Finding Reality 2016.4

It’s that season, the season where I release my new playlist. This it the third playlist in a series that happened (probably not entirely out or chance) to match perfectly a series of classes being offered at the Shambhala meditation center. I took the first two classes: “Who Am I?” and “How Can I Help” (with correspoinding playlists called “I am Who I am” and “What About the World”). The last class is called “What is Real”, I didn’t take this class but I ended up making a playlist in the theme of it anyway. This playlist for me catalogs a time of a lot of tension and disorientation, a time when the friends I trusted weren’t trustworthy and the reality I was experiencing wasn’t really reality. I’m talking mostly about Spaced here. I haven’t talked to her in about two months. With her I have also lost Chem and other friends. But in return I have gained my reality, it’s not as nice as Spaced’s reality is at times but it’s mine and it’s with me all the time, not intermittently. With that reality came a lot I have regained my trauma’s and problems and have now been able to work through them more readily. And finally I have started to realize I deserve better. I deserve friends who understand me, I deserve friends who I appreciate, I deserve to be treated well all the time.

Sadly there is one song that isn’t on youtube but it is available right here it’s song number 4

1. Harvest Moon – Poolside

This is what Jamie listens to. They have a pretty decent taste in music, especially chillin’ music. This song feels like hanging out in the kitchen on those long mornings when we would chat about our lives and views on the world. This feels like chillin’.

2. Crave You – Flight Facilities

Another from Jamie’s pandora station. A more sensual song, but with a similar feel, just chillin’. I can kinda see Jamie dancing to this song, or at least saying, “yeah dripping in gold.” Honestly these first two songs remind me so much of another memory.

I am in the bike shop on Sunday in the winter over two years ago. It’s snowing, it’s cold, the manager has gone home, no customers are coming in. K puts on some music, Surf music. We listen to this beachy, poolside music while staying warm inside and watching the snow fall. Feels perfect.

3. Seattle Party – Chastity Belt

I got this song from Fia, Cha’s roomie in Asheville. They are super cool and have an awesome taste in music, honestly that is where almost all of the music on this playlist is from, so props to Fia for having awesome taste in music.

This song also reminds me of driving on the interstates near downtown Pittsburgh. I’m not doing too hot, I’m feeling overwhelmed like I want to change everything in my life. Chastity Belt is calming me down, and letting me know it’s gonna be alright.

4. Dear Liberals – Lee Reed

IMPORTANT REMINDER THIS IS NOT IN THE YOUTUBE PLAYLIST FIND IT HERE

This song was passed onto me by one of the BLM activist in the area via fbook. Every once and a while I need a reminder where I am and where I belong. All of the lyrics of this song are amazing and spot on.

“Putting green products in their shopping carts like their spending habits could ever offset the suffering”

“Fuck a liberal”

5. Formation – Beyonce

I don’t really know what to add to this song, but apparently Hillary Clinton Keeps hot sauce in her bag *throws up in mouth.*

6. U – Kendrick Lamar

I am in my room about to go to sleep but I have just come to understand this song. I’ve skipped over it for months but now I feel it. I don’t know who he is talking about but it hurts. His hatred and this person, his love of this person, who is it. I get on rap genius and it hurts so much more.

He is singing about himself. *cue tears*

I listen to this song on repeat and cry myself to sleep. The following day it continues to haunt me and I listen to it driving home from work. I hate myself, I hate myself more than you ever could. I hate myself so you can’t hate me more than I do. I hate me so that you hating me means nothing.

7. Blackstar – David Bowie

This song makes me feel so much. I am a black star, I want to always be a black star.

This is the album that David Bowie released before he died to complete his performance. This is also when I found out very underreported facts about how he statutorily-raped 13 year old groupies, while at the same time we all were getting to know about Cosby’s wrong doing (while much worse he notably isn’t white).

David Bowie was such an amazing, free, fantastical figure to have. I loved his music and his style. He flies his black star flag proudly and reminds all the queers and freaks to be themselves and be proud. Thank you Bowie. I am a black star I will do my best to pick up where you left off.

