**TW: mild reference to self-harm and intrusive thinking.**
I have to confess to having felt a little more positive over the past two or three days.
Excluding Monday, when I had a small episode of SH, I’ve done alright this week. On Tuesday I started to think ahead to October, when I will take up study with the Open University. I have received some of the course materials and spent some time clearing out the catastrophe that was my desk. It bore the remnants of many modules started and stopped over the years, and was an undertaking to say the least. However, I gritted my teeth and overhauled the lot, the reward of which is that I now have a largely clear desk, with available storage space…what exactly I do with that space remains to be seen!
Yesterday (Wednesday), I made it to the local Community Art Therapy Group. This would normally be unremarkable, but I made the decision to attend autonomously, without knowing who would (or wouldn’t) be there. It turned out to be a positive experience, with a couple of familiar, friendly faces and a little master class in Pointillism from an Art student who volunteers in the group. This lesson was optional, and I started off watching from a distance before gathering the courage to go and join in. Think Nursery School aged child watching from the side lines, too shy to go and participate in the seemingly fun activity going on in the middle of the room. This child will gradually inch forward until they realise that they’ve accidentally joined in. That was me, lol.
This morning I visited my Cousin for a cup of tea and, upon my return, noted that I felt a little low and was having some pretty explicit intrusive thoughts, but I turned this on it’s head by having a go at some Pointillism of my own, while chain-drinking cups of tea:
To be clear, this is only my progress to date (I’m really not happy with the mouth!). I’ve since added to it, and you’ll see the end product on my FB page eventually.
I have a friend on FB who is himself an accomplished artist, and a budding Art Therapist. Known for giving myself a hard time, I often get stressed and worked up about my art work. If I’m using a photograph for reference, I will try to replicate it perfectly. But said friend gave me some sound advice. He thinks I’ve basically been trying to make art an exact science (shock, horror lol) and that is where my frustration is coming from. His advice is to let my mind and the pens/paints…whatever medium I’m using…create the piece. I’m finding this very useful for a drawing such as that above.
So here I am at the end of a three-day run of positivity. Yes, I’ve battled with some pretty horrific thoughts, urges, compulsions…but I’m thus far unscathed. I don’t know what tomorrow holds, or the day after that…I’m just grateful to have had a brief period of respite.