Monday, January 23, 2012
Coming OUT Of The Dark...
I could go ahead and make up some dumb excuse as to why I have not been keeping up to date with my blog by saying that I’m still personally protesting the SOPA bill. I could lie and say that I’ve just been too exhausted from all the work that I’ve been doing at both my jobs at WHM and ALandCHUCK.travel. I could say that my bronchial/sinus infection from a couple of weeks ago still had me feeling under the weather and was still too weak to knock out my daily blathering on the blog. But that would all be false.
Although, the commitment to my blog has been very a very cathartic and fruitful experience (thus far), I feel somewhat obligated to keep things on an upbeat note. I mean, what point is there in adding to the choir of negativity that seems to always be looming out there in cyber land? I always try to look for the positive in every situation. I can pretty much always find something nice to say about anybody or anything. I’m the perpetual “half glass full” guy. At least that is who I prefer to be. The truth is that I have, on occasion in my life, suffered from the monster disease that is DEPRESSION. I know that anyone that knows me will say,” Depression? YOU? Nah! Never!”, but it is the God’ honest truth. And trust me talking about it outright is a real milestone for me.
In the past, I’ve been very embarrassed about my condition and have instead chosen to hide it from others. I would go into my own little catatonic cocoon for several days (if not weeks) and emerge again when I was ready to slip my Pollyanna mask back on. But, the older I get the harder it is for me to allow myself to wallow in the depths of my depression for too long. So, now I do something about it on a daily basis. I figure if all those little cartoons on the depression commercials (which I can’t stand because I feel like they trivialize the condition) can feel better by dropping a little pill everyday than it is worth a try. So far, it is working, but it took me a long time to admit that I needed the help. I did not want to be one of those “weakings” that needed a crutch to cope with life’s ups and downs. But, the truth is, that the strength lies in admitting that you need help. There is no shame in that. So, although I know this is a taboo subject, I wanted this blog to be a true representation of my life in every way in so far as it relates to me, my collecting of dolls and life in general.
My dolls have always brought me happiness. The sheer beauty of them, the chase after one’s “grail” dolls, and the creative outlet that they can be to those of us that are OOAK artists; have always offered me respite from the ugliness that the world sometimes can be. I can escape into my only little world of perfection. Many years ago, I had a long hiatus from my doll collecting because a group of “mean girls (and boys)” that I worked with to put together a huge doll event. That experience ruined enjoyment of doll collecting from me for a complete decade. I sold off most of my collection and honestly stayed away from any clubs or doll shows like they were the plague. After a couple of years of my self-imposed exile, I decided to dip my toe again into the world of collecting at the Integrity Doll convention in Chicago 2009. It was a great decision. It opened a new world of friends that I’m so very grateful for now.
But, for the last 20 years there has been a “rock” that has literally and figuratively carried me through some of my darkest hours – my husband, Peter. Peter was the first one that gave me the “permission” to love my dolls out in the open and share them with everyone without shame. A man who collects dolls has a stigma attached to them (even within the gay community…which should really be more tolerant if you ask me) sometime as a “weirdo” who is developmentally arrested. Most of us do not have the “nostalgia factor” of having played with dolls as little boys…but we do appreciate fashion and I believe that is where the attraction to our mini-mannequins lies in. Peter has always given me the freedom to be myself. That strong foundation (which is, after all, his namesake: Peter means ROCK in ancient Hebrew) has been the constant I’ve always been able to count on so that I could take the creative and personal risks necessary to have successes in my life.
So, although it is too early for a Valentine’s day message on this blog, I wanted to acknowledge that through love, patience and a few well thought out “trinkets”(specifically: Poppy, Darla (love the new face), Holly Golightly and a beautiful arrangement of flowers!), Peter has helped me once again get my head back in the game. The picture above shows a picture of my man (sexy wolf) and the bits of “happy” he bought - just to see a smile come cross my face. Every time I look at my dolls I will always think of my loving man and the efforts he goes through just to make my world a more tolerable, gentle place for me to live in.
Thank you, my love, for always being my ray of sunshine , breaking through all my dark and rainy days. You’ll never know how much it means.Xoxo,