8. Dirt (with Aesop Rock) – Tobacco

This song reminds me of a hilarious memory. I am half way through my art piece, “Molestation.” then I hear Aesop says, “It’s my duty to inform you,” and I slow my work and begin to focus on the music to hear what he is going to say next, “Honey bunches of oats is the greatest cereal every created by man.” And I burst out loud laughing, I just experienced some horrible thoughts writing “I still don’t feel safe.” hundreds of times and this is just hilarious. At the same moment Heart calls me because I texted her something somewhat disconcerting, and I can’t help but answer the phone laughing.

9. 2 Thick Scoops (feat. Serengeti) – Tobacco

Before I figured out how to download them I listened to them a lot on youtube. I would continually replay this song at work. I remember being in the awkward cubby hole I was shoved in using one of the computers at work. My view of a wall that almost entirely surrounds me and I’m there just replaying this song hidden from almost everyone.

“And dream of changing my name to Zack”

10. Forever Heavy – Black Moth Super Rainbow

This song feels like biking to work, biking home and trying to silence some overwhelming thoughts. Thoughts about Spaced mainly but in large part I just needed a break from all the fucking drama in my life. I couldn’t handle it and Black Moth Super Rainbow would shut it out just right.

11. Still Life – Slow Magic

Much the same this song quelled my crazed and paranoid thoughts, it calmed and soothed. I danced to this song on my bike. Dancing my arms around to the music in the breeze. This song freed me of these problems and let me float.

12. High You Are – Why So Not

This is some more surf, poolside music that is so perfect for the winter time, again via Jamie. This is one song where you have to sway, if not full out dance along.

13. Youth Group – Slow Magic

Slow magic is another band that Fia gave to me.

14. Melt Me – Black Moth Super Rainbow

I spent a lot of time listening to Tobacco, because they rock, and because I had the pleasure of seeing them live at Spirit with Jamie and more friends.

I had to put a lot of Tobacco and Black Moth Super Rainbow on this mix. I’ve been listening to it pretty much constantly since I found them in Asheville.

15. Grease Wizard – Tobacco

This song gets me going every time and I am reminded of the first time it caught my ears at Green Gears. I played it a bunch of times that day and jammed out every time.

16. Orgy Drills – Tobacco

This song is wicked. This one caught my ear when I was doing the planning for my Molestation art piece. When I was listening to it church bells were going off in the background and it created a really cool effect. I knew there were church bells going off but wasn’t sure and couldn’t tell which sounds were them and which were from this song.

This is dark, this is perfect for Molestation that I drew about a month ago.

This says "I still don't feel safe." well over a thousand times.

This says “I still don’t feel safe.” well over a thousand times.

17. Mortal Man – Kendrick Lamar

This song really affected me, especially because he asks a question that I can’t completely answer it, or at least not how Kendrick wants me to, “When shit hit the fan is you still a fan?” I think of how I feel about Bowie when I found out what he did. It hurt, I couldn’t just forgive him for it, I still acknowledge what he did but I’m also still a fan, a huge fan but it hurts me.

“I freed you from being a slave in your mind, you’re very welcome
You tell me my song is more than a song, it’s surely a blessing”

This question really hurts me. These songs will still have the impact they do if Bowie did or didn’t do what he did, if Kendrick does or doesn’t get “framed” for something. But it tarnishes their credibility. I understand why Dominique Francon in the Fountainhead buys gorgeous art and destroys it, why she tries to destroy these wonderful creators. Because this things they create are better, more pure than any human could ever be. People will only tarnish their pure and amazing creations. They create an archetype that is unachievable.

Hello Darkness, My Old Friend

Someone I’ve been going on dates with has really changed my perspective on darkness. Her name is Beanie and she’s a very socially awkward person who love the outdoors and is super cool, really easy to talk to and makes me feel super safe. We talked about making art prior to our first date and she very much appreciated my artistic style of repetitively writing words hundreds of times. On our date she told me that since we talked she had made a piece that expressed her understanding of what was at the root of everything for her, rejection. Instead of choosing to make art to a dark theme such as rejection she decided to make something about the opposite, embrace. This is the opposite of what I do, my art is filled with darkness, dark themes and horrible energy.

