Into Art

I’m writing from the SA Writers centre, where I’m attending an all day workshop about how to work with communities as a writer. I’m glad I came, despite my horrible lack of sleep and sense of total emotional exhaustion. It’s interesting to reflect on groups and dynamics as an artist rather than a peer worker. Always learning.

This week was incredibly difficult. Amanda’s funeral was beautiful and draining. I’ve had a bunch of big, emotional conversations with various people over the week. Bridges has been in a very painful place. I’ve worked hard this week. I’ve drained my capacity to the point where I’m shaking with exhaustion and feel like I’m going to throw up. Finally, now that it’s Saturday, I don’t have to be okay. I don’t have to be a peer worker, don’t have to make sense of anything, don’t have to be responsible for anything except my own head space.

I woke up this morning drowning in self loathing. Deep in the pit, a place I retreat to when the only way I can feel safe is to try to hate myself more than anyone else possibly can. Shutting myself down from blogging, from reaching out to my networks on Facebook, because I’m afraid of any of the people I’ve shared a crisis space this week reading themselves into my words, being hurt or angry, of undoing all the effort I’ve put into reaching out and building connections. Trapped in a space where I can’t speak, can’t connect, and cannot myself be deeply wounded.

Today I could have stayed home, tried to rest, and collapsed deeper into the pit. Instead I found Nine Inch Nails and the brutal liberation of being only my own person, the freedom of being allowed to be a little bit brilliant and a lot messed up.

So, on goes the blue lipstick today. Today I’m an artist. Don’t follow me anywhere. Don’t listen to me. Don’t look up to me. Don’t need anything from me. I don’t speak for anyone else. I don’t have answers. I have rage, passion, joy, insight, longing. All I promise is to be real.

Can I finally breathe again?

Honey, like this, I can fly.

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