My cognitive function has improved significantly over the year and a half. I find myself able to do much more and even to be in contact with some from the “outside” world who make no allowances for disfunction or inacapcity simply because they do not know me as someone who is ill in anyway.
I find my ambitions increasing. I want to not only create art for myself but art which can be sold and can be collected. Yet I still lack the full range of function and capacity and sheer physical and mental resources to do ALL those things which must be done to be successful in this venture.
I look for advice and my head spins. I hear criticism of those who wait to be discovered or who expect others to engage and nurture success for you. I don’t choose to be passive – I am there because it is my forced hand.
It seems to make success I must do one of the following:
- Be smarter than the average person. I must be creative and innovative within the limits I have (and also be able to constantly monitor what those limits are) despite not having full cognitive function to figure these things out or even to remember them
- Redefine “success” to something I can actually attain. Is success making x amount of money or can it be as simple as finding an audience, or getting enjoyment from what I create?
- Wait. To be better. Or to be discovered. Even when both are longshots.
- Forget about it. Either in a negative way and dash my dreams. Or in a positive way and shift focus back to doing what I can do and being happy with that.
With every improvement in ME/CFS there is a joy and elation which seems to be followed by an inevitable desire to want more again. If I can get out of bed before lunchtime it’s not long before I want to be going for a walk, or doing chores, or doing just that little bit more and more and more.
Motivation is not an issue with this illness. Desire to do more, be more, is never a problem.
The heavy burden is rationing the resources I do have out amongst the many needs and wants, whilst letting go of the unnobtainable things, all while keeping sadness and negativity from taking a hold.
I cannot, whilst I am ill, try to be the average person. I can only be all that I am able with what little I have. I guess I have to apply that to being an artist too. Just as I have to apply it to being a wife, a daughter and a friend.