Tag Archives: Creativity

List of Things that Make Me Me

During the past week and a half, a lot has happened, and yet so little has. I spoke to the patient advocate regardng the recent diagnonsense. She recommended a second opinion at another hospital. For various reasons, I decided against this. My psychologist did consult a psychiatrist at the brain injury unit, who told her she was right that brain injury and autism shouldn’t really be diagnosed together, but the same goes for borderline personality disorder and brain injury. Now I’m left with a very confusing diagnosis. I think it’s going to be personality change due to a general medical condition (brain injury), but my psychologist also said something about generalized anxiety disorder and attachment disorder possibly going onto my diagnosis. And I thought I was the one who collected labels.

This is all very confusing, because I rely on concrete labels for defining myself. How coincidental that I just opened a journaling eBook to a random prompt and it told me to make a list of my uniqueness, my marvelousness, my talents. These are not psychiatric labels, because, although some people consider autism a gift, I cannot say that autism itself should be one of my talents. With no further ado, here is my great list of things that make me me.


  • I am intelligent. I have a lot of knowledge and I can articulate it well most of the time. I am good at analyzing stuff.

  • I can persever(at)e if I truly want to achieve something.

  • I am sensitive. Sometimes, this sensitivity causes me to experience overwhelm to the point where I appear uncaring, but I truly care about other people.

  • I am creative. I write, I craft, I make soap.

  • I have a pretty cynical sense of humor. I remember on my first day in the psychiatric hospital, telling jokes about how you could tell the patients and staff apart.

  • I am stubborn and I like it. My husband jokes that my parents haven’t made up their minds about anything since the 1980s. I am thankful not to be that extreme, but I can really want to be right sometimes.

  • I am a semi-successful blogger even though I haven’t been blogging as much over the past few months.

  • I am a good wife.


This list should or could probably be longer. It also didn’t really cheer me up. However, it does help me see that I’m more than my confusing set of diagnosense.

What I Like About Myself

One of the June prompts over at The SITS Girls asks about a favorite thing about yourself. My husband occasionally jokes that my being a blogger makes me slightly narcissistic, so I’m going to exploit this prompt and list not just one thing I like about myself, but several.

I am going to start with physical features. Beauty is on the inside, but it’s good if you have something you like about your appearance too. I used to hate my body. Now most features are mostly neutral to me. I know I’m quite overweight, and I dislike that, but I don’t hate it. That’s a good thing.

Two features I like about myself are my hair and my eyes. I particularly like my hair since I had it cut and it’s somewhat wavy again. I don’t like short hair, never did. In fact, my mother used to push me about getting my hair cut short when I was young. I didn’t give in. Currently, I have my hair to about shoulder length. My hair is dark brown, although my father keeps calling it dark blond.

My eyes are a kind of greenish blue I’m told. I was never able to see my own eye color, but from my concept of color, I like this. I had a huge cataract removed from my left eye in 2013. Though the surgery wasn’t a success in terms of regained vision, the doctor commented that it did lead to aesthetic improvement.

Now that I think on it, I realize the features that I like are both features that my parents have made negative comments on. The hair wars were in fact much worse than the few words I used above can describe. Regardign my eyes, when I went to the eye doctor for an unrelated reason in 2004, shortly after the cataract had been discovered, my father asked the doctor whether aesthetics could be a reason to get the cataract removed.

With regard to personality features, I don’t like the one aspect my parents are over the top proud of: my intelligence. Conversely, I consider myself quite imaginative and creative, though I know that most people don’t share this opinion. Lastly, I like my determination, and again it’s a trait that most people say I don’t possess. That’s quite interesting.

Word for the Year: Nurture

My word for 2014 was “self-care”. Didn’t do too well on that one. I meant to be saying goodbye to my self-destructive tendencies, including eating disorder issues. Didn’t work out. In fact, my binge eating spiraled even more out of control than it already was and I had some bad self-harming episodes. On the up side, however, I did start art therapy, which has been a good experience. Let’s hope for an even better one this year.

This year, I’m choosing a similar but broader theme for the year, which is “nurture”. It refers to both better self-care and nurturing my creativity. I do hope art therapy proves to be a good medium for this. My first art therapy session this year, yesterday, wasn’t too great, but my creative endeavors in recreational therapy have been fruitful. I plan on carrying one of the media I use there, polymer clay, over to art therapy next week. Below I finally show you the polymer clay frog I made a few weeks ago. I’ve made many more things out of polymer clay and hope to keep up the work.