I brought this up on our second outing and I talked about how enthralled by darkness I feel like I am. She said she understood and that she often used to think about more dark thoughts but worked to retrain her brain to use more positive thoughts processes. This was the first time I really acknowledged how infatuated with darkness I am. It’s all around me. As I write this I’m sitting in my room surrounded by dark art I’ve made, art about suicide, cutting and self-hatred, and as I write this I’m listening to Hurt by Nine Inch Nails. I’m crying so hard from the pain I’m putting myself through, through the darkness I’m peering into I can’t even read why I’m typing, I hurt, I am staring into the abyss and it is staring back.

I have been seeing this meme a lot and had to use it when I saw this version of it.

I have been seeing this meme a lot and had to use it.

Why is this happening right now? Why am I doing this to myself. I’m happy I had a good day today, I feel good about today. I spent the whole day working on the garden I even got to hang out with Jamie all day. I feel like it was a rewarding, fulfilling day, but it didn’t take much for that to change. I watched a darker episode of Rick and Morty, the last episode of Season 2. It finishes with a sad scene and the song Hurt by NIN. Now I can’t stop listening to it. Now tears are covering my face.

Why do I do this to myself? Why is it that every once and a while I need to cry like this? Why do I need to torture myself like this? I stare into the darkness and tell myself I deserve this, I need this. I look at my suicidal thoughts, at my self-harm thoughts, or just think about being molested and how it leaves me feeling unsafe and out of control and I just wallow in this hurt. For some reason I need that “old familiar sting,” for some reason I think I need to balance the joy with pain.

As I look at how I feel, how I treat myself I suddenly feel myself calming down and slowing my tears. It doesn’t last though, in the next breathe I think of cutting myself, I think of administering raw pain just to keep my sorrow going. I don’t deserve this period of pain, but part of me disagrees, part of me thinks I’ve been too happy this week, part of me has to bring me down. Why? Why is it that when Beanie talked about not wanting to follow negative thoughts did I found that idea ridiculous? I told myself that is where good art comes from, that is what gives you perspective, that is where so many realizations happen, I’m a nihilist, that’s where I live in darkness and sorrow, but why?

I know why. I know a bunch of reasons why, I wish I didn’t. I do it because I need to torture myself, because sometimes I don’t deserve to feel good. I know this is true, because it hurts unbelievably to write this, to say this out loud. I love darkness because self-imposed darkness is safe. It guards me from all the other darkness that has been committed on me. My darkness is more powerful then theirs and therefore I don’t think about the way they hurt me, I think about the way I hurt me. I torture myself to have power, to have ownership over myself. I torture myself because I’m afraid of others hurting me.

This explains so many habits, why when I fall down I go deep, very deep into a black hole of darkness. I have these shrines, these trophies around my room to this darkness, to this powerful, this unbelievably powerful entity, darkness and self-hatred. Because no one can hate you more than you hate yourself. Or as Chuck Palahniuk puts it in Invisible Monsters, “When we don’t know who to hate, we hate ourselves.”

What About The World? 2016.1

Here is my first mix of the year! I had a lot of free time, listened to a lot of music and popped this out a little earlier than I had hoped. In the last mix stated I am who I am, so the next obvious question in my mind was well what about the world? This mix answers that question, promptly.

1. Worst Behavior – Drake

Memory: Saturday is a hard day to motivate myself to do much of anything. I spent the last few Saturdays trying to go shopping before having panic attacks. Today is much the same. I feel the world crushing me, hating me, gawking at me so I don’t leave the house. Finally I realize I need to get out and go somewhere. I get dressed up all fancy, I put on Spaced’s green dress, a brown skirt over top, and knee high tan boots on. I get in the car and drive to REI listening to this song on repeat screaming, “Mother fuckers never loved us.” My hatred of “normal” people is overwhelming, I guess you could call this confidence but it felt more like hate. Either way I strutted my stuff and loved myself despite the world. And I am reminded of Kendrick Lamar when he sings, “I know you hate me just as much as you hate yourself.”

And in another positive note after realizing how defeated I often feel I did one of my rituals. Get all prettied up and go shopping. A big "fuck you" to the society that gawks at me.

