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 :/

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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: