Quote about therapy

Artwork © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

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.

Flower quote #2

Flower Quote #2. Artwork © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

I just had to rework the flower from yesterday, and this is what I came up with. I’m much happier with it for sure. I like the soft, almost velvety texture I’ve achieved with the flower.

Looking at it this morning, with fresh eyes, I think the typography could be a little smaller. However, I’m much happier with this one.

Flower quote

Flower quote. Artwork © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

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.

Art Quote

Artwork © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

After doing some statistics for a friend, I turned my attention to art. I noticed I had the desktop version of Repper pro and thought I’d have a play around with one of my Entangled Gardens drawings.

Repper pro is an app that allows me to make repeating patterns from my own artwork quite easily. I made a few, including the border above, in a short time. It’s now available online, for a monthly subscription.

I like to use a border of my art against a favourite quote, I thought I’d do that today, though I did take some liberties with the quote and replace “his” with the gender non-specific “their” as not all artists are male!

I do like repeating patterns, and I particularly like this border. I also like that I can make use of my artwork in different ways.

I know that my art reflects my soul, my heart, what gives me pleasure in drawing and in seeing too. Even this border makes me smile gently, both on my lips and eyes and in my heart too. I think I may give more of myself away than I realise when I create art. I think all artists and creatives do.

As I grow and develop my artistic voice, there’s still that quality of line, colour, composition that is distinctly me. Others may work in a similar way, but there’s still something unique about each of us, things about our art that set us apart from each other. These differences can be obvious or subtle, but each is a unique calling card for each artist or creative.

We have hope.

Artwork © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

About the quote

I love Star Wars. It’s one of my go-to self-soothing, self-care kinds of series of films to watch. I’m also steadily working my way through the books related to the films, that fill in the gaps and build a rich galaxy of tales, myths, and great deeds. I can lose myself in them, and escape from everyday life into realms where good eventually overcomes evil.

The same is true for Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter for me too, amongst others. Worlds where there seems so little hope of overthrowing evil, yet hope remains kindled and the underdogs overcome an overbearing, cruel order.

There are so many wonderful quotes from these books and films.

Of course, I’m on the side of the rebels, the underdogs. The Jedi, wizards and witches, the fellowship and all the free peoples of Middle Earth.

I can apply the metaphor to my own journey to recovery from cPTSD. I’m rebelling against all the programming I had from a young age that made me believe I was stupid, useless, weak, a failure, unlovable, ugly, friendless, worthless and more.

For a long time, I held on to the hope that EMDR would help me overthrow the dominion of my past. Now, that hope has turned int a trust that I have done that and will overthrow the last vestiges of the erroneous and harmful views and beliefs I have of myself.

I’ve been a rebellion of my own, rebelling against my past and becoming the person I was always meant to be and not limited by the self-serving beliefs of others who sought to control and manipulate me.

About the art

I used one of the borders from yesterday’s collection to decorate the background for the quote, which I typeset in Affinity Publisher.

I do like a dark, grungy background, and this one just felt ‘right’ to use. I chose colours from the background to add colour to the border design. I used Autodesk Sketchbook Pro to add the colour and highlights/shadows to the text and border. The border was drawn with Uniball Unipin pens on ClaireFontaine dot grid paper.

I made sure I had plenty of places where light was being gathered and reflected, representing the hope that is always there if we look for it, even when everything is covered in shadow.

I’m actually quite pleased with the border and the depth and dimension I’ve achieved. I could’ve made the highlights even brighter, but I wanted it to look like hope was being kindled, gently gathering in the shadow.

I do have to say I also like the limited colour palette I used for the border. I used white and four other colours (dark shades of green, raspberry, blue and purple). This isn’t something I do easily, but I think it’s really worked out well here.

Even darkness must pass…

Quote by Sam Gamgee from Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkein
Artwork ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

I’ve been listening to the audiobook of Lord of the Rings this week, as well as watching the film adaptations. They contain so many fantastic quotes, many of which are relevant to our lives and the time we live in too.

