The Identity of Recovery and Some Work from LUKE Haynes

[Gifts #12] Secret
[Gifts #12] Secret 

This piece by LUKE Haynes has been on my mind a lot lately.  Secrets vs. Revelations is an intriguing battle.    

You should check out his work if you haven’t seen it yet.  He is a quilter unlike any other.  His images are bold and photographic.  His lines are clean and striking. I haven’t seen anything from him that didn’t elicit an emotional response.  I love an image that holds you for a while.  (I can’t stand extraneous crap on artwork–the reason I usually don’t like “art quilts.”  Don’t get me wrong, I love quilts–just not “art quilts” with “quotation marks.”)    

He recently opened a gallery in Seattle but I didn’t get my poop in a group soon enough to direct you to the opening.  My bad.  Nursing school is kicking my ass.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about health lately.  I spent over 20 years of my life struggling with depression and now it’s gone.  (Actually, my first memory of depression is from kindergarten.  I remember thinking that my mom would be happy if I died.  Then I cried until I fell asleep.  This is one of my earliest memories.  You can see how deep these thoughts and feelings are rooted.)  I’m so grateful to be healed that I often start crying with relief and joy when I think about it.  I am different now.  I am better. 

Recovery is a strange process.  So much of my life’s work has been to understand the identity of illness and bring awareness to psychiatric disorders, using my life as an example.  Who am I now that I’m well?  The memories of my depression are still twitching and kicking like a phantom limb.  The disease has been amputated, but my body can’t forget the pain.  How much longer am I going to wake up in the middle of the night scratching a leg that doesn’t exist?

I know that I must learn to identify myself as a well and healthy person to stay that way.  The devil I know is only 6 months in the past.  The devil I don’t know is the future.  I refuse to go back, so I need to accept that the future could be great–that the other shoe might never drop.

The irony of all of this madness is that I’ve found out recently that a lot of my depression symptoms were caused by endocrine problems–it wasn’t all in my head.  Correcting insulin and adrenal hormones fixed me.  I’m really not sure what to think about that.

Here is another LUKE Haynes quilt.  Go look at some more.
[The-American-Context-#1]-American-Gothic

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3 thoughts on “The Identity of Recovery and Some Work from LUKE Haynes

  1. It’s interesting how endocrine disorders seem to have links to symptoms of mood disorders. And I used to spend so much time worrying about everything that could go wrong until one day I realized there was just as much chance (maybe even more) that things could actually turn out okay. I am glad that things are going so well for you!

  2. I really enjoyed going to Luke’s link and seeing his work, which I agree is fabulous.
    I am glad you have found a cause for your lifetime of depression.

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