At my most despondent and at times, suicidal, I have a habit of self-portraiture. It’s one of the rare instances when my mind goes silent and my internal processing works on a non-verbal level.
In the depths of my struggle, I will observe my features dispassionately. I look at my bone structure, the tilt of my head, the angle of my eyebrows, the way the tears meld with the oil from my makeup. I stare into my eyes, recording the icy blue tone of iris contrasted with the bloodshot pinks of blood vessels swollen from recent use. Despite the fact that I am looking at my reflection, the eye contact is intense and uncomfortably intimate, seemingly non-consensual. It’s so intense that it carries a vague feeling of self harm and destruction, but it’s completely devoid of anger or self-pity. Devoid of everything. Still feeling, but not thinking. No narrative, no guilt, no regret, no hope, no ambition, no thinking about what I should be doing or will be doing or what I just did.
Just seeing, drawing, painting.