My healing journey…

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Miriam now speaks of her healing journey.  I am challenging my fears.  I believe in them less!  There is still anxiety because part of me still thinks What If?  Slowly I heal.

The way that I am challenging fears is to use the forms that I have at my disposal to help me analyze my fears, rate them, analyze my belief in the, use positive counter statements and rate the belief in these positive counter statements.

I am using the Name Your Fear form and a new one called Record of Dysfunctional Thoughts found on page 216 of The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook by Edmund J. Bourne.

Record of Dysfunctional Thoughts 500 pi

First I rated my fears in the following way for the general fear of going out:

Fear rating    Is it real?

  1. water flowers outside                                                                           3/10            Maybe?
  2. go for a short drive                                                                               5/10             No
  3. go for a long drive                                                                                 6/10             No
  4. give someone you love a ride                                                             7/10             Maybe?
  5. go shopping                                                                                            9/10             Maybe?

 

I gave someone I love a ride and I went shopping.  I’ve simplified my fears a little but the anxiety was real!

Then I used a Facing Your Fear form (shown below).  For the fear of giving someone I love a ride I rated it as a fear of 8/10 at the moment even though while I was just writing about it I would have rated it a 7/10.  The time to test this fear lasted a half hour.  I was not as scared coming home because I thought to myself that they’re not interested in me.  This positive rational thought helped me to be less anxious!  I even stopped at McDonald’s on the way home!  So I feared less.

Face Your Fears

Then I used the Record of Dysfunctional Thoughts and rated the fear I felt as an 8/10  (they use 100 but I’m using 10).  The automatic thought was they are going to get the person I love and my belief was an 8/10.  The positive rational thought was that they’re not interested in me.  This I rated as a 3.5/10.  The belief in the initial fear thought was changed to a 7/10 because of this positive rational thought.  The feeling after was one of relief that I believed in at a rating of 5/10.  So I still fear and I still believe that they are after me but the more I go out and see no positive reinforcement of that fear, the less I fear!  I did mindfulness while I was driving trying to relax my fear.

Another fear was to go out shopping.  I rated this fear as a 9/10.  The positive counter statement to this fear again is that they are not interested in you.  I called the Crisis Line last week and they helped me with my anxiety and the fear that organized crime was after me.  Firstly I am not rich and secondly I am not involved in crime or drugs.  The probability then that they are after me is low.  So the question is, is this fear real?  Is it true?  I would rate it as 6/10 as being true.  I still have to face my fears and go out to see if people are interested in me!  Only time will tell.

The Facing Fears Form rated the fear as a 9/10 and lasted 1.25 hours.  Only one person looked my way and might have been watching me.  I feared less on the way home.  If no one had looked my way I would have been more confident.  I had never seen the person before.  I would rate my fear of going out shopping now as an 8/10.

The Record of Dysfunctional Thoughts rated the fear as 9/10 with the automatic thought that they are going to get you and a belief of 9/10.  The positive rational response was that they are not interested in you and the belief in that was rated as 3.5/10.  The initial automatic response to the fear was rated as 8/10 after that.  And the feeling of relief was 6/10.

So analyzing my fear to see if it’s real or true is helping me.  When I go out I look for evidence that I am being followed.  As I progress, I think that I will see no evidence and fear less.  My inner instinct is to be cautious because I always ask myself What If?  What if they are after me and find and identify my family who I love?  Let alone myself?  So I have to be smart and safe to keep my family from harm!  I have to wait and make sure that I am not being followed and the only way to do this is to go out and test it!

My next step is to go shopping again.  I will observe and be very careful.  My life might depend on it.  I’ll keep you posted!

I phoned my counselor and talked for the first time, freely, about my fears.  She was very helpful.  She helped me talk about my anxiety and helped me to express my fears.  She agreed that organized crime was probably not after me!  I’ll have to wait and see.  She also suggested that I draw/paint a shield of courage for myself.  I have no idea what that would be but that’s my task for today.  I will sketch a shield of courage and then paint one!  Until next time…

 

 

Humpback and Baby Pastel Painting.

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Miriam’s Art is pleased to release her Humpback With Baby pastel painting.  I painted this on days of relative calm.  I am challenging some of my demons and it’s working out well!

The gentleness of the humpback is portrayed well in this painting.  Even though whales are the size of a half a football field the mother is tender towards her baby.  The deep black of the eyes attracts the eye to the humpback whales.  The white and grey of the underbelly contrasts well with the background of deep blue ocean.  The background of the water surface adds depth to the painting

I have come to the realization that my inner demons may all be in my mind.  Now there is relative calm.  This realization has stopped the inner demons some.  I am less stressed and more aware of my surroundings.  I heal slowly!

Painting the water surface was a challenge.  It was the same grey as the whales themselves.  Painting the deep blue of the ocean was also a challenge.  It was too much of the same color.  The eyes are a bit too stark but I wanted them to stand out to draw the eye to the whale.  The white and grey of the underbelly was easy to paint.  The top part of the humpbacks was a bit harder to paint.  All in all this was a challenging painting.

I chose to paint something different this time.  I have been concentrating on animal eyes and needed a change.  Also the blue of the ocean attracted me as it always does!  This painting will be part of my Whale Series.

