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A self-portrait

In the age of selfies, the art of the self-portrait is a drowning art. Like an anchor. It sinks to the bottom of the clear lake to remain as a foundation, while cell-phone portraits float at the surface by the millions each day.

What constitutes a self-portrait? I'm hardly a versed artist, but I can say this: a self-portrait almost always includes

thought & intention planninga message or subject& an audience.
Recently I took a series of portraits to tell a story. I wanted to show what it was like to have schizophrenia through emotion, fabric, highlight and shadow.

I chronicled through portrait my journey with schizophrenia:

Symptomatic but not medicated or diagnosed.Diagnosed but not medicated. Medication trial and error through hospitalization.Isolation out of fear and shame.Despair because of that isolation.Accepting my diagnosis. Coming public with my diagnosis.Advocating for others with the same diagnosis.

I know that the term schizophrenia is hardly praised, so I want…

What's all the buzz about?

I’m sure most of you have noticed by now I buzzed my hair! It’s super fuzzy and I love how it feels and looks.

Buzzing my hair was an exercise and a symbol for me. I need strength and bravery in this time of my life.

All the energy and focus that went to my hair is now being channeled to my intellect instead. When I look in the mirror, I see my head which holds my mind. And it reminds me:

how can I “style my mind” today? Because, I don’t have to style my hair anymore.

Instead, I am strengthening and making my mind a healthier place.

My mental health deserves my time and attention. Following the advice of my doctors and therapist and taking the medicine they have prescribed has allowed me to improve to the point where I can walk, talk, and focus again. I can even play and write music again!

This past week is the first in months that I have been able to write in a planner and complete tasks on a to-do list. And you know what that means?

That means I can have a goal, a vision, and actually take steps towards it. Literally and figuratively.

And that means that I can envision a better future for my family and work towards that goal, step by step (no matter what my hair looks like 😉).

Some of my goals for my physical health are gaining weight by eating calorie dense nutritious foods, gaining the stamina and stability to leave the house without needing a wheelchair.

Some of my mental health goals are regaining my ability to do simple mental math, being able to focus to complete a routine or task-list multiple days in a row, regain my ability to speak without repeating or slurring words, stopping mid-sentence, and I think with practice my speech will return to a normal speed. Fingers crossed on that one.

Some of my emotional health goals are socializing with people more, especially my friends and family. I’ve isolated myself out of shame, to hide my symptoms. I didn’t want people to see me this way. But I can’t do that anymore if I want to have a life worth living. Besides, I’m doing better and feel acceptable again. And everyone I’ve been honest with about my condition has only expressed love, healthy concern, and encouragement to me. And that helps me feel even stronger.

Thanks for being here with me. Much love to you.