Polymer Clay Frog

In addition, I hope the year will be one where I can nurture my relaltionship with God. I hope my faith will both be strengthened and strengthen me this year. I have made a good start by joining a Bible journaling community on Facebook, and plan on writing more faith-based posts here on the blog. Of course, I know some of my relatives and readers hold different beliefs to mine, and that’s okay.

Besides “nurture”, I have several other words spinning through my head that might be additional themes for the year. “Perspective” comes to mind, as I do hope to finally gain some perspective on where and how I’m going to live after leaving the psychiatric institution. It is, however, also important to keep having a perspective when nurturing myself. I didn’t have one back last year. Now, at least in the eating department, I have the goal of losing weight, and I have a target weight in mind. I am not too good with setting such targets in the creatvity department, but this goal is hope-motivated too.

“Hope” iis another possible theme. Most of my goals for this year are worded in a way to formulate what I want to reach, not what I want to avoid. This is much more positive than last year’s acrostic, which started out by naming all the negatives in which I wasn’t caring for myself. I truly hope to make this year a year with a positive outlook.

Mama’s Losin’ It

The Year in a Word

A prompt I came across asked us to sum up our year in a phrase, but I’m choosing a word. Creative. When choosing a word for 2014, I chose “self-care”. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to follow along with this theme much this year. I gained more weight (I’m obese), had a really hard time sticking to my exercise routine (or non-routine), and any attempts to start adoptig a healthier lifestyle ended in a few days. I also haven’t made much progress in therapy. Having been diagnosed with BPD in 2013, I had hoped 2014 could be the year of finally finding appropriate treatment. It wasn’t. My antipsychotic medicaiton was upped in late 2013, but unfortunately it had to be upped last week again.

But the year was positive in some other ways, and those things are what causes me to choose “creative” as my word for the year. Early in the year, I chose not to invest much in my old hobby of cardmaking anymore. I am still part of a few cardmaking groups, but had to let go of my commitments on all group sometime this year.

However, I did pick up several new hobbies, including jewlry-making and polymer clay. I did recently start up cardmaking again.

Creative day activities also started to take a place in my week this year. I stopped going to one of the crafty day activity places in late 2013 because the stress of having to wait for the car to pick me up and drive me there and the shortage of staffing made it too hard for me. Fortunately, the day activity room attached to the long-term adult units in my institution (on which I reside) opened its doors in late 2013 too and activities took full effect early this year. I have sometimes had a hard time going there, but I have persevered. As a result, I’ve been able to create quite a few nice things. Below is a picture of a necklace I recently made.

Necklace

I’m still thinking, but I might just choose “creative” as my intended theme for 2015 too.

Creativity #WotW

Sorry for not having written much over the past week. I’ve been really tired and also worrying about the future of my care. I for some reason haven’t been able to put these thoughts into words.

Summing up this week in one word though, I will go with something positive, which is the creative juices I’ve had flowing lately. So, “creativity” will be my word for the week.

Last week Friday (yeah, I’m cheating a bit, LOL), I made some nice earrings. No picture yet, but I do have a pic of a necklace I made earlier that week. It is only a very basic necklace with blue beads and a blue/silver pendant. I like it though, and got many positive reactions to it.

Blue Necklace with Flower Pendant

I started looking for new crafty Facebook groups to join on Monday. Usually, I find a Facebook group first and then I start a hobby, rather than the other way around. I learned about bead weaving that way. I bought some seed beads, a few beading needles, cord and wire and figured I would be able to do bead weaving that way. I wasn’t. I have both a regular weaving loom and a wooden bead loom. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find instructions that I could follow without help, but on Wednesday, I got my activity staff to look at a tutorial I found – thankfully, we have a compute rin the activity room now. I then found out that a metal bead loom, which they used in the tutorial, is better than a wooden one. I’d unsuccessfully tried weaving with the wooden one before and the staff had not been able to figure it out for me either. I decided to buy the metal bead loom since it was only E11,95. I’m now waiting on it to come through the mail.

On Thursday, my art therapist also taught me loom knitting. I’d done this once before but had forgotten how to do it. She’d only done it once before herself, but together, we figured it out. I do think I’m going to bring my Rainbow Loom needle next week, because the regular crochet needles we used this time are either too big or the thread falls off the hook.

