The Reason I started Painting – turning away from Death’s Door

Share this with someone

If you had told me at the beginning of 2023 that I was going to embark on an entirely different journey than I was initially guided on, I would have gotten stubborn and unhappy. The fact is, I loved working with people, I loved holding space, and I loved seeing folks thrive after our sessions.

However, last year I got very very ill. I collapsed in my doctor’s office and was diagnosed with Renal Vein Thrombosis, which is really rare.

Blood Clots

My kidneys (swollen to 3 times their normal size) and lungs were in bad shape and filled with blood clots. And not small ones, either. My doctor told me “Boy, when you do something you don’t do it half-arsed do you?!”

I was hospitalized with 25% lung function the first time. Then the day after I was released the first time, my precious little girl Nini was ran over, after I hadn’t been with her for a week. I was shattered down to my core.

Then exactly 3 weeks later, the same day I saw my specialist, that night at 3 am I was rushed to the hospital again in an ambulance, unable to breathe and in excruciating pain. So much so that any breath I took caused my body to convulse and contract. The ambulance ride was horrible, but the guys were really amazing.

In the emergency room, they did an EKG, and my heart was under severe duress; the doctor on call was worried that I had had a heart attack, but thankfully that was not the case.

But what I had, was in fact an infarction in my lung. I had lost 5 1/2 cm of my right lung due to the blood clots being so big.

I had 20% lung function this time.

Bed rest for 4 months

I was hospitalized again and on oxygen all the time. My specialist this time a brilliant Professor treated me and put me on bed rest for 4 months. Walking a few steps meant I couldn’t breathe or talk, and he didn’t want to take the chance that I would dislodge any blood clots. So I had to be put on calming meds to keep me sleepy and docile.

It was painful, and all I could do was sleep. As time progressed, I got frustrated being stuck in bed and being unable to work. I couldn’t talk for long due to the severe lack of lung function.

I grieved, and it went dark for me because I had spent so long training, and doing sessions to become really good at what I did. Which was to help people get over their sexual traumas. And I loved my work. I really did.

I still can’t do long sessions and have since semi-retired from the therapy business, which is why I no longer market it. I still take on the odd client, but I don’t see clients full-time, and my session times have reduced drastically to accommodate my health and energy levels.

I turned to painting and sketching

I turned to painting and sketching to get me through that time, which was about all I could handle really. My brain wasn’t functioning the way it should. But I could still sketch and paint. Which I did. I healed through that process. And clearly there are other plans than I originally thought. Which I’m now going along with instead of fighting it.

And here we are today. I did my first exhibition, and incredible doors are opening. I have connected with amazing friends, and we’re working together to create better futures for ourselves now.

 Bad things can lead you on a different journey

So if you were wondering why I had such a complete shift in my life, this is why. I’m extremely happy. The happiest I had been; sometimes (not in all cases, though), bad things can lead you on a different journey to another life, which brings you more contentment and peace. Which is where I am currently.

Yes, there are new challenges, new things to learn, and new experiences, but I’m not doing them alone. I have the most amazing people in my life to bolster me.

I feel deeply content doing what I’m doing now and look forward to what’s coming next in my life. Yes, I’m scared, too, but that is part of life, and I’m navigating it in my capacity now.

So as you can see, it was one of the ways I could get through what had happened, and it has definitely bought me so much joy. It is my wish, to bring joy and healing through my art to all those around me.

I really hope that if you’re going through a rough time, that you will find something that makes your soul soar and brings you as much joy and healing as I had received through finding myself through this journey.