|Phoenix had struggled with it for several days. As college classes loomed closer in his future, the anxiety mounted. There was something else, though. Phoenix was attempting to get into medical school and, in the meantime, completing a Master of Science in Psychology to pass the time and add to his credentials. Those were the classes that would resume in a little over a week. Speaking of weeks, about a week and a half ago, Phoenix's creative streak was triggered and he began doing artwork again. He had not done any art in seven months. The artistic need hit like a tidal wave. Phoenix could not get enough of his artwork and playing with different techniques - techniques that he had played with before but forgotten as well as those that he truly had never tried. There was something inside that needed to get out, that wanted out, but Phoenix could not find any way to fully release it. It was a fever of sorts. It was a fever not unlike that of his PTSD, but it helped relieve the pressure of his PTSD and Depression. Music did that for him, too. Phoenix was a musician and an artist as much as he had been a warrior and as much as he wanted to be a psychiatrist. At one time, Phoenix was going to get a Master of Art degree in artistic studies of some kind. He had professors lined up to write his letters of recommendation and everything. What happened? Phoenix did not know. Whatever happened, though, Phoenix knew that he had to continue to relieve the pressure through art and music or he would implode on himself. He wished that his appointment with his psychiatrist was closer - it was not for several days still.
The list of artistic media that Phoenix experimented with and engaged in was long and comprehensive: calligraphy, oil, acrylic, and watercolor paint, conte crayon, marker, pencil, chalk pastel, oil pastel, watercolor pencil, colored pencil, charcoal, pen & ink, all of which he used to sketch, draw, paint, write, and throw together into pure and/or mixed media masterpieces. He incorporated photography as well, but stayed away from Photoshop because he did not believe that it was true art if it had been digitally enhanced.
Phoenix was having a particularly rough day. He was anxious, restless, but his creativity was blocked. There was something inside and it wanted out. Phoenix could not figure out how to express it. He realized throughout the day that he could express it by doing a mixed media piece with watercolor and calligraphy that would be a contract between his doctor and him that he would never harm himself, no matter what. During this process, Phoenix realized that there were a lot of things he wanted to do with his life. He took out a pad of Arches 300 lb. watercolor paper and splattered red paint on it with a toothbrush, as if it were blood sprays. Phoenix was sickened by this. He realized that he really did not want to commit suicide. He just wanted the PTSD to stop and the Depression to stop. When Phoenix got inspired like this, there was always a crash in his near future to look forward to. Within a week, Phoenix would be deciding whether or not he needed to be in the inpatient psychiatric ward. Phoenix knew this from previous experience. When he could get out from under the PTSD and actually want to live, he always ended up in the hospital. The PTSD kept him down.
WHY? Phoenix screamed this question in his head as he listened to Linkin Park on his iPod. Why did it have to be this way? Is this what made him creative? Should he be an artist instead of a doctor? Should he forget about medical school and go to an art college? Was it the PTSD and the Depression that fueled his brilliance in art and music? What was it? What was that something inside him that had to be released? What kind of pressure valve was it exactly that had to be relieved lest it destroy him from the inside out? What exactly did God want him to do? What was he supposed to do? He had been told that the presence of God was strong within him. Phoenix struggled to reconcile that with his own feelings of being evil and being convinced that he was going to Hell. And there was the central issue again. Right back to the PTSD and the Depression. No matter how much college he attended, how much he learned, how much art he did, how much music he played, how much he did to help others, he had still committed evil. Where was God in all this? Where was Phoenix? And where was Phoenix supposed to be? Was he supposed to be a scientist, an artist, a musician, a doctor, a warrior, an athlete - WHAT??? Phoenix wished he could go back into the military, back to the Middle East, and die there. He left his soul there. He might as well die there, he thought. Phoenix was lost here in the civilian world. He had never transitioned back. He did not know how. Nor did he want to learn. He just wanted to be a good soldier in the Desert and live out his last days there. In his early thirties, Phoenix felt like he was at the end of his life. He sat at his art desk, looking at the thousands of dollars' worth of art materials he had available to him. All this, his two guitars, his potential to become a bilingual physician, and his immense knowledge base could not calm whatever it was inside him that needed out. Something inside him needed out and he had yet to figure out how to release it. The crash was beginning...