November 29, 2011

What Am I?

These are the things that either other people have told me about myself or that I believe about myself.

I Am...

The style was inspired by one of my roommates at the hospital who was very creative and artistic. The words are all scratched out of the black with lots of color behind. I'm working towards believing every single thing I wrote on this.

November 27, 2011


There's a certain determination that kicks in when feeling threatened. In this case, I'm not talking about feeling physically threatened - I'm talking about feeling unsafe within the world because you have somehow lost control of an important aspect of your life. My actions and lack of actions have caused me to not have a say in what kind of treatment I receive, or at least who I receive treatment from, for some extended period of time. I need to get past stage one of recovery (establishing safety) in order to gain my choices back. Because I feel like I have lost some sort of control, my survival mechanism has finally kicked in. I am feeling incredibly determined. I am able to push past things that I didn't feel able or willing to before. I am willing to use the skills that I have learned. I have been somehow finding some sort of positive in everything that happens. I am absolutely determined to get through stage one of recovery. I don't care if I'm feeling too emotionally tired to get up and do something. I just tell myself that it sucks but that I have to get up and then I'll feel better. And it actually works. I'm doing all of this because I'm that desperate to feel in control again.

It feels like it's taken something very drastic for this to happen, but I'm feeling like I don't want to act on any more of the negative behaviors that I've acted on before. When I experience urges I tell myself positive things, I distract, and I tell myself that the feeling isn't going to last forever. And it doesn't. It goes away and I'm OK again. I'm even a little bit impressed with myself for working so hard.

Obviously it's not going to be easy - but I feel like this determination is really good. Really really good. I want to be better now. I don't think I did before. I think I wanted to make myself suffer because that's what I felt I deserved. But now I have motivation to feel better. I'm not even really sure if this is a healthy way to think about getting better - but isn't it supposed to just be whatever works? It shouldn't really matter what's motivating me, as long as it is.

Affirmations: Part 2

I was talking to my clinician in the hospital about how to draw 'I am a good person' and how I was finding that one more difficult. We had a useful conversation about about CBT and how I could draw 'I am an OK person' first because it's more believable for me and then work up to 'I am a good person'. I keep the second one on my wall.

November 25, 2011

Affirmations: Part 1

While I was in the hospital I started drawing positive affirmations to counter the negative thoughts that go through my head. Here are the first three that I did.


November 23, 2011

Early Hospitalization #2

My drawings have kind of developed again over the course of the past month. I've been trying to insert hope into some of my drawings. These two are from early on in my second hospitalization. In one of them I tried to leave a corner for the possibility of hope since my therapist had suggested that as a way to challenge negative thoughts. In the other drawing I drew the really scary feeling of falling down a big hole.

October 30, 2011
Trick or Treat?

This picture got ripped in the corner but luckily it seems to just add to the effect. The silver/gold/pink area was my attempt at leaving room for positive thoughts and the possibility that people don't hate me as much as I do. The rest of the picture includes my usual reds and oranges for fear and anger, browns and greens for shame, and blue and black for depression. I added in a green moon because it seemed like it was fitting for the Halloween season. The title seemed appropriate because the negative feelings I have about myself are the tricks that my mind plays on me and the treat is the possibility that there is something to hope for and that I am a good person. The question of trick or treat represents that I have to make a choice to believe in the treat.

November 1, 2011


I drew this one when I was feeling really anxious and felt like I was falling into that trap of being sucked downwards into depression. The edges of the abyss are jagged because it's a painful journey downwards but I guess you could also look at it as places to hang onto and use to climb back up. It also became our fireplace so that the room was a little more cozy.

November 21, 2011


This isn't an art post. I just need to share some of my thoughts on my healing journey and how other people fit into that journey. 

I had an interesting session with my CBT lady in which we talked about willingness to use skills and my attachment to my old therapist. Basically I came to the conclusion that I was basing my entire recovery on one person. Which is kind of what you're supposed to do, but that person is supposed to be yourself and not your therapist. Everyone always says that only you can help yourself. And I was always like, "Yeah yeah, obviously. I get it." But I didn't. I still thought that someone was going to rescue me. That I would be able to stop suffering if I just talked it out with someone and they would point out all my misconceptions about life and then I would be cured. I talked to someone and now I know a lot of my distorted thoughts but I am not cured... Obviously. Because I actually have to do the work. Because I have to be self-reliant. This journey is one that I have to take. Other people can be there supporting me but they can't do it for me. It HAS to be me. It's kind of like I already knew that but now I really get it. That's some radical acceptance right there. Not that that makes things easier for me. It's just a good thing to really know. It means that I know that I need to use skills and have more motivation to do so. It means that I can become more self-reliant and empowered. It means that since my entire recovery isn't dependent on another person then it also can't completely fall apart when that person goes away. It really sucks and it really hurts that I can't work with my old therapist for now but I actually gained something from it.

