Archive for November 12th, 2009

Who am I?

November 12th, 2009 15 comments

SelfPortraitStandard procedure in most addiction treatment centers or mental health units is to have the patients use some art medium to create a self-portrait or show how they’re feeling.  In the year and a half that the ATCs and MHUs were a revolving door for me, I made no less than six self-portraits and twenty-two drawings and paintings showing how I felt.  Some were more extravagant than others.  Some more confused.  And you can definitely tell where my mind was when I did them.

I only kept one.  I’m not sure where it is, now.  Probably in a box somewhere, if I didn’t throw it away when we moved this last time.  The therapist told us to draw a picture showing who we are.  And almost nine years later, what I drew is still ridiculously fresh in my mind.

First, I drew an outline of some random chick’s head.  And for some reason, I cut her completely in half.  Not with a line or a pair of scissors.  Just with the way I drew her.

On one side, she looked mostly normal.  Scattered among the facial features were a few flaws: A gun, some pills, a tangled mess of an accident.  But she had normal hair the same color as mine, a big blue eye and half a nose.

The therapist asked me what kind of mouth I was going to give her.  And I shrugged before drawing half a mouth showing no expression and then a broken heart on the other side.  I drew headstones for her other eye with tears and blood falling from them.

I drew snakes coming out the other half of her head.  Four living babies and two dead, some boxing gloves, a couple bottles of booze.  A couple joints, a pack of cigarettes and… I remember drawing this ginormous red circle with a line through it over something.  But I don’t remember what it was.

I’ve been through a lot of shit in my life and couldn’t fit it all on one piece of poster board.  So I drew what felt important.  Then I sat back and stared at it for a moment.  And I wondered if this really was who I am.   Read more…

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