Psychiatry sucks, seriously. Or is it the psychiatrists?

This week I tried to take part in a writing challenge online. I dropped out. Decided to leave the group…after many many people had cheered writing by a retired forensic psychiatrist relating the story of a former patient in no less sensational (detective story style way) manner than the headlines of the gutter press. In comments to her post on the writing challenge people mainly admired her bravery, she admitted that there is a backstory to most of the cases, and that she does dive into it in the upcoming book. I seriously hope so. I did leave a comment to that effect saying it is the stories that help understand why people may have behaved in certain ways. It does make sense, always. I was seriously disappointed with that shared paragraph of an upcoming book with a publisher and people’s general reactions, though there was one brave woman who commented on the lack of depth of it. I do hope she edits it, or her approach, I really wish I just read too much into it, but I am afraid I usually don’t. I only have an English lit degree, and translation experience, studied pragmatics, art therapy and have a lived psychiatric inpatient experience.

Anyhow, now onto something completely different, kinda. I am sharing a blog of a fellow traveler in arms…Katerina Paskova, she bravely shares her story of a Psychmeds Refuser and Withdrawer, in Czech. I seriously pray for her and cheer her on her way. Go, Katka, go!

Having said that, I am hereby declaring I am also not far off from embarking on another stage of my recovery journey, as I will be tapering aripiprazole, the second time round. I had previously tapered off successfully sertraline, and hopefully healed by now. Long story short…psychiatry sucks, seriously. If anything, the moral of the story I was trying to write in that challenge mentioned above was Hugs not Drugs (killer title, right?)….and that kind of sums it up in a neat paperback form…for those who do not want to look no further or deeper…but now reconsidering: Psychiatry sucks, seriously. Sounds more like it. May the force be with us.

If you want to follow my journey in arting my withdrawal process…go to my instagram and click follow.

Thank you for reading, liking and sharing.

#seemetoseeyourself online while in lockdown

See me to see yourself end of March

Quick note from the studio again, so blessed and honoured to be creating more for the #seemetoseeyourself ongoing project portraits.

See, I draw and paint women in #recovery, helping them see themselves for who they truly are…on the road, journeying, full of potential, full of light despite what they had been through or had put themselves through in the past.

The process is quite simple, yet intuitive:

I sit with the sitter, I hold the space…

Whatever comes up comes up

We meet. Each other. Each oneself.

I hold the space.

The sitter shows up, as in puts down the protective masks and shows up in their heart self.

I take up my pencils and paints and capture that.

I hold the space.

The sitter is witnessed for who they truly are. I bear witness to that.

They connect to it, themselves, the resulting piece a reminder of that meeting.

Simple. Not always that easy perhaps, for we are making it difficult for ourselves most of the time.

But finding that recently sitters have been more open with themselves, opening their hearts more readily…perhaps because I have done so too? Mirror mirror on the wall…

Funnily enough, it works online too…despite the distance and technical disembodiment of the experience.

If you feel like it, being part of the ongoing project, let me know #seemetoseeyourself.

At the moment, especially with what is going on with corona, I would like to serve as many women in recovery as possible, so the sitting is on a donation basis, covering the materials and p&p. Get in touch.

 

 

Drawn to do more #seemetoseeyourself portrait sessions

/Self/ portraits have been an important part of my recovery process…monitoring, connecting and keeping in touch with myself…while staring into the mirror with a brush, felt tip or a pencil in my hand.

 

More recently I have been creating #seemetoseeyourself portraits for other women in transition or recovery too. Been drawn to them…and vice versa…pun intended.

The portrait sessions are a space to be seen and witnessed, to honour the healing process and our place in it. The resulting acrylic and mixed media artworks a witness to and a celebration of a turning point, or a particular stretch of the journey.

Feeling allowed….even…especially…onto the canvas. And the space in between.

If you feel drawn to this, or know of someone who might be,  or who is in need of this, please pass this post on and let them know I am ready to arrange a sitting, either online or in my SE London studio.

Please do share and spread the word…for more women aware of and proud of their /captured/ moments of healing.

 

What is behind my arting…where is it coming from? And what is behind yours?

Today I watched a video by Alexis Fedor of Artists in Business that talked about core values…for myself, my art and my work with clients.

Connection
Courage and Healing
and Inspiration with Encouragement

came up for me, after a brief thought, almost by impulse.

And that brought me down to my knees and back to where it all began…back in 2006, in a psychiatric clinic in Kromeriz, in Czech. Not the best place to be, and art about the only solace and connection to be had.

So for me, the outpour of arting then came after about ten years of having not allowed myself to art, because, as I had been fed and told I was not good at it. See, only talented enough individuals were allowed extra art classes when I was a child in the then communist Czechoslovakia.

Since then, mapping my recovery journey of twelve years, I have worked in (the National) gallery in Prague, studied learning through art and art therapy and experiential learning methodologies. I have created along the way – with people, on my own…knowing that art has a special way of connecting us to who we are, and build those connections between us. By allowing ourselves to art we heal ourselves, and thus the/our worlds.

Now based in London, I have taken my work online, put what I know about overcoming those “not good enough” resistance and fear and doubts in your art into an e-course. It has been my labour of love. If you so feel inclined check it out, but most of all, hit comment/reply and tell us, what is the why behind your arting! I really want to know.