I wasn’t a miserable bitch the whole time during my hospital stays. I did make the best of my situation and joined the gang of crazy.
My parents dropped off a birthday gift one day. It was a set of colored sharpie markers, an artist’s set of markers and a pastel set. With little to do other than twiddle our thumbs n plan a psychiatric revolution, I got to work.
My crazy mates started to notice my work and I soon had most of them requesting drawings and tatoos. Needless to say, I was busy! I worked morning, noon and night. I created tatoos, books and portraits. I even had time to create 12 poetry books for my love, complete with detailed covers. They were my saving grace.
I have little to show for my work, as there were no phones to take snapshots. Some I sent off to get lost in the mail, my poetry books included (don’t get me started or I’ll cry). Some I gave away as gifts to my new friends and some I ripped up in the heat of my psychotic med-induced tantrums.
Although I’d love to see my work, I can’t say that it would be have been the most satisfying part of the process – the end result. The process itself was what made it art. For those brief moments in time, I was whisked away into a whole new world altogether and the neon hospital lights began to fade as did the daily chaos. I was desperately trying to establish a sense of order and sanity to my crazy environment. Seeing people’s reactions to my work is always fun too. There isn’t much to say “I love you” in these wards. We are just numbers for the most part. So, receiving something so very personal from a peer was always a delight.
I received poetry, which I will post soon. I was sung to. I had crafts created in my name. Beautiful minds – each and everyone of us. There will always be a way to express no matter the circumstances, if you are surrounded by the right people. And in my eyes, the gang of crazy is always the right people.
For those brief moments throughout the day, each of us had a chance to showcase the depths of our souls; something so very rare these days.
Here is an example of what I do have left. I created 100’s of drawings, but these are the survivors.
The forest is the most meaningful to me. It was a simple painting hung in my ward room. The painting was a hopeful scene unlike what you see here. It tranaformed. One day, my anger boiled over n my rage spilled out. Desperation to get out of my hell leaked through. I attempted to break the glass frame with my fists after I ran full speed into the wall, wearing nothing but white linens. I smashed it til my hands turned black and blue in hopes it would break n I could then use the shards to slit my own throat n wrists. It was unbreakable – shatterproof. In some ways, I suppose I thought that the glass was only an illusion, that it just took energy to break through and get to my destination – that forest. It didn’t work. After a showdown between 8 staff members n I, I was shot with the needle and strapped down with leather, nude, in the isolation room.
I never did get to see that forest. But I am free today, and there is a forest right outside my room. So, today I’ll venture n be lost where I feel most at home.