Monthly Archives: August 2014

head-fog

I feel like I’m wading through a swamp in heavy fog. My head is useless, has been for a few days now. Have therapy tomorrow, and hoping the fog will lift a bit before then. Not sure how useful/helpful/worthwhile it will be if my head is still like this tomorrow.

There’s stuff I want to talk to her about, but not sure I will be able to bring it up. Last session left me feeling like she will be critical of it… maybe that’s why the fog is getting heavier as the appointment gets closer. I dunno. I feel stupid and inept and unable to understand much right now :/


More art

Therapy on Saturday did not accomplish what I had hoped, though it was an ok session. I was in a good space, and TL went with it. I had wanted to tell her something, an explanation, but it felt like I would get shot down or ridiculed if I mentioned it (not necessarily her style, but she was pushing a topic that is connected to the dissociation. The way she spoke about it made me feel like it was not the right moment to bring up SJ and the other sides of me). Finally, at the end of session, I was able to tell her there was something I had hoped to talk about, but we didn’t have enough time to get into it. I told her I had it written down, but she wants me to say it. Good luck chicky. She will have to read it, then we can talk afterwards about it all…

wpid-img_20140825_024222.jpgAnyway, on to the art. I was messing around tonight trying to put that hesitation on paper in a way that was easier to explain then having to stumble over words. I started with the concept of the woman on the right with the thoughts floating in her head, but unable to make it out of her mouth. It felt unfinished, so I added the left side (the words are what I had wanted to tell TL in session). The overlay represents all that I end up talking about that masks what I really want to say; it’s the darkness and the light that takes over and hides the real things I need to address. Let’s hope I can show it to her next Saturday. I had mentioned that I also really want to show her my art journal but that I have trouble bringing it up. She said she would try to remember that I had stuff I wanted to get to in session. She agreed to try to remind me. I have gone in with lists for my reference to no avail, so I hope she can help me get around to this stuff finally.

 


the mask of distance (aka: WTJ progress)

So, for the last few days, thing have been relatively calm in my head. This is a good thing. I finally started practicing my art again.

 
20140820_191145_zps9b9oixm0I’ve done a few pages in my WTJ. I disliked the way the “Shrub This Page” came out, so I got some tips on using colored pencils effectively and tried my hand it at again. I think colored pencils have great potential, and I have seen some amazing work done with pencils, so the Knight was pretty disappointing (though better than most things I have done in colored pencil to date). I will be going back over him later, but first I wanted to try it on a smaller scale…

 
20140822_162741_zpsdgjuv0qwI colored in the lips and pen cap from the “Write with the pen in your mouth” page. I guess it came out ok, but I still need practice. I also suck at teeth… and pens… but that just means I need more practice…  (The white on the lips and pen is gel pen though). There was no reference pic, so the highlights are off… This has been bugging me since I called it “done” but I am not sure how to fix it. ugh.

 

10628522_10152664962639892_2778590973427399790_nI also did work on “This page is a sign. What do you want it to say?” I re-did the message “I’m still learning” I thought it was appropriate again on so many levels. I’m learning with myself, I’m learning with my art, I’m learning to trust others, I’m learning about life… I’m still learning…

On another note; tomorrow is my session with TL. I’m not sure if I will be able to tell her what I want to. I have it written out, but she always wants me to read the stuff I write out loud. I don’t think I will be able to do that tomorrow.  I hope she is ok with that… and I hope she doesn’t react the way I fear she will. I’m guessing she wouldn’t but the anxiety I have around it all is louder than the reason.

 


first (independant) creative venture in nearly 2 weeks!

Outside of the assignments tackled in the art journal workshops, I have been having a really difficult time with artist’s block lately. Something finally gave though! I was able to doodle away a bit in my wreck this journal.

IMG_20140819_155027_zpsrkrs4k7jIt was partially inspired by the fb post of the art a mom created out of her kid’s wall scribble, and part zentangle-type stuff. After doing the initial design in black, I decided to break out the gel pens again for some color. I think I like how it came out overall.

The prompt was “draw fat lines and thin”

 


What is your fantasy, idealized treatment?

If you could design your own “treatment center”, with no regard to limits on finances or what seems “impossible”, what would find most helpful to you?

I am not sure how this topic came up this morning, but I ended up having a long discussion with my mom about what my ideal treatment would look like. It does not exist at this time, but it is based on my experiences both professionally and personally. A lot of it sounds impossible with today’s treatment models and financial limitations, but I think, at least for me, it would be hugely beneficial.

