July 25, 2012


This post is going to be a continuation from a previous post (that can be seen here) of what I took out of the last few sessions of the POWER group. It's going to be a long post, so I apologize in advance.

One of the group members gave me in writing what she shared with me about the progress she saw and suggestions she would make for me. I hope she doesn't mind me sharing what she wrote here!

I've been so impressed with your courage and commitment to yourself and your healing. I've seen you go from engaging in self-harm* to setting an intention to not self-harm; then working with yourself to gradually reduce the type of self-harm and then through your commitment to yourself the urge to self-harm becoming less intense and less frequent. I thank you for sharing your artwork and your blog with us. While I'd recommend to you a DBT or CBT group to continue to support your healing work; because you have so much to offer, I also see another next step for you as perhaps finding a program where you might volunteer with students to encourage their artistic abilities and their self-esteem.

My parting, symbolic gift to you would be an alchemist who would transform the guilt and shame you carry because of your suicide attempt and transform it into courage and wisdom that you were the one to save yourself and that you are definitely more than worth the effort.

(*I just want to clarify that the self-harm behavior she was referring to was not cutting or anything else that breaks the skin, but more minor forms of self-harm such as pinching or digging my nails in. I'm about 10 months cut free!)

I especially appreciate her symbolic gift to me. That is something that I would like to work on believing and it was really meaningful to me that she feels that way. I also appreciate her suggestion to find a way to volunteer to help students. One of the group leaders also expressed that she thought that I was a good student but would probably also be a good teacher and I would be able to help a lot of people. That was nice to hear from both of them since it's something that I want to do but I'm afraid that I wouldn't be good at it.

The other symbolic gift that I was given by another group member was an everlasting Sennelier jumbo pastel. It changes to whatever color that I want and allows me to embody my emotions on paper. If only that pastel could really exist!!!

Another member gave us all a card with something she wrote that was based on Mary J. Blige's "Stay Down".

We didn't expect all this drama and stress. We've got a lot more work to do but we're almost to the very best part.

We've been strong for so long, we can pass these tests if, "We Stay Down." We're almost to the very best part, this won't last forever. One day we will look back on this and smile because in the end, "We Stayed Down."

We are all in this together, your healing is in me and my healing is in you.

You will ALWAYS be in my heart and prayers.

I think it's a really amazing adaptation of the lyrics so that it applies to our healing journey.

One of the leaders made some suggestions for what she thought I should focus on next, which I found really helpful. She suggested that I look for a group that focuses more on narrative and grieving the past. She recommended that I work on becoming more aware of my inner parts (like in Internal Family Systems (IFS)) and listening to and being a voice for them. She also suggested that I try to allow myself to be more vulnerable since I still have difficulty being OK expressing emotions, particularly sadness, around other people.

I think that pretty much sums up the main things I got out of those last two groups. There is a lot more, but I just can't get it all down!

I'll finish this post off with something that I drew that represents hope and growth.


July 21, 2012
I realized in the middle of drawing this how similar it is to a previous drawing I did (that you can see by clicking here). I was just trying out the new pastels that my roommate got for me and I wanted to try all of the pretty bright colors... but I guess it has turned into a theme that represents growth as a result of therapy. As well as the personal growth that I've experienced during therapy, I've found that, though terminations can be painful and sad, there is always something that I learn about myself and the world and I can grow even more from them.

July 21, 2012


I am actually planning on writing another post about group termination because so much came out of it, but for now I thought I would post some art (since this is supposed to be an art blog) to make up for the lack of it yesterday!

Also, I just realized something yesterday that is actually pretty cool. When I first created this blog, the timing was partly due to the fact that I was stuck inside because of a hurricane. Then, two months later, I decided to give myself a pseudonym for a last name, which turned out to be 'Storm'! I wonder if there was some subconscious thinking going on there when I chose the name... but maybe it's just an interesting coincidence! 

Another cool fact: My blog pageview count as of writing this is 2345! Consecutive numbers!

Color Explosion

July 7, 2012
This picture looks far more pretty than what it represents. I drew this picture based on a memory of when something that happened hurt so much that I started seeing explosions and designs of color. It was either from the pain or because I was closing my eyes so tightly - but either way the colors helped me dissociate from what was happening by giving me something to focus on. I guess it also kind of shows how colors have always been helpful to me: at that time they were a distraction for me and now they are helping me heal!

