Tag Archives: break down/break through



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.