I have found I need a certain level of intensity to safely and effectively get through my issues, so I would want something that is residential, however I would want to keep my freedoms (access to my music, animals, nature, ability to leave if I need a change of scenery even if it means going with someone, access to my positive coping skills, access to my social supports and the community). I would want access to supportive and trained people at all hours of the day and night (because let’s be honest, most crises don’t keep themselves to a schedule, so if one arises, I want to be able to deal with it appropriately in the moment); a holistic treatment team (medical, psych, yoga, animal therapy, arts and expressive therapies, CAM) that takes my input into account and helps me implement my ideas (as appropriate and available); a safe environment where added supervision is available, but personal choice is also a key component; staff that maintains a level of compassion even if I get super annoying and needy; availability for staff to decompress and engage in self-care as needed; down-time for myself to regroup from dealing with something very heavy without the threat of having all the support taken away just because I seem better in the moment; people who are open to challenging me on my trouble points but also understanding of places I may be stuck; flexibility in treatment plans; openness to new ideas and new ways of doing things; limited judgements on how I present and a willingness to look at what may be underlying my symptoms/presentation; freedom from stigma around any particular symptom, behavior, or mood-state; people who listen to and hear what I have to say; people with patience around helping me figure stuff out; people to help me build a vocabulary and a method of expression for things I cannot adequately express; people who are willing to sit with me through challenging times, and gently insist that I get through the triggered symptom to find out what’s “on the other side” of it (not simply implement grounding at the first sign of distress, because I have recently found that there’s important stuff on the other side of a dissociative episode or a flashback); catering my treatment to me as an individual, and respecting me as an individual with certain likes and dislikes; going at treatment with “kid gloves” knowing that sometimes things will get way worse and way more challenging before they get better; having a treatment team that is ok taking over when my judgement goes south, but still open and receptive to what I am trying to communicate… Also an openness to “thinking outside the box” and coming up with new treatment ideas if the current ones do not work. Also I would include a transparency in all treatment methods, with access to everything by the client, and ultimate veto powers by the client.

Therapy sessions would be daily, and for maybe 90+ minutes to be able to tackle the harder stuff, then have the therapist available later in the day as needed to address what comes up. Arts/expressive therapies would be daily, animal therapy daily, visitors allowed daily with housing for family either on-site or nearby as needed, assessments to figure out what is helpful, and what might be helpful, organic treatment plan that evolves with new developments. “Family” therapy available (with whomever is involved in the person’s life), ability to return to treatment as needed, creation of “safe spaces” to help with processing things, personal choice around negative coping skills until the person is in a place to change them, but with the stipulation that they must be reported immediately and checked out as necessary, and taken on an individual basis, with constant monitoring and revaluation. I understand this is a huge liability and highly controversial, but it’s something I feel strongly that an element of personal freedom makes a huge difference in getting over it in the long run. Teaching accountability and responsibility around choices would be a huge component. I know I can walk away from something much easier if I have a choice around it than it I am simply told I cannot have it or cannot engage in it. It’s like the concept of thinking about a yellow school bus when someone tells you not to think about it; you will think about it more, and likely obsess over it. If negative coping can happen in a safe environment with buffers to ensure overall safety, I think it would go a long way to helping a person turn away from those negative coping skills in the long run.

It would also be standard of care to always look at every symptom, no matter how un-related it seems, and not discount any “medical” issues that may arise simply because I am there to work on psych issues.

I would prefer this to be with easy access to secluded nature and the beach, because that just makes me happy, but I guess anywhere with access to nature and water would be good…

It would be incredibly expensive, and incredibly intensive, but I think it would work for me. A girl can dream, right?

So, if you could design your ideal treatment based on what has and has not worked for you in the past, or what you have seen work or not work for others, what would it be?


What a scare!

I don’t know what happened today. I was coming out of the complex. I looked, there was one car coming. I looked again, watched the car go by. Made sure there was no one coming from the other direction, no one else coming behind the red car. Then I pulled out and was almost hit by 2 cars. They came out of nowhere. I have no idea how I missed them. They managed to stop luckily. I don’t know what happened. I apologized to the drivers o_O

Then today at java boys, I couldn’t remember the words with which to order the coffee or the bagel.  I had to stare at the menu for a while and stammer before I could get it out.

The last time anything like this happened was before the vertigo hit badly in March. Before that it was the weird stroke-like thing at the hospital in May of 2013…

If it gets worse, I think I will have mom pick me up after my appointment. I don’t want to hurt anybody… :/


musings

so I did a small, unscientific experiment on my fb page today. I’m not sure how valid my “results” are, but I figured I would mention it here.

With all the stuff going around about mental illness in light of Robin Williams’ suicide, I found several articles I thought were somewhat refreshing in their views. One in particular struck me today, and I ended up doing a mini-rant in my intro-post to it.  I divulged quite a bit of my current struggles in relation to not being able to access adequate/appropriate/affordable help in relation to my struggles.  I vented about the broken system in this state, and how even when I ask for help, I am not able to receive the help I feel I need, or would feel safe in receiving.

