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We talked about figuring out how to live with instability, with the unknown. I'm not a very flexible person. I'm not spontaneous, don't like to have someone jump out and surprise me. But my health is one big unstable lion that is silent for awhile but waiting for the moment to roar. We talked about being able to find a way to enjoy life with a lion lurking around.

I was encouraged by the Oncologist the other day to keep moving forward and let them worry. He wants me to leave it with the doctors and as he said, "Keep shooting yourself." In other words, keep taking the shots! He's so funny, and so positive.

Dr. D and I discussed the financial side of chronic illness and how that can bring added stress. I'm doing a lot better about getting dolls finished. I've got one near completion and another well along. There are 3 total in the works with 2 being commissions. I've also completed one painting and am working on others. This should help add more to my Etsy shop for extra income.

We also talked about my own inner child doll. I was unable to hold her or even look at her much but now she's out in the open and I just love her. Dr D asked how I feel about the little girl I once was. The first word to pop in my head was "respect." I have great respect for her and what she was forced to survive. Not only did she survive abuse, she was living with Lupus since age ten! That little girl fought hard to live. I have nothing but respect for her.

Dr D noted the change in tone and emotion for my child self. A few years ago I hurt for her immensely. Before that I was angry at her vulnerability. I was stuck on anger for a long time. I remember the humiliations like they were yesterday and thought she should have done something different to make my mother love me. I blamed her. As I move further along in healing I see so clearly what the child self had to endure. I think having an inner child doll helped me see my young self as little, defenseless, innocent. In my head I couldn't see me as young but for some reason the doll gave me something to relate my size to. Well, it worked. I see in my head a tiny kid and I have great respect for her.

This is my first biracial handmade ragdoll with long curly hair that can be combed.

Jordan

All "what if" roads lead to nowhere. 

I decided to draw a little line drawing with my funky triple lead colored pencils to depict all those "what if" roads I've been going down. It's not a great photo but the idea is there. It's a drawing of roads going everywhere, fast.

What if I die in my sleep? What if I only get a few months more? What if the doctor is wrong and they somehow save me again? What if I live with this and Lupus for a really long time? What if I defy the odds, again? What if I don't? 

All what if roads lead to nowhere. I figure when I start obsessing again that I'll pull out the paints or pencils and do a "what if" line drawing. This is my second. It's helpful to put it on paper and get it out of my head. 

Jordan 

Dr. D and I discussed the possibility of me painting almost daily at set times. This would allow me to know ahead of time what to expect. I need set times for things as well as lists to feel more control over my environment and situation. Setting a specific time to paint and doing it has helped me to relax more while painting. There are no expectations. No pressure to produce view worthy materials. The goal is to create and to risk. At first I was concerned about wasting paper and paint but truthfully, I have plenty of both so paint I will.

I've learned a few things over the years about size and media for my personal use. If I use paper that is too big then the project is overwhelming and may not be completed. Paper that is 8 x 10 is usually undaunting, however, there are times I'm so closed up that I need 5 x 9. These sizes also mean if I'm confined to the bed I can still paint with relative ease.

I know for a fact that I'm a paper artist. I love paper, especially textured papers. Oh they just do something to me. Pencil, pen, brushes and other tools are musical as they hit different textured paper. I absolutely love it.

I've been asked if I paint on canvas and create larger art but the answer is no, I usually don't. I'm not comfortable with creating larger art. There's been so much discussion on this subject but the bottom line is this: I am an artist who creates smaller works on paper. Staying within these bounds means I stay true to my craft. It allows me to freely paint instead of attempting to become something I'm not. When I allow myself to paint at a size comfortable for me, I am able to express myself and risk creatively.

Be More by Sundrip

"Be More" is a 7 x 10 watercolor and ink piece created in a wire bound Canson notebook. The art therapy piece expresses the need to bring my emotions to a more balanced view.

I see myself in such a negative light and demand a lot of myself. I'd like to lose the idea that there's something fundamentally wrong with me and get closer to the balanced view that I'm just a flawed human being like everyone else.

After creating the piece free style, with no expectations, I looked at it and began to write what it brought up. The first thing that came to mind is that it's disorganized and very raw. This didn't feel negative to say. It seemed to reflect how I've been feeling lately, disorganized and like I'm just flailing about like a fish out of water. I noticed that the two people dominate the picture. They hold hands and share a small red flower. Though both have a missing foot, one has her mouth open and the other is closed.

As I began writing words like disorganized, fearful, disliked, desperation and paranoid, it occurred to me that I should write how I'd like to be and ways that I am at times. The other side of the paper includes words like risk, flexible, fluid, acceptance and giving. Right between the two figures and by their feet is the word 'integrate'. This reflects my desire to be more harmonious with reality. Reality is that I'm not all bad or all good. Things are no so black and white with me.

Be More detail 1

Of all the words that were written, one sticks out the most. It is the only word that appears in all capital letters and that is the word BURDEN. I ...feel...like...a..burden to others! It'll be quite the struggle to get that emotion in check.

It felt really good to complete this art therapy piece. I like free style painting. I like adding converse words/ideas that turn the piece into a learning and mindful experience.

Faith

sunflower visions fma

Title: Sunflower Visions
Art by: Faith Magdalene Austin
Medium: Watercolor and colored pencil on watercolor paper
Size: 9 x 10 inches, 
Finish: Signed, dated, unmounted
Style: Surreal, Abstract, 

Art details: Sunburst, faces, swirls, eyes and hands reaching out are just part of what you'll see in this colorful, jam packed art piece. Lively orange, vivid purple, lime and sage green glow beside sunflower yellow. This is a visual feast, a mindscape, a surreal watercolor art piece. 

