My vacation…

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Miriam speaks of her vacation at her mothers!  Stressful yet peaceful.  Slowly she heals.

I went to see my mother.  It’s blueberry picking time!  I was anxious about going.  My fear about going I rated as 6/10 and 4/10 just thinking about it.  I feared that bad people were going to identify me and follow me and identify my mother.  Then they would hurt her to control me!  Belief in this thought was a 5/10.  Belief in the positive rational counter statement that bad people aren’t interested in me was 6/10.  Rerating of the initial fear was a 4/10 and relief was a 6/10.  I haven’t exposed myself to this fear and therefore it was very stressful.  But this was all just thinking about going.  When I actually went, I was numb in the car.  My daughter drove.  The trip was uneventful except for when we stopped for gas.  Then I got very anxious because there were a lot of people around.

But a couple of days before going I had to call the crisis center.  My counselor was on holidays.  I was extremely anxious about going to my mothers and that I had had a reaction to the increase in my medication.  The lady at the crisis center helped and I was able to calm down.  That day I just watched television.  I was too anxious to read or to paint.  I think that subconsciously I was working up the courage to go to my mothers.  Also I had to deal with the fact that my medication can harm me as well as help me.  That was hard.  I was nauseous and dizzy with the increase in my meds.

I had hurt my mother by not seeing her at Christmas.  I had to make amends because my daughter said that she was very worried and stressed that she hadn’t seen me.  It felt like it was too soon.  That I was forcing myself to do something that I wasn’t ready for.  On the other hand it was a good time to test if bad people were after her.  I was very observant during the whole trip.  No one paid particular attention to us.  I didn’t go blueberry picking but my daughter did.  Maybe I’ll have the courage to do that next year.  It was good seeing my mother.  She did try to speculate about my illness but she doesn’t know everything and I can’t tell her so her speculations although accurate were not the whole picture.

I did continue to walk for half an hour a day.  This was a major change.  I have to get healthy again.  I am nurturing myself.  The fear of walking was about a 4/10 with a belief that bad people were going to identify me being a 5/10.  Belief in the positive rational counter statement that they aren’t interested in me was a 5/10.  Rerating of the fear then was a 4/10 with relief being a 5/10.  I was pretty anxious but forcing myself to walk.

The trip home was uneventful as well.  I was also sort of numb.  I had to go through it to get home.

I was tired when I got home.  I spoiled myself with a film called The Future of the Furious.  It’s the new Fast and the Furious film with Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham.  Quite a good film with a new twist that I just loved.  So I was on vacation mode for the rest of yesterday.

I realize now that the way I cope with major stress is to watch television.  I have been doing this for years.  I made sure to have my cup of tea too.  That is new.  But for years I have come home and watched television to calm my fears.

All in all it was a good trip.  Until next time…

My healing journey…

barn owl Liisa 500 pi

I share this post with my finished Barn Owl pastel painting.  It is not for sale.  I had to design a dagger for my story since there was a scene at night.  I have had one stressful day.  I won’t be posting Saturday.  I’m busy this weekend.

My story with me as the heroine is progressing.  I was able to write a section where Owen, the evil half demon, attacked Miriam at night.  She had a dagger under her pillow.  Therefore I had to design a dagger!  It is shown below:

daggar 500 pi

At first Miriam was frozen in terror.  She couldn’t move and couldn’t speak.  Then she curled her fingers around her dagger which was always hidden under her pillow at night.  She stabbed Owen and Ethan (one of her six men) and his men woke up to Owen’s scream.  They then chased Owen out of the encampment.  Owen had used witchery to get past the night watchmen.

So my story is progressing slowly.  I will keep you posted.

I forgot to take my night medication last night.  This morning I was stressed because having to deal with knee pain and my fears was all just too much for me!  I took two extra strength tylenol and faced my fears.  I had to go see the doctor.  It has always been stressful.  I fear that bad people will get my name and address.  The doctor increased my medication and for the first time I felt relieved.  I think it actually does help.  To spoil myself because I faced my fear and made it to my doctor’s office, I bought myself a mocha latte to go.  I drank it at home as I relaxed.  Whew!  What a morning.  I painted and I wrote in my journal.  I also rated my fears.  All of this helped.  Then when I got home painting helped me to relax from it all.  I will survive.  Slowly I heal!

I have posted the finished Barn Owl.  I’m sorry but it’s not for sale.  It’s a gift for my daughter.  I have ordered a cell phone case from Case Station with the design for her.  It was $43.99 USD or $56.87 CAD.  I’ll post a picture when it comes in.

I painted the Barn Owl with some days having extreme anxiety and others were calmer.  As usual I lost myself in the art.  This is when my subconscious works on the problems I am facing.  It is very therapeutic.  One day I was facing three major fears but forgot everything as I concentrated on the Barn Owl.

