Love to All on a Tricky ‘Holiday’ #NewYearsEve

Sending love out there to everyone, no matter what this evening means to you. Struggling with tonight is not a sign of weakness. Not having fond memories or proud ‘achievements’ from 2018 isn’t a sign of failure. Today and tomorrow are days like any other; if ‘all’ you do is survive them, that is amazing.… Continue reading Love to All on a Tricky ‘Holiday’ #NewYearsEve

Help with Emotions

Emotions are tricky little buggers. They really are.

And for some of us they feel down right impossible to cope with, understand, recognise and even simply to have. I struggle in many ways with emotions…others’ but mainly my own. I also give myself a hard time about that fact and expect myself to ‘do better’ or ‘feel the right thing’. Knowing this, and knowing that I’m facing a particularly turbulent time*, last week the crisis team manager had me do an exercise where I stood in the middle of a room surrounded by different sized pieces of paper and alotted emotions to those pieces of paper according to how much I was feeling them at the time. We then went through several different scenarios and changed the emotions around accordingly. This was to show me that even if I was being hard on myself and expecting to feel the ‘right’ emotions (e.g. happy or relieved that the placement is definite rather than scared or anxious) or feeling that I would feel one emotion forever, in fact recent history shows that emotions fluctuate massively in their presence or size and that I can feel many things at once without invalidating anything else that’s going on.

I found the exercise incredibly helpful (although it felt quite painful at the time) and today decided to recreate it in a portable and reusable form. I already have benefited from this – working out what is actually going on inside me rather than just a broad ‘overwhelmed’- and thought it’s a concept worth sharing in case anyone else wants to give something similar a go in any of its forms.

So here is a concept borne of the crisis team manager’s work with me:

This is in my visual journal but could be on a standalone piece of card or inside a diary or something similar, with very basic boxes drawn on the page, and colour-coded emotions cut out in card and blue-tacked to the appropriate box at that moment in time.

Let me know if you’ve used something similar or gave this a go!

*in the latter stages of preparing for a long-term specialist hospital placement, hours away from home/family/care team, in a locked and mainly unknown environment, after my last placement collapsed for financial reasons with just 28 days notice and after not fulfilling their promises/purpose

Buy Me a Coffee

This is a strange one, but some people have been asking if there is any way to support me/The Doodle Chronicles. There is a scheme out there called ‘Buy Me a Coffee’ that someone recommended and this seems like a really nice way to offer support without me feeling awkward about accepting donations etc. Going… Continue reading Buy Me a Coffee

A Small Act of Kindness to Nature Has Made My Day

We normally have lots of birds and wildlife in our garden at my placement so it’s made me sad to imagine them coping in the snow and not seeing them around as usual so I scoured the house and have managed to make a box of emergency bird food up – a couple have found… Continue reading A Small Act of Kindness to Nature Has Made My Day

How Can I be Proud of a Day that Mainly Involved Crying on the Floor?

These are one of those days that I’m not sure it’s possible to really ‘get’ unless you’ve been here; actually, even being here right now, I don’t get it.  Today was mainly spent sat on the floor crying. Overwhelmed with paralysing fear, despair and self-hatred…only growing further as more time passed whilst I was a… Continue reading How Can I be Proud of a Day that Mainly Involved Crying on the Floor?

Artful Achievement

Tonight, a lovely crisis nurse set me homework to draw a picture from one of the photos that I took with her manager on Friday. I didn’t think I was going to be able to do it. I’ve had an awful day; I’ve been pathetic; I haven’t functioned and I wasn’t sure I could manage anything… Continue reading Artful Achievement

An Achievement from One Hellish Day

Today has been horrific (I’ve started drafting a post on this but my frazzled brain has left it to finish tomorrow). However, despite the truly catastrophic state of my mental health, I managed to start painting another panel of our fence, which I’m quite proud of myself for – and it gave my wonderful mum… Continue reading An Achievement from One Hellish Day