Fundamentally Alone, but Craving Understanding

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The past week or so has been rough on me mentally. I’ve had way too many weepy days where I would cry for seemingly no good reason. Several times I had anxiety/frustration meltdowns. You could argue about whether they were “autistic meltdowns” or “bipolar meltdowns”, but at the end of the day, does the label really matter? What matters is the suffering and finding a way to get through it.

I’ve been upset partially because I feel misunderstood by everyone, including my therapist. Mental health professionals in my experience are generally kind, caring people who truly try to understand, but I think some things can’t truly be understood unless experienced personally. Unless someone has experienced the same level of trauma throughout their childhood and adulthood, been blessed and cursed with Asperger’s and Bipolar, been dealt the same personality and experiences, and developed the same chronic physical conditions, they probably can’t relate exactly to my plight….anymore than I can relate exactly to theirs.

In the end it often feels like we are all fundamentally alone in our experience of the world, even though we desperately want to feel connected and understood. Fortunately, we can connect with others through some aspects of our experience, so perhaps that is what needs to be focused on. It is easy to feel completely separate and different from everyone else. At a base level, it is true for all of us, but that doesn’t mean we should quit trying to reach out. And so, I continue to write and seek out common ground with others, both online and in person. Quite frankly, I’m not sure what else to do.

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My Poor Husband…

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Sometimes I feel truly sorry for my husband. From what I have read and been told by psychologists and psychiatrists, he has a rough road to travel. Asperger’s can be extremely hard on intimate relationships. Bipolar can be extremely hard on intimate relationships. Long-term chronic pain and chronic illness can be extremely hard on intimate relationships. PTSD can be extremely hard on intimate relationships. And my poor husband has to deal with them all on a daily basis…

Of course, when we married fifteen years ago, I didn’t know I had any of these conditions or that I would develop some of the others. I did already have chronic foot pain and issues with depression and anxiety, but nowhere near as bad as I have them now. Nor did I have a true understanding of what was causing the symptoms I sometimes experienced, whether they be mental or physical. I wish I could have warned him, but I simply didn’t know myself.

On the positive side, he has definitely been a trooper. He always steps up to the plate and is there for me and willing to do anything he needs to do to take care of me and help me through the confusing mess that is my mind and my body. If anyone in this world has shown me the meaning of true love, it is him. And I am thankful.

Therapy Homework: Affirmations for Self-Esteem

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I saw my therapist this past weekend and it went ok, but I honestly think sometimes my therapist gets kind of annoyed or frustrated with me. I feel like she sometimes wants to see more progress than I’ve made, especially in the self-esteem/self-loathing area. To be fair, I haven’t always been the best about following up on actual practices to feel better about myself. I have done affirmations and things like that in the past, but I always end up kind of feeling ridiculous and giving up pretty soon when I don’t see immediate results…even though I know that immediate results aren’t likely.

At the end of the session, the therapist gave me the homework assignment of looking up some affirmations that I genuinely liked and related to and giving at least a few of those a try every day, so here goes. I did a google search and found some affirmations I actually kind of related to on a Huffpost article. Here are the ones I’ve actually decided to work with:

  1. I am courageous and I stand up for myself.
  2. I possess the qualities needed to be extremely successful.
  3. I forgive those who have harmed me in my past and peacefully detach from them.
  4. My body is healthy; my mind is brilliant; my soul is tranquil.
  5. Many people look up to me and recognize my worth; I am admired.
  6. I am a powerhouse; I am indestructible.
  7. I am conquering my illness; I am defeating it steadily each day.

Most of these spoke to me because they were just simple and straightforward, or because they address issues I deal with constantly (like health issues or past trauma). #5 may seem a bit conceited at first glance, but I think it is important for those of us who feel really bad about ourselves to realize that others don’t share that negative view. If any of these affirmations speak to you like they did to me, feel free to use them for yourself!

New ACEO Drawings/Paintings: Maps to Creativity!

Here are a couple of my newest ACEO alcohol marker drawings/paintings. Since someone said that one of my last artworks reminded them of a map, I decided to specifically make a couple that were “map-like” to my mind. I like the way they turned out:

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As always, you can find my current art for sale on my Ebay store!

New Artistic Inspirations!

It has been a few days since I shared some art. Honestly, the past week I have kind of taken a break and haven’t created much. I tend to go in spurts and phases. Here are a couple new ACEO alcohol marker drawings/paintings though. I really like the way both turned out. For the first one, someone told me it looked like a map to them. To me, it looks more like a cut paper collage, even though it was actually done with markers:

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For this second artwork, at first it didn’t have the white embellishments on it and I felt like it was rather plain. I am so glad I had the inspiration to add the white lines using a white gel pen. I think it really made the picture have character and more visual interest:

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As always, you can find my art for sale on my Ebay store!

Abstract Paintings for a Bright Mood!

Here are a couple new abstract acrylic paintings (one 4″ x 6″ and one ACEO size). With both of these pictures I was in the mood for bright colors (obviously) and wanted to play around with lines:

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As always, you can find my new art for sale on my Ebay store!

Playing Around with Alcohol Markers

Recently I found a great deal ($4!) on a package of Brea Reese alcohol markers, so I’ve been experimenting and playing around with them. My husband couldn’t believe that the markers originally retailed for over $17 for a pack of six, so I told him to never look at the price of Copic markers then!

Here are a couple ACEO artworks I made with the markers. I do like how they are a bit smoother and almost more watercolorish than regular markers, but I don’t like how much they bleed through the paper:

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As always, you can find my current artworks for sale on my Ebay store!