The dos and don’ts of self-care.

The do-s and don't-s of self-care © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com
The dos and don’ts of self-care © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

Dos and Don’ts

Yesterday was a quiet yet busy arty day. I worked on some projects, but by the evening, I had a hankering for ‘comfort art’ to soothe my fragile emotions. I’d seen a similar list on facebook and thought it would be nice to do one of my own. Naturally, I just had to add some embellishment in the form of my style of drawing. The drawing then needed some colour. So, I started to add colour.

After typing out the list using Affinity Publisher and printing it out, I used a 08 Uniball Unipin pen to add the drawing. Next, I scanned the design in and then started to add colour in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro using my trusty Surface Pen and Surface Studio, both from Microsoft.

My lines are a little less than perfect in the drawing. I’ve noticed a few tiny smudges and some places where the lines have overrun each other a little. I’ve left them as they are, this time.

I thought it might be a good idea to make the colouring a little less than perfect too; so I added a background texture.

About my art and my emotional state.

I seem to have started a lot of projects and not finished them of late. I’m not quite sure why that is. I know I’ve had a really tough time of it emotionally speaking over the last couple of weeks. I think that has a lot to do with it.

I have managed to settle down to get work done for a commission. The main artwork is now done, it’s just doing all the other stuff to go with it. Today isn’t the best day simply because I’ll soon have to sort myself out to go off to EMDR therapy; that’s likely to be emotionally distressing as there’s been a confluence of events in my life that have all triggered emotional reactions. I’ve also not had that much time to let the emotional waves calm. There have also been changes that need to become familiar too.

Today is the first time in a few days I’ve felt anything like settled. Yet I’m not settled fully. I keep having waves of fear followed by tears rising up for no apparent reason.

I think I know what the fear is about. The way I think and feel about a part of my life is changing. It had started to change before the experience, but now it’s really settling in. A yearning in me to ‘belong’, to have that sense of companionship, has been awakened once again. I’ve been given a taster session of what it’s like. So, I’m grieving the lack of that in my life, and fearful I won’t find it going forward. Kindred spirits are few and far between.

This is all part of the journey towards releasing trauma and healing from cPTSD. It’s also about replacing old, unhealthy outlooks with more positive and healthier ones. Grief is involved; even if the old beliefs are harmful, they have been a part of my life, and it’s still a loss. But go they must so something healthier can replace them.

Change is never easy, but it is necessary; for growth, for healing, for a better life.

BuJo for June 2018 and a reflection on May 2018

Angela Porter Bujo June 2018 CoverAngela Porter Bujo June 2018 MonthlyOverviewAngela Porter Bujo June 2018 Mood Habit TrackerIt’s that time again – starting to fill in my bullet journal (BuJo) pages for the upcoming month of June.

I’ve set up part of my bullet journal for June. I decided to go with daises again.  They’re such happy little flowers, bright spots in the green grass. They remind me of innocence and hope. Pale pink, green and flashes of gold will be the colours I use, where I use them, for this month.

May has been a very stressful, upsetting and emotional month, and my bullet journaling, along with lots of other things, went out of the window.

My little smartcar, Smartoo Deetoo, broke down. I had the stress/anxiety/panic of a very long time for the car and I to be recovered and taken home, and then organising recovery of the car to the Mercedes dealership in Cardiff for repairs. Eventually it was diagnosed with a terminally broken gearbox.

Instead of paying to have it replaced, I decided to buy a brand new Smartcar fortwo, which then had the added stress/worry/anxiety/panic of applying for finance.

Very quickly though, Binky was with me – my third Smartcar. Binky is fantastic and I can’t be happier with it.

Just after I signed all the paper work for Binky, I went to check on my cat who had been poorly for a day or two and who had rallied round that morning. I found he’d gone seriously downhill, so to the emergency vets we went.

After a night at the vets, test results and observations of my beautiful boy Cuffs, the diagnosis was brain cancer, so I had to make the decision to let him go, and went to say goodbye to him.

Cuffs was amazing. I had 16 years companionship with him.  He was with me for some of the best and the worst times of my recent life. He always greeted me when I came home and he often tried to stop me leaving for work, especially when teaching had become so very, very hard for me when my mental health was plummeting downwards.

There’s just too much to say about him here. To say I’ve been upset would be a gross understatement. I’ve grieved for him, and it’s knocked me not just for six but for 6 million I think.

I’m beginning to feel better, I still have moments when I miss the purrfurball, when a lumpy bit of the duvet will make my heart leap that he’s under it, only to remember he’s not and to feel that disappointment and sadness.

I am feeling better and getting back into my creative stride.

I’m working on the illustrations for Entangled Butterflies.

I will be working on the June colouring template for the members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group later today.

 

The sad tale of a boy and his beloved budgie.

This morning I was going over to the morning staff briefing at school when I was stopped by one of my year 7 special needs pupils.

“You’re my science teacher,” said he.

“Yes, I am,” said I.

“My budgie died last night,” said he.

“Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that. I really am,” said I.

“You’re a scientist, can you make it live again?” he asked.

Oh my gosh, thought I, and then answered…

“I’m sorry, but no, that’s just not possible. Once something has died then it is dead and science can’t bring it back,” said I as gently and kindly as I could.

“But if I brought it in could you do that thing?” he asked while making gestures with his fingers suggesting heart massage.

“I’m sorry, but that would be way too late. That has to be done straight away. I’m so sorry he’s dead and died last night, but there is nothing I can do,” said I.

“Are you sure? You’re a scientist,” asked he.

“I’m sure, and I’m so sorry. If I could bring your budgie back to life I would. I can see how much you love it and I’m sure he loved you so much and appreciated your love. Wherever he is now he’s proud of you, I’m sure,” said I.

“I think I’ll give him a funeral tonight,” said he.

“I think that would be lovely. You can tell him how much you loved him and he’d like that. I’m just so sorry you’re so sad and there’s nothing I can do.”

“That’s ok. Thank you.” said he.

I had tears in my eyes and my heart was broken for this young chap, most probably his first bereavement.

I don’t know where his belief that I could undo nature for him has come from, and I hope I haven’t let him down too badly for his trust in me to disappear.  I don’t know what I have done to gain such wonder and respect.  I wonder if his view of me is of a kind of Dr Frankenstein, able to reanimate the dead, or as someone who can resurrect the dead.

I really wish I could have done something for him and his budgie, to ease the pain of a young, loving heart.

Now I’m home from school, I have let those tears fall.  Tears of sadness for his sadness, the loss of something he loved very much, the memories of those I’ve lost that I’ve loved, pets and humans.  Tears of sadness that I’m unable to share my beliefs about it all with him too.  Tears of sadness that I have no one to turn to for physical comfort in the form of cuddles.

I’m feeling a little sorry for myself.  I’m single.  I have been for a very long time now.  On nights like this I really wish there was someone I could turn to for a cuddle, some reassurance for myself, someone to do a little TLC for me.  As it is, I’ll have to make do with cuddles from the cat when he’s finally feeling in a cuddlesome mood.

That’s the story of the day…nothing else can compare to it, and it puts other things a tad into perspective doesn’t it?