Towards the end of 2017 I was suffering from severe anxiety and depression. I began therapy as a remedy and with it came drugs... As a disclaimer, this is regarding my personal experience with medication. Everyones body and mind react differently and I acknowledge that medication that may or may not work for me could be a completely different experience for someone else. With that being said, medication has played a huge role in what I consider my recovery and I’m an advocate for trying meds if you are facing similar depression and anxiety difficulties and it is recommended to you by your doctor…
My therapist and I had discussed my history with medication and why I felt it wasn’t for me. As a kid, I was all over the place in therapy. One day I would come in crying about a break up, the next I was there to discuss my hopes and dreams, then it was what was going on at home. Nothing wrong sharing everything with your therapist but as a teenager some problems just seem huge one day and little the next. Being a teenage girl is hard to follow, even for a therapist or psychiatrist. They diagnosed me with Bipolar 2 when I was a Sophomore in high school and I was given Lithium. It fucked me up man.. Crazy mood swings, many tears and heightened anxiety. I became socially awkward and picked up the habit of over analyzing everything which only fueled the depression that had been getting worse. Ultimately I chose to walk away from that therapist, psychiatrist and lithium and just live in minor constant anxiety. I shut down and was unwilling to attempt another round of therapists, diagnosis’s and medication trial and error.
I was an adult now with new problems, the same anxieties and bottom line was I just wanted to feel better. I felt comfortable exploring medication because I trusted my therapist and felt he understood my mental health struggles. And I trusted myself. I knew why I was there. I had a plan on where I wanted this journey to take me and I was pretty desperate to find a solution to the pain I was in. When I say I was in pain.. these months were the worst of my life thus far. So I started trying medications again..
I started taking 50mg of Zoloft a day mainly for anxiety. It took around 5 weeks for me to start to notice a difference. In the mean time I was given as needed medication for panic attacks and insomnia, none of which I found helpful. I wasn’t sleeping even with the sleeping pills. I just felt groggy the next day so I stopped taking them. Finally I was given the good stuff…Xanax. I understand why doctors are so hesitant to give this stuff out. It basically fixes everything. I kid. It numbs everything. Highly addictive and fatal when misused. I loved it honestly but with my family history of addiction, I was aware of the risk I was taking by even trying it. I made an effort to only use Xanax when needed but the term “when needed” got looser as time went on. As I learned more in therapy about myself and the Zoloft started kicking in I felt my emotions leveling out and I quit using the as needed medications.
Medication did not erase or solve any of my problems. Medication did not cure my clinical depression and anxiety. I was still battling with my thoughts and feeling emotionally distressed, but medication made it manageable. It made it easier for me to think instead of just being overwhelmed by my feelings. And once I found an aid in reducing my anxiety I felt capable of taking on life again. Helping myself was a collaborative effort but medication played a major role in helping me find my way.
Praxiteles, the son of Cephisodotus the Elder, was one of the most renowned artists of Attic Peninsula creating works sought after by nobles of neighboring regions. Praxiteles was commissioned to sculpt a cult statue for the Temple of Aphrodite of Knidos around 350 BCE and produced two sculptures one draped and one nude. The city of Ko purchased the draped version of Aphrodite, they believed the nude version was indecent and would be a poor reflection of their city. The City of Knidos bought the nude Aphrodite, unaware of the statues historical significance or its future influence on women in art that would follow.
The Aphrodite of Knidos was the first full-size, free standing nude female depicted in Grecian sculpture and it rivaled the idea of heroic male nudity in art. The goddess is depicted nude, standing in contropposto, and is famed for its beauty and ability to be appreciated from every angle. Aphrodite is holding the drapery she was once wearing in one hand while the other is used to modestly cover her pubic region, drawing the viewers attention towards her exposed breasts.