And in another positive note after realizing how defeated I often feel I did one of my rituals. Get all prettied up and go shopping. A big “fuck you” to the society that gawks at me.

2. Tell Your Friends – The Weeknd

This guy is a dickhead, but he hates everyone and does whatever the fuck he wants. I like his style. Fuck everybody and go ahead and tell your friends about it. I’ve cared too much about what other people think about me.

“I do shit like I want, don’t need no blessing”

3. Hold On, We’re Going Home – Drake

Thanks for calming me down there Drake, I was getting pretty revved up. I listened to this guy for a good while, I would’ve put the song Hotline Bling, or Energy, or Started from the Bottom but this one caught me the most.

4. Borders – M.I.A.

M.I.A. challenging us on all of our shit. Ask yourself, “What’s up with that?” The video features Syrian Refugees and is stunning to watch.

5. How Much A Dollar Cost – Kendrick Lamar

Memory: Walking home with my longboard on New Years Day I’m feeling this song, I’m singing this song on repeat. Then someone yells, “Walk of shame baby!” I uncontrollably turn towards his direction and have a strong middle finger pointed his general direction. This only increases my passion in singing. And it reminds me,

“You’re lookin’ at the Messiah, the son of Jehova, the higher power
The choir that spoke the word, the Holy Spirit, the nerve
Of Nazareth, and I’ll tell you just how much a dollar cost
The price of having a spot in Heaven, embrace your loss, I am God”

All the freaks, the queers the homeless people are god. You shit on me and you are costing yourself a spot in heaven. Embrace your loss, I am god.

6. Black Me Out – Against Me!

Memory: I’m on a long overdue backpacking trip. It’s been months since I’ve gone and I’m feeling super anxious and struggling hardcore with depression. I wake up on the first morning, make my breakfast, struggle to eat it and then I lay my body on my knees. I feel a 400 pound weight on my back. I can’t move I can’t do anything even though I’m in the beauty of nature. Eventually I find the energy in me to go back to bed. I’m laying on my sleeping pad trying to find the motivation to wake up and it’s just not there. I turn on my phone and since I’m way to close to Johnstown I have service so I peruse instagram. Then I text Morty lamenting the situation I’m in. Finally I put on some music in hopes that will stir me. Two sam raging arongs later I ound the camp site screaming this song. My depression has turned to pure hatred and I’m so pissed off. I dance through the campsite to this song a few times before getting on my way. I’m depressed, but I admit it, I’m pissed off but I felt it.

7. Tellin’ The Mind – Delta Spirit

I love this guys. I spent some time going through all of my mixed cds and making sure I had a backup of them and I realized just how many songs by them I had on various cds. That’s when I finally acknowledged that I really like them as a band, and I feel glad that I didn’t brush them off as Christian Hipsters as Mustache did before he deleted them from his computer.

Memory: Standing on the balcony of Union Transfer I looked out on the band. This was my first real concert, this was my first time getting out like this and having a good time in a while. I’m standing next to a new friend of mine and I’m so happy she invited me, I’m so happy to be living again and being happy. I felt lost in Philly post “divorce” but now I’ve found friends and some happiness.

8. Scott Get the Van I’m Moving – Cayetana

These ladies rock. I listed to them a lot when making art, and even made art specifically based on their music. This song in particular sticks in my head because I made a piece of art for Cha’s going away present to this album. I showed her it as it was dripping and played her this album. A bunch of others enjoyed it as it finished dripping and then this song played. Someone pointed out that this is the perfect song, and it was.

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9. Your Lips Are Red – St. Vincent

This song takes me over. I can feel myself shaking right now to this song. I can see my mental state quickly changing as I navigate through Giant Eagle to this song. Suddenly everything is much more harsh, I feel obstinate towards the world. But then I remember, “your skins so fair it’s not fair, your skins so fair.” And I calm down. Also important to note this is the song that helped me finish the piece called, “Suicide Note” featured in the last post.

