.
    hugs Lynn

  6. Of course you can and will! There are things that happen in life and it can take all of our energy! This hobby of ours is a way to pick up ourselves and give us a much needed outlet! Thank you for visiting my blog and stop by anytime for a visit!

  7. oh my, thank you for sharing your words...it is so moving to me. I was so caught up in what you where saying, I had to go back and look at your fabulous project, luvin the wonder woman, you look so sweet! The "B" can also stay for believe...Believing in Beverly. Hope you have a wonderful week!

    enjoy *~*

  8. Beverly, I too came over to say thank you for your visit and was much moved by this wonderful post (and your great artwork) I am not often patient enough to read through long post, it's usually images that grab me, but this post was different as so obviously it came straight from your heart! I am lucky enough not to know bi polar from personal experience, but I have several friends that suffer from it (and often they are artists and dreamers). Your journal looks special and yes, I am sure there is nothing more healing than art and that I do know from experience. Thank you for your lovely visits and keep creating!!

  9. Beverly, just an other thank you for visiting my blog. How the little comments left mean so much to all of us. I use mine to keep in touch with the art community in blog land since there really isn't anyone in my area to share with, or have some playtime with. I am a I think I can person, so I try most anything, and yes I have had some Bomb-outs, and had to turn into a what-if person.....LOL Keep up the art journaling.....I love mine and have three going now. Drop back by any time, loved hearing from you.

  10. Hi Beverly! Thanks for stopping by my blog on the Gecko Galz hop. I just read through your post again (I stopped by earlier in the month) and looked at your journal pages. THANK YOU! I'm working on a journal page and am having doubts about it as this is a new art form for me. I needed to read what you wrote again as a reminder, YES I CAN!

  11. this is the most beautiful post. thank you for your dear wonderful sharing heart, and thanks for visiting my blog! xo

  12. What a fun journal page Beverly. Sp glad you are a woman who can. Thank you for leaving a comment about my pillows at Time to Create Handmade Treasure. I appreciate it - Julie