Took a moment…

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I took a moment today to be calm and relax.  This is the view of the lake from my car.  I had a mocha latte which is my reward for facing my fears.

I have been caught up in the bustle of every day errands.  Groceries and such.  And I’ve had anxiety.  So I listened to my subconscious and thought what am I anxious about.  What’s making my subconscious make me anxious.  It was fear.  Fear of my abuser.  He doesn’t know that I know that he raped me.  But he probably knows that I’ve been mentally ill.  You see his family has ties to friends of my mother’s.  However I am not friends with them.  So no one of my mother’s friends knows the reason for my mental illness.  So I am relatively safe.  But my fear now is what if he finds out?  Will he try to harm me or my family?  I have to be careful on Facebook I think.  I phoned the police.  I have to go in physically and talk to an officer.  I’m going to do that soon.  I have talked to an officer on the phone but he didn’t file a report.  I want it on record what my abuser did to me.  So I have to go in.

It took all of my courage to call the police on the phone.  Now, to protect myself and those I love, I have to go in physically.  I’m not as scared as I was to call.  So that’s a plus.

I have also been searching for a psychologist for therapy.  My benefits cover it luckily.  But it’s been hard going.  Some aren’t taking new patients.  I finally got through to one group of psychologists but I think that there is going to be a waiting list.  So we’ll see when I get an appointment.

All of this has been working in the back of my mind as I do errands and take care of myself.  I am exhausted but staying positive.  I took a moment today to reward myself.  Nature helped me recharge my batteries as it often does.  I just sat and looked over the lake.  Sipping my mocha latte.  I am walking at home now so I don’t get a view of the lake or the time to gaze over it.  I need that.  I’ve been missing that.  I instinctively knew that I needed something today so I took a moment.  Bought the mocha latte and went to the lake.

Take a moment.  Reward yourself for your hard work facing your anxiety.  Facing and surviving your illness.  Take a moment and spoil yourself!  Always keep fighting!


Canoe in Mist on Lake WIP.

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Miriam’s Art is sharing her Canoe in Mist on Lake WIP pastel painting.  It soothed her troubled mind to paint this painting.  She has a special technique for the black silhouette of the canoe.  Enjoy!

The black silhouette of the canoe catches the viewers eye immediately.  The yellow of the mist is not developed yet.  The black silhouette of the trees has been established.  The reflection on the water is yet to be done.

I am in a state of anxiety about seeing a psychologist.  I know that we will cover topics that will be difficult for me and my subconscious is making me aware of these topics.  Painting helped to still my mind.

I have also felt a little bit of anxiety about my art.  Art is a reflection of your passion.  Water inspires me and I have passion for a still lake.  I had thought that waves interested me.  Although they are beautiful, I am not passionate about them.  It took a discussion with my youngest daughter who is wise beyond her years to realize that I should paint my passion.  I am also passionate about animals, water droplets, flowers and about mothers and young, human or animal.  I plan to develop my passion in these subject areas further.

A used a special Rembrandt black pastel for the silhouette of the boat.  It is much darker than the regular pastel black.  The mist is in place.  Now I have to play around with it to make it believable.  The sun spot will be a challenge to do.

I was dealing with this anxiety about the psychologist and therefore didn’t post this week.  Forgive me.  My health comes first.


Baby’s Face Portrait Painting.

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Miriam’s Art is pleased to release her Baby Face pastel portrait.  It is with great pleasure that I paint a baby’s face.  Most of the painting was done at a time of calm.  Enjoy!

The pink of the lips of the child attract the attention immediately.  They are pouting as is often seen in a baby.  The pink contrasts well with the white highlight and the skin tones of the chin and nose.

This painting was done at a time of relative calm.  Or is it that it calms me greatly to paint a child.  I am a grandmother after all!  It was a joy!

The lips were the most challenging since they can’t be red as with lipstick.  They have to be flesh pink.  I believe I’ve got them right.  I may work on it a bit more.  The lips are proving to be difficult.

This is a 12×18″ painting framed.  The painting itself is 5.5 x 9″.  Please see my website under Shop, Portfolio and scroll down to Shop Now to purchase.  It can be found at

A healthy relationship.

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A healthy relationship is built on trust, respect and communication.  Slowly I heal.

