We’re On Instagram!

Life As A Committee is now on Instagram! You can see our latest photos in the sidebar here or follow us on Instagram @lifeasacommittee

I’m hoping that we’ll be able to share more of our day-to-day lives on Instagram, especially when we’re unable to write posts here. Writing coherently takes a lot of energy that we don’t always have, and sometimes, that’s why there’s a lack of regular posts. Plus life gets hectic and there isn’t always time to write a full post.

Shit Has Hit The Fan

Maybe things aren’t going so well. I keep trying to convince myself that things aren’t so bad, that they could be worse, that nothing is really wrong.

Yet today, when my groceries were delivered, I hurriedly hid alcohol and sharps in my room so if my housemate came home she wouldn’t see them. A few minutes after the delivery driver left my housemate came home. My secrets were hidden. Along with a second carton of diet soft drink, and eating disorder ‘safe’ food.

All are flashing neon warning signs that I’m not okay, and my housemate is well and truly aware of them. I’m scared my housemate will find out and confront me. I’m scared my friends will find out and do the same. I’m scared of where I’m headed.

I’m going around in circles of crippling depression, overwhelming emotions, and destructive behaviours. I’m not proud. I don’t want people to know. I’m desperate to hide these behaviours from friends and family.

Yet with hiding the behaviours comes enormous guilt. Guilt from lying to friends and family about behaviours, about how I really am. Guilt at even the thought of telling any friends or family a watered down version of the truth. Guilt because alcohol abuse runs in my family, and it’s a path I’ve always sworn I wouldn’t go down.

The guilt adds fuel to the fire that’s already burning strongly. I’m desperately clutching at behaviours that slowly destroy me. Healthy coping mechanisms are long gone. I’m trying to hold on, but can see the mess my day-to-day life has become, and have given up. Might as well have another drink, or use another unhelpful behaviour to keep holding on.

Shit has hit the fan.

Art Therapy

We’ve recently started a self-paced art therapy course on Udemy. We got it for a bargain $64AUD instead of $410AUD, so signed up straight away. The first link (above) will allow you to purchase it for the same price, but I don’t know how long it will last.

We’ve always loved art therapy. It’s a very easy way to get out what’s going on inside. Sometimes words just don’t work. Sometimes there aren’t words for what we’re thinking or feeling. Some younger parts don’t have the language needed to express themselves in writing. Drawing on the other hand – everything comes out!

Art therapy based exercises (even if self, not therapist, directed) will usually get many of our parts talking. Sometimes we’ll even cooperate on an artwork with different parts contributing different bits. We’ve done art therapy in individual and group settings, and definitely prefer to do it individually because of how much it can bring up.

I’m hoping we’ll learn some new skills as well as become familiar with different mediums. Having a chronic physical illness limits how much we’ll be able to do. At the moment it’s one exercise per week which is painfully slow, but still enjoyable.

The following was an exercise about mindful breathing. Noticing your breath going in and out of your body. Feeling where it goes, visualising what colour it is entering and exiting your body. I used kids watercolours. Nothing fancy. Also doesn’t require any skill!Art Therapy Watercolours Watercolors Paint Painting Mindfulness Breathing Visualising Visualizing Life As A Committee

 

 

It Was A Good Year

‘Thank goodness 2016 is over!’

I’ve heard this, and similar sentiments in the last few weeks. Many people I know have had difficult, sad, painful, overwhelming, or otherwise crap years.

I haven’t.

I spent a total of six weeks in hospital. Definitely not a highlight of the year, but incredibly helpful and worth every moment (and  every cent I pay for health insurance).

My amazing, knowledgeable, kind, compassionate psychologist retired mid year. That was sad and painful. Then five months on the counsellor who’d agreed to work with me called it quits whilst I was in hospital. Utterly shit. Positive side is that my psychiatrist, who I’ve only ever seen a few times each year, offered to see me regularly for the next 6-12 months. It’s worked out well.

I got to spend much more time with my family. They made the effort several times to visit me (I live perhaps a 30 minute drive from them) so I could spend time with them. I’ve been able to continue watching my nieces/nephews grow up.

I learnt to crochet! It’s something I didn’t think I could do, but I taught myself with video tutorials. I’ve made a small octopus for myself, and am making a rattle/soft toy for a niece/nephew.

I finally bought Chromecast! It’s made watching online shows so much easier, and it’s much easier than watching Netflix through the Wii.

DID wise we’ve done a lot. We’re closer than we’ve ever been and parts are closer to integrating than they’ve ever been. We’re learning lots about ourselves and how to work together. We’ve worked through a lot of trauma and have some elements of it quite firmly in the past.

My mood has been relatively stable this year as well. A few glitches, but generally good. It’s nice to not be depressed or hypomanic. Just boring, ordinary, stable. When my mood starts deviating from boring middle ground that’s healthy and good (still boring!) I pick it up quickly and can get back on track easily.

Parts of it have been hard, challenging, painful, emotional, and overwhelming, but I’m leaving 2016 with a good feeling, and looking forward to 2017.