I theorized that no one would comment on or like my post, or even notice it.  I know fb algorithms play into this, but I figured the fact that it was a Robin Williams-related article I was passing along would bump it a bit higher on most people’s feeds.  I still received no response (despite posting it during a “peak” fb viewing time based on my friend’s activities)… I think the saddest thing with that is the fact that most of my friends are either mental health providers or consumers. Not one “liked” my post or commented on it. The posts before and after received plenty of attention, but the one divulging vulnerable information was lost to the bowels of fb… I suppose I cannot call this experiment over quite yet (maybe give it a day or two to show up on people’s feeds), but the initial response is really disheartening. We seem to be able to get up in arms about mental health at a distance, but when it’s spoken about in personal terms, everyone shies away. It still seems to be a very much taboo topic to not only post talk about, but post about or acknowledge… :sigh:


There’s Nothing Selfish About Suicide

From huffpost.com article. Couldn’t have said this part better myself…

Suicide is a lot of things, but selfish isn’t one of them.

Suicide is a decision made out of desperation, hopelessness, isolation and loneliness. The black hole that is clinical depression is all-consuming. Feeling like a burden to loved ones, feeling like there is no way out, feeling trapped and feeling isolated are all common among people who suffer from depression.

People who say that suicide is selfish always reference the survivors. It’s selfish to leave children, spouses and other family members behind, so they say. They’re not thinking about the survivors, or so they would have us believe. What they don’t know is that those very loved ones are the reason many people hang on for just one more day. They do think about the survivors, probably up until the very last moment in many cases. But the soul-crushing depression that envelops them leaves them feeling like there is no alternative. Like the only way to get out is to opt out. And that is a devastating thought to endure.

Until you’ve stared down that level of depression, until you’ve lost your soul to a sea of emptiness and darkness… you don’t get to make those judgments

http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/5672519?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063


things to remember:

Someone on a forum had asked about advice learned in therapy that was useful/imperative/good to know… I had originally listed only the first 4, but felt the others were important to add for myself here. (most are paraphrased, as they have come from various therapists over the years)

  1. consider the source of the advice when considering the advice itself. If you don’t want the life of the person giving it, don’t take the advice…
  2. you matter. people care about you, but they can also be frustrated with you. it doesn’t mean you don’t matter anymore, just means they reached a breaking point within themselves.
  3. eat chocolate if it makes you feel better…
  4. do what you can, when you can.
  5. I am worth arguing with the negative voice.
  6. get off the train.
  7. remember to breathe! (heard this from a few therapists… hmm… trend maybe?)
  8. just because it happened many times in the past does not mean it’s definitely going to happen in the present or the future.

My heart weeps

“I don’t understand how a person gets to think they matter more than others. Children are not born thinking this way. Children are TAUGHT to hate, discriminate and value certain things more than others. Children are thought to value some lives more than others. We are doing this to ourselves and by doing it so, we keep failing our children. And failing life.” ~ Summer Solstace Girl via A Canvas of the Mind


RIP Robin Williams

I can’t tell you how this makes me feel, because I don’t totally know.  On the one hand, I am saddened by the loss of such a talented soul. On the other hand, I am happy he is finally at peace…

He was my all-time favorite comedian… 😦

Having sat with the information for a bit, I have come to the conclusion that I am not sad.  I feel relief for him.  I will miss is talent, but I am not sad for him, I am sad for others who are saddened by the loss… I truly believe every human being has the right to decide when they exit this life, whether we agree with their reasoning or not.  This belief comes about from my own experiences in life…

I was talking to L earlier about this.  She brought up that it goes against the general christian belief system (in which both of us were raised, but neither of us really follow much) to take one’s own life; only “god” can decide when we go.  My counter point to that was; “what if “god” has decided that this is the way we go?”…

None of us knows for certain what happens after the death of the physical body.  We speculate and theorize and believe, but no one knows for sure… So what if this so-called god decided it was time for us to go, and the method of our departure was suicide… Would that change the way we look at it? We reason away everything else, why not this?

This particular news of a suicide affects me deeply, but not for the reasons one would think. I have been struggling again with my own suicidal thinking. I have seen official mention of my hopelessness for recovery… I have to admit I’m jealous of Robin Williams… He has accomplished what I wish for, he has moved on from the pain of this life, he’s broken out of the cycle… I wish I knew how.