July 20, 2012


For the past two weeks of group we have been doing termination. That word sounded so negative to me since the last time I terminated in therapy, it was not a very enjoyable experience... But this one was actually really really nice. We spent time on every person, talking about what we got out of group, the progress that we made and what we hope to be our next steps. So I'm just going to share some of what I got out of the two sessions.

One of the things that really meant a lot to me was how many people told me how much strength and courage I have. One of the group leaders told me that I have a "steely determination" in facing this journey of healing. Another person said that I have a gentle nature that is balanced with strength. I was told that I was courageous and frank when sharing my fears with the group. And those were just the things that I wrote down.

I realized while talking to the women in the group about their courage, how much I believe in their strength. It made me think about how I didn't really believe in my own strength and generally would dismiss it when people told me that I was brave. But I truly believe that the women in my group are extremely courageous and strong and so, if people can see that in me too, maybe it is true that I am brave. So now I've been thinking about all of the things that people have told me about what they see in me. I reread all of these encouraging things that people have said to me that I put together last year after my first hospitalization. A lot of it is emails or texts from my old therapist who was so supportive and told me so many times how courageous and strong I am. I also have emails from family members telling me how much they love me and that I'm a good person as well as things I wrote down that friends, other patients or clinicians said to me. When I first read or heard those things, though I appreciated their belief in me, I was sad that these people saw so much in me while I "knew" how weak or bad I really was. But this time, when I looked through all of it again, I considered that all of those things could possibly be true. Though it made me really sad to read those things, both because a few of the people who said them are no longer people that I talk to, and because it's emotional to read nice things about yourself that are hard to believe, but it was also very nice to be able to look at those things in a different way and to feel better about myself. I hope that all of the ladies from the POWER group can eventually believe all of the wonderful things that I and others believe about them. They are all strong... or I guess I should say, we are all strong, courageous, good and worthy women.

July 13, 2012

Too Literal

Of course, right after I wrote in the last post all about how amazing it is that I hadn't felt a lot of cutting urges and how I was getting less afraid of falling back into depression... I got a little bit depressed over the weekend and even more anxious over the past week. Not that I'm going to take credit away from myself for having fewer and less intense self-harm urges. It's just ironic that I wrote all of that and then had a tougher week with regards to self-harm thoughts and mood issues.

I have some drawings now!

June 27, 2012


I'm not exactly sure how to describe this picture. I guess I was trying to draw some of my disgust at specific memories and it turned out WAY too literal for me. The middle pink area is hairy skin on a naked person. But I really couldn't even bear what I had drawn so I had to scribble at least parts of it out. I hated that it even existed on paper so I had to hide it. I even hid the picture behind another one in my portfolio so that I don't have to look at it and anyone else who looks through my portfolio won't see it. I didn't want to post it here, but I try to be as honest as possible here and it didn't feel right not to post it.

July 5, 2012

No Drawing :(

I've been so busy recently that I haven't really done much drawing and therefore not much blogging either. I have basically been taking full advantage of the fact that I don't want to constantly isolate anymore. 

I realized a couple of exciting things this week. First, I've stopped waiting for everything to fall apart. I'm still nervous that it will happen, but I'm no longer expecting it to happen all the time. Second, I noticed that I haven't been having urges to cut recently. Somehow I replaced that urge with the urge to just chew on my thumb, which I haven't been doing because I don't want to hurt myself in any way, so I have been chewing a lot of gum instead. That's really amazing for me. Since I was in high school I pretty much have had cutting urges every day, and usually multiple times a day. There are probably a few exceptions in there, but I can't really remember them. So I'm really happy about those things. And then I'm also really happy with my new job. It's only been a few days, but I already feel much more comfortable with my job than I did before. I'm not bored out of my mind, like I was before. And I'm not constantly worried about bumping into my boss anymore. My new boss is a very nice, mild-mannered guy. I don't have to go into a meeting cringing because I'm either expecting to get my head eaten off or to have to listen to an hour-long rant about conspiracy theories or juice diets. So all in all, things are pretty good right now.

I will try to get some more pictures up soon. I will hopefully get to do some drawing this weekend. And happy day-after-July 4th!