I’ve also tried to pick up regular weaving again, but am not too inspired in that area. I heard from the admin of a Dutch weaving group on Facebook that there is a weaving group for people with disabilities in my area, but I’ve yet to hear back from the person in charge of this.

Lastly, many blogging topics have floated around in my head. Unfortunately, none became formed enough to draft a blog post out of it, except for the Halloween/St. Martin’s post I wrote on Wednesday. I hope to be able to write more next week.

The Reading Residence
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Three Things I Like About Myself

Day three of the recovery challenge is a hard one, because it is about listing three things you like about yourself. I can think of things I maybe, in a way, sort of, kind of like about myself, but most come with a huge “but”. Then again, this post is good for examining why I can’t really like positive characteristics of mine.

I had to do this once before during counseling at blindness rheab, and I also had to ask my parents and sister to name three qualities about me. They didn’t need to be positive per se, but it would be nice if they were. The first thing my father came up with was my intelligence, and I bet my mother had a hard time thinking of something other than that to come up with first. I realize I am intelligent, and in a way, I like it. I used to like being seen as a “walking encyclopedia”. At family get-togethers, I was usually popular for my calendar calculation abilities and knowledge of politics. For clarity’s sake: I actually know the mechanism behind calendar calculation and don’t have the huge memory that savants do have, so I’m generally a lot slower than savant people. Now, I still feel good when I debate a topic I know a lot about and I can show my knowledge.

The reason intelligence has a bad connotation to me is because of the expectations that go with it. Because I am intelligent, I am supposed to function well in a lot of other areas. This is not true – conditions like autism, which I have, have little to do with intelligence and can affect intelligent people significantly. But this myth has still been perpetuated throughout my life.

Another quality I mentioned to the blindness rehabilitation psychologist is my strong-willedness. If I want something, I’m determined to get my way. This may be annoying to others, but most people appreciate it in me. I also don’t usually truly give up easily. I may say that I will give up, but in the edn, I persevere.

Then there is the one quality I truly like about myself: my creativity. I don’t necessarily mean that I make good crafts, although I’m quite happy with many recent projects. I also mean my writing skill and my generally open-minded thinking style. “Openness” is the one thing on the five-factor personality test that I score high on (except for “neuroticism”, but I mean the positive qualities), although I must say I am pretty conscientious too.

To end this post, I’m stealing an idea from Confessions of a Single Parent Pessimist and listing three things I did well this week:


  1. Have not binged during the week and have not self-harmed in seven weeks.

  2. Kept my temper in check.

  3. Wrote a lot of blog posts that I like.

Expressing Myself

Today the Daily Post’s prompt is Express Yourself. I find this a fascinating prompt, and could write on and on about expressiveness and the way I express myself. I write, mostly. Writing has been a hobby of mine since elementary school. Back then, I wrote mostly fiction. I have a few kind of weird tales and a lot of autobiographical fiction. Unfortunatley, as I got older, my skill didn’t get better, so by age eighteen or so, I quit fiction writing.

I trid poetry for a while. Last Thursday during art therapy, the therapist asked whether I wrote poetry and whether she could read one of my poems. They’re not great. In fact, with the exception of a few recent ones, my poems lack metre or rhyme. My older poems are so bad that I’m actually sort of proud of the acrostic I wrote a few months ago.

In addition to writing, I craft. I have tried my hand at art journaling, but have not succeeded. My cards and jewelry are pretty down-to-earth in their design I’d say. In fact, I’m not sure I’m all that imaginative in any of my expressive modalities. That doesn’t mean I don’t have a rich imagination. I’m just finding it hard to express it.

One thing that holds me back is the fact that the more imaginative works aren’t necessaarily the more beautiful ones for me. As I said, my poems, which usually express my authentic feelings, lack metre or rhyme and are little more than emotional diarrhea jotted on paper. Not something I’d like to post on my blog. And something I’ve noticed lately, is that I have a very hard time not sharing something I create. I even have a hard time keeping a private journal and, not havng found a suitable desktop application for it, I ended up with a protected WordPress blog which I ended up giving a few people access to anyway. Maybe I need to relearn that some things belong to me and are not to be expressed to anyone outside of me.