As a female, the introduction of the nude woman in Grecian sculpture should be an exciting advancement for women in art but leave it to a male sculptor and they will find a way to sexualize the female form. The way Praxiteles chose to pose Aphrodite eluded to a sense of false modesty. Depicting her as bashful sexualized her body and projected the idea that the female form was unequal to her male counterpart. The male depicted nude was unapologetic, never covering pubic regions, desexualized and to society very dignified. Right out the gate this depiction of the nude female presented the idea that women’s bodies were not to be respected in the same ways as man.
Scholars such as Nigel Spivey argue that this sexualization was intentional and Praxiteles sculpted Aphrodite of Knidos with the male onlooker in mind. Arguing that its fame derives from the pleasure both heterosexual and homosexual men got from viewing her. News of the nude Aphrodite in Knidos spread and the statue quickly became a tourist attraction for its modest nudity. The sculpture would have been polychromed, fully painted and was so lifelike men were sexually aroused by it. A story recorded by Lucian of Samosata, a Syrian satirist from around this time recalls, “The floor of the court had not been doomed to sterility by a stone pavement, but on the contrary, it burst with fertility..” (Erotes) and goes on to describe an incident involving a young male leaving a stain on the statue after having alone time with it. Aphrodite of Knidos brought fame to the City of Knidos and even the neighboring King of Bithynia offered to pay for the sculpture but the offer was declined.
The Knidian Aphrodite did not survive and is thought to have burned in a fire but before its demise it managed to change how women began being depicted in art through generations of the ancient world that followed. It established a canon for the proportions of the female nude. And many replicas and variations of the Aphrodite of Knidos started to appear throughout the Hellenistic and Roman world. These copies played with the over sexualized pose given to Aphrodite by Praxiteles. Some artists removed her hands displaying her in full nudity while others posed her covering her breasts to increases the sense false modesty. These copies can be found on display in museums all over the world. The British museum, the Paris Louvre and even the Venus Felix, a possible variation, is located in the Vatican.
The Aphrodite of Knidos is one of the most famous sculptures from antiquity and possibly the most famous to have come from the Late Classical period. Her figure was the first of its kind to display modest female nudity, a trend that sparked an evolution of women depicted in art through out western civilization. Her creation presented a shift from the once rigid design of the Greek Archaic Kore and the use of excessive drapery by the earlier classical eras. Aphrodite’s nudity and sexuality differentiated this statue from depictions of women in art from centuries past and greatly influenced the portrayal of women in art to follow. Said to have been the first 3D sculpture to represent the female nude. It opened up artists to explore and interpret the female pose leading to advancements in how women were depicted during the Hellenistic period and centuries to come. The creation of this sculpture is overlooked but once examined tells a story that still resonates with women of today. Despite the desexualization of the male form there has always been hypocrisy in the way women’s bodies are treated in comparison. An over sexualized depiction of a goddess, created by a man, influenced western civilization’s perception of the female form. What a statement that makes on women in art history.
Marina Abramović is easily one of the most influential artists that I have familiarized myself with. There are so many different directions I could go in when discussing Marina Abramović. For starters lets mention how throughout history women artists have received little to no recognition for their bodies of work. But for as long as there have been male artists, there have been female. Actually, according to Roman writer Pliny the Elder from the first century C.E., the first drawing ever made was by a woman, so suck it dudes. Until I heard of Abramović I honestly knew very little regarding female artists. Her work inspired a deep dive into females throughout art history. A huge inspiration as to why I am completely my art degree. Marina Abramović is one of the most badass artists ever, not just female.
Abramović was inspired by Dadaism and the Fluxus Movement, basically anti-art. Like Dadaists before them, Fluxus artists’ goal is to eliminate boundaries between art and the world around them. They believe you do not have to be educated to understand art. They dismiss the “high art” world and believe that museums do not have the authority to define what is considered art. Fluxus art involves the viewer and believes the piece is not complete without an audience. Marina committed herself to this key idea as a performance artist.
So lets talk about her work. Along with viewer interaction, Abramović’s pieces emphasize the connection between body and mind, testing her endurance psychically and mentally. Her first performance series, (Rhythm 10,5,2,4,0. 1973-74) displayed these concepts. Rhythm 10 involved her playing the Russian Game with 20 knifes. Stabbing the knife between her fingers until cutting herself then picking up a new knife and continuing. This was recorded then played back to her as she tried then to repeat the same actions and sounds of the stabbings. This explored the mental and psychically limitations of the body. With this performance Abramović started considering the state of consciousness of the performer.
