Emotion Visualization | Overwhelm

Overwhelm or something more?  The Painter’s Rehab

Overwhelm or something more? The Painter’s Rehab


I painted this picture because I was feeling extremely overwhelmed. Coming off of a very dramatic and emotionally challenging couple of days I just didn’t want to get out of bed. Even though there were only nice things planned for the day (hello 98 year old woman’s birthday celebration), I didn’t want to face the day. I was lying in bed and said, I will get up in 20 minutes… I will get up in another 10 minutes… Maybe I won’t get up because I am pretty sure my body weighs 500 pounds and if I leave this bed something bad will happen.

The truth is, is that nothing extra bad was going to happen because it was already happening. What I didn’t want to face was right there in the bed with me. It WAS me. It was my own emotions, my own shame, my own inability to deal with the things that had transpired over the last week. It was my own fear of what I would fuck up today, it was rage, loneliness, jealousy and it was cuddled up right next to me.

I thought to myself… Am I going to flake again? Am I going to stay in this bed all day and miss a 98 year old woman’s birthday when it could be her last? Am I going to choose to indulge in self-pity again? and if I do will I then want to use and rise to the occasion of being the addict that I am? Well fuck… that sounds miserable doesn’t it?! That’s not why I go to all those meetings and do stupid shit like tell a room full of people my deepest darkest secrets day in and day out. That’s not joy, connection, or serenity. It’s isolation and isolation is dangerous for me. It’s that sick part of my brain trying to rekindle what once was… it’s like a bad ex boyfriend who can’t take a hint and keeps texting and texting and texting until you engage and invite chaos back into your life. Well I didn’t want to invite chaos back into my life today! So I dragged my ass out of bed, chugged some coffee, put on some skin tight jeans, some red lipstick, and my favorite heels and I suited up. More importantly I showed up!

When I got home I painted because I wanted to remind myself that I can show up even if I’m overwhelmed. I wanted to paint what that morning felt like to me… it felt like a tidal wave was waiting to drop on top of me if I stepped out of my bed. So that’s what I painted and it morphed into something different for me. Not while I painted it, but later in the week because of some comments from others that made me look at it differently. It changed to a representation of resilience and strength. Even in the face of all those emotions that feel like they are going to take over your whole being, I have to always remember I have choices. It might not feel like it sometimes but I do. I can choose to suit up and show up or I can choose to indulge the sick part of me and let it get bigger. In those moments where I choose to suit up and show up that is absolutely strength at work because it’s really hard to do. So congrats to me for flexing a different muscle.