Again it’s been a while since the last time I have posted, partially because I hadn’t decided how open I wanted to be with this particular experience. It isn’t without reason that I have been silent, many things have happened.
The summer quarter started with school and the job I had been offered called me out to Seattle to negotiate me relocating. In the mean time between this time and the last time I had posted my depression and anxiety had spiraled to paralyzing degree. I spent 98% of the days in July and August wanting to die. I had a plan but wouldn’t act on it. It was more like I fantasized about something random taking me out or just not waking up. For the unnecessary pain and anxiety to just end. The day after I returned from making the decision that I would relocate to Seattle I completely lost my mind in ever sense of the word.
I woke up for my long Thursday block of classes and just broke down into tears and couldn’t pull myself from my bed. I took an Ativan and went back to sleep and when I woke back up I knew I was beyond the help of anything I was going to be able to do for myself. I sent an SOS out to one my best friends we went to breakfast where I proceeded to unload on her. After a long conversation we figured it was best for me to go to the ER where she works and see the psychiatric team where they would evaluate if I needed to be admitted, or if they could just refer me to a team of people and send me on my way. They quickly decided it would probably be best if I was put on a 72 hour psychiatric hold because I would get the best care this way. I was admitted to an in patient crisis facility where I spent three days.
They put me on a cocktail of drugs and it was like moving through molasses while trying to get used to and tweak the dosages so I could function. All of this happening while I am having to deal with assignments and getting dropped from classes because of Dr. Appointments and the schools attendance policy. So a month out I am finally starting to feel like the fog is lifting and a bit more like myself. I had to create the two portraits as finals for two different classes the first had to be a self portrait and the second just worked out that way.
I turned in the following artist statement with the flower image :
“Last quarter I started a project called Nature’s Sirens (see example below). What I told everyone else is that it was the representation of spring tempting you and pulling you in. In reality the dark and haunting film images were a symbol of my depression and anxiety and how the sirens were pulling me and drowning me in their darkness. I’ve let them pull me in so deep. I feel like I am blinded by their madness. When told to do yet another self portrait I found it challenging because at the moment the only thing I know for sure about myself is that I have temporarily lost my mind, and I am an artist. It takes losing 170 pounds to not recognize yourself in the mirror, and a complete mental breakdown resulting in a 72 hour psychiatric hold to make you question everything you’ve ever known. The combination of both results in a total loss of self.
I chose to wear one of my siren masks because I feel like I am flying blind at a million miles an hour toward my future. I’m lost in a beautiful madness because all I want to do is set forth and create beauty, and yet I am about to set down my art tools and return to the corporate world. Below the madness I find moments of peace and surrender and it’s those small moments that are holding me together at the right now. My last self portraits have been magical and colorful and this is no different, it just has a bit of madness mixed in this time.”
The diptych I turned into printing is a quote from an old Nina Storey song. It’s how I feel. I feel like I have burnt my old life to the ground and I have no clue what the future holds for me at the moment because the only tools I know how to make sense of at the moment are my creative ones.
I woke up Friday morning (the morning after my last class) not having enrolled for fall, still not having any real answers about the job and Seattle and started unraveling again thinking what the fuck am I doing moving across country to give up my dream to work in another cubical? I gave it some serious thought and yesterday finally decided that it doesn’t matter if I end up having to live in the back of my 4Runner I am staying and I am finishing school. This morning I turned down the high paying job in Seattle and I enrolled for the fall semester. Maybe I am fucking crazy or maybe I just need to put my trust back into the universe that school and money will find a way to work it’s way out for me. It’s time for me to ride the waves instead of fighting them.
I leave you with two things. The quote that is the name of this blog is a Lana Del Ray Lyric from Drive. A quote from the spoken word part of her music video really resonates with me, I encourage you to watch the video even though it’s super long because really the whole thing does.
“Every night I used to pray that I’d find my people, and finally I did on the open road. We had nothing to lose, nothing to gain, nothing we desired anymore, except to make our lives into a work of art.
Live fast. Die young. Be wild. And have fun. I believe in the country America used to be. I believe in the person I want to become. I believe in the freedom of the open road. And my motto is the same as ever:
“I believe in the kindness of strangers. And when I’m at war with myself I ride, I just ride.”
Who are you? Are you in touch with all of your darkest fantasies? Have you created a life for yourself where you can experience them? I have. I am fucking crazy. But I am free. “