This developed into a series. She then performed Rhythm 5, 1974, where she lit a communist five pointed star on fire and to represent purification of her past, (Her parents raised her military style, and both held positions in the Yugoslavian government) jumped into the middle. She lost consciousness due to the smoke inhalation and had to be pulled from the fire. "I was very angry because I understood there is a physical limit. When you lose consciousness you can't be present, you can't perform.”
This provoked the further exploration of consciousness. Rhythm 2, 1974, she ingested two different medications, the first used for patients with catatonia. Her healthy body reacted violently, seizing uncontrollably. She had lost all connection to her psychical body but her mind remained lucid and aware. After the first pill wore off she ingested another typically prescribed for aggressive patients resulting in complete immobilization. Her body was present but mentally she was removed and had no recollection of the lapsed time. Rhythm 4, 1974, she stood naked in front of an industrial size fan inhaling deeply over and over until losing consciousness.
In Rhythm 0, 1974, her last piece in this series, she upped the anti. This is one of her most well known pieces due to the controversial nature of the topics it addressed. She set out 72 objects on a table and instructed the audience they were allowed to use them in any way they choose. For 6 hours Abramović stood still as viewers touched and manipulated her body."What I learned was that ... if you leave it up to the audience, they can kill you. ... I felt really violated: they cut up my clothes, stuck rose thorns in my stomach, one person aimed the gun at my head, and another took it away. It created an aggressive atmosphere. After exactly 6 hours, as planned, I stood up and started walking toward the audience. Everyone ran away, to escape an actual confrontation.” This performance demonstrated how vulnerable and aggressive humans can be without social consequences. It also represented the objectification of females, and reflected key issues regarding art, sexuality and BDSM.
Tell me, Marina Abramović is not one of the coolest artists you have ever heard of? I’ve only touched on her FIRST performance pieces. This blog is going to be a long one because I have to tell you about her collaborative work Ulay. Marina moved to Amsterdam in 1976 and met the German artist Uwe Laysipen or Ulay. They quickly began living and working together creating a decade of influential performance pieces. Fuck The Notebook, these artists’ love story was crazy romantic, filled with artistic exploration and was real. Together they created a collective called, “The Other.” They focused on ego and the artist identity. "The main problem in this relationship was what to do with the artists' egos. I had to find out how to put my ego down, as did he, to create something like a hermaphroditic state of being that we called the death self.” Now if this isn’t a metaphor for love, I don’t know what is. Together they preformed for a decade, some of my favorite being;
And for their grand finale they preformed Lovers in 1988. Each starting at opposite ends of the Great Wall of China they walked towards each other, meeting in the middle to say their final goodbyes. By the time they received permission to perform this piece their relationship had completely dissolved. "We needed a certain form of ending, after this huge distance walking towards each other. It is very human. It is in a way more dramatic, more like a film ending ... Because in the end, you are really alone, whatever you do.” This piece gives me chills, I live for all things romantic, sad and artistic. And IT’s REAL. It wasn’t as uncomplicated and romantic as them just living inside of their own personal art installation though. In 2015-16 Ulay took Abramović to court for unpaid royalties and was ordered to backdate and pay him years worth of combined sales and legal fees. Ouch.
Abramović went on to perform solo again. Ill wrap this up with one of her more recent performances, The Artist is Present, 2010. You may have heard of this performance, it did go viral. As the largest exhibit of performance art in MOMA history, Abramović sat at a table in one of the museum’s galleries for 736 hours. The audience was invited to sit across from her for about five minutes at a time. She remained completely still and silent apart from if an audience member cried, she cried. Abramović sat across from 1,545 sitters including people such as James Franco, Lou Reed, Alan Rickman and Bjork. And at one point after decades apart, Ulay. I cry every time I talk about this moment. Seriously, I am getting choked up right now. This moment that went viral between Abramović and Ulay is something I’ll never forget. It was the only time she reached over the table and touched a sitter. The moment only lasted for about a minute but the impact it had on me was lasting. This is the meaning of art to me.
