mental health

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.

Cheerful Clown

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I created this image an an antidote to feeling very stressed. Whilst trawling through art therapy videos on YouTube I came across a video about clown therapy as a profession. The video talked about using clowns to help children in hospitals. The idea of using friendly looking clowns therapeutically stayed with me and inspired this image.

© 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.

Dance in the Dark

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Whilst very stressed I decided to create this simple doll picture as a distraction. This image was influenced by therapeutic doll making videos that I found on YouTube. The idea is that you make the dolls simply, not worrying about lots of neat sewing, and using whatever materials you have to hand. Although I felt in darkness, I still had some sparkle and the energy to keep going.

© 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.

A Different Path

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Sometimes the situations that we are born into, or the things that happen to us on life’s journey, lead us to follow different paths to what is considered “normal” in our culture or society. This is certainly true for me.

In the picture, the yellow path is the “normal” path, where lots of people travel.

The colourful vertical path is the “different” path. I wanted to make it more colourful and varied to indicate difference. Some of the elements have meaning: At the top is a cloud with a silver lining containing the words “Making the best of things”; the card symbols are the cards we are dealt in life; the black and white stripes a reminder that things are not always black and white; and at the bottom, the black sheep – how we can feel or appear for doing things differently. I put more than one person on the “different” path because I am not alone in feeling I am on a different path; in fact many people are  on a path that feels different in some aspect of their life.

In the background are planes where the different path might occur: relationships, culture, religion, physical attributes, mental attributes, career, family, reproduction, residence, geographical location.

 

© 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.

Express It Loud

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During my childhood I was discouraged from expressing myself and this was quite damaging for me. Over the past year I have started to become more able and wanting to express myself. I have felt sadness at having been shut down as a child, and determined as an adult to be myself more. I created this picture as an antidote to the childhood programming and to reinforce the message of expressing things.

It was important to incorporate noise into this piece. The pink hanging thing is a proper working rattle. In the middle is bells from cat toys; And the push button on the right makes a very loud squealing monkey noise 🙂

© 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.

Do Something AMAZING

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One of my mental health workers has several times suggested that I do something amazing. With my head giving me grief, I decided to distract it by creating this amazing picture. The dots and stars are all sparkly and the worker liked the picture 🙂

 

© 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.

IVF 5

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In November I went through my fifth IVF, the second attempt using donor eggs. Like the first attempt with donor eggs, it resulted in no viable embryos. For several weeks  afterwards I felt unable to do anything creative (due partly to another difficult situation which cropped up at the same time). This week I had the opportunity to start another donor egg cycle however I realised that I wasn’t ready to go through it all again. And so I decided to create this picture to make contact with the difficult feelings from the previous attempt and hopefully ready myself to try again.

In the centre is the one embryo which did grow for a few days. As it was a case of deja vu, I chose to depict the embryo the same shape and size as the picture I created following my previous attempt (see My Red Haired Embryo). The embryo reached seven cells, hence the seven hexagons inside the embryo, and was very fragmented. The donor had hazel eyes and blonde hair, represented by the hazel like ring and yellow bits. I was very stressed and wanted to depict this with the swirling blue and purple.

It’s fingers crossed for a better outcome next 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.