Sunday, May 20, 2007

Black and White Series: Family Travelling at NIght (2005)

Yesterday I realized that the recent images that I had labeled as being from 2006 were from 2005, the year that I worked at home full-time as a medical transcriptionist for a national transcription company which is based in Illinois. I remember now that having little time for art work made me prioritize my time so that art work would be possible.

Working for the national transcription company I chose to work for was financially demoralizing, although I thoroughly enjoyed doing transcription at home. After having been a transcriptionist since 1984, it was a shock to find that I was unable to make more than minimum wage when paid by the line. I had chosen that particular company to work for because they advertised that they paid incentive for quality. After a few months of doing quality work for them, they changed their policy so that high quality work would no long result in incentive pay. I was among the more productive transcriptionists in my group and was making less than a third of what I had been making in 2003.

In August of 2005, an old friend died, and in October of 2005, I received a deeply disturbing letter, which triggered an episode of post-traumatic stress disorder which led to a relapse of compulsive overeating, although not a return to bulimia. After Thanksgiving in November of 2005, I started eating refined sugar and chocolate, something I had not done since 1987. As a result of eating massive amounts of sugar and chocolate, I developed ocular rosacea, a condition in which the skin next to my eyes became acutely inflamed, and the whites of my eyes became red and irritated from rubbing against the irritated skin next to my eyes. I was eating sugar and chocolate instead of eating the nutritious food I usually eat, and I gained about 8 pounds. I went to my doctor, who notified my employer that I needed time off work. My eyes began to return to normal with the help of medication and with refraining from eating sugar and chocolate. After discussing the exploitive work situation with the doctor's nurse practitioner, I made a decision to resign from the meagerly paid medical transcription position in order to regain my emotional equilibrium.

In 2005, I had created 21 images, but in 2006, I created only 7. My sense of well-being returned very slowly.


Theresa Williams said...

I enjoy reading about how your artistic life is intertwined with your personal life. I'd like to learn more about the relationship you have with art. Do you consider it to be healing?

am said...

Blogging this 40-year retrospective has helped me to see clearly the continuity of my life as an artist. During the distressing times in my life, I did little painting or drawing, but I never stopped reading books or walking in beautiful places. For me, there is healing in books, music, the natural world and in the visual arts. My hope has been that viewing my art would facilitate healing for other people.

Anonymous said...

Is the writer using AM as identifiers from the initials of her first and middle names? If this is so and your last name starts w the letter T please comment, I believe we may have met in 1981.

am said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog.

My last name doesn't start with the letter T, but now I am curious as to what brought to this particular blog post from 4 years ago (-: