Well, it's been a long time.
What began as a small break in November 2021 (after Inktober) turned into an art drought about four months long, through Christmas and into this year. Unanticipated, and completely unwanted -- but, there it was. A whole lot of insecurities and old, unhelpful thought patterns reared their heads again. Add to the mix various IRL transitions and changes that were unrelated to art, but still influenced my life and state of mind.
So there I was, staring at an artist's block, unable to draw let alone sit down at the drawing table. And feeling a lot of angst about "did I make a mistake to take a break from art?", "why is it so hard to pick it up again?" and "is this block going to last for years, just like the last time?"
But a change came in mid-March. I'm not sure what unblocked me; I'm sure there were many contributing factors. One factor might've been making peace with not making art for now, and just enjoying that as a break. Another might've been calling this phase as what it is: a pause (albeit longer than expected), not a permanent end.