10. “Heroes” – David Bowie

This song is significant in two ways. This song is the song that Charlie, Patrick and Sam listen to when going through Fort Pitt Tunnel going into the city. Sam is standing up with her arms out stretched and Charlie says, “I feel infinite.” I watched that movie this month, as a freshman in college I read the book 6 times. I related a lot to Charlie with my friends who were seniors, having been friends with druggies but not doing drugs, but I had forgotten he was molested. I watched the movie and cried through the whole thing. I found myself realizing what I had yet to face. I was distraught and found myself obsessing over the movie for the rest of the day until. Spaced talked to me that night and I slept on her couch. It was a hard day but I got it out. (And yes, that day I drove through the Fort Pitt Tunnel with this song blaring)

The second memory is to a different version of this song, it’s the Philip Glass Remix that is excellent. In it I’m a junior in college and I’m with Smiles, one of the two people I’m seeing. I introduce this song to her and dance and sing along while it is playing. I’m having the time of my life, I’m immersed in this song. I point out the lyrics, “Nothing will keep us together,” because it makes me feel free and amazing it also speaks to the nature of our relationship. “We can be us just for one day”

11. Later – Dr. Dog

This song feels like Philadelphia. It feels like the Schuylkill River bike path. It feels like wandering the streets in Philadelphia. It feels like Smiles. Reminds me of the pushover I was and still am, cause “I’ll sit around and wait for you, I guess I really will, sit around and wait for you.”

“It never works, you said you’ll call me later
And then you never ever do
I just can’t sit around and wait
Can’t sit around and wait for you
Now I’ll just have another cup of coffee
I’ll sit around and wait for you”

12. 8 Good Reasons – Sinéad O’Connor

Memory: I am having a difficult night and having trouble getting to sleep. I am distracting myself on the internet when I stumbled upon the news that Sinéad had tried to kill herself. She left a message on facebook saying she was going to do it and she was found in time to save her life. Then I felt compelled to listen to her most recent album and found this song. It hurts every time I listen to this song I can’t help but think about how she tried to kill herself, it puts this whole song in a much different light.

13. Asleep – The Smiths

This song is from the Perks of Being A Wallflower. I could never listen to it before because it was too sad. But once watching the movie I found it irresistible.

Memory: I have just watched the Perks of Being a Wallflower and I’m balling, it was hard, it hurt. I’m driving around town and I am listening to this song on repeat. It’s funny because at first I don’t realize that it’s a suicide note of a song at first. The song makes me sad, but it more calms me down and becomes ambient music in the background. It’s a soothing song, a song I listen to when I can’t get to sleep, a song I cry softly to.

14. Wild – Beach House

This song is the perfect picker upper after Asleep. I spent days listening to this album and this song soothes me into a dance turning around my downer mood to a content one.

15. Amor Fati – Washed Out

And finally a equally soothing even more upbeat song to get you on your way.

Depression, “Now With Even Worse Feelings”

In case you haven’t read this blog for too long, I’ve struggled with depression since 8th grade. The difference is it’s never felt this intense. I’ve wanted to kill myself, and thought about cutting myself but recently I’ve been overcome with feelings that I have never felt with such intensity. I am feeling more these days and it feels like my body is paying me back for not feeling my depression when I had it the worst.

A week ago I experienced a few days when biking to work was one of the most arduous tasks I’ve completed in years. The energy, mental and physical, that I had to put into every pedal stroke felt overwhelming. Going up subtle inclines felt like climbing a mountain. Another day I spent over an hour trying to get myself out of bed. When I did my whole body felt unbelievably heavy to move. I had a difficult time doing basic tasks like showering and shaving.

Last Thursday was the peak, I felt feeling I had rarely felt before. I blew of two friend’s that I had plans to see and was mentally incapable of responding to any of their communications. I got calls and texts but the task of responding even to worried texts was inconceivably difficult. Despite how much I wanted to reassure them and even just text a roommate “yes you can borrow my car” I couldn’t. A friend invited me to eat dinner and I when I realized I had no desire to see her I frowned.

Before depression I felt like a constant self doubt and feeling of worthlessness. This depression was a feeling that everything was a burden. The feeling is hard to explain and ever harder to grasp.

Luckily my friend, Red Beard, caught me in the middle of my isolating and made me explain myself. I deflected at first and then saw he was demanding a real answer. I felt too much, I couldn’t even find the words at first. I had to look at the ground and not think about what I was saying to even acknowledge my depression.

