It’s like waking up from a nightmare, but it wasn’t a nightmare, it was my life. At times I’m experiencing emotional vertigo when I think about all the stupid mistakes I’ve done in my life. Why did I always make the wrong decision? For what reason did I waste my talent and time – and myself, like that? I’ve already been writing about this, how I regret my whole adult life and everything in it until now. It is without bitterness though, I know it’s not been totally wasted – it brought me here. To this amazing place of enlightenment and growth, to my very core. But I can’t help feeling sad when I think about it.
I know it’s a little extreme to regret a whole life, but it’s how I feel. I don’t regret making the art I’ve made though, so there’s that – except for the creepy-cute cupcake drawings from 2012 (career low-point):
Even if I’m writing about my past right now in this very moment, I’ve stopped looking back. Ever since I had closure on something really difficult, I’ve closed the door to my past. But I just can’t shake this feeling that I’ve wasted so much time. And it’s been so many years since I went to trauma therapy where my life started to change for the better – year by year. The process of trauma recovery and growth is very slow and takes a lot of strength and will. I feel proud of myself. If I look at this process, year by year, I can see all the important steps I’ve made:
1998-2008 – living in total chaos with abusive relationships, traumas, self-abandonment and playing different roles to make other people happy, being stressed, depressed and lost while my art career takes off and I have a little breakthrough and success (which won’t last long)
2009 – my creativity blockage starts, feeling mentally paralyzed, moving to Stockholm to escape my problems, it feels amazing for about 6 months
2010 – giving up my art career and losing myself completely, depressed and isolated
2011 – diagnosed with PTSD
2012 – trauma treatment at Danderyd hospital, breaking the creativity blockage by starting to work with digital art
2013 – another trauma treatment at another clinic, experiencing a big wake up call, feeling like my whole life is a lie, wanting to break free but don’t know how to because I have no income and nowhere to go
2014 – breaking up with my boyfriend, leaving Stockholm and my old life behind, moving back to my hometown to start from scratch because I’m broke and kind of homeless (living temporarily in my parent’s house)
2015 – creating a new life for myself by taking control of my situation – finding an apartment, work rehabilitation, self-empowerment work by making research and self-therapy, shaking off an old thinking style based on fear and avoidance. Painting again. Starting a long-distance relationship with Johnny from California.
2016 – Finding my inner strength, reconnecting myself to my body and core, start using my intellect and stop belittling myself to make other people feel more comfortable around me, creating boundaries and being more clear about them, getting my anxiety and stress under control with meditation, acceptance and a new sense of awareness. Making important closure so I can move on and leaving my past behind (killing the last PTSD symptoms).
What will 2017 mean to me and my journey? I can’t wait to find out. I hope 2017 will be about finding a job so I’m able to invest money in new art projects. The money issue is really the last problem I have yet to solve, the only thing left from my past to take care of. It shouldn’t be that difficult. I’ve come a long way since everything in my life was a cluster of chaos, stress and fear. This is why I am able to regret my past 20 years without any bitterness. Finding home is not easy, but home is home. And I wouldn’t want to be without this discovery for anything in the world. I am home. What could be more satisfying.