Title: Boxless Society- My Reflection
Boxless Society- My Reflection

Boxless Society members and its volunteers during the opening night of their art exhibition in Sining Kamalig Gallery, entitled "Despite My Being ________; I am a living story." July 21, 2018

 

Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, but I’d like to think that everyone also is just striving to be accepted the way they are in spite of them. The art exhibitions and shows that Boxless Society does make me inspired in that way.

Boxless Society is a support group for the mentally ill artists and their caregivers, which World Experience Philippines helped out to start it, and which I also volunteer for. Being the gallery assistant and volunteer of Boxless Society, I help them organize their events, art exhibitions and shows. I’ve been helping them for almost 3 years now as they are nearing the 4rth year. Their illnesses do not work on a schedule, so sometimes I step in. Though, I’d like to think that I helped them out as much but it really also has been a journey for me while I work with them. These group of people inspire me every day to continue striving, continue living. I have my fair share of thoughts of wanting to die because of grief, past memories, physical pain, and vivid dreams of which I cannot understand. However, while I think of how this group tries to live in spite of their illness moves me to continue with my life. That with every waking moment I have to remind myself again and again of the things I have to do, and the things I should do. Working with them makes me realize that I am not alone and it adds up to the list of things in my head on why I should wake up and still give life a chance. They make me realize that no matter how I question myself what I want to be, or what my purpose in life is, it does not matter because what matter most is how I will deal with what I need to do today and the days ahead. I realized that having the need to be always busy or preoccupied is not because I do not want to be bored and that my big head sometimes works faster than anybody’s so I get bored faster, but rather it is the need to keep my head in focus, and working with them, organizing events for them, makes me keep my head in check. In fact, I’d like to think that what happens in the head is only in the head, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t real or aren’t happening, because they do happen even if it is only in the head. Working with them gives me a bit of purpose, understanding, sensitivity, and drive to better myself for myself and for them. In spite of people saying that we are allowed to feel sad, working with them helps me try to be better than them if I am to organize events or lead them.

Boxless Society inspired my thesis entitled “Art Therapy VS Confessional Art: A Comparison Through Personal Experience” in college. It also helped me with my grief process, and my whole emotional growth. Because of them, they discovered that I may be with high-functioning autism (although they debate if I’m cured of it or not, or if I really do have autism or not). This is because sometimes I do not understand what I feel or understand my feelings late, and that I also have difficulty accepting things when there are drastic changes from what I am used to. On why I developed it can be traced back to my childhood experiences when I once cried looking for my parents. Our helper told me to scream or cry but they aren’t going to hear me because they are away for work. She stretched my whole leg which I was having difficulty to walk in, after a mild fever, as she thought I was only pretending. But it made me shut up because of physical and emotional pain. Few years later I was diagnosed late with a mild Rheumatic heart disease, but with Boxless Society’s advocacy and the way they open up to people made me realize how I should open up and speak even little by little, to save my sanity.

I’m only still trying to speak up, training myself to speak more, because before I hardly don’t. I only will answer to questions when asked. I also might have a lot of friends who liked my company and I keep them for a good time, but I also tend to close up myself from people. I would be the class secretary, the club president, the managing editor of a student publication, or be the regional representative for essay writing contests, but I wouldn’t speak of feelings, and the more that I don’t I wouldn’t be able to understand them. The counsellor said my emotional growth has been stunted as I subconsciously do not allow myself to feel. I would run away from feelings, and I would drive away every guy who likes me, telling myself that it is not logical. For a time then, that is what I really feel or think, emotions are not logical. But this mentality also changed when I began working with Boxless Society. I realized how my emotions are a part of me, and it is something I cannot forever run away from. Because of them I started speaking up, starting from telling people what they do and if they want to join, advocating the use of art as a form of therapy and teaching others what I know. Though, I also think that I still have a long way to go, I am reminding myself that it is okay to feel what I feel, and that I shouldn’t be afraid of them.

In conclusion, I have a class tomorrow wherein I am the part-time college professor. I am still 25 years old, fresh graduate, and some of my students were my classmates, and some are from an older batch. I'm trying to tell myself not to freak out, as I try to compensate myself with power dressing but I also cannot fully be that mature old and wise professor. I go inside the classroom with earphones and music playing in my ears, and my clothes should be weird enough and cool enough because I'm also a little bit of a fashionista.? I also got interviewed recently as the gallery assistant and organizer of Boxless Society and it will show on an episode of Mission Possible by Julius Babao in ABS-CBN channel, to help one of our members, Dina Cagaanan, tomorrow. I am NERVOUS and AFRAID even if in the end they already cut me out, or just show maybe a minute or less in that show. I ran away when the host came in to the gallery at first, but I did it and went through the interview. So, right now, I’m trying to tell myself that I should celebrate, I spoke out in front of a camera which I hate. I'm telling myself that my strength is trying to overcome my weaknesses and my weaknesses will also be my strength.

 

Date written: 10 February 2019, 11:41 pm

Edited: 12 February 2019, 3:50 pm

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