I’m sorry I won’t be posting on Saturday.  I am busy.  I have quite the weekend planned!  I’ll fill you in on Tuesday.  Until next week…

My healing journey…

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Miriam speaks of her healing journey.  I drew four designs for the story I am writing about myself.  I have modeled the story to Eowyn of Rohan of the Lord of the Rings.  Hence the designs below.  I finally wrote some of the story.  Slowly I heal.


My counselor told me to draw a sword and costumes for my story.  She told me to pick a heroine from a movie or a book.  So I chose Eowyn because she is a warrior.  I have to be a warrior to face my fears!  I have to have courage.  I have already posted my shield of courage that I designed just recently.  But my daughter told me the sword had to match the shield.  So I’ve redesigned the shield as you can see above.  The sword is modeled after a Rohan sword.  In both there is a round emblem with a heart in the middle.  The biggest source of my courage is my love for my children and their love for me.  Their love for me gives me great courage.  And my love for them gives me great courage in that I would do anything to protect them!  There are gold hearts at the corners of the shield as well.

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The costumes are shown below:

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I have chosen a warrior’s costume and a gown for other occasions but notice that in both costume photos the heroine carries a sword!  The costumes are designed from costumes that Eowyn was photographed in on the internet.  The warrior’s costume is of heavy fabric with patches of leather to ward off a sword.  She wears leather boots and leather gloves as well.

Now the story is a bit difficult.  It’s supposed to reflect my battles I think and I had a hard time starting it.  I also chose the name Owen to be the evil character.  So in the story I will be battling Owen.  I forced myself to start the story.  I didn’t get very far but the starting was the important part.  I think that I fear writing it because I’m not sure of the end of the story!  I will have to wait and see.

Well after challenging myself and thinking more about my fear, I finally have figured out why I couldn’t write.  It was my fear for my abuser.  It was like I was inviting him to rape me by writing about being attacked by evil.  I am writing a book but the main person’s name is not Miriam.  In the story for my counselor I am using the name Miriam.  It made it all vividly personal.  What I was writing was happening to me.  Or that’s the way it felt.  So the fear was that my abuser would rape me.  Initially I rated this fear as 6/10.  But belief that he was going to rape me had to be 0/10 because the positive counter statement was that he was not here!  Not even in the same city!  Belief in this counter statement was 10/10.  Then my initial fear fell to 5/10 and the relief I felt was 4/10.  This fear is still new and vivid in my mind.  Analyzing the fear and rating it made me be able to identify the fear and face it more readily.  Then I was able to write.

So in the story Owen the evil half demon just touches me and I wake up.  I am frozen in fear.  I cannot speak or move.  I have sometimes had night terror like this so I could write from experience.  Now I have to figure out what to do in the moment.  I remember someone commenting and helping me with this but have forgotten what they said.  I have to ask my counselor if there is a way to stop the terror.  She is away for a week so I have a week and a half to write my story.  I am sure that I will be able to write more now.  I have faced my fear I think.  Only time will tell.

Enjoy!  Until next time!

Barn Owl WIP Pastel Painting.

barn owl Liisa 500 pi

Miriam’s Art is pleased to show her Barn Owl WIP pastel painting.  It is a gift for my daughter.  Enjoy!

I usually post my art on Saturdays.  I post this WIP (work in progress) painting because it is almost done but rather than spend my day on it I have decided to work on facing my fears.  So to decrease the stress about posting today I decided to show you the WIP.  I may finish it tomorrow.  I’m not sure.

Today I am going to draw my sword that goes along with my shield of courage that I need to face my fears.  It takes a lot of courage to do what I am doing.  Thinking about the story that I am going to write about myself helped to calm my fears.  First I chose the heroine that I would be using as a model.  I chose Eowyn of Lord of the Rings because she is a warrior.  Therefore my sword will use a Rohan  sword as a model.  And I will draw a costume for my warrior as well.  All this is preparing me for writing the story about myself.  Which I avoid even now!  I fear it somehow.  It is an exercise recommended to me by my counselor.

Therefore enjoy my art!  I’ll post the finished barn owl when it’s done.  And I’ll post about my healing progress on Tuesday.  I don’t know if you are interested in my art.  I have stopped posting about environmental issues.  If you comment that you’d still like to read about environmental issues, then I’ll start again.  I think that there is interest in my healing journey.  I write for you my reader and I post my art hoping that you find that interesting as well.  Enjoy!

My healing journey…

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Miriam shares a bit about her healing journey.  Not much news but important none the less.  Slowly I heal.

My counselor said not to dwell on the past but to think of the present.  If I have a thought about the past then I am to think is this helping? and does this help the present moment?  I had been dwelling too much on the past.  Now it’s time to move forward and heal.

Also she thought that I might not have delusions but rather flashbacks that are triggered by something in my life.  I’m not too sure of this.  But that would be dwelling on the past so I have to think of the present.

She also said to write a story about how I survived.  I could use Wonder Woman as an example.  I am to draw a sword or a wand that I’ll use in the story.  Then I’m going to write the story about a woman who protects the good against the bad.  I’ll keep you posted!