Marina Abramović’s work deeply resonates with me. It seriously moves me to my core and I don’t think enough people know of her and her brilliance. There are many more pieces that she has contributed to the art work and in 2015 presented a TED talk titled, “An art made of trust, vulnerability, and connection.” Go check those out. I assure you, you wont be disappointed.
I Just wanted to throw this in here real quick... Above is Jay-Z shooting his music video for Picasso Baby in 2013. He asked Marina if he could adapt her performance piece The Artist is Present. He sat across from multiple celebrities and sang his song repeatedly for six hours while filming at the Pace Museum in New York. Abramović agreed to appear in the video in exchange for donation and publicity for her Institute of performance art. Some have commented on the collaboration as the day performance art died, others have said contemporary artists working with musicians can potentially create great work that both fine art lovers and pop culture fans can appreciate.
I wanted to write about self care during a low point of anxiety and depression. Today is the day. When life gets in the way and I neglect my mental health one day I will wake up and I just know it’s too late. Whatever stress and emotions I had been harboring has risen to the surface in the form of extreme anxiety and panic. These feelings morph into self-loathing thoughts and ultimately depression. Anxiety I can manage. It is much easier for me to hide. Depression is not so easy to disguise. I can save the tears for my pillow but the overwhelming fatigue disrupts my life.
Everything is more difficult when you would rather be in bed. But I have plans. I have things to do, places to go and I don’t have time for this. Those thoughts play on repeat increasing my anxiety about feeling depressed until I reach a breakdown of epic proportions. I realize now that breakdowns are breakthroughs. I have never felt worse after crying it out and if you do that means you just haven’t cried enough yet. The calm I experience after a good cry helps me analyze the situation. The anxiety peaked and now it’s time to think. This is when I realize I need some serious self care. Self care means different things for different people but basically it means doing healthy things for yourself.
It starts off with a dialogue in my head. I’m always having conversations with myself but the “girl, take care of yourself” talk typically only comes to me when I’m ready to pick myself up mentally. I start by changing my frame of mind. Okay so you can’t get out of bed today. I am no longer going to punish myself by looking at is as a failure but as my brain saying, “it’s cool girl take a load off. And take as much time as you need.” When I forgive myself, I’m able to take care of myself.
Now that I’m viewing it as I’m chillin’ to heal instead of just feeling emotionally distressed I’m able to then figure out what else I can do for myself. One of my all time favorite self care go tos is to express gratitude. When I am feeling low I lean on the people around me. I understand caring for someone and really paying attention to their needs gets emotionally heavy sometimes. Whenever I can I like to remind those around me of how much I love and appreciate them. Now days I like to emit all the positive vibes that I can so hopefully when I need it, I’ll receive it.
I’ve checked in and received some love from the people who care about me now I’m going to really start taking care of myself. Sometimes self care can be the simple things. Like getting a full 8 hours of sleep and waking up with the sun or spending some time alone decluttering your house. Getting rid of physical things I don’t need actually relieves emotional weight sometimes.
Self hygiene is another big self care favorite. I’ll spend a week just going down the list of everything I can get waxed and how many different face masks I can put on. I have to get the mani and pedi, of course, and if I’m feeling real shitty I just might get my hair did. When I get to this stage of self care I start to see the light at the end of the depression tunnel. I feel good about how I have been treating myself. I realize that all I have to do is nourish to flourish.
Self care turns into self love. I am doing all of this because I care for my mental health because it is important. I am important. Sometimes it’s not easy to take care of yourself. When you stay positive and realize putting yourself first is not selfish, you can really care for yourself in the way you deserve to be cared for.
