Feeling Vulnerable

My dear friends,

I’m happy to announce that I’ve been accepted to do an artist residency in NYC to work on a new project with Tamizdat, AFI (Artistic Freedom Initiative) and Westbeth-Housing to share my family’s story and the crazy ordeal we’ve been through over the past year and a half. This is the best news that has happened to me in a long time. I’ve been given a second chance to do what I love.

On a more personal note, I want to take a moment to share something I’ve rarely spoken about, but one that has finally taken its toll on me. Since the death of my father in Evin prison, I’ve spiralled downwards into a world of depression. I’ve managed to isolate myself from the world, and the loneliness acted as a cloak to protect me from getting hurt again. I projected and misdirected my hate, which encompassed everyone and everything I knew. To put it simply, I couldn’t reconcile what happened to my family while so many people walked away from us and/or sat idly by.

I continue to feel powerless knowing that my mother has been held hostage against her will for over 544 days and there’s nothing I can do about it. I’ve tried many things to cope with or help transcend the pain, including plant medicines like ayahuasca and iboga, but the demons (fear) managed to get the better of me, and I drowned myself in a world of vice and sin. Gambling, drugs and sex provided momentary escapes from the overwhelming pain of the present moment. Upon reflecting on it, I see my process as a slow and gradual attempt at suicide, since every time I actually tried to take my own life, it was in vain and I just couldn’t go ahead with it.

Over the past year, I managed to accumulate a large amount of debt and have been carrying this burden, in secret, out of fear and shame. I feel like I’ve let my family, friends and fans down in a way that I could never have fathomed. I don’t know why I was consumed with these habits but it was the only way I knew how to deal with the pain.

I know some of you will have love and compassion while others may react with anger, pity, and judgement, but that’s ok. I would rather share my process directly than have you hear about it through someone else. At the end of the day however, I am fully responsible for my actions and I’m sorry to anyone I hurt in this process.

I don’t have a penny in my name, but I have a heart that’s beating stronger than ever, and a yearning to make things right and my father and family proud. I don’t want to reside in this self-manifested cold and cruel world anymore. I don’t know what will happen next, all I know is that I can’t hold on to this anger and resentment anymore… it’s eating me up from the inside.

I hope that others will hear my story and maybe take away something that may help them in their own path. Those who really know me, recognize that outside my addiction, I have led most of my life in service to others. But over the years, I somehow grew jaded, bitter, and resentful, especially following my father’s death which was the final nail in the coffin. I became selfish and narcissistic, on a mission towards self-destruction. If it wasn’t because of my brother and mother, I wouldn’t even be here to share this story with you. I am in their debt for accepting and unconditionally loving me without judgement, standing by my side, and picking me up from the depths of despair.

And the story has now come full circle, and I’ve found myself back in NYC, where my journey began many years ago. I know deep in my heart that I won’t fuck up this opportunity and the second chance that I’ve been granted by the universe. I will pour my heart and soul into this project and let my creative spirit flow freely again. I am no longer afraid of uncertainty and things outside my control.

Much love to you all.

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