Art & Boundaries

I’ve been doing a lot of reading about various things, mostly about boundaries, which I’ve desperately lacked due to many understandable reasons. 

Therapy is prominent in my life. I see a psychologist once a week, and it’s helped me immensely. I honestly don’t know where I’d be without it. Combined with medication, my mental illnesses are generally under control. 

Medication can be complicated at times. A tolerance builds over time, and you gotta switch out the pills from time to time. Then, you have to find a new cocktail that works all over again. Those transitions really suck. Getting through that can be dangerous if it weren’t for the therapy. 

Then, I just finished eight weeks of focused group therapy. It was super enlightening. We covered some aspects regarding boundaries—why they are difficult for certain people and how to honor them. 

I’ve been reading about the type of trauma I experienced in my early life. It’s understandable why my boundaries are so fucked up. It makes sense to me why anyone—with or without trauma—could have problems with this subject. We are hard-wired to people-please. It was a matter of our survival, once upon a time. Throughout my childhood and early adulthood, this was reinforced like crazy.

So be it though. Understanding all this is a great first step to healing. But putting in healthy boundaries is tricky business. 

For instance, I hate talking on the phone. I only feel comfortable with maybe three people, and I don’t speak to them often. Otherwise, I don’t want to talk to anyone on the phone, especially for long periods of time. 

I particularly dislike it when someone is talking to me while they’re driving! Have I said anything about these things? No. Do I still talk to people I don’t want to talk to, even while they are driving and even for long periods of time? I do because I’m afraid to say “no” to people. I don’t want to upset them, make them think I’m a dick or something else like that. 

I have been following Molly Davis (@boundariedbootcamp) on Instagram lately. She’s making me think about my wants and needs and self-care. Good stuff. I’d rather spend time working on art, writing, and resting. I realize just how much rest I need, and it’s a ton, especially lately. I’m fucking exhausted.

Because of this, art has been coming out slowly. I feel a little less guilty about it though. It comes when it comes. It’s not a race. It’s not a damn contest, and I’m not against any deadlines right now. There only seems like there’s a sense of urgency because of fucking Instagram. It always feels like other artists are cranking out a ton of new work several times a day! But I found that it’s also natural to compare yourself to others too. So, I’ll stop beating myself up about that as well. 

I’ve been able to finish a few things that I started, but that’s about it. That one pink painting and two gouaches. This one is called Joyland (19 x 26inches):

This one is Chroma Scraper (30 x 22 inches):

I have a lot of plans—sketches for future works, and that’s inspiring me enough for now. I’d like to finish another painting I have hanging on my wall and get going on a couple of others I have sketched out on panels, but I know it will be slow-going because I don’t have much energy lately, Here are some of the sketches for those paintings I have ready to paint: 

I do have a couple of collaborations I have to get to for Niki Ford as soon as I can get to them. They dropped off two large gouaches I still need to work on. I haven’t even taken them out of the flat file yet.

But speaking of flat files, Hannah and I picked up a whole new, used set of flat files last weekend for under $200! They are big too. Hannah found them on Craigslist locally. I couldn’t believe they weren’t already gone. They only need some DW-40, and they will be all good to go. I got lucky.

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