I had never felt so much pain in my entire life. The weeks following my separation I couldn’t recognize myself at all. I was just a disgusting mess of a human. I wasn’t sleeping or eating except for crazy crying girl binging at 2 am. I was having trouble getting to work. So many days I'd try driving there crying as the anxiety intensified the closer I got. I would have a full blown panic attack a parking lot away. My mind raced of negative thoughts of myself and my life. I felt so weak and so embarrassed. Within an hour of waking up for the day I would be so exhausted from my emotions I had to just go back to sleep. I slept for what felt like a lifetime but was really a few weeks.
I made my mental health my number one priority. I attended personal therapy and group therapy every week. I started medications for various issues ( a blog post all in itself, that one is coming.) and began learning useful tools and coping mechanisms that I’m going to break down and store here for myself and anyone else in pain that could find them useful. The first lesson that therapy taught me was patience. It was okay that I was struggling. I didn’t have to have it all figured out, and that I was going to get there. This reassurance removed a layer of anxiety that helped me focus. I was spending so much time in my head coming up with solutions but wasn’t trying any of them. I had been going in circles and the first step was just to accept everything. I invited the pain into my life. I knew I was growing every time I faced what was hurting me and causing my anxieties. And things started moving. I didn’t realize it while it was happening but every decision I’ve made has gotten me to this point, and looking back reminds me of how far I’ve come.
The similarities between these two artists are overwhelming to me. I am an og Kanye West fan. I am talking producer Kanye. Rock-a-fella Kanye. GRADUATION Kanye. I mean this guy has made some bomb music. One of the first things he did was produce Jay-Z's The Blueprint album, one of his best I might add. Though what fascinates me the most about Kanye West and how he relates back to Van Gogh, is the clear mental health conditions he lives with and how over time it has transformed his ideals and bodies of work. Making the connection between mental illness and art has always been a hot topic for me, mainly because I find it so relatable. I have always experienced extreme bursts of creativity, making what I have considered my best works when I have been at my lowest points.
I first discovered this theme when studying Vincent Van Gogh. It is not confirmed which mental illness Van Gogh had suffered from but at a two day conference hosted by Amsterdam's Vincent Van Gogh Museum hundreds of medical professionals and art historians gathered to discuss his possible diagnosis. With the help of many letters Van Gogh had written to his brother throughout his lifetime, they discussed the periods of depression and bipolar tendencies he experienced. He suffered from short psychotic episodes lasting anywhere from a few weeks to months, followed by periods of high energy and euphoria.
One of the many examples of his mental conditions being evident in his work are the Starry Night paintings from 1888 and 1889. In his original Starry Night Over the River Rhône from September 1888 he painted the view from his apartment window, a happier time in his life. A little over a year later Van Gogh was hospitalized in the mental asylum in Arles. His mental illness had evolved and he had become psychotic. Here he painted what he saw from his window of the asylum creating the well known 1889 version of Starry Night. This kind of thing blows my mind.
Do you see where I am going with all this? In recent years Kanye West has demonstrated some questionable acts which many have deemed crazy, (a term I could write a whole blog about.) Kanye West is no Van Gogh, but I do see a connection between the two. He is a modern day artist living with a mental condition and if you look closely you can see it within his body of work.
After nearly dying in a car crash in October of 2002, he wrote, "Through The Wire" then rapped it while his jaw was wired shut and that shit was fire. Career Defining. He used pain as a motivator for that one. Then he got big. In 2004 released College Drop Out, was producing for other huge artists, and was killing it. In September 2007 he dropped Graduation, my favorite.
Then on November 10, 2007 his mother Donda died due to surgery complications and this trauma changed Kanye. His mother was everything to him and her death had blindsided him. At this time he was 30 years old. Some say it feels as if he never came back from this loss. He pain was evident by his 2008 album , 808 & Heartbreak. Look at this track list;
As years went on his behavior became increasingly unpredictable and unstable. Many questioned whether it was publicity stunts or mental illness. He had been releasing albums but was now evolving his style and persona between them, leaving fans confused and missing “the old Kanye.” In 2016 Kanye released The Life of Pablo. This album had mental health themes sprinkled through out. One of the most telling lyrics being, “This ni**a when he off his Lexapro, Remember that last time in Mexico, Remember that last time, the episode..” referencing an anti depressant and anxiety medication. Later that year West was committed to a psychiatric unit after suffering a mental breakdown on stage in November following weeks of erratic behavior while on his Saint Pablo Tour. This was right around the anniversary of his mother’s death. The episode was first described as "temporary psychosis" caused by dehydration and sleep deprivation. His mental state was affected enough to cancelled the remaining show dates and then disappear for a while.