This week and in the past weeks I have been working on setting boundaries, saying no, and what a healthy relationship is.  I found out at my drop-in center that I am a passive passive communicator.  I tend to avoid confrontation and put other’s needs before me.  There is hope as you can see in this article called 9 signs of passive behavior.  I tried to be more assertive with disastrous results.  I came across all wrong and got mad when I would have liked to educate instead of argue.  I had practiced saying no but then lost the argument when I said something negative afterwards.  It ended up in an argument.  Also the person is so used to me saying yes, that no was difficult for them to understand.  That’s part of the reason it ended up in an argument.  I will try to be more assertive in the future.  But I will use baby steps in saying no.  I will start with small “no”s and see how it goes.  Also if someone mocks me, I will try to say something right away.  I have my own struggles at home even though others may not see them.

Another thing that came up in the drop-in session was setting boundaries.  That’s part of saying no.  Establishing boundaries can be stressful and difficult but important in any relationship.  Be it with a partner, a family member or a friend.  Here is an article called 10 ways to build and preserve boundaries.  In it they discuss important points such as naming your limits, tuning into your feelings, being direct, giving yourself permission to set boundaries, practicing self-awareness, considering your past and present, making self-care a priority, seeking support, being assertive and starting small.  Give yourself permission to set boundaries.  If you feel uncomfortable chances are a boundary is being challenged.  Seek support in counseling for setting your boundaries and being assertive.  Be assertive in a respectful way.  And remember to start small.  This will build your confidence for those bigger boundaries.

We can think of boundaries protecting us and they form a circle around us.  In the center is you who needs privacy, an identity and has rights and choices.  In the next circle close to you are people of emotional closeness to you.  There is comfort, respect, flexibility, shared values, dependability,  balance, non-judgemental, sharing by choice, predictability, and unconditional love.  In a third outer circle are friends.  There is limited emotional closeness, shared interests, information exchange, mutual friendship, and camaraderie.  In the outer circle are people with no emotional closeness, strangers, acquaintances, people you choose to keep at arm’s length.

This is a work in progress for me.  And very difficult.  It tires me greatly to say no and to stand up for myself.  I had to stop and summarize in this blog what being passive and the need to be assertive meant to me.  Thank you for being there.  It really helped to write this blog.   Remember, when communicating, it’s what the right answer is for the situation and not who is right! 🙂

Mother and Child Red Pastel Painting.

Miriam’s Art is pleased to release her Mother and Child Red pastel painting.  It was painted to honor her grandson.  Enjoy!

In this second Mother and Child portrait I have used different colors.  The blond hair and the red background contrast well and present a much better composition.  The teal of the shirt also contrasts well with the red background.  One is drawn first to the mother’s face and then to the child in her arms.  It is not a portrait of my grandson.  This painting came from my imagination.

This painting was done at a time of anxiety due to new obligations.  It was quickly done and as always provided relief from the stress of a new event.

I painted this painting because I wanted a new angle on another painting.  This one is a larger image and the face and child are more in focus.  And it is therefore a much more attractive painting than the first Mother and Child I did last week.  Plus the different coloring makes this a much better composition.  I am trying to study color more.  I just bought a book.  However I have to go out and buy some of the colors they have recommended in acrylic paints.  So my education in color is a work in progress.  I have also bought a book and a workbook about drawing.  I hesitate to start it though since it would take up most of my time.  We’ll see when I start doing the exercises.  So I have a lot to do with my art.

In addition I was faced with a dilemma.  Which to do?  A jaguar, a baby or a wave.  All three are interests of mine.  Some more demanding than others.  My daughter helped me out with my dilemma!  She told me to do all three!  Go figure!  Such a simple decision.  So I will do all three.  As you can see I have a lot of ideas for what to do next.  My art is always a thrill and usually a challenge.


My healing journey…

Not much has happened.  I’m recovering from the stress of having visitors.  And the stress of my daughter moving.  But all in all I am doing well.

I just thought that I’d give you all an update.  I have been walking again.  It’s such a joy to be out in the fresh air.  The snow has virtually all melted though.  I tried to take a picture this morning and it didn’t work.  I’m not very techno savvy!  It’s unusually mild out.  Which makes it beautiful to walk.  However I am anxious about ice patches.  I did some shopping today. Then I decided to walk.  I am recuperating from the anxiety I felt when we had visitors from overseas.  I just blocked out the anxiety and survived, doing what I had to do.  But the fact that I am still tired shows me that I was anxious.

