Honesty time! Lately I've had all sorts of anxiety over my art. I love my markers and playing with them (perhaps 'hoard them like a dragon guarding treasure' would be a more apt description) but am plagued by thoughts like, "This isn't mixed-media enough or art journal-y, so no one is going to like it if you share."
I know these are silly thoughts, but I freeze up at them. I stop making anything at all. I question what I'm doing. I paint but can't seem to break through to the good part of making art.
That's when I put the phone down and letter inspiring quotes. Words I know. Words are my friend. They've always come easily, flowing together flawlessly to spill all that rattles around in my head.
While running errands today, I found an old piece of poetry of mine still kicking around on the Internet. It helped me win third place in a poetry competition back in collage *that I didn't join until round two.*
"The drink is an easy crutch.
When discovered by accident, it wasn't surmised
the sweet confectionery of wine
would become the elite alcoholic's secret.
Fermented wheat would become
the common man's water.
Hard liquors the hobby
of the western man's free hours.
Society dictated the consumption at celebrations and miserable failures,
doing all but pour it down
Sprung from this love for
dulling emotion and remembrances
was the crutch,
the aching need welling up deep inside
to flee the world
for as long as possible,
to wander off in your own scared psyche
alone yet content.
To not remember anything in the morning.
For that one fleeting instant
when the world was a blur
and all that was retained was the drink,
the stench of alcohol thick on your breath. That one second in time
when it stood still and
all that remained was the happy times of contentment and joy and
nothing else had happened.
It was gone in an instant.
And the drink returns to cracked lips."
I wrote that nearly 10 years ago, still in community collage and someone who, to this day, dislikes drinking. After I finished reading it, I turned to my dad and said, "Where did that even come from?"
"Whoah," sums up his response.
I used to spin stories every night. Challenge myself to get into the heads of characters so far removed from my quasi-quiet suburban existence, it had to be some kind of magic that allowed me to relate.
And in reading that old poem, I realized how much I've missed words. The challenge to take a concept half-formed in my head and birth them, as solid as the forms placed on the page. If there is one thing my forced time off seems to be teaching me, it's that I need to slow down and get back to what I truly love.
And what I'm fearful of.
Not to keep me from creating, but what I could pull up by diving even deeper and releasing all those anxious, persistent thoughts running free in my post-everything brain space. I want to unclasp the shackles around my ankles and just *go.*
If I could write poetry about alcoholism without having dealt with it myself, what can I do *with* everything? What can you?
I am reminded of a scribbling that goes with my poem...her emotions a tangled mess of poorly reflected light.
Maybe we just need a better mirror. And to throw the curtains open to let in the sun.
I know I haven't posted much as of late, and I hope this post goes to explain why. I understand how easy it would be to say not to listen to my anxiety, etc, but if it could be reasoned with, it wouldn't be an anxiety disorder. Finding my own path through seems to be what helps, along with therapy and medication.
It hasn't escaped my notice that September is suicide awareness month. Today marks 8 months since I went for help instead of following through on plans. As I'm laid up with a broken foot, I do have time on my hands, so please, if you need to reach out, I'm here. I do sleep, though, so don't get discouraged if I don't reply right away.