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I am so discouraged


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I am trying to get ready for this exhibition I am planning to have (on 1 Oct) and everything is all too much today. I've been avoiding things and putting them off and yesterday I decided I had to tackle them - after I went into a flat spin and spent most of the day panicking and thinking to cancel.

What is making me feel this way is 1. that I don't know what I am doing and 2. the idea of being in the spotlight (which I hate). I am trying to make hanging mechanisms but the wood splits and I can't get the hooks to stay in. I have no clue how to hang anything and I've never seen it done. I am terrified of putting myself out there to this extent and having people look at me and my work and think who knows what. I have no idea how to price the work. I'm just clueless. I have to do invitations and my printer is not printing properly. I have to do wine and snacks and my catering skills are remarkable by their complete absence.

I don't know what I was thinking when I decided to do this. I don't know how I thought I was going to be able to do it. It seemed like a good idea at the time, oh boy, the bipolar refrain.:( I'm sitting here crying because I feel so discouraged and scared about this. And I feel lonely. And clueless and alone. Everything has just suddenly got to me.

I could still cancel, but that will mean that bipolar has won and that I am a victim of it. It has stolen so much, I don't want it to steal this too. I damn well refuse to give in. But I can't see how to do this. I don't want to give in but I am scared of this whole thing and overwhelmed by all that has to be done. Why does it feel like I just working against the odds? What's making it worse is my sleep cycle is SO messed up and my moods are bouncing all over the place.

I'm sorry about the pity party. I don't know what I am doing and I feel mega-stressed. :( How am I going to figure this out and get it off the ground? ... I don't know. :(

Edited by Luna-
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Lunabelle, can someone help you? Someone who has tools?:( It sounds like too much is unfamiliar... once somebody shows you how to do some of this it won't feel so defeating. Predrilling wood will keep the wood from splitting, and the hole diameter needs to be a little smaller than the woodscrew. One way to hang a show is to find the middle of every art work and line up the middles all around the room.

maybe someone can help with catering tips? I'm clueless too on that one!!:(

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Hi Luna, I remember you talking about this potentially happening when you first talked about the exhibition, but you decided at the time that the pros outweighed the cons at that time.... I am still confident that is the case :(

It's OK to ask for some help with how to do this. Do you know any other artists what have already done exhibitions who could mentor you through the process. As to hanging the stuff, go talk to someone is a gallery or art store - they will be able to counsel you. You can do this my dear, it's just your insecurities getting the best of you. You are a good artist, and this is a wonderful opportunity for learning and growth, and I'm certain that in retrospect you will remember it fondly and with pride.

One day and one thing at a time ... what can you do today to help yourself along without feeling overwhelmed? Don't try to tacke too much today since you are not feeling very organized... do some peripheral things, or make plans on how to tackle your hanging problem tomorrow. Hang in there, this too shall pass and then you will be an artist who has actually exhibited her art :(

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Hi Luna. I'm sorry you are feeling so overwhelmed right now. Is there anyone that could help you, your daughters maybe? Friends?

I hope that you won't be discouraged from going ahead, but if you do, don't feel badly. You are always telling me I should be gentle with myself...well I want you to be gentle with yourself too. :( Take care.

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Luna,

I want to remind you that we love you very, very much. I don't know if my saying that helps but I just want you to know it.

Luna, sometimes success has a reverse impact on us. For example, that is why so many lottery winners end up bankrupt and poorer than they were before. Somehow, success feels undeserved. I have a hunch that you are suffering that now.

As Eric Weiner wrote in his book, The Geography of Bliss, "Most of us have, at one time or another, felt a strange and wholly unexpected flash of unease accompany good news.....People are congratulating you, you know you should be happy, but you're not, and you can't explain why."

What do you think?


Edited by ASchwartz
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Hi Luna: I felt compelled to respond to your post, as I have been where you are many, many times. I have a job that requires me to put myself into the spotlight, and to push myself to do things that I feel are beyond me. I've spent many a night crying and discouraged and scared. And there have been times that I've found an excuse to avoid those terrifying things. However, the times that I have pushed myself past my anxiety have - almost always - resulted in a postitive experience that left me feeling stronger and more capable. It never ends up as bad as I think it will. And the times that I've backed out, it's all too easy to start criticizing myself after the fact.

The advice in prior posts to try to find someone to help you out is excellent. I know I have a tendency to retreat into myself when I'm scared and down, and avoid seeking out help for fear of looking stupid. But the few times I've asked for help, people are always surprisingly willing...

Take care -- I wish you the best.

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Hi Luna,

I used to do home direct sales parties before I got diagnosed and I had the perfect job. I made my own hours, it was a perfect option with 7 children in the house, I used make my own business plan, I had about 10 women under me that I supervised because I made a percentage of their sales, go to business conventions, I used to make up crazy themes and have some really cool home parties with games.

It was fun and I was always told this was the perfect job for me because I had the "people skills" So it was hectic, there was alot of incentives, planning and preparation...

Then I got sick, and suffering with the bipolar cycles, depression like you know very well. And then I found out I could not do that job that I loved anymore. Bipolar hasn't won but I am a different person and I cannot do the same job anymore knowing how its negative impact would be on my mental health.

It was hard to accept at first as everything was different in my life but in order to function, I had to let go. And letting go also means finding new jobs, hobbies lifestyle changes that work.