Survey Finds Rare Himalayan Wildlife in Northern India- a shared blog by The Jaguar!

The Snow Leopard Trust (SLT) has launched an impressive campaign to determine how many snow leopards (Panthera uncia) remain in the wild. As part of this effort, they teamed up with local partners to survey Kinnaur – a rugged landscape in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The results were more than satisfying. The SLT, Nature […]

via Survey Finds Rare Himalayan Wildlife in Northern India — The Jaguar

My healing journey…

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Miriam talks of her healing journey.  Today I read about coping mechanisms.  It was challenging and I learned some new things.  Slowly I heal.

Some of the coping methods that I have used are blocking, fantasizing and creating new personalities.  I blocked a bad experience that I had in childhood for 36 and a half years.  Then I began fantasizing and creating new personalities.  This happened after I had returned to school intensively (12 months straight), got pregnant, had my child and moved.  They say to do one life altering event per year!  I did four.  Then I had a depression.  This was 36 years after my bad experience as a child.  I had blocked it but at the age of 38 I cracked and had a depression.  Since then I have fantasized and created new personalities in delusions.  But I was able to function in real life for most of the time.  I thought that I was psychic and that people were after me psychically and physically and that I had psychic lovers.  They protected me from the bad.

Part of the reading exercise was to figure out what need the coping method was filling/helping.  The blocking was to forget.  Period.  It helped for 36 years.  I survived.  The fantasizing was filling the need of a protector.  Many men loved me and protected me from the bad.  I think that I was fearing my abuser subconsciously.   The creating new personalities was the same.  I imagined new lovers, stronger or different, who could protect me from new different fears.  Again the need being filled is the need for someone to protect me.  I also used alcoholism as a coping method.  I easily gave it up with the help of a counselor and meditation but I needed help getting over it.  The alcoholism was the need to forget and to calm my fears.  It was counter acting my medication and therefore not a good idea.  But I didn’t know that at the time.  Now I drink herbal tea with milk.  The effect is the same.  Another coping mechanism was zoning out.  I wasn’t available to my children, they were all teenagers at the time.  I let them figure out things on their own and only with major problems did I get involved.  Oh I was there to clothe them and feed them.  But to be honest I wasn’t really there.  Please forgive me my children!

Now I have to decide whether the fear that started 21 years ago was real or all in my mind.  I really don’t know how to do that!  I’ll ask my counselor for help!  What has helped so far is that I am not rich and not involved in drugs or crime so bad people probably aren’t after me!  Now I am facing my fears.  Sometimes more than one in one day.

I have decided to use the overgeneralizing form (Cognitive Distortion Worksheet) and then the form where I state an event, the emotion, the immediate thought, the positive rational counter statement, rerate the thought, and then rate the emotion (Record of Dysfunctional Thoughts).  Plus the Name Your Fear form.  And the Facing Fears form.  So I am only using four forms.  It was just too complicated!

The positive side to this is that I am writing a book about my delusions.  I have quite an imagination.  It might sell!  Who knows?  But it’s therapeutic to get some of it down on paper.  Some of the book is fiction though.  Quite the story line.

However on a day when I am facing a major fear I can’t write.  I am too anxious.  This has been affecting my book.  I was also blocked about painting.  Drawing a shield of courage helped that.  I am painting fine now and spent most of yesterday painting because I was facing three fears that day!  I lost myself in the painting and forgot everything else.  It is very tiring to face your fears.  I feel exhausted at the end of the day when it’s a bad day.  So bear that in mind if you have friends with anxiety.  It’s tiring.

Again, I have bared my soul.  It helps me to write it down.  Perhaps it has helped you today!?  I hope so.  Until next time…

Lynx Pastel Painting.

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Miriam’s Art is pleased to release her Lynx pastel painting.  It was painted a time of disruption.  I couldn’t paint some days.  Slowly I am facing my fears!

The gold of the lynx eyes draws the eye to the center of the painting.  The multi-colors of the lynx distract the eye from the main focal point.  The green black of the background contrasts well with the brown grey of the lynx.

I was facing one particular fear and couldn’t write or paint.  It was all to much.  On top of that I was exhausted!  It is tiring!  But then I drew a shield of courage and I could paint again.  It’s taking a lot of courage to face my fears!

The reason that I am painting a lynx is to understand the difference between a lynx and a bobcat.  I think the lynx has longer black tufts on it’s ears whereas the bobcat is smaller than a lynx.  Interesting!  Next is a pastel painting of a barn owl for one of my daughters.  July is also National Watercolor Month so I’ll be painting watercolors.  However I won’t be painting one a day as some artists are doing!  I have included a link for The Dreaming Zebra Foundation where donations can be given for children interested in art or music.  Please consider donating!

My daughters are my best critics.  They pointed out some flaws that I fixed.  For a first attempt I am proud.  The multi-colors were difficult to paint.  I did no blending of the separate colors.  I did a bit of blending around the black of the mouth and blended all of the background.  I am quite pleased with the background.