Sage collection story part two
If you missed the first part, check out
What is wondermundo’s sage collection NFTs about?
the tl;dr: it’s a collection of drawings made during my time at a mental health treatment center. They have been digitized and had finishing touches added to blend the physical with digital.
They also tell a story of how I went from despair, chaos to finding myself (and all my parts) and how art was an integral part of that. Art whether visual or written is how I can stay in communication with myself.
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I did this to bring people along the journey with me or try to at least. This blog is just bringing it together in a different format.
day 7 sketch – am i stuck?
i was still in a daze my first week but starting to come to awareness of why i felt stuck. wondermundo is silenced but safe from the constant chaos and pain of the outside. but she sees it all through the eye and was ready to take control of her own story. day 8 – a new, old me?
at the end of my first week at treatment i started to remember who i was. but a new wondermundo emerged. one that had bangs and a different name on her necklace. this was the beginning of her hero’s journey. day 10 – i can breathe again…
i got access to my own drawing pad and colored pencils after my first week in treatment. this was the first thing i created. it was a part of me, n01ne, finally above water and asking for help. day ? sketch – the key
this felt like a key or the tl;dr of the week’s sketches. it was like get past the great wall and you’ll experience great pain, chaos, and the things that you should never see. but through that chaos is the life that’s been waiting for you. your true self. day 11 – tune the noise
i was starting to discover that my internal dialogue wasn’t typical. in my journals it was clear that there were two distinct parts of me having a conversation and i was just observing. i sketched this the day my therapist told me that these were parts of me, so they wouldn’t ever go away. but, we would work on turning up what i called the “nice voice” and turning down what i called the “mean voice” so that i felt less stuck and able to use my wise mind and take control. day 12 – map to a new beginning
this was done after a particularly rough day in treatment. spending hours a day processing a lot of emotional pain and trauma is a lot of work. it’s paced out, but it’s all consuming and i felt lucky i had the privilege finally to do that. this was showing me that i was hiding my true self, my colorful self and i’d have to face some things in order to access it again. my therapist asked me about it and what it meant and i said “idk, it just came out,” but i knew what it meant. i just wanted to keep that to myself for the time being. day 13 – just let it open
i was really tired the day i drew this and had a bad headache all day. i felt this intense pressure in the middle of my forehead and mentioned it in group. another client came up after and told me it was my third eye opening and to let it open and the pain would stop. i tried visualizing that and at first was like whatever, it’s just an allergy headache. then i noticed my headache was gone after even ibuprofen didn’t work. i kept leaning into the discomfort from that point on. day 14 – gobble, gobble
it eally sucked having to be in treatment for thanksgiving but at the same time all of us there had a really good time. we watched movies and were 100% present with each other. the morning included art therapy. this is what i made. day 15 – exploring
i was starting to feel a little better halfway through my stay at sage and was beginning to actually feel joy from within. i sat down outside one day and doodled this while watching the horses and cows. day 16 – emotion wheel
we had art therapy one day and were handed an emotion wheel. i felt i couldn’t draw my emotions on a little slice of a wheel so decided to do one on a single page. this was the first one. day 17 – she’s so sad
working through my emotion wheel i drew how i felt when i was sad. drowning in tears, looking out, waiting for the storm to pass. day 18 – she’s so worried
i found myself on the worried part of the emotion wheel on day 18. i was actually feeling very worried. did i leave my life behind and make a huge mistake? did i ruin my career? did i ruin my reputation? did i even care? who am i even? i could feel the tightness in my chest as all these worry thoughts enveloped me. this is a visualization of what worried feels like to me. day 19 – black sludge
this day i didn’t feel like working on my emotion wheel and ended up creating these colorful shapes. i was finding joy just being present and using highlighters, markers, pencils, and crayons. the black sludge represents what my mental illness feels like at times. it permeates every part of me. day 20 – is this happy?
i felt like i had been in treatment for 2 years at this point but was starting to see more in color. i was still working on my emotion wheel and was able to feel happy from within for the first time. day 21 – be proud
i struggled to feel proud of myself for anything while i was in treatment. it’s still a struggle and tied to my productivity. i day 22 – i’m full of color again
this was one of the first days i could feel color again. my urge was to create a blob of color, nothing more. it made me so happy. green has never made me happier than that moment and i realized i was starting to feel again. when you numb the bad feelings, you also numb the good ones. day 23 – surprised 😮
i don’t show my emotions a lot, but there’s always a lot going on internally. this depiction of what “surprised” looks like to me shows what that’s like day 24 – i’m so excited
the day i sketched this was the day that i felt excited about my future after i left the treatment center. it feels like all the colors to me with a plop of purple. it’s still contained though and one day i hope to burst through the black. day 25 – the blur is lifting
things were such a blur the first few weeks in treatment. i only had 10 days left on the day i felt the blur lifting from my eyes. you can see the transition in this sketch. day 26 – i’m still scared
this was the first sketch i did where i wasn’t feeling the emotions in the moment. i visualized what fear, scared looks like to me. it’s always this overwhelming feeling, fear, but the cause is a mashup. it’s like there’s a sea that flows into the emotion placeholder for “scared” day 27 – new friends, new beginnings
what do you see? i let go of my vision for this sketch when a client at sage asked me if they could add something to it. our styles merged and i finished it digitally. that day art made me a new lifelong friend. day 28 – i understand now
i was a week away from being out of treatment by this day. i was beginning to accept myself the way that i am, parts and all. i still wasn’t sure how i would navigate it all, but at least i knew the path now. day 30 – my brain, my safety filter
i couldn’t articulate in words how i felt my brain had organized itself, but was able to sketch it out. it may be chaotic, but my brain had created a system to survive. i see everything through my filter that’s designed to keep me safe, alive. stepping out of my safety filter has been hard but necessary for true healing If you’ve made it this far, THANK YOU!
I appreciate you being a part of my journey and looking forward to sharing more when I officially close this collection.