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-   -   An activity that is helping me through the valleys (https://www.takethislife.com/success-stories/activity-helping-me-through-valleys-214897/)

RavenDarkLight 07-29-15 01:16 PM

An activity that is helping me through the valleys
Hi everyone. I looked around the website to see where this would be most suitable, and I think this sub-forum will work.

Note: this is not a "success story", since my "story" isn't finished being written yet! And I am not going to even attempt to fool myself into believing I'm all better now. Because I'm sure many of you can agree that managing depression and other mood/mental illnesses is an ongoing process.

Yesterday was a valley of darkness for me. I was very, very low. The myalgic encephalomyelitis/fibromyalgia pain was turned up really loud, and I'd been sleep-deprived for weeks. Perfect storm fixings for a dark day.

I pulled out my old art journal that I started when I took an online e-course by Dr. Brene Brown ("the Gifts of Imperfection"). As I looked through the self-care and soul-healing work I did back then, I was inspired to do another art-therapy project.

I first honoured my dark feelings with a drawing of a tiny me enshrouded in jagged black. I typed up the self-hate and depression thoughts, printed them, cut them out and glued them around the image.

Then I did the healing art activity today. I first copied some old photos of me that captured my true spirit, my essence, behind the depression. I pasted them on a page, painted and doodled all around them.

Then I did this: I asked myself four questions (see below) and wrote down my immediate responses I thought when I looked at those photos of the real me.

The four questions are: 1) When I look at this photo, I see ... 2) What I love and appreciate about the person I see ... 3) What makes this person's light shine ... 4) Things I can do to take care of and protect this person...

I used tempura paints, markers, craft stamps, stickers, glitter ... I rooted through my arts and crafts drawer and hauled it all out!

I adhered to the Rules for doing this activity: no negative self-talk, no harsh criticism or judgement about artistic "ability", and I must talk to myself the way I'd talk to a beloved child or best friend.

Now my mood is lighter. The physical pain is still lingering, but I find I have way more resilience to manage it now that my mood has lifted. I am turning my face back to Life - for today - and will take my beloved dog out for a walk in the park after I finish this post.

I don't know how or why, but this activity really helps me. I think I read somewhere that most "artistic" people tend to struggle with depression. It's as if the creative intensity gives us the capacity to not only express amazing creativity but also the capacity to sink to the lowest depths. This is the case for me.

I wish you all a safe day - if you can, please try to do one tiny little thing that will affirm your worth today. Even if you don't believe you have worth, I am believing so enough for the both of us! :heart::heart::heart:

Rose90 08-03-15 05:33 AM

I love this, thanks for sharing and I'm so glad this has helped you. I especially appreciate the part you said about not allowing any negative self talk or judgement into the activity! That is so important, and I am going to try to exercise this myself. I think so many people give up on anything artistic as they get older because they think they're not talented or creative enough, but that's really not the point. Creating art is so good for the soul. I myself love drawing mandalas, it's very meditative

RavenDarkLight 09-18-15 10:53 AM

My own breadcrumb trail!
This is so funny! I am having a really bad day. So I thought I will look through the success stories section and see what might give me some hope to start the climb upward.

And here I posted a strategy myself! My own breadcrumb trail I left to climb back out!

I might get that art journal out today.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Rose90. I never really got into mandalas ... but I think I might print one off and doodle. They are indeed beautiful works of geometry! Thanks for that idea.

Rose90 09-20-15 05:12 AM

Haha I love that that happened, and I'm glad it made you happy!

guppy1015 10-15-15 08:37 PM

I loved your post and can identify with being extremely creative and sinking to the deepest depths. Thanks for the reminder to be creative, maybe I can get myself balanced again! Here's to those good days and hoping they come more often for you.
p.s. have you tried Sudoku?

RavenDarkLight 10-27-15 08:48 PM

Hi, Guppy1015. I'm glad you could relate. No, I haven't tried Sudoko. I don't like math or numbers so I haven't even tried it. Is that something that you enjoy?

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