Therapy mess

Therapy was rough yesterday. I should have gone ahead and tried to tell her what I needed to, and not done the art activity. I ended up being really triggered at the time I left, and in a fog. It took way too long to come out of it.
There’s way too long between sessions at the moment.  I know they are weekly, and that should be ok, but it’s not. I think I was able to ask her to help me find more therapeutic supports, but I’m not sure any really exist. I still have to wait till Friday to see her again. Can I just sleep the week through?
Also, I will admit reading my records was a mistake. I thought I knew what was in it. I thought I knew the worst of it, but I can’t get some of it out of my head. Too many of the reports from hospitals pegged me as hopeless and a lost cause. I know it’s not the people that actually knew me. I know there’s info missing from there about my improvements, but I can’t shake it… or maybe it’s just that therapy had been difficult lately. Maybe it’s that the lines about my hopelessness confirm my worst fears about myself. Maybe it’s that I don’t trust TL to know what she’s talking about when she tries to refute what it says based on what she has seen in me… maybe it’s my lack of sleep.
Must remind myself Dr C disagrees, and the info from PIW is not there. De seemed to disagree also, and I trusted her opinion (even though she got overwhelmed with her work and left). D’s notes also did not agree with the “hopeless” diagnosis, so maybe I just need to keep writing that and saying it, and reminding myself of it, because they were the people that worked closest with me. If they didn’t give up hope, I shouldn’t either. I just got stuck with a bunch of people at the hospitals that couldn’t believe meds would not help. They didn’t listen that therapy was needed more so than drugs and containment. They ignored the fact that dbt triggered me incredibly, and still tried to keep me going back (the only day program I was ever booted from multiple times for “regression; hospitalized”… maybe just seeing that on paper after every admission to dbt will help my case for saying it’s not a good treatment choice for me. PIW was the only place that helped.  So there’s proof that things can get better with the right treatment. I just have to keep fighting for the right treatment (It’s such an exhausting fight)…


197 [tw: suicide]

this! so much this!!

Depression Comix

depcom.197.col.400px

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art journal workshop #2 – “I’m still learning”

It’s actually workshop #6 being offered by this teacher, but it’s the second I have been to.  I am totally loving these!!! The teacher used the phrase “take a deep breath”, but allowed us to pick our own if we wanted.  Since I already have more than one page on breathing, I thought I would try something different.  I went through some inspirational images I had on my phone and found the phrase “I’m still learning”.  I thought it was appropriate enough.

wpid-20140807_192302.jpgWe started by decopaging colorful paper onto our pages.  The instructions were to use one or two colors to make the choice of a top color easier.  Me being me, and being on my black/white/grey kick of late, I chose to do clumps of all sorts of colors for this part. I happened to pick paper that was too thick (closer to cardstock than regular paper), so I needed more gel medium to get it to stick.  Looking back, I would recommend using thinner paper so the gel medium can dry properly before you move on to the next step.

wpid-img_20140807_212721.jpgAfter that first layer, we were given our phrases cut out in vinyl lettering (you can also do this free-hand using masking, but make sure your gel layer is completely dry either way or you will pull it up when you take the letters off). We arranged the phrases on our background, then carefully painted a thin layer of gesso over it to help with depth and texture.  Over the gesso, we added our foreground colors.  Like I said earlier, I am on a black/white/grey kick, so I blended those over my letters.  Before the  layer of paint was allowed to dry, we peeled off the letters revealing the colors of the background (easier with the vinyl than with masking I am assuming, though could be accomplished with the masking if you are careful enough). We then dried the paint layer, and added details. I don’t have more in-between photos, but the final product came out pretty cool I think… (I know the teacher took more pics, but she has not put them up yet. I will keep checking back on the meetup page to see if I can find more progress shots, and maybe even examples that followed the instructions properly ;))

I kept the vinyl lettering to use for another project down the line. I think that, if yesterday’s record-reading taught me anything, it was that I am most certainly still learning.

Also, I really want to get my hands on a cricut machine.  While I like the freedom of doing things free-hand, sometimes it’s nice to have something make life a bit easier…


huge reality check

I just spent the better part of the day reviewing most of my medical files from social security. wow… I was (am?) really fucked-up. I’m seriously questioning 1) how I am still alive to this day, 2) why in the world my wife stayed with me, 3) if there’s ever a possibility of getting better for real… I mean, I can’t tell you how many times my records noted what a hopeless cause I was, and how I am destined to this struggle forever. And it wasn’t just one provider, it was almost all of them… I was hospitalized over 21 times (if my count is correct), 15 of which happened in the span of a year and a half. I’ve been tried on 30+ meds (with varying degrees of success or failure). I know some of the records are not consistent from page one to page two, but most of them concur on 3 major diagnoses (depression, bpd, ptsd), and my prognosis (utterly hopeless)… o_O  I think I am the definition of a “lost cause”. I’m really glad I will be seeing TL tomorrow, though this wasn’t what I had in mind to talk to her about. I think it’s only fair to warn her how futile it all is though, so she doesn’t put much effort into this only to start pulling her hair out in a few weeks… wow… yeah. There’s still some records not included in their files, but it’s not much. The sad part is, I was dissociating for so much of that time. There are several hospitalizations I don’t recall ever occurring… now I’m sitting here a bit shell-shocked. I had known much of it was going to be bad, but didn’t realize quite how much of it, and quite how bad.


