I wanted a circular frame in which to put quotes. So, I started by drawing some pencil guidelines for the circle and the outer borders on some dot grid paper.
I used 08 and 02 Uniball Unipin pens to draw the circle of flowers and foliage. Then, to start filling the space around the flowers with entangled designs.
It’s very much a work in progress. Part of me thinks I could’ve left an empty border around the circular flower and foliage arrangement to separate it from the background. The other part of me likes it as it is.
I want to try to get a balance of less detailed areas with the more densely detailed sections so that there’s space for the eye to rest.
I also suspect I’ll be adding colour or, at the very least, shadow and highlights to the design to bring it to life.
Trigger Warning – the following words contain some references to my past mental and emotional ill health.
I’ve begun to realise that I am as recovered from CPTSD as I’m going to be for now. So, yesterday, I made the decision, after lots of thought, that it was time to leave a month or so until my next session. The longest I’ve been without therapy is three weeks. This time it will be five weeks. It’s a test for me to see if I am as resilient as I think I am. Still, there’s also that little bit of a safety net that if I have issues I know, I’ll have a therapy session to sort out what to do next.
I know that in the future, as life experiences trigger some CPTSD reaction in me, I may need some more EMDR sessions to help me resolve the issues. Leaving therapy, for now, is necessary, but not without the possibility of returning as I need to.
How did I know I’d reached that point? Well, I recovered well from my hiccough, emotionally and mentally, over Christmas and New Year. Surprising well, actually. Even my therapist said that!
Nothing new has come up that needs to be processed it seems. I’ve had the feeling I’ve been groping around for issues to work on in therapy for a long while. Maybe I was ready a while ago but wasn’t quite prepared to leave that safety net of that one person who has always been there to listen, question me and help me to understand and heal myself. I feel I am ready to cut loose now, but suddenly, but gradually.
The soft inner smile, feeling of contentment and ease is present most days. I also have a feeling of what I can only describe as hope and optimism. These feelings are my touchstones, the way I want to feel most of my days of the remainder of my life.
It still saddens me that it’s taken me until I’m 56 years old to discover them, to heal enough of the traumas of the past to allow them to be fully present nearly every day. I lived my life believing the way I thought and felt was ‘normal’ and that everyone was like this.
It took an emotional and mental breakdown to get me to accept that I was in a severe amount of emotional and mental pain and to seek the help I needed to heal that pain. EMDR has been that help, that therapy has allowed me to heal those wounds.
Sometimes things happen, and my emotions can overshadow the contentment and smile. However, I can still feel those touchstones, reminders that the emotional storm will pass and the smile will shine out once again. This emotional weather has happened a few times since I first discovered my touchstones, but the weather has always passed. Sometimes with the help of therapy, but more often by itself, given self-soothing, self-care and self-reflection.
I am so grateful to have had such a skilled therapist. Still, it’s now time for me to find new ways to engage with like-minded people, not in huge groups, as that would really cause problems for my introverted nature.
I’ve been having EMDR therapy for nearly five and a half years. It seems a long time, yet it’s not that long, really. A lot of commitment and work has been needed, but I’m reaping the rewards of my efforts.
The quote epitomises the way I feel about therapy now. In my darkest days, when I started EMDR. Linda, my therapist, has been that one person who has consistently been there to accompany me on this journey of healing and recovery from CPTSD. She has helped me discover that part of me that wants to experience life my own way, that part which is content, gently smiling, resilient, optimistic, more accepting of myself, kinder to myself, and much more I can’t yet put into words.
I’m not perfect; no one is. However, I’m as emotionally and mentally well as I’m going to be without living life. Only the ups and downs of life will reveal triggers for the remaining CPTSD. Some may never be revealed and not be an issue. Others I may be able to deal with myself, some I may need help from EMDR to process them and heal that still wounded part of myself.
It’s actually quite exciting. All I need to do is to transform that feeling of excitement and optimism into action such as a couple of nights away by myself and finding groups to join where there are like-minded people to begin with.
This was a nice one to do. There seems to be a bit of a theme with my colour palettes lately though. Another theme is stylised, abstract flowers. Overall, I am pretty happy with this particular design.
Flowers, foliage, mandalas, geometric repeating patterns – all my favourite things!
A variation on the abstract, stylised flowers of a day or two ago, with a lovely quote.
I got too heavy handed with the texturing in this one, but I just wanted to try the flower out without an outline. I’m disappointed with the texture, and it was too late for me to undo it by the time I realised it. Hopefully I’ll learn to save my work more often at points before I do something where it could go critically wrong and I can backtrack easily.
It was an enjoyable process, even though I’m more than a tad frustrated with myself. Still, it’s an experience to learn from for sure.
Abstract flowers with a simple mandala/wreath in the background. Created digitally using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Studio and Microsoft Surface Pen. Simple. Stylised. Satisfying to create.
I managed to get a fair bit of colouring done yesterday and this morning. It never ceases to amaze me how colour can add so much dimension to the design, particularly as I use quite high contrast. It’s possible to see the dimension in the line art, but colour really brings it out.
There are areas that look a little flat, but I can sort those out later on by adding more shadow and highlight.
So far, I am pleased with how it’s working out. I’m also enjoying the hybrid art that results from traditional drawing and then the application of colour digitally.