November 19, 2011


Structure is one of those skills that is so necessary for people with PTSD and depression and yet it's one of the hardest things to do because of the nature of the disorders. I hate structuring. I have this anger at the disorders for making me change my life and for making me work harder and that makes me want to rebel against what helps me. And on top of that I sometimes just don't feel that I deserve to feel better so I don't feel motivated to do anything that might help me. It's a really bad mix.

October 15, 2011


I represented structure with the colorful boxes at the top that are hanging over all of the negative feelings. I was feeling angry with structuring at the time so I was trying to represent how hard it is for those boxes to cover everything up.

November 17, 2011


I'm exhausted but hopefully this wont come out too garbled. I'm going to post two pictures I drew from before my hospitalization. Both of them incorporate words into the art. It seemed like drawing just my feelings wasn't enough so I added in words that I felt expressed them as well. The drawings are more graphic than normal and the words that go with them scare me. They disturb me and I don't really like looking at them, but here they are anyways...

I Don't Understand

October 3, 2011
The words say: 'I don't understand', 'I'm scared', 'Why?', 'Go away' and 'Please stop'. The drawings are exactly what I didn't understand when I was a kid. I didn't understand why I had to touch those things and why they brought me so much pain. I don't understand why it had to happen and why it still happens in my head and won't go away. The little girl inside of me is scared and I'm scared too.

I Don't Want To Do This Anymore

October 3, 2011
This drawing is expressing the sadness and the pain that I feel about what I'm going through. This is a graphic drawing of the physical pain I dealt with as a child at the bottom and the emotional pain I dealt with at the top. The words are how I felt as a child and how I feel now. I don't want to do this anymore. But I have to. I have to keep dealing with the pain in order to get through it. It hurts so much but I have to push through it.

November 15, 2011

Update 2

Going home today so I'll be able to post some stuff really soon. 

I've been feeling pretty sad for the past week or so. I am being told that I have to move on from my therapist, who inspired this blog, and it's been really hard wrapping my head around that fact. She wants the best for me and I need more support than she is able to give to me. But I guess I have to be brave and hope that whatever happens is going to work out and be OK. But I'm so sad about losing such a supportive and comforting person in my life. Being in her office with her is probably the safest place that I can think of. Now I have to start all over with someone new. I have to believe that it's going to be good and that I can find someone who I can have as close a connection to. I have to believe that what happened wasn't my fault - that I'm not too much for anyone to handle - that someone can give me the support I need - that this really is the best thing for me. I'm having trouble with all of those things. I feel like I have an even bigger wall up now. I don't want to trust anyone too much in case something like this happens again. But I'm going to try to let myself let someone else in.

It's going to be OK. I can do it.

November 12, 2011


I don't have any more pictures scanned into my computer so I'll just give a little update.

I've been trying to draw positive affirmations for myself to battle all of the negative feelings that I have. I put them up all around my bed to remind me of them all the time. So I am currently surrounded by: 'I Am Strong', 'I Am Worthy of Love Care and Support', 'I Am Doing the Best I Can', 'I Am an OK Person', and 'I Am a Good Person'. And I have one on which I wrote every positive aspect that I could think of about myself and some that others have said to me. Hopefully I'm getting out on Tuesday so I'll scan them all when I get home and post them.

November 10, 2011

Pre-Hospital Drawings

Stiiilllll in the hospital. Sorry for the huge delays between posts. I'll post two pictures now to make up for it...

October 2, 2011

I drew this one right before I went into the hospital for the second time. I was feeling lost and angry. My emotions were swirling around and sucking me in. I was desperate to get some of it out. This one didn't help me all that much when I drew it so I got even angrier and drew the next one...

October 2, 2011

This one is more literal than usual and it makes me very uncomfortable to look at. I started with the red spikes coming down and then I was kind of like, "Fuck it, I'll just draw what they really represent." So I drew penises on the attack. And cried. So I got the release that I needed from some of the emotions that were feeling overwhelming. Just posting this has actually helped me again by reminding me how much I was struggling with the PTSD symptoms before coming into the hospital - which is something I should tell my treatment team...

November 3, 2011

Having a Rough Time

Still in the hospital but I got my computer so I can do a few posts.

Cave of Suffering

September 25, 2011
This picture suits me perfectly right now. I'm getting stabbed from every angle. I feel like everything is falling out from under me and I don't have anything to support me. I'm in a gross nasty cave and now I'm lost with just fear and the unknown. I feel so fucking alone.