I’m drowning in the bottom of a bottle – running from a man I swore I’d never be. No one ever has to face tomorrow, but I’m the one that has to face me. It’s the demons I’ve created for myself. The tragic truth. It’s hard for me to understand myself, so it has to be hard as hell for you! Are we born to be broken – sinners and thieves? Someone tell the heavens I’m ready to escape (YOU)! This is not what I wanted – not what I need! Take it all, tear it all, rip it all away! I can’t say the Devil made me do it. I chose to be the one I am, the way I am today. I wish there was but there’s no way around it. In the end I made the choice and will not die ashamed. It’s the voices screaming in my head. The tragic truth. It’s hard for me to understand myself. So it has to be hard as hell for you! {Five Finger Death Punch}

It wasn’t until I was 50 years old and pairing some sketches I’d done through my late teens and early 20‘s with some of my Diary entries that I was able to take a long, hard, sobering look at what I once thought were simply “creatures of my imagination” only to realize they were the inner demons from my childhood screaming out loud on paper. It’s important to note that while many of them were done in black and white ink, the majority were done in a mix of charcoal and lead and the cigarette ashes from my father’s ashtray. In fact, some of the later ones I did while I was in college were done with the cigarette ashes from His ashtray as well. I was a true Phoenix rising from the ashes!

At first it was difficult to assimilate my former realities, and I could feel myself slipping backwards down the same black hole my husband succumbed to. But then I opened my eyes to the mirror I was standing in front of and reminded myself of who I’ve become.

For so many years I only thought I didn’t have a voice and that I didn’t know how I was really feeling. But in these sketches I now clearly see something deep inside of me that had been “speaking for me without words” in one of the most ominous and cathartic ways imaginable.

The Light was inside me all along … buried beneath the ashes.