I tried to explain the feeling to him. It was as though everything around me were depression. Even the air I sat in was depression. Almost as though air was replaced by this thicker heavy gas called depression that made all movement harder, made everything heavier and was truly inescapable.

Why? Good question, but I have no answer. I am unable to even think about why in this fog of depression I can’t even see that far. And thus it becomes impossible to tackle, where do you start when you’ve got no air to breath just a fog of depression gas.

After continuing to talk to Red Beard I began to fathom it. He helped me acknowledge the need to cut myself more slack and take on less responsibilities. This is what I was doing the previous night. I refused every responsibility, even basic obligations of responding to worried friends that you blew off.

Since then I have started taking steps to lessen my responsibilities and to do things that nourish myself. Like a backpacking trip I had been putting off for months, like alone time and hanging out by the river and watching trains go by. I also realize the importance of my daily routine that I structured in such a way to prevent depression from stopping me like it had. I realized and finally acknowledged that I do have depression and it is a disease.

Last weekend I finally went backpacking. It was unbelievably refreshing. Yet the the first morning in the woods I was attacked by depression and after eating breakfast I became unable to move and crawled back into my tent. It felt horrible but I fought it off. Depression is a disease and even taking all the medicine you need won’t make it go away. I came home, told friends and plan on continuing to be open about my depression and thoughts generally.

I’ve also been playing around with how to put a visual to the feeling of depression. Here is my first attempt.

This piece is called "345 lbs" and is an attempt to make depression visible to those who have never experienced it. It says "Depression is a disease." 345 times.(click on the picture twice to make it larger)

This piece is called “345 lbs” and is an attempt to make depression visible to those who have never experienced it. It says “Depression is a disease.” 345 times.(click on the picture twice to make it larger)

Welcome Back Black Dog

Everything is great. I’m hanging out with my new friends Spaced and Chem and I needn’t worry about a problem in the world, I feel like I’m their third musketeer. Then they fade away for their reasons and I see them less frequently. I hate it, their reasons frustrate me and I focus on that, still missing the point. I hate them, I hate my attachment to them, I hate them for leaving. Then I ask why? I avoid answering this question for days. I tell myself to stop focusing on them and focus on myself and on my body, suddenly I know the answer to my question. I hate them because when they leave I am left with myself. I am left to face my problems and feel my feelings I’m forced to focus on myself instead of other people.

It’s not that I necessarily need validated by them or supported by them but it’s quite literally that I lose myself in other people. I become completely intertwined in their life. I take on their problems, their concerns, I check how and what I’m doing in contrast to them. I think about them all the time. I think about them this much so I can’t think about myself. But when your goal in life is to become a fixture in someone else’s life when they are absent for too long you are suddenly lost.

At first I thought that I was losing my identity. This isn’t true I gain my identity, I gain my problems and my burden. It’s all too much for me.

I listen to Adam’s Song by Blink-182 on repeat. Just a few days before I listened to this song and enjoyed the last verse. This song is written about a 17 year old that is about to kill himself. The last verse slightly changes the lyrics from lamenting about how the past was better to excitement for days to come. I restart it before it gets to the last verse. I did like that verse for a day, I’ve hated it for years though. I’ve never put the song on repeat because I always did it manually before the upbeat verse comes on.

I listened to this song a lot in Philly. I would ride my recumbent bike to work and play this song over and over again. For a very long time when I would sing it I couldn’t sing the line “tell mom it’s not her fault.” I would get all chocked up and start to tear up. It was so hard because I couldn’t help but imagining how I wanted to say that to my mom, to tell her, “it’s not your fault.” Thoughts of suicide were obviously heavy on my mind at this time.

Next I listen to an old Reply All podcast, What it Looks Like. The podcast is about depression and about how people get through it. The person it focuses on at first is Jamie Keiles a writer and at the time a student.

At one point she comments on the never-ending inwardly focused tormented thoughts that she got caught in. “If I could just figure out why I’m sad then I could become less sad then I would be happier but I have to keep thinking about why I’m sad.”

