I believe we have to fight to create a world worth living in. On my very worst days, art is the only medium that gives me hope, so on my better days, I try to contribute to the world through art. When I’m feeling bold I create collages and paintings, but art can be more subtle too, like leaving secret messages for others to find.
I like the message, “You aren’t alone.” It can mean anything depending on your state of mind, but I like to use it in reference to mental illness. This week I’ve carried around clear mailing tape, scissors, and a bunch of my tiny fliers during my walks throughout downtown. I’ve taped up my “You aren’t alone” messages in bus shelters to promote hope and promote my blog to those curious enough to see what my URL leads to. I figure lots of people wait in bus shelters with little to look at, so my messages would be spotted there. Plus if it rained, my fliers wouldn’t be ruined as quickly in a sheltered spot.
Tonight while walking Digby I decided to check to see if my messages were still up in the two bus shelters closest to my apartment. To my dismay, both messages had been removed by some jerk within two days’ time. Dammit!
In re-examining each bus shelter, I realized that I rarely ever see fliers of any sort in those things. Someone pays to have their gigantic ad on the billboards in those spaces. Glancing at the top of each shelter I saw the creepy CBS logo with its ominous eye peering down at me, something I’d never noticed before.
So fuck bus shelters. Who needs them? Besides me and my little shred of hope taped up against plexiglass?
Yeah, on my walk back home I felt pretty discouraged, thinking that my fliers being removed symbolizes my entire life experience. I try to make a difference, and the world stops me. Someone tells me to shut up or to at least not talk because they’re the ones talking.
Lately I feel so stifled, especially being so broke. I’m sick of not having enough money, I’m sick of thinking about money, I’m sick of complaining about money. I need to start making more money or I need to move out of this apartment that I love as my home.
These small acts of bravery just won’t cut it. One palm-sized piece of coloured paper won’t magically get Londoners to read my blog entries and buy enough zines for me to pay my bills. I need to do something bigger. I need to step out of my comfort zone.
My fears of having a job stem from trauma. When I was abused, I couldn’t leave and protect myself like I needed to. Twenty-four years later, I still get triggered and scared when I don’t have complete control over my present surroundings. I’m afraid that if I give up control I will be hurt and trapped all over again.
I feel like my trauma experiences have me by the throat, but I need to hold faith in my adult powers. So, maybe working for someone else isn’t where I’m at in my recovery, but surviving trauma has its upsides that can work in my favour. I have an increased ability for survival, endurance, and creativity. I can hang on and fight.
So where is this going? I have some ideas. As usual, I’m going to keep you guessing but promise you that you’ll be the first to know whenever I do have news to share.
In the meantime, think about what hidden tools your past experiences have equipped you with. How can you make better use of those tools? How can we all turn pressure into diamonds?
When you have that all figured out, cruise on over to HYPERBOLE AND A HALF. That’s right, Allie is back with a new story about depression. See that creativity? Yeah, life is good.