Dynamics of interaction

I’m sitting in social security waiting to pick up my records. The waiting room it’s full. In one corner, there’s two women sitting and chatting. They brought an elderly woman with them in a wheel chair. When they parked her, they moved her past themselves, and have her facing the hallway. She looks bored. She’s belted into the chair, so I’m assuming she has Alzheimer’s or dementia and is considered either a fall risk or a nuisance. Honestly, I would be a nuisance if no one bothered to interact with me or bring me anything to do when expecting a long wait. All she can do is watch people. It’s fine if that is what she enjoys, but she looks so bored. And she’s being excluded from any interaction with the people who brought her…

I’ve seen so much of this in nursing and group homes with individuals who don’t/can’t really assert themselves. We leave them excluded thinking that they don’t realize we don’t want to deal with them…  when I worked briefly as a rec therapy assistant at a nursing home, I saw them drug and restrain so many elderly people. They interfere with the staff’s daily routine, so they were deemed a risk to themselves for staff convenience. My favorite little lady loved to walk. She would truck up and down the halls all day long, not bothering anyone. As time went on, she became a fall risk. They gave her a wheel chair.  She zoomed up and down the halls. She would come to my groups, but not want to sit still for participation, so I modified her role in the group. Instead of asking her to do the same as the other residents who could handle sitting still, I brought her up with me to help out. I managed to get her to participate in every group I held because I was flexible enough to meet her where she was. When she wasn’t in groups with me, she was rolling over toes as she zoomed the halls. Management felt that she was too much of a nuisance, so she was soon drugged heavily. My assistant went from being an active and interactive participant to a drooling mess… it broke my heart. When did we go from respecting the people in our lives to treating them like problem animals? It’s really sad…


When did trying to access my own medical records become an epic saga?

Ok,  so I guess the majority of people applying for disability for mental health reasons might have issues with seeing their records, but I don’t.  It’s frustrating that they don’t take it on a case by case basis. I finally got the call that my disc was ready for pick-up. The caveat: someone has to go with me because they will not release my records directly to me. They fear that seeing the records will “negatively impact my mental health”. I also had to agree that I would not look at them alone. I tried to tell the woman that my professional background is in mental health, and I am well aware of what is expected to be in the records. I told her I was aware of some stuff that may be considered “disturbing” to a client, but that I knew the information in the files. I just wanted a copy for myself so I can better coordinate my care… I didn’t mention that the only reason I was trying to get the information from them was because I would likely have to pay each provider upwards of $100 for copies (I have quite am extensive history with many, many, many hospitalizations during two very difficult episodes). That cost alone would most likely total over $1k. I don’t have that kind of cash for living expenses, forget about that kind of disposable cash. The SSA provides records for free to the disabled individual (though they charge $10 to anyone else that may request them). I want my records. I want to have something to be able to prove to a provider that what I say has merit (sad that my word has none).
The woman over the phone asked if I knew what I had applied for disability under. When I rattled off my most recent diagnoses, she asked in her best “I’m talking to a 7-year-old” voice if I knew what that meant… I tried not to laugh at her as I again said my professional background was in mental health. I knew exactly what my diagnoses meant. She then reminded me that it would be better if someone came with me to pick up the records. She said she would leave a note that they could be handed directly to me, but if I wanted to avoid a hassle, I should have someone else there. Thanks lady. Thanks…
I’m reminded again why I hate mental health services in this state, and why the stigma infuriates me. One day, I will work to dispel it… but for now, I’ll settle with educating individuals when I have the energy. (And I will patiently hold my breath to get back up North where services are less patronizing and more accessible)…


more art – wtj: throw something (Arrow)

Today was rough. The body memories came back again with a vengeance early in the morning. That left me feeling very small and vulnerable. To help get out of it, I thought I would try my hand at art again. I couldn’t come up with something overly expressive, so I figured I would work on my Wreck This Journal. I finally got around to finishing the “throw something” page.

I have had the idea of doing Arrow on the left side since I did the original bulls-eye with the arrow on it, I just never had the motivation or courage to try the drawing. Today I sucked it up and just painted away. I’m not totally happy with it, but I think it’s ok enough. I also posted it on the Arrow page on fb. I know I’m a lesbian and all, but Stephen Amell is one of my man-crushes (Shemar Moore from Criminal Minds is the other). Have you seen him do the herringbone pull-ups?! … and those “superhero workouts” Holy Shit that man is fit!! Total respect for that level of dedication and skill…

Anyway, here’s my homage to Arrow…

10580088_10152631676694892_4820930530339226071_n


weird space

I’m in a strange head-space.  I’m not quite sure how to describe it… maybe floaty, disconnected, like my head was a balloon bobbing around. I’m not so much disconnected from my body as disconnected from everything around me.  So maybe the whole of me feels like a balloon bopping around… and like there’s a thin barrier between me and everything around me; a gossamer curtain or something equally wispy and blowy.

