If I Could Draw…

I often wish I had the gift of being able to draw or paint. I don’t…really…I don’t! But I do have the gift of words. Descriptions that can hopefully bring what I wish I could draw or paint on canvas to life on a blank page. This week has been one of those weeks. It doesn’t matter what my intentions are, sometimes I’m going to have a hard time. It’s part of living with complex PTSD.

I have an extremely talented painter friend. I often text the words, “If I could paint a picture,” and proceed to text her a photo of what I’ve just drawn. She is wonderful, always tells me how creepy, cool, sad, dramatic, haunting my drawings are. She always guesses what I’m trying to convey and I love her for that. We have known each other since we’ve been 17 years old, so often I don’t even have to speak and she knows what’s going on my head.

Yesterday, I drew. I could see everything so clearly in my mind. I knew the depth, the color scheme, the graininess of the paper, everything, except I couldn’t draw it. It lost all its meaning, so I wrote what I saw in my mind, and I’m satisfied with the description of, “If I could draw my bad day with PTSD this is what it would look like:

The sky is cloudless and a deep turquoise blue. A single raven is soaring high and away from the dusty, sandy terrain. A solitary, barren looking, one level non-descript desert beige building, stands in the middle of no-where. The building is foreboding, no windows and no way to ever image what horrors go on in there. As the beat up, emotionally ruined girl staggers out, a shadow looms on the left. It is enormous and high and humidity sweats down from its ghastly shape. She hears sounds, the choke-hold echoes of the past, and then she notices the skeleton hands reaching from the scraggly bush nearly touching her. She sits down, head in hands, knees scrunched up, head lowered. A posture of turning inward, shutting down, wondering if it will ever end, or if this is an exercise in futility.

I’m glad every day isn’t like that, and I’m glad that when those moments happen, at this point on my healing journey it isn’t an all day event, but some days, like yesterday, the waves I had to ride were enormous and unsettling. I wanted to draw it out of me, get it from inside my mind and body, to the paper. I knew that if I could see it, it would have less of a hold on me, it would dissipate in strength and begin to lose it power.

Even though I may not have the talent to publicly display my artwork, I can still draw, I can still paint, but most importantly to me, I can write. I can describe how the world looks, feels, tastes and smells and sounds. I can touch the depth of the emotion and write what a bad day with PTSD is like for me.

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Thank you for reading my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph




17 thoughts on “If I Could Draw…

  1. I wish you all the best Alexis! I am an artist and while reading your words I could see your picture as a drawing in my mind, your description is very clear and full of detail. You might be able to get some relief if you start a journal – sketchbook for yourself! Write your words and on the next page just draw what your mind see without fear because no one will see it, it’s for you only, so be free no matter that you say “I might not have the talent to publicly display my artwork” you don’t have to, you are special in your way! You would be surprised to see how liberating is if you let your inner energy be carried by the flow of your words into a pen tracing a drawing without any restrictions. I follow your Blog now 🙂 Carolina

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You do have a wonderful way of painting a picture with words. I do my best in a tortured state. Have you ever wondered if when the pain has gone that your level of expression would be lost? For out of pain and sadness, many writers do their best work. You may not remember but we share a similar past. I’ve noticed that as I’ve written about it and sent it into the universe, the pain has diminished but so has some of my creativity. I notice that I feel less inspired, somehow. I’m not saying to hang onto your pain and grief, but I’ve noticed that many creatives have that in common.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That is so insightful. I think as I heal my writing is different. I find myself learning to trust what Im saying in a different way. Im about to collaborate on a book and my confidence is a bit shakey because it will come from further down the healing path than before. Thank You for sharing this with me. And yes, I do remember we have similar pasts. 💕
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      Liked by 1 person

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