Kill Your Parents

"Kill Your Parents." 4/5/13. Oil pastel. 12x18".
“Kill Your Parents.” 4/5/13. Oil pastel. 12×18″.

Here’s a piece from April and a statement from May.

I got out of rehab in February, but I’m still technically “in treatment.” Instead of twenty-five hours of group therapy each week, I’m down to three and a half. That’s one group – expressive art therapy – on Friday afternoons.

This piece is a little off for two reasons. At the start of art group, there’s a meditation, intended to lead us in what we’ll make. I was late and I missed it. More importantly, there had been an influx of new patients since I had been in group the previous Friday. And though it’s way more tempered than it once was, I still struggle with this strange impulse when confronted with new people (particularly in this kind of setting) – I feel like I have to let everyone know just how fucking outrageous I am… So I drew my drawing and then when it came time to title/caption it, I went with something not at all representative of how I was feeling, but something that would show the new crew how god damn wacky and edgy I am.

In that sense, this piece is kind of a failure. Because it’s not totally authentic or honest. In two other ways though, it’s a success. First, expressive art therapy isn’t about setting out to make something and then making it. It’s about making something – anything. It’s about making whatever comes out onto the page without premeditation or commitment to some vision in your head. When I first sat down, I started drawing an image that I had dreamed up for use as Rational Anthem’s summer tour poster. But I caught myself and stopped.

Second, it’s a success in that it’s got me writing this, right now. Acknowledging my neurotic compulsions and being honest about what an attention seeking, other-people’s-perceptions-of-me obsessed, insecure basketcase I can sometimes still be.

Say somethin'.