This is a 12×18″ painting.  This painting is larger than the animal eye paintings that I have been painting recently.  Please see the “Shop” tab and then the “Portfolio” tab of my website for details (www.miriamsart.com).  As always you can reach me at miriamsart@outlook.com.  Enjoy!

Winner of Canada Geese in Sunset watercolor painting – Summer Solstice Contest!

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The winner of the Summer Solstice Contest was UnboltMe (www.unbolt.me) on my wordpress.com blog:  Miriam’s Art Blog.  They were one of the participants.  I will frame the picture with a matte this weekend and UPS them the parcel once they give me their address!  Congratulations UnboltMe!  You’re a winner!  Yahoo!

I didn’t want to loose the wordpress.com community so I still have a blog with them.  I have included Facebook, Twitter, wordpress.com and miriamsart.com in the competition.  I just realized that I could have included Instagram and Pinterest.  So much to do!  I’ll include them next time.

A big thank you to all that participated!  It warms my heart that you found the time to like or subscribe.  Thank you!

Last day to like or subscribe! Win Canada Geese and Sunset painting!

canada geese n sunset WPress 500 pi

Win the watercolor painting above on June 21 by liking, commenting or subscribing to my email list on Miriam’s Art Blog or www.miriamsart.com.  Enter now!  The winner will get the framed and matted Canada Geese and Sunset watercolor painting with free delivery.  Delivery by UPS.  Enter now!

My healing journey…

 

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Miriam speaks of her healing journey.  The meeting with the professional was a let down.  My anxiety is less as I face my own personal demons…my personal fears.  Slowly I heal.

I spoke with a lady who knows about making statements to the police about abuse.  Unfortunately my memories aren’t explicit enough to be considered by the police.  I don’t remember kissing or the sex act only my babysitter crouching over my half naked body.  I had been sleeping and woke up to that.  Had he been in the actual act of sex then I would have had a reason to go to the police.  I could try to remember more but my counselor has already told me that I don’t have to do that unless I want to.  I really don’t want to relive that time.  I am trying to forget it!  We’ll see however if my mind is happy with that.  Now when I do mindfulness often the thought of being raped floats into my mind.  My mind wants it to come out somehow.  Just how far I have to go for my mind to be calm I don’t know!  I’ll continue to work with my counselor.

I spoke of the Name Your Fear form last week.  I have been using that form.  What you have to do is take a fear and rate it.  Then ask yourself is it real or isn’t it.  If it isn’t then remember the positive counter statements every time that fear surfaces.  Remind yourself that it isn’t real.  If it is real, think of smaller steps that could bring you to that particular fear.  Smaller fears if you will.  Rate them.  Then take the lowest one and work on it.  By working on it I mean expose yourself to that fear and rate your feeling/fear on a scale of zero to ten.  As you repeatedly expose yourself to the fear with positive counter statements, your fear should subside slowly.  If it doesn’t then it is time to see a psychiatrist and get counseling.  Notice I use the word counseling.  Therapy without counseling is useless!  So unless you are able to talk about your fear, nothing is going to help you!  Once a lower rated fear has subsided to lets say a two or three out of ten, then it’s time to choose a higher rated fear and work on that.  In the same way expose yourself to the fear repeatedly.  Slowly your fear should subside especially if you are using positive counter statements.  If it doesn’t it’s time to talk to your psychiatrist or a counselor.  But at least you have identified a fear that you could discuss with them and work on further.  By positive counter statements I mean answers to questions like is this real? and has this ever happened before? and is this a proven fact?

Well it feels like a bit of an anticlimax.  I was ready to go to the police and now I can’t.  I will concentrate on celebrating my accomplishments rather than the negative aspects of my bad experience.  But I can’t block it in anymore.  I have a mental disability because of it.  I will continue to read The Courage to Heal and the Anxiety and Phobia workbook and see where that takes me.

I chose the picture above because I love the mountains.  This picture invokes in me a feeling of peace and awe.  A peace that I desperately crave.  Until next time…

Feel the Wind…a poem.

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Miriam’s Art writes a poem about nature.  Specifically about hiking.  Enjoy!

Feel the wind.

See the sky.

See the horizon.

Up the slope.

Though I stink of sweat.

My brow is creased.

Though my joints ache.

I have found the summit.

See the expanse of glorious beauty.

See the expanse of mountain after mountain.

See the clouds in the distance.

Feel the wind.

Feel the sun.

Feel the moment.

Be quiet within.

Scarves available at VIDA!

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Miriam’s Art is pleased to inform you that she is a designer at VIDA!  She has two scarves for sale!

They are available at shopvida.com.  Wow!  This is exciting!

One is the barn owl scarf and can be viewed at this link.

Another is the snow leopard scarf that can be viewed here.

Sorry!  The prices are $40.00 USD.  I can’t figure out the CAD equivalent because that will change day to day.  It’s different than my website price but it’s about the same I think.  Hopefully you will be interested!

Win Canada Geese and Sunset painting!

canada geese n sunset WPress 500 pi

Miriam’s Art is pleased to announce that you have voted for the Canada Geese and Sunset watercolor painting!  Win it on June 21 by liking, commenting or subscribing to my email list on Miriam’s Art Blog or www.miriamsart.com.  Enter now!  The winner will get the framed and matted Canada Geese and Sunset watercolor painting with free delivery.  Delivery by UPS.  Enter now!