Then Reply All’s host PJ Vogt comments on his experiences with depression. One of his friends hanged herself not to long after finishing high school. She had skipped her senior prom to take a first responder class and always carried surgical gloves with her because she always wanted to be ready to help anyone that may be hurt. Despite this in her suicide note she lamented that she couldn’t help people as much as she wanted to. This is exactly how I feel so often. I care for others before myself. I see how dangerous this mentality is but breaking it is another story. I think this is a trait found in many depressed peoples. The endless desire to help other people, without recognizing the need to help yourself.

PJ goes on to talk about how he was depressed and suicidal for a long time. “For all that time I just thought that everybody’s brain was like that. The same way I genuinely can’t imagine that anybody doesn’t always kind of want to be eating potato chips. I also just thought that anybody’s brain faced with a sufficiently difficult problem would suggest that one easy solution would just be dieing.” I expressed the sentiment that everyone feels that way to a friend when he told me he was depressed in high school, turns out that isn’t true.

When PJ was numb or depressed he would go to a folder that contained things from his friend who hanged herself. Because to him feeling sad was better than feeling numb. That is where I am and I can’t stop myself. I’m digging deeper into depression unable to figure out what will get me out and doing all the wrong things.

Art Not Words

For a few weeks I couldn’t write enough blog posts, post after post was being written waiting for the time it would be published. Then I started art and became entranced with it and uninspired to write. That’s why this post will be about some of my art projects.

The first one to follow up my lavender black hole came when I didn’t have my drawing pad, all I had was 3 hole punched paper. I had been feeling a compulsion for days and I was suddenly overtaken. The song that inspired me was The Neighbors by St. Vincent. I was first taken by the lyrics, “How can Monday be alright, Then on Tuesday lose my mind?” But so many of the other lyrics are so great to. Such as “What would your mother think, What would your father do, What would the neighbors think? If they only knew”

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After having this one up for a week one of my roommates kept asking me if it was Tuesday, and if I was going crazy. These comments frustrated me because the point of my art started to be to take it seriously and take my thoughts seriously not as think of myself as crazy. When she was in my room I ripped off every one accept a few and changed it to “Then on Tuesday they knew” and one that says “Because I told them.” This is largely in reference to something I told many of my good friends after first having the thought. I was feeling really spaced out and had a very strong desire to cut my wrists (knowing it would ground me in the moment). I talked to a friend who just moved to germany first, then I proceeded to let many friends know about this feeling. I felt safe telling people and safer having people know. I also was made to feel less crazy and since now my friends knew they could better support me. I am again humbled by my friends and credit my support network for helping me validate how I feel and remind me that my thoughts and experiences are by no means crazy but actually quite normal.

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The first piece of art on my door quite honestly made me feel like a crazy person. It wasn’t as refined looking and it was also conveying a message that I was “loosing my mind.” So I began struggling with what I just talked about above, not feeling crazy. This struggle most clearly comes out in my next piece from the “This is Art” series called “207/213 +7.” Prior to this piece my coworker explained to me a Venn Diagram of the line between crazy and artist, she specifically mentions Thomas Kincaid I balanced him out with Syd Barrett.

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To make myself feel less crazy and more artistic I bought some sketch paper and started the first of my “This is Art” series. This series is paper that has “This is art.” written on them anywhere from 207 to 365 times. My first one was done at my friend Spaced’s house. She was doing work and I had figured this might happen so I brought over paper. Previous to the art I had run out of nutrients and shut down. She fed me and then got to her work. I put on St. Vincent and got to my work. I switched it up listening to her first album, Marry Me, instead of my recent staple, Actor.

The combination of regaining mental control post-very-hungry and this album these thrust me into a somewhat disassociated state that I’ve done much of my art in. I was no longer present in the room but in the art. I argued with myself constantly through this piece drawing a “fine line” that was quite thick and specify where the “art” was in this piece. I also constantly argued with myself whether this was art or not. I have had great conflict with my art not sure if I believed I was crazy or I was making art. The term art didn’t feel like it fit my work but the arguing with myself continually throughout this piece helped lay the ground work to let me consider my work art, period.

After getting half way through the page and struggling the entire time I got frustrated and laid down. I ended up falling asleep and woke up quite disoriented, and promptly went back to sleep (in a bed this time, not the floor).

