Sunday, August 23, 2009

Who do you talk to?

Instead of going to bed and finishing my boring book, I will write the post that I won't be able to write in the morning, because I will be busy waking up and drinking my coffee and petting the dog before I'm off to creative therapy.

Just think of that, creative therapy, as if it is just the most normal thing in the world to go off and be creative in a therapeutic setting. It makes you have expectations, doesn't it? What do you think I will have learned there? Mentally, I mean.

I learned to be comfortable in a group of very diverse people. And to not be so sure of first impressions, but to look deeper than the skin and see the person within and to really listen and look and observe and get to know the other person and find that valuable nugget inside.

I also learned to be sure of myself and to allow myself to do work that I was not at all that comfortable about in front of a group of sometimes very competent people and dare to fail at it and I failed at first, but it didn't matter.

I learned to watch what other people did and to ask questions and to apply what I saw to what I wanted to do myself and make it work and have it turn out right.

I learned to become an observer, or maybe I already was and applied it here, and sometimes silently came to my conclusions about many things and stood corrected many times too.

I learned I was an artist, which I was always supposed to be my whole life, but which fact had become neglected and disused after many years of living a whole different life style. I must never forget that fact now, because it is who I am and already now I feel it slipping away from me and trying to escape like sand through my fingers. It is a good thing that I have sculptures and collages as a testimony to what I am capable of, or I would not believe it myself. I would think it was all in my imagination.

So, I suppose that I learned quite a bit at creative therapy and I don't think I have really mentioned everything here. I've just pulled out a few obvious things from my mind, the stuff that stands out the most. I suppose more than anything, creative therapy builds up your self esteem. I think that would be true for most people who go there and enjoy it. Some people try it and dislike it very much and drop out. That's the system of natural selection at work. Darwin would be pleased, socialism doesn't work here.

In the meantime, I've made a pack of cigarettes and petted the dog extensively. The poor thing doesn't get enough attention. He is so demure that I forget he is there, either that, or he's sleeping right by me and I'm so used to that, that I forget to pet him. Sometimes we need a good hugging session and he doesn't come and ask for it enough. I have to take the initiative and I forget to. Having a dog means you have to pay attention. When he needs some loving, I can't be busy with other things. He comes first, because he is so undemanding.

Do you know I get anxious whenever I hear a motorcycle close by or hear the outside door open and hear heavy footsteps in the entryway? I always have to soothe myself and tell myself not to worry, that nothing bad is going to happen. Now, that says more about me than it does about the men in my life. I always feel that I will be caught out and that I immediately have to cover up. That I'm doing things that are not allowed. Like having my own life. All by myself. Just me.

Well, that's it for tonight. I've said enough. The title doesn't matter. It was just a thought that I didn't want to complete. I'm going to take my medicines and go to bed.

Sleep tight, everyone.



Catherine said...

Goodnight Irene (always wanted to say that!) and hope that tomorrow will be a brighter day for you. You seem to be getting a hold of life again and have great insight into the goings-on in your illness and the impact of the medications and their reduction or withdrawal on your health.
Good luck with the battle - you've won this one but I guess the war isn't won yet. I hope the therapy is helpful and it is good that you have such good access. I have to realise that we are unique in having poorly accessible health services. Agree about needing to boost your self-esteem. Not sure that socialism and self-esteem can't be compatible, socialism might seem utilitarian (getting the greatest good for the greater number) but the ethos would be that need is the driver for every service. That's why we hanker after a health service based on need not ability to pay as we currently have. (The dreaded two-tier system).
Hope this makes some sense. And I've been thinking of you and hoping this despair that drove you to OD won't recur. Stopping meds can be difficult and going cold turkey could have a real crash effect. so be cautious.
All the best,

Debi said...

I'm glad you have rediscovered your Self, your Artist self. As much as you have enjoyed the creative efforts of others, it's beautiful to see you enjoy your own creations.

I admire your courage. It takes a lot of courage to be you in spite of your fears and past experiences.

Who do you talk to? You talk to us. And I'm glad you do.

Maureen said...

Dear Irene: I have finally scrounged up enough courage to actually comment again. I was scared. Scared for you, scared of saying the wrong thing... scared of saying nothing. I hope you'll forgive me.

I also hope you find the artist within again and that your Creative Therapy is wonderful tomorrow.

Sleep well and remember that I've been here, reading, thinking and worrying about you, even though I was too afraid to say so.

Keep well, please.

Wisewebwoman said...

Sleep well my artist friend. Life is but a journey full of discovery and more times than not very painful to reach self realization.
You are further along than you think.

Gail said...

What a great way to sign off the day. I believe the white dove has landed at your place too.

Remember your boots and enjoy that therapy.

Good night, Irene, we are all here to talk to.

jeannette stgermain said...

Yes, you have learned some important things about yourself, especially the artistic part! I am curious what your next creative spurt is going to bring you:) Maybe something totally different, or maybe some more sculptures or drawings - it doesn't really matter what comes out, except for that you have taken the opportunity to express yourself!
I also think that looking at the number of your readers which keeps growing, is that you have something worthwhile to say to people!

Babaloo said...

Creative Therapy definitely seems to be good for you. But it wouldn't be anything without you, without yourself working on things, allowing things to happen to you. You are making this work. Don't forget that!
Sending you hugs for the new week. (I'll be away for a week starting tomorrow, so unable to comment for a while.)

Frances said...

Irene, one of the issues you mention is very common with women in general.
That worry of being caught out doing something wrong, or not doing something right. Particularly our generation and older, young girls were very much corrected and there were high expectations of our behaviour. It was a way of controlling girls to protect them from the vicissitudes of society, but of course, went too far usually.

One of my friends told me that when she was a child her family were very wealthy and that she could easily have been terribly spoilt except for one lesson she learnt.

Each day her father would come home and she would sit on his knee and have to tell him something good she had done that day. All that was required of her was one good deed. She thought this was wonderful when she was younger, but as she hit middle-age and all its troubles - she realised what a burden it was and that she had difficulty getting rid of the idea that she had to always be doing something good. She was answerable to others for everything, so she had to justify anything she was doing, or to cover up anything not quite so good if it seemed selfish or frivolous.
In your case that pressure and discomfort has been increased by the other abuses, by living many years with an unsympathetic partner and trying to live up to the ideals of a society you didn't fit into at all.
You will be liberated from this eventually. I promise. LOL

Friend of the Bear said...

Beautiful post Irene. Learning to be with other people in a group like that and not be scared and be able to be yourself .... that is a very precious thing. It might even, eventually, lead to feeling safe in many other settings. It is a very important step on the road to "recovery" - by which I mean simply having the courage to truly be you.

And of course you are well on the road to doing that as your blog is about creating art out of your every day life and experience. So yes, you are a true artist.

Best wishes,