On top of that, one of my daughters is moving out.  She is a free spirit and my home always has a revolving door so I’m not angry at her but I am a bit worried.  She’ll be staying with a friend though.  I pray that goes well.

I’ve met a family from Finland who is staying in Canada.  They are my cousin’s friends.  Now I am a bit anxious about going out for coffee or inviting them to my home.  There’s a lot of anxiety involved in just going out into public places.  And even anxiety about inviting them here.  I don’t know what I’ll do.  We’ll see.

I was stressed yesterday.  Someone wanted a book review of my first book.  It’s not even published yet and I thought that it would be a spoiler alert if I wrote a book review.  My one daughter said just to write a summary.  So I did.  I was all out of whack yesterday because of it.  But it helped to talk to my daughter about it.  Voice your anxiety.  Sometimes just talking about it can help.

I was also anxious about my art.  Yesterday was an anxious day.  So I talked to my other daughter about my art.  I could change my focus from animals which I love doing to waves for example.  Waves would sell much better than animals.  But then am I selling my soul to make sales?  Also I am tempted to paint babies now that I have a grandchild.  So I was anxious about my dilemma of which painting to do next and if I should change my style.  So I asked my daughter which painting I should do next.  A jaguar, a baby or waves.  She said why don’t you do all three!  What a wonderful reply!  The sky’s the limit.  Of course I can do all three.  I didn’t even think of that!  What a joy it is to have someone to talk to!

I am relatively calm.  I have to buy all season tires for my car in the spring.  So I have to budget.  That’s making me anxious.  I have to look a couple of things up that I have been putting off.  But I finally wrote them down.  I am also applying for contests with my art and writing.  So all of this adds to my anxiety but it’s a welcome relief to be worried about everyday things instead of fearing something.  My fears have subsided quite a bit.  I am much more calm.  However there are still triggers to my initial fears.  I deal with them on a daily basis.  But I am much calmer now.  So slowly I am healing.

I have signed up for group therapy.  I plan to go to the drop-in center tomorrow if the snow storm isn’t too bad.  I missed it the last two weeks because we had visitors from Finland.  I was told that I can’t miss the group therapy though.  So I’ll have to remember that.

My daughter has asked me to babysit my grandson next week.  I hope that I don’t get too tired.  We’ll see.  It is such a joy to be with him.  Although driving has made me anxious.  If there’s a snowstorm then I hope my daughter will bring him here.  However it would be a lot easier to take care of him at his place.  All his toys are there.  I’m not really set up for a baby.  I should buy a playpen.  I might do that in the future.

So I’m making plans for the future.  Entering contests.  I don’t know if I have a chance to win.  A lady might be writing a magazine article about me!  Wow!  Things are looking up.

Never stop fighting…and remember talk about your anxiety with friends or loved ones.  You don’t have to say it’s your anxiety.  Just talk generally about what is worrying you.  You never know, they might have an idea that can help you!  🙂

Mother and Child Pastel Painting.

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Miriam’s Art is pleased to release her Mother and Child pastel painting.  This painting was done at a time when I was trying to rest although I was a bit stressed.  Enjoy!

The face of the mother draws the attention of the viewer immediately.  Then the eye flows down to the face of the child.  The blue of the baby’s blanket and mother’s shirt contrasts well with the yellow background.  As does the white of the faces.  The dark brown hair of the mother contrasts well with the yellow background.

As you know, we have visitors from overseas.  It has been a joy but also stressful.  I had to go out and buy the perfect gift from a Canadian.  I decided on maple syrup.  I started this portrait in the morning while I was trying to figure out what gift to buy.  So I was a bit stressed.  I lost myself in the painting and it soothed my anxiety.  When I had finished painting for the day, I had figured out what to buy.  I finished the portrait the next day after looking at it on my easel for a while.

Most of my family is overseas in Finland although I was born in Canada.  It makes it sad when people leave.  When will I see them again?  It was a joy to see my cousins and their children.  It made me fee whole.  I gave me a new sense of purpose.  I had to keep on healing so that I could see them again and enjoy their company!  Family is so important.