To finish this piece off I laid it on the ground in my floor not quite frustrated enough to crumble it up. One of our cats laid on it helping me vicariously take out the frustration I still have with this first piece. (Hint if you click on the image and then on the new page right click and click “View Image” the image will become larger)

207/213 +7

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My next bunch of This is Art was simply writing “This is art.” You can see them below.

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My next piece of art came to me on a whim and I think I’m going to remake it with one tweak (glitter). Either-way this was a canvas that I originally was just painting a lavender base over since it is a used canvas. Once I painted the lavender base and it dried I decided to paint a black stripe over it, a repeat of the “fine line” between crazy and artist. I then hung up the piece over my lavender black hole and proceeded to take pictures of it drying. My black paint has a puncture in the container so it’s very runny and I photographed it 7 times as it dried. adding for a cool effect.

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And finally some three dimensional pieces that I have been working on regarding dreams. This are long in the making with the idea first coming into my head November 2009. This is the iconic Dream Crusher. The first picture is one made in 2009 and the following pictures are recent schematics for making a my three-dimensional Dream Crusher which you can see the start of one. This Dream Crushers will both be operated manually and not by motor. The plans show schematics for the small one that is part way done and also a larger one that would have a full plexiglas side. This is for demonstration purposes only. Ideally any fully functional one would have no or limited plexiglas as this is obviously a weak spot in the design.

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Relationship

Over the past Smiles and I have been having relationship difficulties. It’s been ongoing for a while. We snap at each other a lot and harass one another about things we do or don’t do and control one another. Also, we haven’t been have fun together, we just stay inside and are miserable.

The fact that Smiles is living in Reading during the week and I’m living in Philly all the time exacerbated these problems. We started spending only 2 or 3 days together a week. We would snap at each other during those few days and I ended up feeling awful the rest of the week too, because I had become so dependent upon Smiles

Finally it got too bad to handle. The weekend of the 22-23 was the worst weekend we spent together. I actually felt better when Smiles left, and Smiles felt the same. During the following week I had a very hard week. I kept thinking about breaking up, all that was wrong with Smiles, I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. My subconscious was convinced there was better for me, while I tried to ignore these thoughts saying to myself, “the grass is always greener on the other side.” I went on a few several-hour-long walks trying to figure things out. And I had insomnia so I couldn’t fall sleep until 3 or 4.

I didn’t want to come to any conclusions or break up, especially when Smiles was gone. We had intertwined our lives, our stuff and our housing. I didn’t want to loose all of that I just hated our relationship. After I figured out all of this stuff I felt horrible watched movies and nursed myself out of it with sad music. I finally had a good time. My second half of the week was fun, I got things done and enjoyed myself, for the first time in a while.

Then Smiles came home. It was awkward because in my subconscious I had already ended it with her. We started bickering again and finally it came out that I wanted to break up with her. It turned out to be the most emotionally draining break up I’ve ever had. We treated each other awfully. By the end I was emotionally drained. Smiles left Saturday night and then came back Sunday morning while I was sleeping. We talked more and agreed that the relationship was awful. And then with some coercion and the emotional exhaustion from last night, I agreed to start things over like a normal couple.

The following week was fine, but mainly because of the same reasons the last week was fine, I was ignoring our relationship and sorta thought it was over/bad things gone. We didn’t talk much and it was only in a friendly way not an harassing way or relationship way.

Then came my birthday bash weekend in State College. Smiles had really wanted to go and I did to. But turns out I didn’t want to go with Smiles. We went from “starting over” to being married again and it wasn’t fun. This irritated me and caused me to lash out at Smiles and be irritable to other people.

Finally we talked on Sunday. The conversation wasn’t bad at all. I think that’s because we both knew it was coming. We decided to break up for now. We are going to sublet our apartment and take some time apart not being a married couple or even dating. We are done, but open to starting again. We’ll see if we want to start something again

It’s hard because I don’t really know if I want to start that again, but I don’t think I should know yet. I just have to give it all time and find out. What I do know is that marriage isn’t for me yet. I want a fun relationship where we do things together and enjoy one another’s company.