Personally, I’ve lived through dark times in terms of my mental and emotional well-being. I still have my bad days, sometimes weeks, but I’ve learned that they pass, given time and self-care, and sometimes EMDR therapy too. But they do pass.

Earlier this week, I drew a collection of designs that could be used as decorative borders and motifs for quotes. I felt that this motif would go well with a quote from a hobbit, a gardener no less.

I used Uniball Unipin pens to draw the motif, and coloured it digitally, after adding a kraft paper background, which gives it an aged, antiqued kind of feeling. I thought soft colours would work well against the brown background, and also wouldn’t detract too much from the quote.

I’d like to revisit this sometime and make the edges of the paper aged, torn, damaged. Or maybe add a border around the quote. I’d also consider adding a shadow to the entangled drawing, the illuminated part of this design.

It’s been a nice way to spend a Saturday morning. It’s also nice for me to do something with the art I create.

World Introvert Day 2020

World Introvert Day 2020 | Artwork ©Angela Porter – Artwyrd.com

Introversion and me

Yes, we introverts have a world introvert day, every year, on 2 January. A quite appropriate date as it falls right after the hustle and bustle of a busy Christmas/New Year/Holiday season.

In a society that values extroversion, introverts are often misunderstood and their own set of personality traits overlooked. We’re judged as shy, anti-social, aloof, even arrogant, and just plain weird.

Introversion is not the same as shyness, social anxiety nor depression, though both introverts and extroverts can experience these conditions.

If you’d like to know more about introverts, here are links to two good articles:
IntrovertDear.com – What is an Introvert?
VeryWellMind.com – How you can tell you’re an introvert.

I was brought up in a family of rampant extroverts, where extrovert traits were very much valued. So, to try to fit in, I developed an extrovert mask. This mask still slips on when I’m in situations and circumstances that require me to interact with people I don’t know, or where I feel vulnerable emotionally. People often think I’m an extrovert because of this mask.

However, the real me, the vulnerable me, is quite introverted.

I like people, but in small numbers. I much prefer spending time with just one or two people where the conversation can be less social fluff and more meaningful.

Yes, I do tend to sit at the back or at the edge of meeting or gathering. I like to observe and listen and become comfortable before I engage (if I ever do). Even with regular meetings with people I become familiar with it can still take me a long time to interact. It can take me even longer to drop the extrovert mask so they can glimpse the real me.

After social interaction, especially with large groups of people, I can be completely drained of energy and need plenty of alone time to recharge my batteries.

Indeed, if I have a lot of social interaction in a short space of time I can end up with an ‘introvert hangover’ – deeply tired, headachy, emotionally drained. If that happens, I need an extended period of time to recover, which often includes copious naps and binge watching Star Wars, Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings/Hobbit! In serious cases a healthy dose of Ben and Jerry’s Karamel Sutra is required!

You see, interaction with my own inner life, my creativity, with books and music energises me. Social events, particularly noisy and crowded ones, will drain me of energy and become torture for me.

One-to-one interaction, or being with a small group of people in a calm environment can, however, be energising as well as tiring, especially when the conversation is about life, the universe and everything.

Us introverts do need, and value, people in our lives, just not all at once! Social interaction is just as important for us as for the extroverts, though our preferences for social interaction are different – less small chat, more meaningful conversations. And those of us who are self-aware recognise the need for the right balance between social interaction and alone time.

Extroversion-introversion is a continuum, a spectrum, and we all show aspects of each archetype. However, I know my introvert traits outweigh my extrovert traits fairly considerably.

Just as a fun-fact, it’s estimated that extroverts outweigh introverts by six or seven to one across the world.

About the artwork

Yesterday, I had a lovely time drawing entangled borders to use for quote projects, just like this one. Today, I kept the drawing in black and white and added a pretty background to the drawing and typography.

I used Uniball Unipin pens and ClaireFontaine dot grid paper to draw the designs. To put the artwork together I used Affinity Publisher to do the typography, and Autodesk Sketchbook Pro to put the artwork, typography and background together.