anxiety

Coming To Terms With Having a Baby

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I’m now in the second trimester of my pregnancy. I found the first trimester difficult because I was extremely anxious about having another miscarriage. Consequently, I shut out the reality of the situation. Last week I attended the dating scan and saw that despite my anxieties, the baby is doing fine.

Following the scan, I decided to create this picture as a way of engaging with the realities of my situation – that I am having a baby. I’ve opened the curtains and engaged with what is happening and what is going to happen. Just writing this has set off the tears again! I guess it’s a mixture of anxiety and joy that the dream I’ve held for so long is finally set to happen in six months time.

 

© northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Scared

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I’m dealing with multiple difficult issues at the moment and to top it all, I just received a re-assessment form for my state benefits. The threat of losing some or all of the financial assistance I receive is worrying me and propelling me towards more suicidal thoughts. So I decided to externalise my worries on canvas as doing something creative may help to soothe me and may create a little distance between myself and my thoughts and feelings.

The smaller text in the picture reads:

My father will come and get me

I will be told off

I will die because there is no other solution to the difficulties.

I wont live in a nice house again.

I wont ever have a child.

No one will help me.

 I will lose my home.

I will become homeless.

Birthday and Christmas without presents will be too painful.

I wont have a family again.

I wont fulfil my potential.

I wont be able to share all of me.

I will lose my benefits.

I wont ever be able to afford a cat.

I wont ever have a close female friend.

No one will love me.

I will never hold a baby.

I wont be able to be a good Mum.

I wont be able to do paid work again.

I will be judged condemned by the rest of my family because they don’t know my story.

I will be plagued by anxiety for the rest of my life.

© northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Problem Coffee

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Over the past three months I’ve had problems with a gentleman (I’ve named him “problem chap”) after accepting his friend request on Facebook. We met some time ago at a support group. Every message he’s sent me has been inadvertently triggering. He didn’t do anything bad as such. However it caused me to project my parents onto him in a big way. It has left me feeling unable to tolerate being in the same room as him (because I feel very threatened) and needing extra support at the support group. The idea of going for a coffee with him in order to learn that actually he’s not the monster I’m projecting on to him came to me. I decided to depict this in a painting to engage with the difficult feelings and see what came up, and hence we have “Problem Coffee”! Being willing to go for coffee with problem chap in the real world remains a long way off.

© northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Shackled

 

I live some aspects of my life according to unhelpful messages from my parents and my anxieties, rather than as nature and free spirit intended. I am increasingly aware of these things and their impact upon me. I created this image to express the sense of being constrained and shackled. The image makes me feel angry and sad.

© northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

IVF III

 

Those of you who follow my other blog (NorthernRose’s Ramblings) will know that I recently experienced a third IVF failure. I have felt the presence of unexpressed pain about the experience and outcome. This morning I have felt ready to do something artistic in order to have healthy contact with the pain and allow some of it to come out. I have basically drawn the experience. At present, everything connected to the IVF attempt feels uncomfortable but hopefully in time, a separate and happier relationship with meditation, particular foods, swimming, the music I was listening to and the crafts I was doing, will be restored.

 

© northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Speak

In all aspects of society, we are expected to speak to one another, whether it be our family, friends, colleagues, officials, or persons we wish do business with. When speaking doesn’t come easy, for example due to anxiety, lack of confidence or autism, one can feel alone and different to other people. I often experience myself as the pink person in this image, alone and different. The feelings which go with this image are anger, fear and sadness.

© northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

IVF

I have recently started preparing for another IVF attempt, and found that a lot of feelings wanted to emerge about the past and the future, and so I decided to allow those feelings and thoughts to be felt and expressed by creating this picture. The image depicts the dream, my fears, previous losses, and the process.

Some of this post may be upsetting to anyone who has experienced miscarriage or stillbirth.

The woman is me. The necklace I am wearing is a momento from my first pregnancy. It’s an acorn and is inscribed “bean”. The pale blue is the stone colour associated with March, when Bean would have been due. The three circles on my arm represent my second pregnancy. To mark this pregnancy I created three different knitted lace circles to represent each sac.

The consent for cremation is something I signed both times at the hospital. This meant that the remains would be blessed and cremated at the local crematorium, and not treated as a waste product.

The picture above depicts my manager at my former job and a hospital worker. On my return to work following my first miscarriage, I was told I had to do something extremely anxiety provoking every day going forward and two days later the redundancy process started. My manager was the executor rather than the person ultimately responsible in both cases however he did nothing to support me.  During my second miscarriage the care I received from the hospital was not good enough. Firstly they refused to induce the miscarriage on my first visit and insisted I continue the pregnancy another week despite the fact it was 100% certain that the pregnancy was not viable. Secondly, when I was induced, one of the nurses kept wanting to send me home despite my severe anxiety. And thirdly, when I returned to the hospital, I was left in the waiting room for two hours waiting to sign the cremation consent form. On each visit to the hospital I had to walk past a display of new baby gifts. I continue to feel anger and grief at the losses and how I was treated.

The top left picture shows the Fostimon injection. This is a daily injection done by myself to grow the eggs.

The crossed out mug represents having to give up my favourite caffeinated and sugared drinks.

The top right picture shows an Embryoscope. This is a new tool which will likely be used in my next attempt. Instead of moving embryos and looking at them once a day, the embryos remain in the embryoscope which photographs them every five minutes. The embryologists then view a time lapse video of the developing embryos in order to identify which ones are more likely to result in successful pregnancies.

The lady in the lotus position depicts the need for me to meditate daily during this process in order to try and reduce my anxiety and stress levels.

The final picture represents the healthy eating which I have just started.

The words in the blue ovals are the tests carried out before or during the IVF process.

The words in the yellow ovals are the supplements and drugs being used during my next attempt.

 

© northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.