Self Portraits

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Every once in a great while, when my OCD gets really bad, food becomes a trigger. It is scary once food becomes dirty, something that can contaminate you. Eating becomes a grueling struggle, and in the second semester this once again began to be the case. For about two weeks my daily calorie intake dipped below 800 calories, as my doctors put me on and adjusted my OCD medication.

Also during my second semester, I took two separate trips to the local hospital for Hashimoto’s Disease, once for blood tests and once in an ambulance after collapsing on campus. I got a ride home from the emergency room from the friend of a person I had met only a few times.

I was becoming increasingly familiar with hospital rooms and doctor’s offices, lab tests, specialists, and the discomfort of being in a medical facility alone.

I also went through my first breakup.

My self portraits reflected all of this. Whereas my self portraits from first semester seemed lost, scared, and weak, now my self portraits were growing weathered, vaguely resentful towards life, and fatigued.

I had never been so physically weak in all my life. Throughout all of my childhood, I had been strong and energetic. Now, I was afraid to go outside bundled up in all of my winter gear while dudes walked around in shorts and light jackets- because of the risk of going into hypothermia in my hypersensitive body. I felt… less human. I felt more like some sort of wretched thing. I think this became more and more evident in my drawings as the semester went on.

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