So with a little acceptance of yourself and a little guidance into a new direction I hope you never take on more then you can handle and I hope you find something that you can excel at because you are a smart, intelligent, strong woman and I know you can do anything you set your mind too. :)

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Sometimes if I have a big job to do, looking at the entire picture can indeed feel overwhelming. Especially if there are time constraints...Maybe find someone who can lend a hand first and then take this task head-on...but one step at a time. How do you feel about lists? Would that help to guide you? You could write what needs to be done and when it needs to be done and then work your way down the list.

There is also that saying about fearing your own power. I abhor the spotlight as well...but I think this is because I have been fearful of my own light. I hope you choose to let Luna shine. I have faith.

Good luck and I hope you feel better about this.

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*pictures Luna lit up like a firefly* :-)

I know this is a bump, and you knew bumps would happen.

The trick is not to let the bumps beat you.

"What is making me feel this way is 1. that I don't know what I am doing ..."

Who ever does?

" and 2. the idea of being in the spotlight (which I hate)."

You could carry a very bright flashlight (torch) and shine it in everyone's eyes as you walk around ...? :-)

Your works, on your album, are gorgeous. Let them do the talking.

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I am sorry you are feeling so overwhelmed right now. You already decided you are doing this...you aren't letting bipolar win this (much respect for you there) so...now you just HAVE to do it. Make a list of the things that need to be done. When I am feeling overwhelmed I make very detailed lists and I include the smallest of details to:

a. ensure they get done and

b. it makes me feel good to be able to cross a lot of stuff of the done

list and obviously the small details are easy to complete

These days you can search anything on the internet. So maybe start with a search for...art show catering ideas... You don't have to cook anything...cheese and crackers...fruits and veggies...cookies and/or brownies...etc.

Hope this helps and hope your show is a BOOMING success.

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I’ve just been re-reading all your replies and feel warm again. Thank you. I won't give up.

I have such a big weakness with asking for help. I forget it is an option. I forget it is OK. I forget that people are so nice and so willing when you ask. I find it so hard to ask. Why is it like .. duh ... of course, I can ask for help if I don't know how???

Thank you so much for all the advice! I asked a friend who has had an exhibition, for help and she showed me all about hanging (I wasn’t too far off with what I was doing) and gave me plenty of other tips. I peppered her with questions. :) I consolidated all my scraps of lists into one and will write a timetable of what has to be done in the final week. I’m setting little daily goals of what to tackle each day. There is so much!

Allan, I think you are right. I feel like a fraud, putting my work up to show to people. It’s nothing special, it really isn’t and what makes me think I can hang it up publically and people would be interested? Racked with doubts and insecurities, I am. I’m told it’s not uncommon. The head of the art school told me it’s like taking a bath in a public street!

Finding: my friend lent me as little hole-making gadget for the hooks in the wood. Why didn't I think of drilling holes, of course, makes sense?

Symora: thanks for your sage advice. Yes my insecurities are getting the better of me.

Endlessnight: gentle with myself? Oh yeah… there’s that … ;-)

Solstice: what is it you do that puts you out in the spotlight?

Linda: organising parties would be a nightmare for me, :eek:

IrmaJean: One step at a time? Oh yeah … there’s that … :-)

Malign: I’m already a bit odd, what do you think folks will think if I beetle around with a torch in their eyes? :)

Warrior: I should put the small details on the lists just so I can cross them off! :-)

I feel the stirrings of an oncoming mood episode, of which I knew I would be running a risk. It’s likely to be a mania, but either way, it will culminate in a depression. I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. I cannot live my life not taking risks just to avoid stupid mood episodes.

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hey, hope your well..

I know when you show your work to the public it's such a nervous feeling deep inside (i work for a press company having my images displayed in magazines).. The only comforting part is when i see people looking at my work and smiling..(and when the paycheck arrives :()

I hope your exhibition goes well, i just can't imagine how hard it must be to organize the entire thing, you are a very brave woman taking on such a task, i'm sure your hard work will be rewarded :)

Best Wishes...

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Malign: I’m already a bit odd, what do you think folks will think if I beetle around with a torch in their eyes?

Most likely, "Ahhh! My eyes!!! I'm blind!"

But I can see how that might make them less likely to buy artworks ...


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I am so impressed that you have achieved an art show. My artistic talent... well there is none so WOW to you.

Needless to say I have never had to set up and art show but when I am faced with a big job the only way I function is with a to-do list. I write down EVERYTHING I need to do so that I can feel a sense of accomplishment when I cross off something. I know that I am offering nothing new just a "you go girl".


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It means a lot, mary, thank you. :) Why is my To-Do list so LONG though ...? :)

I am such a hermit and this is RIGHT out of my comfort zone. :eek: All my angst is going to make you all thoroughly sick of hearing about this and just looking forward to when it's all over ...! :D

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... having stretched yourself that way...

I am already on the rack! :( I just finished addressing all the invitations for the opening and my body is SHAKING! I know it's called eustress, but I am nevertheless stressing myself silly. This is ridiculous. :( I wish I could have a trial run, then I'd feel so much more prepared.

Plus I feel silly posting about this. But that concern will have to wait until afterwards, I'm listing problems in order of priority now.

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There's nothing silly about posting about a major stressor in your life.

It's kinda what we're here for, actually.

And at least, afterwards, you'll be taller. :-)

Can you get a friend to view the mounted pieces, as a trial run?

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