"Sunflower Visions" and other original art can be found in my Etsy shop at www.sundrip.etsy.com. You may also contact me for a PayPal invoice.

Thank you for visiting SUNDRIP - Art for Life

wild things fma

Title: Wild Things
Art by: Faith Magdalene Austin
Medium: Acrylic collage on heavy cardstock
Size: 9x12 inches, 
Finish: Sealed, signed, dated, unmounted
Style: Collage, Surreal, Abstract Figurative, raw

Art details: Cut outs of my own art have been arranged to create "Wild Things." Sunflowers, koi fish, African faces, Asian faces and more have been mixed together in a wild collage. This is a visual feast, a mindscape, surreal art piece. 

"Wild Things" and other original art can be found in my Etsy shop at www.sundrip.etsy.com. You may also contact me for a PayPal invoice.

Thank you for visiting SUNDRIP - Art for Life

These pieces were worked on in the last two weeks. There's been a lot of art lately but hardly any of it has hit the internet. I'm falling behind on it, however, today there are a few to show.

They're all four different from one another. Creating them was quite emotional, especially the last piece when Robert spoke with Dr. D about some difficulties he was having.

The black and white mask is also by Robert. The other two are by Michelle. All are created in watercolor. The last one has crayon as well.

Today in therapy we talked about how difficult it can be to sit here with our CNA day after day and not have her know a thing about our DID. Today two of our snails died just before the CNA arrived which means we had to just swallow it down and not think about it. That's difficult for a kid who just lost her pet. It can be difficult for me, Jordan, to stay out for 6 hours, 6 days a week but so far it's happened. So far we've kept our secret.

Jordan

Bring out the sewing basket. Get out the good scissors and thread. Where are the hair ribbons and the fabric paints? It's doll making day.

A work in progress

Faith

UPDATE: Finished and rehomed

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hate life renewed energy Sundrip

I Can Keep Going was drawn by Robert (19) with writing by Michelle (12).

What stands out in this piece for me is the brick wall on the shoulders of the largest figure. We are feeling a lot of pressure right now.

I like how Michelle processes things: This is how I feel. This is the reality. This is supporting truth.

I've not been suicidal but life has felt like a burden, emotionally and physically painful. Several factors played into not getting enough sleep so that was a problem, too. Each day is a struggle that feels like a losing battle but the reality is I've made progress and I'm moving forward in many healthier ways. I slip up, like the other day with self harm, but I also put in place safety plans and try to find ways to help myself. Lavender in the nose and on my feet has helped tremendously, so has the art sketchbook. It feels like a losing battle but it is not. I know I can keep going, and I will.

The art piece was created in watercolor and is 7.5 x 10 inches on 98lb paper.

Robert

words fma

Content: Suicide. Blood. Emotional angst.

Cruel Words was painted by several of us. What strikes me is how affected I was by the suicide of the CNA's friend.

In the drawing there are heads blown off the people in the trees. That's a first for drawings and hopefully the last. I know the kids inside were very affected by the suicide. Having her cry in our arms that way was very heavy.

I fired my regular CNA who had cruel words for me. Anxiety is already high for us, we don't need to worry about the mouth of our CNA and what she will say that'll hurt.

The grumpy CNA is pregnant with three weeks left. It is entirely possible that her change of attitude is purely hormonal, however, the irritability and weariness she caused couldn't be tolerated. It is also true that I can't justify asking an 8 month pregnant woman to lift my wheelchair and take me to the doctor. I feel horrible asking her to do my laundry or run the sweeper. The girl is tired and irritable! Dang!!!

I like her but the change in her isn't safe for my personal issues, ya know? I talked to her about why I fired her and she said she knows she's hormonal and understands. I even told her it's about time to take maternity leave because she can't be at my house when her water breaks. lol. I can't handle that. I don't know nothin about birthin no babies.

Firing my CNA was the right thing to do. I was walking on eggshells in my own home and that can't be. So, on to the next chapter in the CNA Saga.

The art piece was created in watercolor and is 7.5 x 10 inches on 98 lb paper.

Robert

2

Fish Face Insanity by Sundrip

My neighbor has Schizophrenia. A different neighbor says it's not a mental illness but that he has demons. She inaccurately applied Scripture, which I quickly corrected, but its still on my mind and still bothers me.

She has no idea what comments like that do to a person with a mental illness. Though I corrected her, its not my job nor is it my desire to be the grand educator. I don't want to sit down the ignorant and set them straight, I just want to fight my battle without their words spinning in my universe.

When she said he has demons I thought to myself, she should never find out that I have Multiple Personality Disorder! That for sure would make her think I have Legions of demons in me.

disolve by robert Sundrip

When younger my mother used to tell me that my demons were upsetting her. My mother knew I had DID when I was at least a young teenager. She knew Morton by name and called him a demon. She said I'm possessed because of being a bad person. That too has stayed with me. I fight with the thought, that I'm a bad person, but I no longer fight the fear of having demons. My mother's reason for saying it wasn't ignorant beliefs it was cruelty and abuse. My sister knew I had others, too. She used to call out a young one to play. I don't know if she still remembers that or not.

You know, I got to thinking, mental illness isn't for the weak or ignorant. A person with a mental illness has to be one of the strongest people around because we have to fight tooth and nail just to keep our head above water. Then you add life events with it and you've got yourself one serious storm. We are not weak for having a mental illness, not even close.

The drawings included were created in the last few days as a way to survive myself.

Robert

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