Painful Contradictions in Mental Health Treatment

I’m having a contrary time at the moment.

On the one hand, I am feeling incredibly awful – dealing with dreadful anniversaries, and a whole host of guilt, shame, self-hatred and fear that go with them.

On the other, I had the most positive CPA I could hope for today in terms of recognition of the work I am putting in to my placement (& the intensive therapy that is part and parcel), the progress I’ve already made, and everyone’s hopes for the positive trajectory of recovery they are currently predicting.

This second point is also making me guilty that I can’t “just be positive” and focus on the blessings of the help and support I am currently receiving that led to as yet unheard of positivity from everyone at the meeting (including myself). But here I am feeling overwhelmingly sad for all I’ve put those around me through and struggling to cope with that guilt.

To try to help get through, I was searching for a positive quote to paint as a reminder for myself, and this one struck a chord…

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“Because you are alive, everything is possible.” -Thich Nhat Hanh

Monstrous Mental Illness

is a painting I did last week when really struggling; I just needed to get what I was feeling out so it is a rough, emotion-filled picture with no fore-thought or plan. It depicts the dark, overwhelming monster of mental illness feeding on despair and blocking out the colour of the world and vibrancy of life. It can feel like the very substance of ‘you’ is being sucked away, becoming more and more faint, dominated by this inexplicable darkness…yet you know that just out of reach is a colourful, textured and varied world.

Doodles for World Mental Health Day 2018

Still the best way I can represent mental health (despite many changes in diagnosis, treatment, contact with mental health services and so much more) are through my original doodles, so I thought it was time to share them again today:

I will have to try to do some more soon!

So the second week begins…

I can’t believe it’s the start of my second full week at New Placement already; it’s one of those weird time vortex situations that feels both like I only arrived yesterday and have been here for months at the same time. This week I get to try out a few more things – I’ve mainly… Continue reading So the second week begins…

The Last Goodbyes

Well these last two days have been particularly distressing, consisting of over 6 separate and significant goodbyes before I move to a specialist inpatient placement 100 miles away. There are sad goodbyes, scary goodbyes, tearful goodbyes, and hopeful goodbyes. Therapeutic endings having to be squeezed in to a strange scenario and personal endings that I’m… Continue reading The Last Goodbyes

A Wise Hedgehog with Important Messages

Today I created a range of motivational mental health related posters with a doodled ‘wise hedgehog’ and colourful mixed media design whilst at the Acute Community Unit.

I’m not sure where the combination came from, but out popped this first one with a message that I myself really need reminding of:

As well as one that sprung from a difficult conversation I had just had with the crisis team manager:

With 2 other mental health themed ones:

And one more to do with art/creativity:

After a lot of enthusiasm on Twitter and some requests, I have put these designs up for sale on Zazzle- whether you yourself would like a reminder of any of these messages or if you know someone whose day might be brightened by receiving one of these…Posters can be purchased from this link: https://www.zazzle.co.uk/thedoodlechronicles

Plus, if you buy in the next few days, you can get 20% off with the code JULYSAVINGS20.

Let me know what you think about my wise little hedgehog… 🙂