His latest album inspired this post. In 2018 West came back with Ye, or I Hate Being Bi-Polar, It's Awesome. It’s like watching one of those movies where you have to get to the end for it all to make sense. In this album Kanye rapped about suicidal thoughts, his Opioid addiction and the most interesting to me, “ That's my bipolar shit, ni**a what? That's my superpower, ni**a, ain't no disability.” As someone who struggles with mental illness, I do not consider it a superpower. But for someone who also considers themselves an artist, I interpret it as being his best artistically, in his opinion, due to his mental condition. It's interesting watching someone in the public eye deal with mental health issues. In West's case we have seen it develop through his creative expressions and personal life.
I am drawn to artists that put on display their mental journey throughout their creative one. I think it’s powerful how over time, in different mediums there have been famous artists with mental illness documenting it through their artistic expression, whether they mean to or unknowingly. Unfortunately in Vincent Van Gogh’s case he succumbed to his mental illness, committing suicide by the age 37. Kanye West has just started speaking on being diagnosed with his mental condition at the age of 39. Though his behavior remains irrational at times, I hope he is on a path of receiving the help he needs, and one day will give his fans back some of that “old Kanye” and maybe the new Kanye can help shed some light on mental illness and its stigma once he understands it himself.
How far back do I go when discussing my journey with mental health? I have seen therapists throughout my childhood and when things were hard in high school. But to talk about the traumas associated with said beginning of my journey is not really something I feel compelled to do right now. Going to therapy as a kid is difficult. You don’t know who you are or where you’re going. How do you ask for advice? How easy is it for a teenager to make change happen for themselves? Maybe at a later time we will discuss, but the journey I am on currently, is new.
Then one night my life exploded, everything came crashing down on me. I will always remember the lowest night of my life. And I will always remember that next dawn as the moment I decided I was ready to receive help. I did the only thing a kid knows to do.. I called my mom. Writing that, made me burst into tears. I really feel like talking to my mother was the right move. I love you Buffs. I sat on my front porch that morning and unloaded things onto her that needed to be released for years, then I just left. I left the home I was living in with absolutely nothing. I literally started fresh. Everything had been delivered to me through the year, but for a while there it really felt like the clean break from that life that I needed. I was completely heartbroken and very depressed but for some reason I kept going to therapy, no longer for my marriage but for me. I manifested all my pain into one continuous thought, I have nothing else to lose, not even myself. Then I went on a journey to find her.
I am super excited to share what influences me. This list of who and what inspires me is so incredibly long I could devote an entire blog theme to the topic itself. A good place to start would be my OG influencers. They are all talented women, of course.
Lana Del Rey is my spirit animal. She found me right as I was turning from girl to woman. I lived through her music during so many troubling years of my life. Her theme of the beauty within sadness resonated within me and it really shaped how I viewed life at that time. It was unhealthy but such a whirlwind, living in a fantasy and romanticizing even the worst parts of life. But it wasn't just her music that had influenced me; her aesthetic and style also captivated me. When i first started makeup I attempted to recreate a look from the "Born To Die" music video. A Lana fan site reblogged it and trolled me for thinking I looked like her. I was so embarrassed, and super insecure but never stopped, thank god.
