Thursday, April 23, 2009


My relationship with Effexor is complicated. It's harder to explain than my relationship with my ex husband. Every benefit came with a price.

16" by 9" cotton and rayon floss on printed cotton background
My first year on Effexor was the only time I ever felt sane. I don't mean zombie-like. I don't mean beige and bland. I didn't feel like a robot. I was sane. I could get out of bed in the morning and want to be alive. I could enjoy watching my daughter's ballet class. I felt my husband's love without insecurity. I made plans. I made friends. I got married again. I smiled sometimes. It was great.

Then the symptoms started. Brain shivers--dizzy spells so severe and sudden that they feel like an electrical shock--started coming throughout the day. It was weird, but worth it. I wasn't depressed. Within 9 months, taking a dose a few hours late caused painful withdrawal symptoms: nausea, muscle aches, night sweats, panic. After a year I started getting these symptoms, even when I took my dose on time. I was strung out and upset.

Then a routine liver test came back elevated. The evil drug was destroying my liver. I had to discontinue. Goodbye, clarity. Goodbye, sanity. Goodbye brain shivers.

I still haven't found anything that works like Effexor did in the beginning. Every other antidepressant known to work on the neurotransmitter norepinephrine (like Effexor) has given me some relief (as Effexor did), but has destroyed my liver (the same way Effexor did.) This means I can't take any of the drugs that can relieve my depression.

I'm not 100% depressed anymore, but I'm still not 100% better. I'm working hard to get well. That's something.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

More Self-Imposed Art Therapy

I'm starting a new series.
I've always been intrigued with medicine. I was put on antidepressants for the first time when I was 11. Dr. Roach gave me a bottle of shiny, candy-like pills that promised happiness and normalcy. They didn't work, but I slept all day and didn't care about my sad little life anymore.
I've been through many pills since then. I'm finally ready to explore my feelings about the hope and disappointment of medications.
So many promises broken.
This piece is 10" by 14", cotton and metallic thread on a printed background. I wanted to mimic the feel of thick acrylic paint. I wanted the grainy look of brushstrokes and the swirl of melting colors. I'm really enjoying this technique.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


I burned out on the human internal organs embroidery last year. Then I burned out on the weaponry. I consider this a happy medium.
14" by 16", cotton and metallic thread on printed cotton background.
I honestly have no idea what my Godzilla obsession is about. But now that I've done this, ideas are coming back to me. I'm inspired to stitch. I have great things ahead.
Closeup of "skin." (French knots)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Some Artwork, Not Mine

This is Isabel's portrait of Barrack Obama. I had to share it. Cute, huh?
I've got a lot of projects to photograph and I'm missing some vital tools. I'm embroidering again and it feels great to tap into my favorite creative outlet. The sun is shining. Maybe I will, too.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I knit some socks

I knit three pairs of socks when my husband was home on leave. We were on the road a lot and I don't like to leave home without a sock to knit. The weird thing is that all three pairs match. I guess I didn't get bored because my mind was far from my knitting.

The light pink pair were knit with Patons Kroy Stretch Sock. The colorway is "Sugar." I'll send them to my friend Angela as a random surprise.
I played tennis in high school and never got over the joy of peds. Now that I have a bold tattoo, I'll be knitting quite a few more pairs to show off my ink. They are a great way to get rid of leftovers.
The purple pair are my favorite. I've always like short row heels, but I have never liked the fit. I decided to increase 10 stitches before the short row heel, then decreased them away. The fit is closer to a traditional heel flap, with a deep heel cup that helps the socks stay up. The yarn is a barfy handpaint-gone-bad, so I'll keep them. I plan to knit more socks with this type of heel.
I plan to knit some tabi socks next. The weather here in Montana is wacky. Socks and sandals make sense around here. (I can wear them with my shorts and parka ensemble.)