Covering half the wall in my living room is a portrait of my own giant head. I hadn’t done a self portrait in years and I was compelled to create this image about an experience I had with depression. A few years ago I had what I like to call “a very dark period”. It was the time in my life where I hit bottom. I hated myself and created a dark depressing world to reside in. It was a bad place that nearly killed me. I didn’t want to live that way so I got help and got better.
When I was sick I felt like a heavy dark sludge was growing inside me. It slurped and rolled in my belly and brain like a gooey slug. It was strangling me and snuffing out my light. I imagined vomiting the sludge and expelling it from my body. Once is was out you could tell it was as big as I was and 100 times my own weight. Now that it is gone I feel lighter and healthier. I’m ready to live the way I’ve always dreamed of.
Around the piece are two white lines. The lines are actually two stories that I typed out by hand on an old typewriter. I stretched them out line by line and framed the image.
Inside the balloon of black sludge I drew random images that just came to mind. I’m not sure what they all mean, I just felt like they belonged there.
The two buildings at the bottom are the edges of the paragraphs from the stories I cut out.
The stories are two little pieces I sat and wrote while thinking of the black sludge.
It’s easy to get consumed by the darkness and cruelty of this world. I like creating pieces about my troubled times. Once a dark memory becomes a song, story or piece of art, it leaves your heart and becomes something else on it own. It doesn’t belong to you anymore. It belongs to all who view it. What they do with it from there is part of their own experience.
So out into the world I send Black Sludge Self Portrait – The piece on how I overcame my own darkness.