I was updating Storenvy listings when I found the original statement that I had written for “Out All Day” back in June but hadn’t included when I wrote my blog entry around it in early August. So I went back just now and worked it in.
In doing so, of course, I also read what I did write at that point: something about how I had sold a bunch of records and books that day but no artwork. And how I had some ideas as to why that might be, but that the reasons didn’t matter. That’d be true if it weren’t for the fact that I was afraid to acknowledge them. But I can now.
In early August, I was doing my best to be positive and upbeat but I think it was coming across in my art and my writing that all was not well. I had just wrapped with the shooting of “No Real Than You Are,” one of my first entries on this website was a painting detailing a relapse from earlier that day, and I think I looked a lot like a disaster waiting to happen.
I was used to a regular flow of feedback from posting my artwork on Facebook. When I got home to Jacksonville and launched this website in the last week of July, I half-suspected that I’d start to get more than ever (especially in light of the text content I was posting to accompany the art). That didn’t happen. Instead, my stream of feedback ceased almost entirely. After a week or so, I asked my friend David if he had any guesses as to why that might be. “I don’t think people know what to say,” he told me.
At the time, I thought that meant that the things I was putting up here were so earnest and vulnerable that they made people uncomfortable. There might be a little truth to that but, in hindsight, I think it’s mostly because I looked like I was about to fall – back into heroin, misery, and shit – and like I had no idea it was coming. If nothing else though, I know that my soul felt rotten and my strained optimism wasn’t hiding it. I had fallen apart to some extent – more than I was willing to let on (and I still haven’t talked about everything that happened with anyone other than my counselors and a few close friends). I’m sure I’ll eventually get to the point where I’m able to be as open about that period of time as I am about most of my life but – for now – I’m just happy that I pulled through it.
While Heather certainly deserves a lot of credit for my well-being overall, I think that – had it not been for Rational Anthem and the trip they took me on – things could have turned out much differently and much worse. I can say without any reservations that I’m really happy to be exactly where I am right now. – I’m really happy that I don’t have to remind myself to be grateful right now.
Granted, I was in a rough spot last night but those things happen. In fact, in that respect, tonight’s a lot like the night when I actually made “Out All Day” – just twenty four hours after the emotional turmoil that created “Blueprint for a Successful Evening.” I just hope that from here my next piece doesn’t turn out to be along the lines of the one that came next.
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