large ala prima oil on canvas – 1989self portrait


In my last post (Vignette 13 – Anxiety) I talked about having a break down when I was thirty-nine years old.

This post is all about the break throughs that happened after my recovery from the break down.

Not only was anxiety removed and the art of denial tempered….. but I began to see clearly both in terms of what my life was about and in terms of being an artist.

It was almost as if prior to the break through moment, I had been too scared too really look….too scared to really see what was right in front of my nose. To do so would have meant acknowledging the need for enormous changes. A very scary proposition back then!

watercolour – self portrait with hummingbird.

Yesterday I saw a brilliant play Tom Fool by Franz Xaver Kroetz. To begin with it seemed like a slow burner, however, it was extremely powerful. To quote from the write up about the play ‘characters struggle with their inability to articulate their true thoughts and feelings. Their anger and desperation remains constantly unexpressed.’

This was how I felt up until my break down/through at the age of 39 – unable to articulate my true thoughts and feelings. Consequently they all got bottled up – in my impenetrable black box! (see vignette 13)

Having a break through is of course just the beginning of making huge changes. It’s not like a light switch is turned and everything is OK and different. It takes, acknowledgement, work and time for this to happen.

self portrait from that time. watercolour.

Having crossed the great divide within myself. I began to experience huge rewards. A sense of wellbeing and wholeness prevailed. With the fear removed, Life took on so much more meaning. Moments of deep contentment began to appear. Contentment – my favourite state of being.

I learned to spot and confront negative patterns before they caused havoc in my life and most importantly I learned to live my life one day at a time….What a relief this continues to be. It was like fine tuning a radio each and every day so that I could hear and see properly.

Forty years on from my break down/break through I continue to be grateful for this experience. It gave me my life.


  1. Writing to Freedom

    Kudos Janet on working through your breakdown into a new sense of awareness and self-contentment. It’s only in the last 10-12 years that I’ve gotten to a similar place in my life. 💕

  2. VJ

    I love what you do with colour – the shadows and light conveying such mood! You write of your experience so easily, and yet, I know the climb was steep at times.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you. Given the complexity and length of my life, I am finding the vignettes are the best way to talk about it. I am very glad that you are reading and are intrigued:)

  3. Emma Cownie

    I am very interested in how you freeded your self from negative thought patterns, by living one day at a time. That’s been tough to do during the pandemic, but often the only way I can cope.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Emma. I was introduced to this way of being when I was 39 years old and quickly learned that it worked. Since then – 37 years later, I still find that it works:) For me it has made life so much simpler…whether to do with my painting/making art, general living and interaction with others.

      Having a daily routine is key for me whether at home or travelling. When staying in different places I adjust things accordingly but always keeping the core routine – i.e. exercising, diet and sleep patterns. I .would say routine is vital for my wellbeing.

      I have also learned to make very clear boundaries in my life…another very important issue.

      Thank you again for your comment. Janet 🙂


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