The painting was inspired by my grandson Erik and my daughter.  He is a good boy and a joy to hold.  I have a strong sense of everything being right in the world when I am with him.  I already love him deeply.  What a miracle and an honor.  Grandma!

This is my first portrait in pastels.  It’s a much easier and more forgiving medium than watercolor paints.  I am happy with the result.  The contour of the faces was easy to do.  I chose a yellow background since it contrasts well with blue.

If you have anxiety or depression, try coloring.  You can buy adult coloring books from Amazon or Chapters.  Pencil crayons are easy to find.  Buy a coloring book and let yourself go!  It will calm you!  Or you can start sketching.  A sketching pad and sketching pencil are relatively cheap and such a joy.  The more you do the better you will become.  Start with your favorite animal or scene.  Enjoy!

Resting and healing…

I am resting.  We still have lunch with my cousins to do.  I’ve been stressing to get them a gift that represents Canada so I’ve been busy.  But I haven’t been walking, knowing that I shouldn’t do too much.  So I had to go shopping the past few days to get just the right gift.  Light but something that says Canada.  So I bought them each some maple syrup in a plastic bottle instead of glass.  Glass might break my Mom said.  I am also giving one of them a small 4×4″ watercolor painting I did.  Hopefully they’ll like the gifts.  They brought us Finnish coffee and Finnish chocolate as well as licorice candy which I love.  They can’t fit much in their suitcases so we always buy small gifts.

I sketched this mother and child just before they came.  Again, my inspiration is my grandson Erik.  Such a joy!  The visitors loved him too.  He was such a good baby and slept for most of the first visit.  One of my second cousins held him as he slept.

I am reading a new book called The Body Keeps The Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D.  It is a scientific explanation of depression and other mental illnesses.  Apparently I am producing too many stress hormones.  My system is all out of whack.  When I realized this, I felt a rush of fear just watching a tense part in a television show.  I had to do mindfulness for about half an hour to calm down.  So it is true!  I am producing too many stress hormones.  Hopefully this book will help me to calm that down.

I have learned not to get too tired.  So I’ve stopped walking this week.  Trying to rest.  Tomorrow I have to buy a fruit platter for the coffee date at my daughter’s place.  Along with Tim Horton’s coffee.  Finnish people love their coffee strong.

Hopefully your week is going well.  Remember if you know that you’re going to be stressed, make sure that you get extra rest.  You don’t want to overdo it.  Never stop fighting…:)

A pause in my week…refreshing!


I had visitors from overseas this week.  And my Mom came down to see them too.  A joy!

I paused in my week for a visit from family from overseas.  It was so wonderful to see my cousins and their children.  My mother came down from up north to see them too.  Needless to say they all took over my life.  But what a joy!  Family is so important and makes us strong.  My cousins are here until Saturday so I won’t be going to my drop-in session.  They are going to Toronto and then Niagara Falls.  And then I see them again Friday afternoon.  Hopefully they’ll be able to meet the rest of my children.  We’ll see.

They are a wonderful distraction.  Although I had anxiety about driving I did relatively well and was rewarded.  It was supper from McDonald’s.  So I didn’t have to cook as I have been since Saturday!  Most of my family lives in Finland.  My mother and brothers live here in Canada though.  A very positive visit.

I also received a new book from Amazon.  It looks really good.  It’s called The Body Keeps Score.  Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma.  My body remembers but not my mind.  This book is supposed to be very good.  I’ll write a review once I’ve finished it.

Well that’s it for now.  Thanks for being there.  Remember that family is important.  At times they get in your face but their intentions are usually good.  Family gives me strength.

Never stop fighting.

Photo credit:  WordPress free photos.

Do you believe that you have an imaginary rich lover or that you are saving the world?

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Some people with mental illness have delusions.  Stories in their mind.  They are not real!  Please read further.

There is a mental illness known as delusional.  With this illness the person is caught up in delusions and hears voices in their mind.  Mental patterns occur in their mind that they believe absolutely to be real.  Like saving the world or a rich lover.  In their mind they go through scenarios which they believe real and sometimes actually talk to the characters that they see in their mind.  The delusion, for that is what it is, is so real to the person that they believe that they are living it.  Sometimes there is terror involved.  Fear of the unknown or just one person.  Sometimes people in real life can be portrayed within the delusion by a fabrication in the mind of the person that is ill.  However the delusions are not real.

