Turning My Art on it’s Head

” Trying to turn heads while my head is turned…”

In Plain Sight/ Insane, Right? ©Susan T. Martin”The Party’s Over”

Hi, fellow Art fanatics! I’m very glad you are able to visit me here. This isolation is wearing heavily on my battered little brain. Please tell your friends who love a good laugh, interesting art and insight into head injury coupled with a Bipolar Disorder diagnosis. It can get loud in here! I welcome the visitors, and also love to read your comments.

The fall I took 2 weeks ago has left a dent (it’s OK to laugh, I am-even when it hurts!) in my work production. I am dealing with BPPV* symptoms and they are fierce. I finally realized my exhaustion is more than depression again, so after forcing myself to clean house at 1:30AM, I performed the Eppley maneuver. I bent to the left this time, as I could actually discern more pain and pressure when I leaned that way, and sure enough I incurred violent vertigo and headache. The therapy helped: I am able to post this and am enjoying a cup of hot cocoa, with mini marshmallows.

This inner drive I have, the endless pressure to do more, do better…it can be so toxic when I am battling a disability. It makes me furious that I am limited in any way, and coupled with my overwhelming need for approval causes me major doubts about my ability as an artist. It’s so crazy, because I can see the art I put out-endlessly, constantly, incredibly- day after day. I see that I do things no one else can do, I read the praises people post, I hear the kind words of the curators and collectors…but I still feel like a child…that little girl with a broken pencil hiding her picture from everyone.

I have come to expect these days of self doubt. Days when the critics come out of the cheap paneling, surrounding me, poking me with long, blue fingers: “Is that all you can do?” ” What’s that supposed to be?” “My brother draws better than you…”

What the &%#$? is going on? Why must my mind be tormented as well as my body? Why?


*BPPV stands for Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo which can result from a Traumatic Brain Injury.

I know why… it’s a battle that has raged down thru the ages… And it may be that secret ingredient that pushes us to create something, some day, of true and lasting greatness. Will I? Perhaps, perhaps not-but I will never quit trying. Maybe that is my best work yet.

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