I went quite a while without any emotional freakouts or serious anxiety when I suddenly found myself on a mental illness hot streak. At the root of it all (of course): girls. It’s nothing anyone does to me; it’s the way I interact and get involved and then am unable to handle the reality of the relationships I’ve built. These days, I’m lucky to have a way out of these messes I make that’s a lot more effective than shooting heroin or throwing temper tantrums. The journal I wrote in this painting lays it all out:
The highs this week have been absurd. Three nights ago, I exclaimed, "I'm on drugs!" I felt too good for it to not be some kind of chemical magic. But the next night, I cried out twice; first: "I hate my life!" Then: "I am the worst person in the world!" I felt so bad about myself. Seeing the state this girl was in. "It was wrong for me to trick her into falling in love with me," I thought. But I was in love with her at the time. Or so I thought at least. The night before, I tried to have sex with this other girl that's gotten to know me pretty well pretty fast. She knows about all the other girls and is pretty enamored with me but is really caught up in not wanting to be "just another" of my "conquests" (as she put it). We got naked but then she wouldn't let me lead 'cause she didn't wanna feel used. But she wasn't taking the lead either. "I DON'T KNOW HOW TO FUCK YOU" was all I could think. It ended uncomfortably. I wasn't pleased with myself. We're supposed to give it another shot when I'm back in her city. But that sort of says it all right there. 'Cause I don't live anywhere, I'm not gonna date anyone anyway, and she likes me way too much for this little casual thing to end well. Yesterday, I TOOK THE NIGHT OFF. Tonight, I'm at a friend's house alone 'cause a couple hours ago I left the girl who I THOUGHT I had the best thing going with. I like spending time with her. But she was visibly bothered by my cigarette smoke today. And after I brushed my teeth and tried to kiss her, she still turned her cheek. I tried to play it cool but I'M NOT COOL. An hour later, I packed it in and left with minimal words. Feeling self-conscious, rejected, vulnerable, angry, hurt, and responsible. These girls all read my blog now. They know explicit details of what I'm up to. I can't NOT acknowledge it. I made a couple jokes… Is that what did it? I don't know. But all my finding-validation-through-girls shit is seriously backfiring on me this week. After I left, I got pizza and listened to punk rock. Suddenly, my suicidal depression was over and everything was okay. "Pizza and punk rock" doesn't strike the ear as especially poetic and it makes me sound like a pretty trivial, simple-minded dweeb. IS WHAT IT IS! After I painted my "nothing's good enough" caption, everything was way better than okay. I was in love with myself and my silly doodle art again. And that's my god damn story.
I felt better (temporarily) but I didn’t really learn anything. Within a day, I was back to trying to get my self-esteem from girls, love, sex, etc. It was harder now though. This whole episode had fucked with my head a little bit and the next week – after leaving another girl’s house (not any of the three involved in the above-described antics) – I worried that I had forgotten how to sleep with a girl (even when the girl clearly wanted to sleep with me). I had become too self-conscious and insecure to make any kind of a move. Well that was it… I guess I’m never going to get laid again! (I thought). But then she sent me a text – she wanted me to come back. Which really only meant one thing at that hour. So I did. And all was well in the world.
And when I say that, I’m joking – but when I pause… it’s not really a joke. I absolutely felt validated by sleeping with that girl that night. In a very real, very significant way. Had it not played out like that, I would have sunk even deeper into insecurity and shame. Instead, I was pulled completely out of it and actually regained the confidence that I always seem to have (even when I don’t). A few days later, I met up with another girl who had bought some of my art at One Spark. We went on a “date” (kind of) and she invited me to stay the night. But she didn’t want to sleep with me. My freshly bolstered self-worth was high enough though that I was able to accept that rejection (with a smile even)! I don’t need for EVERYONE to want to fuck me all the time.
“Wait For It … Wait For It!!” (the song I was listening to when I started to feel better) by Dead to Me.
This painting sold in April 2014. 12×16″ prints are still available.