Tag: self esteem

I Went to an Art Class and Learned to Paint a Valentine’s Puppy

I Went to an Art Class and Learned to Paint a Valentine’s Puppy

I felt intimidated about getting into the art world, but, as the instructor for this class said, “You can’t take a picture of a puppy with a tilted head too seriously.” This acrylic class made the perfect introduction for me because of that. It took place at Pinot’s Palette. Here’s a link to their list of locations, if you’d like to try a class.

I learned the wet-on-wet painting technique, of painting with another color over one that hasn’t dried yet. We painted the hearts white while the red paint underneath was still wet, which turned them pink. When we painted the nose, she said that it would be better to start small and need to add to it, then to do it all at once and think its nose was too big. I’m already a little more confident in my artistic abilities now.

There are some things that I wish I did better with my puppy painting, but since I’m a beginner, I’m trying not to dwell on it. There’s still a little red from the background heart showing through its white face, its nose is misshapen, and the outline around its face is a little too sloppy.

It was my idea to add the white dots to its eyes. A little white in the eyes makes a work of art look more lively to me.

I sometimes fell a little behind throughout the class, but at least I managed to finish the painting. I’d like to take more classes there in the future.

Grief and Overcoming Resulting Housekeeping Challenges

In September of 2018, my mom suddenly died. At first, I still kept up with my housework.

Then several people magnified my grief with the hurtful ways they treated me. Some criticized me for, in their opinion, not doing a good enough job handling the logistics of her death. Some kept pushing me to go faster, even though I was already drained from my mental illness and various other traumas that had happened before, and her sudden death happened when I had barely had a chance to start recovering from that other stuff.

Others steamrolled my boundaries. Also, I was more prone than usual to making mistakes for a while after her death, such as forgetting an important item at home, and at times, people were ruthless about it.

The added layers to my grief and trauma ruined me. The feelings that ruined me, in turn, ruined my home. I was so out of my mind after these additional awful events that I stopped cleaning my apartment or even throwing anything away properly.

Now, I’m surrounded by garbage in my apartment. Even being in bed is uncomfortable, because there’s garbage there, too. I’ve had so much to handle and so little support that I’d just weakly open my palm when I held a piece of garbage and let it drop to the floor, barely registering it. Other times, I’d set down garbage, nasty dishes, etc. on whatever furniture was close by. My apartment is infested with bugs.

I have to act…if my landlord finds out that my apartment has gotten this bad, she’d have to evict me. I’ve already dealt with homelessness before, both as a child and as an adult. I fear what it would do to me if I had to endure it yet again. Not again. Not again! I need to save myself.

I hope to later have an update, readers, with a picture of a clean, organized apartment, a picture that I won’t be ashamed to share.

The Difference Between Realistic Concern and Self Doubt

Leslie Sokol and Marci Fox, who both work at the of Beck Institute of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, explain the difference between realistic concern and self doubt in their book, Think Confident, Be Confident. Realistic concern means that you’re assessing whether you need to gain skills, information, or experience to be able to do something (Sokol and Fox, location 231 of the desktop PC version). It helps keep us safe. Self doubt is a distressing emotion that limits us.

I’ll give an example from my own life to help show the difference. I used to think of myself as someone who’s bad at hands on things, such as putting together an object that has multiple parts. Last week, I got a vacuum in the mail that came in three sections. Until recently, I wouldn’t have even tried to put it together myself, which would’ve been self doubt. This time, I made several attempts to do it myself, including looking up a picture of it online (it didn’t come with instructions). I got two sections to fit together, but couldn’t get the third section on after several tries.

Finally, I decided to text my social worker to ask her for help, and she finished putting it together. In that case, asking for help stemmed from realistic concern.

I’ve found this distinction helpful for figuring out whether my feelings about myself are helping me, or hurting me.


Works Cited

Sokol, Leslie and Fox, Marci. Think Confident, Be Confident. TarcherPerigee, 2009.