I’m tired but I’m not. I should probably go to bed, but I don’t want to.  It’s the beginnings of the “before bed panic” I sometimes get. I’m also not feeling the dark at the moment. Earlier mom was giving me a hard time about all the lights being on, but I really don’t want to be in the dark at the moment.

I was trying to be creative again today, but nothing happened.  I had a ton of half-formed ideas, but nothing panned out. I just sat there staring at everything. I kept taking out stuff to start a project, look at it for several minutes, then put it away again. I couldn’t bring myself to start anything or to get a better idea of what direction I wanted to go in with anything. I wanted a beer, but there’s none in the house I would drink (and it would be shitty of me to waste the last of mom’s beer, as I would likely open it, take three sips, deem it gross, and dump it)… I’m not in the mood for anything harder, so I have not had anything to drink tonight. I just really want a beer; something darker and sweet and malty… no such luck.

There’s other stuff I want to do too, but I have to be good. I really want Friday to roll around. I had told L that I was frustrated it was only Tuesday today. I want to get to the art journal workshop on Thursday, but I also really want to get to therapy on Friday.  I’m not quite sure why other than there’s a list of questions/thoughts I want to bring up to TL. It’s stuff I want her to know, or stuff I want to gauge her reaction towards. I should have told her that the social stuff was not what I was looking for, that I needed the therapeutic aspect also. But there are no groups around that I fit into. The agency no longer has either it’s drop-in women’s group, or the women’s therapy group. There are no appropriate groups I have found online for myself elsewhere either. I really needed her to help me get connected to something I can’t easily find myself online… The social stuff is taken care of. I have MeetUp, I have a (very) few friends to hang with… I have the social thing mostly covered. I need the therapy thing too. I don’t know how to tell her this. I feel like an ass for not being able to tell her when she asked last week. It’s one of the things on my list, but I am not sure I will be able to read it to her; too much of feeling like an idiot… There’s some other stuff I really need to talk to her about too, but I have to figure out how she will take it. I need to know she won’t freak out about it, or run away from me for it. I really need her to be a safe go-to person for now… gotta love that urgency and neediness. o_O

 


Balance

So, my mood had been super cranky these last two days in part due to my monthly friend. Today was filled with negativity and anger boiling under the surface. I had every intention of expressing that in my art, but the piece took on a life of its own (as they often do).

I started out with intentions of depicting struggles with self-destruction. I painted a basic black background and added a razor blade and some red designs. Some of my paint tubes had dried paint around the openings. When I pulled it off the tubes, I thought they looked either like little volcanoes or like bullet holes. I decided to add those to the piece also. I had tried some stamping with some liquid silver, but it didn’t work out well. I washed the whole thing over again with black… then I ended up covering that in the purple paint. I covered in the holes with more black, but still had no real idea what to do next.  I thought of making it like a cave and later drawing in a small figure in one of the dips.  I liked the idea of the interference paint, so I added that to the little “bullet holes”. Then I wanted to play with the liquid silver to see if I could “line” the black blobs. For some reason, after the first blob was outlined, I just wanted to do my swirls. I started putting them randomly around the black blobs. I still wasn’t sold on how “cute” the swirls looked, so I added some silver “line” to the bottom of the biggest blob on the left. I stepped back for a moment and was totally lost on the direction to take the painting.

wpid-img_20140804_182552.jpgAs I looked at it,  the blob with the two ends painted with the red interference looked like a cute bean or little baby. I decided to add eyes to it. Then I added eyes to the round blob, then the one leaning over…  Suddenly the little goddesses appeared out of each black blob. They needed little lips then, and they became kisses. After the kisses came the hearts, and it ended up feeling very happy and safe.

And that’s how this originally dark, angry painting morphed into a love-filled one… sometimes we need to just let the art take over and fill the need we don’t know is there…

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I had gone to a social group at the Pride Center after finishing the goddesses (on Friday TL had suggested I take down the info for several groups and consider attending one or more this week). I hadn’t intended to go back to the women’s group because it had been an uncomfortable experience when I had gone with L last year, but the goddesses had me feeling more positive and balanced.  It was a wholly different group of women for the most part, but there ended up being a really militant, aggressive woman in the group yet again (though this was her first time at this meeting). She and the group succeeded in making me uncomfortable yet again. I took off as soon as the group broke, and I again have no intention of ever returning.

wpid-20140804_232235.jpgAnyway, upon returning home, I was still pretty on-edge, so I sat to do more art.  I did a collage this time, and it was back to the usual darkness. What can I say, it’s where I am most comfortable these days…

