Outer space affecting the inner space
Tyttö olet helmi! -hankkeella oli ilo työskennellä 4.–6.9.2018 kansainvälisen vieraan kanssa. Australialainen taiteilija Chloe-Rose Thomas kertoo blogissaan omasta matkastaan liittyen anoreksiasta toipumiseen sekä pohtii ulkoisen tilan vaikutusta mielentiloihin.
In 2017 I knew something needed to change. I was relapsing into Anorexia for the fourth time in nine years and felt this time I might have taken it too far. I was losing hope and didn't want to go back into the hospital and so this time, I examined my bedroom and the way I was living. My room was in complete disarray. It was disorderly, chaotic, and lifeless. Exactly the way my mind felt.
And so, I decided to build one. I would build a bedroom that reflected the kind of person I hoped to be. A bedroom that was beautiful and functional; conceptual and safe; uncluttered and sentimental.
I read books about architectural theory and looked to designers and philosophers as I gradually stripped my life of what wasn't necessary. I considered how my outer space was affecting my inner space. I thought of Alvar Aalto and the way he built the Sanatorium in Paimio to heal tuberculosis patients with sunlight, minimal noise, natural timber finishes and curved furniture.
In the silence, I finally heard what my body was telling me: I needed to let go completely. I needed to give my mind the same respect I'd shown my bedroom and allow it to empty, grieve, let go of negative feelings, and reassemble the parts of itself it liked.
I did this. Again, I was surprised by the space this afforded me. My mind felt like a savannah that I only I inhabited. I cared less about what people thought of me and whether they approved of my lifestyle. I felt capable and in control.
I realised my mind might believe anything I told it.This time I told myself the opposite of what I always had. I told myself I was capable of anything. I told my brain that without depression and an eating disorder I'd be capable of so much more. I told myself I could build the life I wanted and the kind of person to fit inside it. I told myself again and again until eventually, I believed it.
I wasn't sure it would work. I wasn't sure I would wake with less anxiety or that The Mannerheim League for Child Welfare would suggest joining them in a collaboration in Finland one year later.
I was on the right side. The side of the hospital with staff and office chit-chat. I was in Finland with a brain and a camera I was once too depressed to use. I was 12 months relapse-free and part of the conversation. I was in awe of my brain, in awe of Alvar Aalto and in awe of the power of space, both metaphorically and physically.