Monthly Archives: September 2015

Self portrait – 100 mile stare

This pretty much encompasses today:

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I might redo the face tomorrow (have another idea for it), though I might not. I suppose I should keep the drawings as they are, and watch the progression/change as I get practice under my belt.

This one is definitely reflective of the mood of the day: distance, disconnect, attempts at grounding…

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I need a nap

Therapy today was emotionally intense. I dissociated almost immediately when talking about the past…

I’m finding I need to assert that it’s all fake before I can stomach talking about it.

Dr C mentioned the dissociation a few times, but it was safer that way. She suggested I hang out after session and work on grounding. I agreed to sit in the car and listen to music for a while. I know I wasn’t totally back at the point I left, but I was getting antsy sitting there.

Once I got home, I could barely keep my eyes open. I pictured curling up with L in bed and feeling safe. I turned on Netflix and promptly fell asleep.
When I awoke, everything inside was calm and relaxed. I was grounded and present. It’s incredible how exhausting therapy and dissociation can be…

I don’t recall all the specifics of what we talked about in session, but I know we touched on the domestic violence, my previous eating disorders, and a bit about the abuse…

I so want to be through all this. I’m tired of struggling with the memories and after-effects.


Self-portraits

Last week in group, Dr C suggested we do a self-portrait a day for a month. I can’t exactly remember how we arrived at the concept, but it’s not all that important. Anyway, I didn’t start till yesterday (4 days later). I kept it simple. I did a quick stylized cartoon of myself. I was trying to go for the frazzled,tired, sad feeling I’ve carried all week. I also didn’t want to have to put much effort into it (I was tired and running out of creative stream).

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I left the picture mostly unfinished…

When I showed it to Dr C today, she called it “glamorous”… ?!?!!? I dunno. I don’t see glamorous, but whatever. I told her as much. She then asked if I had done one for today yet.

I shook my head.

She asked if I wanted to do one there.

:shrugz: might as well. I tend to speak easier when slightly distracted.

Then she asked if I had a picture to draw from. I told her I rarely have pictures of myself, let alone ones I like. I suggested that I didn’t mind doing it more representational of what I’m feeling. She shook her head as she launched the camera on her phone. “No. You need to do one from a picture of yourself.”

I laughed and lightly protested. She took the picture anyway… she said it was nice. I looked at it and started listing everything wrong. She cropped the picture and zoomed in on the face. She offered drawing utensil choices, then asked me to start drawing… she grabbed paper and pencil and joined me in drawing.

We chatted, and she gently encouraged me when I started to get frustrated. She gave some tips she learned along the way: 1) draw what’s around the object rather than the object itself. 2) Focus on the shapes, not the finished object. 3) try drawing it upside down.

I was on a roll with my first sketch, so I kept at it. I asked for more explanation on the concept of drawing “around” something to get the goal. She said it had something to do with seeing the shapes that make up whatever it is you are trying to draw. I’m still not clear on that concept… I did try something new with the watercolor pencil sketch though: I didn’t throw down the line with pencil first, but let the drawing appear as the colors were laid down. I think it kinda worked out ok. I look about 80, but that’s kinda how I feel sometimes, so it’s ok.

I was going to do a second one (upside down this time), but session was up.

She asked how that went for me (not talking about what had been creeping on me all weekend. Instead, drawing together in session). I told her I liked it. It was nice, as I had been hoping to find someone to sit and do art with. I also told her that I wished I had talked a bit about what was going on inside. We talked a bit about the value of not always tackling therapy head-on. She cited this session as working on seeing myself as a beautiful person rather than all the negatives I feel. She also mentioned something about still being a person and seeing myself as such (recently I had mentioned more of a disconnect from myself and my life. I think I had phrased it as being surprised again that I had a reflection in the mirror)…

We set another time for tomorrow because the stuff from the previous week is still very present.

I think I could get behind doing more art in session (I have to admit, I’m a bit skeptical on the “take away” message of the session having been a deliberate one… though she is pretty good about stuff like that, so maybe she did plan it at the time she asked if I wanted to draw today).

Oh, the final drawing from the session is on the left. My attempt at drawing myself upside down is on the right. It was done in prismacolor marker while waiting for my laundry to dry…
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Been trying to do art today, but just not happy with any of it. Oh well.

Not sure how to ground from these sensations. They are getting stronger, but I’m not sure what’s the trigger. Most of the day (and yesterday, and the day before, and the day before, and…) was spent fighting tears. Not sure of their trigger either. I dunno. Maybe it’s just the depression coupled with the flashbacks that’s kicking my butt again.

There’s some physical pain too, but I’m attributing it to the back issues I’ve been having the last several months. It feels like there’s a burning pain in my right lower abdomen. Last time, the doctor said it was muscle pain due to my back issues. They couldn’t find anything else, so I will say it’s still the back issues. I have yet to make use of that physical therapy referral she gave me last month. I should check with insurance to see how much pt would cost. Maybe it would help the back and side pain…

I’m really tired all the time. Also a fun dose effect of depression. Will this ever go away for more than a handful of weeks? It’s so exhausting…

I have to pick up L from work. Maybe after she relaxes some, we can do some art. I need motivation/inspiration ❤


Shared from WordPress

Healing Quotes Littles 567 – http://wp.me/ptHcr-7bC


What I wish people knew about ptsd (reblogged link)

What I wish people knew, too – http://wp.me/p4w6Vc-hk


Trauma-Informed Creative Arts Therapy Articles

This came across my feed and I wanted to share/save it. I really like this page, they have a lot of good info and resources. It’s mostly geared towards professionals, but there’s other resources there also.

Trauma-Informed Creative Arts Therapy Articles

One of the first articles listed is about art journaling as self-help.