 


sales are my downfall…

So, my favorite art store is closing. I’m sad because they were my go-to for bargain supplies, but also for stuff I couldn’t find at Michael’s, A.C. Moore, or Jo-Anne’s. They catered to professional artists and art students… Anyway, they are having a huge liquidation sale, and I had to check it out.  I picked up some stuff I had been needing/wanting, and I didn’t spend all that much (yay!). Well, with all these new supplies, I had to play today.  I snagged some water-soluble wax crayons, some black markers for my recent art journal obsession (at $0.10 each, buying a few that might get tossed soon was a must), and that wax medium that keeps my acrylic painted journal pages from sticking together… I got a bunch of other stuff also, but these are what I used today. The result was me coloring in eyes I had drawn the other day, and also doing the opposite painted page.  I love song lyrics with meaning, so I decided to add some words from Taylor Swift’s Safe & Sound:

I remember tears streaming down your face/When I said, “I’ll never let you go”/When all those shadows almost killed your light/I remember you said, “Don’t leave me here alone”/…/Just close your eyes/The sun is going down/You’ll be alright/No one can hurt you now/Come morning light/You and I’ll be safe and sound…

I think it brought the two otherwise un-related pieces together (something that seems to be important in my art journaling… I really like 2-page spreads that make sense together. It’s just easier to express things that way). What do you think? Kinda work?


therapy today (really long-winded… sorry)

As much as I was dreading today’s session, it actually went ok.  I was able to tell TL that I seemed to have developed a lot of anxiety around therapy. I was able to tell her that I was in no way shape or form interested in having to be the one to continue to seek out additional services for myself (she pictured it as being “empowering” while I simply see it as a chore.  People here don’t like to return calls, answer their phones, or generally be helpful in any way when it comes to a client securing services for herself. I was a bit snotty about it, for which I feel like an ass, but I was able to let TL know that I was really tired of phone calls and playing tag with people. I was tired of begging for help for myself, and I just had zero energy or motivation to do any of it.  She seems ok with being the one to make the calls after we each explained our positions on the subject… I just wish I hadn’t been such a jerk about it)… I had hoped for some more structured and therapeutic groups, but apparently she is ok with simply having social things going on.  I told her I was not likely to go to many of them, as I had done that search myself and come up with little that seemed interesting.  I was not able to tell her that I really need something with more accountability, someplace I would be missed if I didn’t show, and someplace I could be more genuine (less “smiley-happy-normal-chick” and more of the “I-really-hate-the-world-and-myself-right-now-chick”), and find more support… She even asked if this was the kind of “extra help” I had asked about, but I wasn’t able to be honest about it.  I think part of me is still really scared about what that may lead to.  I’m still really bent on not wanting any reason to be inpatient here, especially when all they do is trap you and drug you. There’s no therapy, no support, and they treat you like you know nothing about anything.  Currently, I need more therapy, not less…

We then switched gears and TL plowed through the rest of the intake packet that I am assuming she is under pressure to have finished asap. Most agencies give therapists a month in which to complete them, and this would be the end of said month.  I say this not only because she was pretty bent on finishing it, but also because she was willing to stay nearly an additional hour to make sure she got through it all.  I’m really hoping she did not have another client in that time slot (I doubt it, because she was aware of when and how far we were going over time).  She tried to get some goals out of me, but I think I spaced. Had I been thinking more clearly, I would have identified wanting to deal with the loss of De (and other losses) as one of my goals.  I would have also told her that I need help keeping afloat at this point. She suggested animal therapy, and we covered the expressive arts therapies possibilities too.  She is open to focusing on some art therapy activities next session. She also asked about music therapy (which I said I was open to, though not all that sure what it entails).  We talked about my personal goals in life, which brought up a way to try to convey how hopeless things feel at the moment.  She also asked about how things had gone in school, and when I felt that things changed.  I realized that (at least in the moment I was speaking about it), I did not feel any connection to any of my accomplishments.  I had originally said I did not remember them, but that wasn’t accurate. They simply did not feel like my accomplishments.  I told her about promotions at work, excelling in school even while I was falling apart. She countered that I clearly had remembered them, because I spoke about them to her.  I had to clear up that they did not feel like things I had done, though I know of them because of my resume, my transcripts, and people’s stories about my successes.  I wasn’t able to pinpoint the emotion behind it at the time, but now I recognize it as feeling like a fraud.  Looking back, I feel like I must have cheated, or had someone take pity on me to be able to move ahead.  I don’t see how any of that could have come on merit…

We talked about a bunch of other stuff too, but I don’t totally remember all of it… too mundane I guess.  We ended with her reminding me she needs to ask about my safety (I had disclosed suicidal thinking and planning in our first meeting, and since then she does a safety check-in each time).  I felt like I was watching myself talk to her from behind a curtain.  Words spilled out of my mouth that I had no intention of uttering in her presence… It was very disconcerting (actually, it happens a lot with her. I tend to say more than I mean to say, and feel like I have little control over what comes out). I not only admitted to a plan, but told her what it was(?!). She checked in on the barriers to that plan, and I was honest about them. They are some very real barriers, and likely will not disappear any time soon.  I admitted that since I came up with the more solid plan, the urgency to follow-through had dissipated.  I think it’s just a “security blanket” of sorts at the moment. I know as long as the option is there, any overwhelming situation can be escaped.  If that option is gone, everything feels a whole lot bleaker and more hopeless… We ended with an appointment made for next week, and a plan to try to get me to that Yoga class on Wednesday… I’m currently feeling very resistant to the idea, but things may change by Wednesday.

I really miss having the ability to write after session and have my therapist read it before the next time we meet.  I keep thinking I want to bring it up to her, but it’s another thing I am writing in a reaction to on her part, and it will be rejection (mostly because I know that there is little out-of-session contact allowed/encouraged at the agency, and I know all written communication must be filtered through the supervisor. I’m not sure I want 2 people having access to what I write, especially since I don’t know the supervisor). It made things easier with De though.  It gave me a way to be able to express things I wouldn’t have been able to speak, and to process things at my own pace rather than within the hurried hour.  I might bring it up to TL at some point, but I fully expect to first hear “I will have to talk to my supervisor” and then hear “it would not be appropriate, see if you can bring the important stuff in with you the next session”… :/  …back to really missing De again.  I had told TL that I did not think there had been one day in the past 2+ months where I had not cried. It came up in response to something that made her try to tell me crying was ok, and can be healing… She seemed a bit incredulous about the statement, as if it was impossible for me to be that depressed (because I didn’t present that way to her most of the time? because that level of depression for that long is pretty uncommon? I don’t know)… At the end of the session, she brought up the fact that I had mentioned Ativan was the only thing that seemed to really help (especially lately). She asked if I would be interested in meeting with the psychiatrist at any point in case I was interested in getting a “more thorough evaluation”. I had told her that I had met with the guy once, and I was under the impression that he either could not or would not prescribe the Ativan to me, and that he hadn’t really been helpful in coming up with anything else.  She pushed a bit, but seemed ok at leaving the idea to marinate for later.  I had told her early on that meds and I do not get along very well (much like DBT and I). I reminded her that even the Ativan only worked because I had not taken it with any real regularity over the past 3 years.  I would like to have more on hand because it helps immensely with the flashbacks and impulsiveness, but I highly doubt that the ARNP (he’s not actually a psychiatrist, but a psych nurse with prescribing privileges) would give it to me. Most doctors will not prescribe benzo’s unless they know you, and know you do not have a drug problem.  Even on the inpatient unit, the psychiatrist initially refused to prescribe me any while I was there.  I had to beg him and underscore that I was ok with him not prescribing anything for after discharge, but that I really needed it at the time to help make my stay more manageable… It’s not a drug often used to calm flashbacks or impulsiveness, but it is one of the only fast-acting meds that can dull all of that for me.  I wouldn’t mind talking to this guy if  I thought I could get a script from him for it, but I doubt it. And I really don’t want to have to go through the hassle of trying to remember all the meds I have tried over the years, and all their out-comes.  TL suggested that he may be able to suggest something I have not yet tried, and that it may work wonders.  I stifled a laugh… I had tried every drug and class of drug that they even remotely thought might work to stabilize me back when I was in the hospital more than I was out of it.  They had come to the conclusion that I was hopeless and the only course of action left to take was ECT… I refuse to go down that road again…


Art, tweaked

I had started this on the 25th, then re-did in color on Wednesday (30th)… Tonight was rough. I couldn’t sleep (stupid losses). I heard a song on my playlist that fit the piece, so added the lyrics to the background… the song is “Let you down” by Three Days Grace… (I’ll post a video and the lyrics from my computer later). Anyway, here’s the piece from its third working:

FB_IMG_1406872582859_zpsapeeiily

I managed about an hour and 40 minutes sleep tonight, so thought I’d try to add the lyrics and video link via my phone (need distractions at the moment)

“Let You Down” by Three Days Grace

Trust me/There’s no need to fear/Everyone’s here/Waiting for you to finally be one of us/Come down…/You may be full of fear/But you’ll be safe here/When you finally trust me/Finally believe in me/I will let you down/I’ll let you down, I’ll/When you finally trust me/Finally believe in me/Trust me/I’ll be there when you need me/You’ll be safe here/When you finally trust me/Finally believe in me/I will let you down/I’ll let you down, I’ll/When you finally trust me/Finally believe in me/I will let you down/I’ll let you down, I’ll/When you finally trust me/Finally believe in me/Never want to come down/Never want to come down/Never want to come down/(Down, let you down)/I will let you down/I’ll let you down, I’ll/When you finally trust me/Finally believe in me/I will let you down/I’ll let you down, I’ll/When you finally trust me/Finally believe in me