I found HeartSupport via the Twitch stream during the Tourmakers fundraiser, and since then I am finally starting to feel like a person, instead of an alien changeling who doesn’t know how to human.
It’s been a long way down, and I still have a ways to climb out. But the absolute grinding clamor of grim ideas in my head has eased off, and instead of a flat monochrome blah I am feeling things again. In some ways it’s easier not to feel because I don’t get anxiety attacks then, but I know in the long run I am closer to my best self with emotions as part of the mix.
I think a turning point was small but is having a profound effect on me. Watching the Creative Encouragement streams I realized I had been thinking of art as something other people got to do, but not me. I know that sounds weird, but as a kid there were dozens of things my parents put in that category, from PG-rated movies to horseback riding lessons to wearing pants to church. There was a frustrating lack of explanation when I asked, along the lines of “that’s just how it is” (a close cousin to the infuriating “because I said so”) and I soon learned to keep the peace by not asking.
How art fell into that category is a topic for elsewhere, if I even knew where to begin, but it did. Thankfully, hanging around the HeartSupport community and watching the streams, I finally caught myself thinking about how much I wanted to paint, to draw “but I couldn’t.” The artists in HS are so generous and open and encouraging, I was able to ask myself “why?” and to realize I had been pining for something that was actually possibly within reach. Yes I can be an artist. I can be an artist! Certainly a bad one to begin with, but that’s what practice is for. Such a tiny thing, but I feel excited, like I said, and that’s new and positive.
Typing it out and sharing it here is both exhilarating and terrifying. It’s strange how often I think about it. It feels like I’ve finally gotten something I wanted for a really long time.