–Transparency is something I struggle with, even to my close friends and family. I prefer people to perceive me as weightless. I force a straight face and I keep my problems away from my friends. For a while I’ve had trouble showing people my negative emotions such as “feeling sad.” I kept up a social media persona that gave the impression that I was content with my life. Though I had many friends, I felt isolated and lonely but uncomfortable with the idea of showing any emotions past happiness.
Recently my emotional isolation got the best of me and I was hospitalized for a week due to attempting suicide and was diagnosed with major depression. I have extreme self–hatred and I find it difficult to accept my current self. I heavily criticized myself and rarely found satisfaction within any of my work; so I focused on finding satisfaction from others. I based everything on how people react to the things I do and it became toxic; I wanted to find love for myself but it felt physically impossible.
So I went to the mental health hospital and I’m finally learning to care for myself and allow myself to open up to others. I met some amazing talented people that I related to in terms of self depreciation and discovered I wasn't the only one. I’m now getting the help I need through therapy and medication as well as discovered that through sketching, I was able to ease some of the internal pain I feel when I’m anxious or having a panic attack. So here is documentation of all the drawings I made while in the hospital when I was in an anxious state, I was only allowed to carry short golf pencils but later on a doctor gave me some colored pencils.
This set of personal drawings is a way for me to open myself up to my friends, especially to the many out there who also heavily criticize themselves. I still want to better myself everyday but I'm not as dangerous about my wants as I used to be.
Unlearning toxic masculinity is something I’m still working on, but I’m happy knowing that I’m finally learning that it’s okay to be sad sometimes and not see “weakness” as sadness.
Everyone needs a break sometimes and the most important person is yourself.
I wish the best for my friends.