The Most Eclectic Piece of Art I’ve Ever Done

Now this is a piece that must have a story behind it…

And it does. The crisis team and I were trying to work out what strategies I could use to get through the evening. Art is a favourite of ours and, having just spoken about how I struggle to retain people’s actual appearances in my head but instead retain feelings and facts, the support worker suggested I might try to draw what comes into my head when I picture her. Now this might seem a bizarre collection of things but she’s a unique lady: loves unicorns, Disney and horror, and has lots of qualities that make her very good at her job. It was a really interesting challenge and something to explore for me…I just hope she is happy with the outcome!

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A Gift From an Amazing Crisis Nurse

It’s a small gesture but in this situation means more than it seems and definitely more than she realises. 

Compassionate Other: The Muggle’s Patronus (Or How to Create Your Own Source of Compassion)

A brilliant nurse in my crisis team has recently been on a Compassion-Focussed Therapy training course and met with me the other day brimming with ideas. 

Self-compassion is something that feels entirely intangible and unachievable for me, so we’ve got our work cut out, but thankfully she’s willing to give it all a go with me regardless! I’ll share some of the different exercises as I embark upon them… first up is creating a ‘Compassionate other’. 

The notes I took from our session explain this as: Try to come up with a ‘compassionate other’ based upon the following…

  • this other will have the three core elements of compassion-focussed therapy: courage, wisdom and dedication
  • humans are fallible, so don’t use a real person, although you can think about which characteristics of real people you find comforting/safe/helpful and incorporate those 
  • could be a person, an animal or a mythical creature  [I like the thought of a protective mythical creature, like a dragon or a unicorn, personally]
  • use this compassionate other to counteract negative self talk

As drawing things helps me, we decided that maybe the best place to start was drawing this potential compassionate other to give me a visual prompt. Humans don’t feel at all safe to me, so I knew straight away mine wouldn’t be in the form of a human, and very quickly my mind jumped to mythical creatures and, more specifically, dragons. I thought of this dragon as being both gentle and strong, comforting and protective, and something that I could carry with me wherever I go…thus, the ‘Palm Dragon’ was born!

I think he’s rather sweet, but you can tell in his eyes that he can stick up for himself and for what he believes in, too. Now I just need to narrow down and foster his compassionate traits, and see if I can somehow implement him into coping mechanisms to counteract the never-ending, overwhelming negative self-talk and intense self-hatred.

I’m hoping this concept can also be fostered into something protective or safe-feeling that can be carried with me for other uses: my idea of a Muggle’s Patronus (for anyone who isn’t a Harry Potter fan, a Patronus is a “guardian or protector, which takes the form of an animal…one of the most powerful defensive charms…a pure, protective magical concentration of happiness and hope”.

I’ll fill you in when I get further along creating and cultivating my compassionate Palm Dragon. I’d love to hear of any of you have already or will now try to create one for yourselves, too!

Insight and Wisdom from Boggle the Owl

I stumbled across Boggle the Owl again today, and my did I need to hear his insight and wisdom!

I love this little owl and the messages that the artist conveys through him – they’re a good reminder for myself and anyone else who struggles with their mental health. 

Here are 3 of my favourite pieces:

Boggle on Anxiety
Boggle on ‘Laziness’
Boggle on ‘Cries for Help’

The Ones Who Make a Difference

​Tonight I am incredibly thankful for an awesome crisis nurse who was patient, compassionate and funny over the phone to me both in the middle and right at the very end of her 15 hour shift today. She likely was in charge for most or all of the day, so goodness knows the strains she’s… Continue reading The Ones Who Make a Difference

“I’m very relieved to know that you’re still alive”

Those were the words that my therapist greeted me with as I arrived at my session today. It may seem blunt, but such is my life and I appreciate her taking the bull by the horns and making that sentiment known to me (she knows full well that I believe myself to be a burden… Continue reading “I’m very relieved to know that you’re still alive”