I have a lot on my mind today, I had a few things that totally threw me for a loop today that were truly frustrating so I'm going to talk about art but not art I guess.
Art is physical, it's emotional, it's spiritual, and it's mental. It involves every part of your soul, so when someone comes in and gets in your head it can really make things difficult. I had a person today tell me that mental illness doesn't exist (and a whole slew of other terrible things), but specifically that all people who call an ambulance during a crisis are just looking to be drugged up for a little while and "drool on themselves". They even went as far as to ask if I was beaten or sexually abused as a child to have an excuse as to how I acted pre-diagnosis. (she also said if diabetics stopped taking their meds and just weren't fat they would be cured). Let me tell you, I have been angry in my life, I don't think I've ever been this angry.
So it's taken me this long to write this blog. I was going to write about the body and how important it is and has always been to art making. I was even going to do a little art history lesson with it. I was going to write about how physically making myself better by walking every day to make photographs is making me more in tune with my body and my mind. It's making me feel better about myself and not be as concerned with the way that I look because I feel good. It's time away from screens and time away from conversation other than the occasional good morning (people are SUPER friendly at 6 am). I was going to write about how my relationship with my body has been a long and complicated one of self destruction and self harm, but art (and therapy) helped make me better. All of these things I was going to put into what I felt was an important thing to talk about for myself.
However my night was ruined by this person, and I let it be ruined. I let myself get this upset about someone who is obviously not educated in the way I am about this topic. I let it control me. Normally I have a pretty thick skin, five straight years of critiques will do that to you, but being bipolar is so ingrained in my story and my art that the ignorance got to me. I am tired of defending the fact that medication is important to my survival. I would be dead without it. That is not an exaggeration. I am tired of explaining to people that exercise and meditation will not cure my chemical imbalance in my brain. They help a lot, but it is not a cure. I am tired of people telling me maybe you should take your meds just on days that you feel bad. THAT IS NOT HOW IT WORKS.
I want to make art. I love art. I love writing. I wouldn't be writing this blog if I had not made the decision to go to therapy and take medication and talk openly with my friends and family about my illness.
I'm sorry for the non art related art blog, but today exhausted me. It made me feel illegitimate and frustrated that there aren't enough resources for education about mental illness, or resources for treating it.
I refuse to be silent though. If I can help one person that's all that matters. I am stronger because of my fight, I am a better person because of my fight. My feelings are legitimate and so are yours.
We will be back to our regularly scheduled programming tomorrow evening.