Migraine mandalas

I get hemiplegic migraines ( which I am sure I must have mentioned in an earlier post) they are exacerbated by flashing lights and hormones. Most of the time they are under control with a very small dose of antidepressants. However, menopause and my irritable bowel has been fun!!! Sometimes, the migraines are brought on by flashing lights – sometimes food (if I am being sensitive). This latest episode was self inflicted really – reading a book and drawing mandalas in 4 hrs of flickering light on a car journey -was asking for trouble. 

I decided to have a go at working through my frustration and anger at my self , after several  reared their ugly heads , consecutive evenings. 

I am staying at my Dad’s house in the south of France with only my travel kit. I painted  loose ovals on lots of sheets of heavy duty cartridge paper with  very diluted acrylic. Then added swirls of neocolours, oil pastels and more paint- it’s warm and arrid here so everything dries very quickly. 


I wanted to continue working with my paper dolls. I tried a design where a female shape is curled up in painholding her head but it ended up looking like white splodges in some sort of fiery constellation. 

A head screaming (below) just looked weird( lol) and didn’t convey what I wanted to express- I like the colours , textures and patterns , so they became backgrounds. 


I needed some figures that worked in circles so I searched on line and came up with an ancient artifact from Mexico 


Practicing blind contour faces in pain ( really getting into the details 😂😂😂😂) 


The above design uses an African figurine as motif but even though it made a lovely mandala in the centre with its arms and legs I didn’t like the proportions of the head and neck. 


Nice uncomfortable screaming baby type figures are amusing me now my head is better and I like the nightmarish qualities – there is an other worldly feeling and out of body experience that I seem to have captured too , which sums up my aura stage quite nicely. Though if I think about it -I don’t experience all that colour 

Let it go 

I know that this is an over used phrase at the moment but it is apt . I have lots of things going around on my head and it is affecting my IBS 

I decided to do a spread in my journal based on the word ‘release’ – I couldn’t resist adding ‘welease woderick ‘ which is a Monty Python quote that is bandied about my house quite a lot …. It helped lighten the mood , well that’s my excuse anyway 



I drew a prehistoric Venus on a page that was all ready covered in blue acrylic and gold stamps. Then I wrote down everything that has been bugging me and overwrote it so that it is mostly  illegible. It adds depth to the background ( well that’s what I tell my self anyway) 



I have always liked the Venus statues and identify with the way the weight of her stomach pulls down her skin.( The boobs are beyond my imagination) 

I looked up lots of different phrases and synonyms for release- (because my IBS is playing up) I I made the words radiate from her stomach – using my stash of blackmail letters 

To emphasise the ‘release’ I doodled waves of lines radiating from her stomach in pen and then scribbled graphite and watersoluble crayon to add tone 





 

Don’t forget to Breathe

I am feeling very stuck with my IBS – I seem to have shut everything down – my chest is tight , stomach bloated and I feel distant from everything

I had a thought that this visual journalling is a powerful tool for me so maybe I locked everything behind my windows and doors – lol!

I started concentrating on my breathing – checking in with what I was doing with my tummy – not letting it move – my lungs – not letting them expand – I realised that I had shut everything down. (It was even more powerful saying it out loud to my hubby )

The family stuff that I am not talking about here can be overwhelming sometimes- it hangs in the air, not being talked about- then talked about too much

a friend said to me

‘The stuff of others carries often an enormous weight I think which we only recognise as such once it’s passed.’ ( Dagmar 2015)
I haven’t added this to my breathing pages yet – but it is going in there somewhere

I have asthma and take preventative drugs morning and evening – we have had to move out of our bedroom because we had a flood that hasn’t dried out yet and keeps setting me off with a coughing fit – (I think that is another journal page for later)

I was so ebullient about the fact that I had realised I wasn’t breathing properly that I made 3 pages

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Irritable bowel syndrome

I have had IBS for about 7 yrs now – it all started with a summer of tummy migraines that only children, not 46yr olds are supposed to get. I don’t know what started it off – stress? Loosing my mum the previous year?

I haven’t always had a problem with food – my family has a round shape on the female side, too much food and not enough exercise?

Las year my daughter persuaded me to get tested for food intolerance so I try and be gluten and dairy free- I am fine as long as I don’t get emotionally upset or get exposed to too many allergens- which set of excema and asthma.

I think the most annoying aspect is the lethargy which has improved with cutting out gluten – I have a sweet tooth and am constantly bashed by packaged gluten free alternatives which are packed with chemicals – that I can’t seem to stay away from

I have a love hate time with it. I tried to do two images today in my journal- one which showed a healthy gut filled with all the foods i can’t eat and decorated with flowers ( trying to represent the love side) , the other page an unhealthy looking gut and my latest favourite doodling – the wave pattern – which I have used to represent migraines,thresholds and several other concepts lately.

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I was frustrated by the layouts – the documented life journal prompt this week is ‘more is more’ so I stuck some of my ubiquitous magazine letters on top of the drawings

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I was not happy with after I tried to outline the letters with ink – to add impact

So I covered the page in gesso – dried it and added more letters – it is very messy and complicated but is a good representation of how I feel about food and my stomach

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