Everything becomes relevant.  Every small action that happens in real life becomes relevant and pertinent to the delusional person.  They may laugh to themselves when there is nothing funny.  They will seem distracted, “not there”.  At times they won’t be able to hold a normal conversation with those around them because they are caught up in their delusion.  The extreme case is when they lose all sense of reality and become the delusion they believe in.  But the delusion is not real!

The delusion usually continues parallel to the reality which is the life of the delusional person.  They are usually able to function normally in their life with a parallel life that doesn’t usually disturb the real life of the person.  Except for them being distracted or rare outbursts where they laugh to themselves or say something or a phrase out of context.  The delusional person talks to themselves at least in private.  But often the conversations they have are going on in their mind.

If you believe that you have a psychic lover, male or female, who is rich and can save you from all your money problems or keep you safe, but who you have never met physically, you are in a delusion.  You may actually think that they talk to you but it’s all in your mind.  Seek medical help!  The help of a doctor or a psychiatrist!  If in your mind you battle a great evil to save mankind and are often distracted by the battles and ignore those around you to save mankind then you are in a delusion.  Seek the help of a psychiatrist.  Medication will help.  Test the delusion.  Stop listening to your inner voices and see what happens.  The world will not end.  You will survive.  It will take great courage to stop listening to the voices but you can do it!

It is possible to function in your everyday life if you are delusional with the help of medication.  The delusions and the voices will go away.  At first the voices will be strong in your mind.  But if you stop listening to them slowly they will go away as long as you take your medication.  However there may be a residual small unimportant voice that you hear when you are tired or stressed.  This one you ignore as well.  But it can at times produce anxiety and fear that you are slipping into another delusion.  You aren’t as long as you take your medication and remember that the delusion is not real.

Outside events may trigger the delusion to seem stronger.  Ignore it and it too will go away.  Say to yourself that it is me saying these things.  The people are not real!

How do you continue in life if you are delusional?  With courage.  Once you realize that the delusions aren’t real then you can work on the anxiety they may produce or in the case of an imaginary lover, work on real relationships to fill that void.  You can face your anxiety with positive counter statements that I have discussed before.  In the case of a delusion where you are saving the world from some great evil.  Mindfulness can also help to calm your mind.  Especially if you are anxious.  In addition, mindfulness can bring you back to the here and now and help you to ignore the delusions.  Look around and physically see what is real and not what you think is real.

However you also have to work on the underlying reason for the delusions.  I would recommend counselling.  Therapy is good in that it provides you with medication to help you with your illness.  Counselling however goes beyond and looks at the reason for your illness.  It might have been a traumatic event in your childhood, it might have been the loss of a loved one.  Some event in your past has caused the delusions and perhaps something in your recent past has triggered the memories.  You need the help of a counselor, often a social worker or a specific trained counselor for the trauma that you have experienced.  For example rape or death.  This combined with therapy, medication, will help you to heal.  Healing will take months and maybe years.

You will know when you have healed when you no longer hear the voice(s) in your head.

If you believe that you have a rich lover or that you are battling a great evil to save the world, know that you are in a delusion.  If you believe in this so strongly that you ignore your life to fulfill these goals, know that you are in a delusion.  Stop listening to the voices in your mind! Take 10 minutes.  Sit at home in a safe place.  Put on a timer.  Stop listening to the voices for ten minutes.  Did anything happen?  No!  I know.  Now put on the timer again and stop listening to the voices for 30 minutes.   Did anything bad happen?  No!  Phone your family doctor.  Tell him/her that you are hearing voices in your head and make an appointment to see him immediately.  If you can’t get an appointment today then phone the Crisis Line at 705-728-5044 or 1-888-893-8333 in Canada or phone 911 and explain your emergency.  You need immediate help because you are in crisis.  You believe in something that is not real.  Your belief in the voices can be lowered with the help of medication and the help of a psychiatrist and counselor.  Please don’t wait.  Call now!  Be strong.  Be courageous.  I know you can be.  Never stop fighting…

Photo by Sharon Garcia on Unsplash