Then I discovered Marina Abramovic. I had always been fascinated with art, particularly Italian Sculptures and Early Renaissance paintings but when I found the work of Marina Abramovic art took on a new meaning. I could not believe how powerful her performance art was. The emotions her work provoked in me made me realize I had to finish my art degree. This woman is so strong and innovative, I truly admire her. Below is a performance piece called Rest Energy. In this piece Marina Abramovic wears a microphone near her heart as her long time artist boyfriend Ulay pulls an arrow back with his weight, giving him total control as he aims it at Abramovic’s chest. Marina had said this was one of the most terrifying performances she had done, only enforcing its message, love is giving someone the power to hurt you and trusting that they won’t.
After Abramovic, I read about Palma Bucarelli. An art historian that curated the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte in Rome from 1942-1975. She was in charge of protecting the gallery's collections during World War II which is amazing in itself. She also attended the First International Congress of Art Critics in 1948 and oversaw many iconic exhibitions of work by artists such as Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock. She promoted abstract art and displayed pieces that were often, at first, criticized. She had an eye for innovative and unusual pieces and she always stood her ground when expressing its relevance and importance. I aspire to live a life similar to Palma Burcarelli. She was beautiful, smart and was in control of works of art. Life goals.
For a bonus, I'm going to throw in Marilyn Monroe, solely based on aesthetic inspiration. Another strong, beautiful woman who knew how to dress and impress.
I don’t know how I feel about opening up about my current mental health status. I have a tendency of needing to figure things out all on my own before sharing it with anyone. I have a love hate relationship with this trait. It makes me feel strong and it protects me from people’s judgement. But it hurts and it also prevents me from receiving my loved ones advice. The analogy my therapist used was to imagine your mental health was like a steep hike with a trail guide (the trail guide being your loved ones). Your guide could either lead the way or stand behind and make sure you don’t fall. But in my analogy, I wait until the guides not looking then run to go sit in my car and cry for an hour. I know it's dramatic, but if anyone did try to make me hike up a mountain I actually would probably cry. The point is, I listen to no one. I ask advice of no one. I don’t want help from no one. This characteristic of mine is important to remember as I explain the beginning of my mental health journey. You’ll see choosing to live this way is painful. That if you’re struggling mentally, you should not be living this way.
It took me so long to understand that talking about my problems was not a sign of weakness. I believed living with my walls up protected me from harm but in reality it shielded me from love and essentially, help. We forget how comforting it is to feel cared about and supported. For someone in pain those are really important feelings to experience. Not opening up prevented me from being authentic and finding self love. Living alone in my own head was not my best life. I deserved to be happy, and have my thoughts and emotions heard and understood. I’ll use this post as a reminder to myself, I am not weak for sharing. I feel stronger now for putting these thoughts out into the world and I hope this is helpful for those who read it. Please visit my aspiring activist page for additional useful resources and information regarding mental health.
2018 has been my rebirth. I had always been creatively driven to the point of complete confusion and absolute no focus of medium. I had gone through the spectrum. Theater, singing, painting, writing; I just wanted to express myself. I had attempted college before getting wrapped up in other aspects of my life and ended up going to beauty school, becoming a Licensed Esthetician with a focus on makeup. Despite loving creating looks on myself and friends I was uninspired to pursue it as a career. I spent years just creating looks on myself, turning down makeup jobs due to my mental health struggles and relationship woes. I had accepted creating as just a hobby and continued to model my own makeup and clothing for my own entertainment.
As 2018 began I looked at the New Year as truly a new beginning. I was on track for getting my mind right, I was staying positive and focusing on myself, and finding who I was outside of a relationship again. I was solely focusing on my mental health and I could feel myself transforming. As long as I looked forward, I was determined to succeed at feeling healthy. This year everything has seemed to start falling in line with who I have always wanted to be. Taking time to explore who I want to be, lay low and spend time with my loved ones has been so refreshing and healing. For months I allowed myself the freedom to just be. Traveling, absorbing art, meeting creatively driven people and becoming inspired again.
Currently I am almost finished with my AA in Studio Arts and together we’re going to find out what medium I’ll pursue a degree in. In the mean time, I am pursuing this Plus Size modeling thing. I is cute and gots what it takes. Take a look at my aspiring model portfolio. Honestly, I just want to create. If any artists or companies are interested in collaborating with me, please feel free to contact me.