Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Art Therapy Journal

There is no doubt that art can be very therapeutic.  In fact, it helped me get through so many dark times in my life these past few years.

The following are things I discovered about myself yesterday during my therapy session.  I had forgotten just how much these things impact me and are the root of my daily issues.

  1. I don't do well with change.
  2. I am still a perfectionist.
  3. I still have obsessive-compulsive disorder.
  4. I have major issues with uncertainty and the unknown.
  5. My memory REALLY sucks.
  6. All of these things cause great amounts of anxiety.
  7. I have little control over these things (OCD?) and I am going to figure out a way to take back control of my brain.
One issue I have for dealing with these things is that I have really bad memory problems.  I have fibromyalgia and sleep disorder, both of which come with major memory issues.  I have been working on my anxiety issues for years but, with memory issues, it is like the slate is wiped clean every so often and I forget what I've been working on and progress is lost.  I even forget that these things are issues sometimes!

One way I plan to deal with the memory issue is to start an art journal project specifically for remembering the issues and how I am supposed to deal with them. 

I have taken many online art and art journaling classes over the past few years.  It is hard for me to remember what I have learned.  Therefore, it is hard for me to incorporate these ideas into my pieces on a regular basis.  I just can't remember the techniques I have learned to use them when I need them to art journal about an issue.  I know I could have/ should have taken more notes.  And, I did.  I can't find them all in a messy studio :-)  (I also have ADHD).

Yesterday, some things clicked for me.  First, I went to therapy and we got to the bottom of my issues, as outlined above.  I knew these were my issues, I had just forgotten.  Second, I heard a story on NPR which dealt with memory loss and was very inspirational for me.  The link is below.  Third, I happened to notice on Julie Balzer's blog an art journaling project she did a few years ago and the words "Tell Your Story" stood out to me.  The link is below.  I also found a story on NPR about telling stories as a way to help with memory loss.  The link is below.  

"Tell Your Story" 

http://balzerdesigns.typepad.com/balzer_designs/art-journaling-week.html

"For Elders with Dementia, Musical Awakenings"
http://www.npr.org/2012/04/18/150891711/for-elders-with-dementia-music-sparks-great-awakenings

"Alzheimer's Patients Turn to Stories Instead of Memories"
http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/05/14/152442084/alzheimers-patients-turn-to-stories-instead-of-memories

Something hit me..... I need to start an art journal specifically for dealing with my issues in a therapeutic way- one that I can pull out and use to help me remember what I am dealing with and HOW to deal with it.   I plan to post a list of links to helpful books, websites, and blogs in the next few days, as well as post my progress in my therapeutic art journal.