Hourly diary: 19th August 2010


Words cannot describe how much I detest drawing myself. I find the scrutiny of myself clenchingly, toe-curlingly mortifying. In animation college, we used to have to draw ourselves grimacing in mirrors to catch expressions, and striking attitudes in front of mirrors and it always caused me great irk. (Animators do a lot of acting Goofy. I mean that literally, acting like Goofy, Bugs et al. You couldn't get up the corridors in animation college without falling over students acting out their scenes. One of the second year projects was the Fat Skip and there they'd be, jumping imaginary ropes, as hammily as possible, being Poo-Bear or Baloo. It is a bit of a strange profession.)
The theory being, to draw it, you've got to feel it.

I've never been able to pull that off, when applied to myself. But as the residency approaches I really have to raise my game a bit, (hence previous post) to allow me to include autobiography in my mad creative plans. Nearly all the half-baked ideas I have in my head for book ideas are all about things that happened to me, and I need to be able to represent myself somehow.

Oh man. Cringe.
[I am amused to see that I have made myself thinner than in real life.]

As in art, so in life.
I am going through some stuff. Due date related stuff (it's not for weeks - tell that to my subconscious), mostly, also marital stuff and sundry other arising neuroses - I don't know where to start with it, it's all a dust storm, but I have to make some kind of sense of it all. Some clarity, or at least less grit in my eyes, would be very welcome. The ground feels shaky, all is weird - not all bad, oddly enough - but uncertain and I really want to be more normal, at some point.

So I am looking at local therapists names online, as encouraged by bunny. We do have some Find a therapist tools for Ireland, but these foolish people have not included IF as a specialty. I mean, really!
These people don't come with reviews, more is the pity. That would be so handy. Say a star system, like hotels? I'd like a good-ish one, nice and clean and with good views (groan). Three stars would be fine.

Even the wonderfully gossipy boards.ie doesn't allow names to be mentioned. (You have to wonder if some of these threads are real. Some take on an Onionesque quality: Dublin Ghost Hunter claims he was attacked by a spirit (?).)
Back later, less moaningly, I hope. (I've been working on Smokey, the film again. It's turning into something - not sure what - but it's a thrill.)




Twangy, I'm sorry about the stuff. It sounds as if the ground beneath your feet is going a bit wavy and earthquake-like. I love the portrait, though I can guess it's excruciating to have to draw yourself. And I'm glad that you're in search of a therapist. Bunny's post inspired me the same way and I've seen a good-ish lady for a few weeks now. I've found that it does help control the dust storm (if only a little bit).


I can't imagine having to draw myself...that would mean I would have to confront the fact that I have aged since high school, and I am unwilling to do so. The interior of my brain does not match my exterior (nor the interior of the rest of my body, for that matter). I don't want them to link up. You are most courageous!

I hope the you are able to find a decent therapist - we do have a website in the US (rateMD.com, I think it is) where you can rate your doctors. I have found it helpful, on occasion. We mostly rely on referrals from family, though.


Oh, I wish there weren't any Bad Stuff for you to go through. Imagine me giving you comforting tea and baked goods and hanging out in your kitchen in a distracting way right now. (And I hope you find someone who helps. Trust your instincts is my advice.) As for the self portraiture, UGH. I say you're entitled to create a literary alter ego. A pen self. And as long as you don't turn yourself into a glamorous fairy princess, I think you're allowed to ignore some flaws. But perhaps I just think that because I can't actually draw, so my self renderings are necessarily inaccurate. Anyhow, good luck.


Thank you all for the encouragement. Hey maybe therapy'll be interesting.
(Novel thought!)

Womb For Improvement

Or therapy will start a thought for a novel ...

There seem to be a few Infertility coaches on twitter. And they follow other therapists, maybe you could find someone in your locality sifting through that way. (And then google the shit out of them of course).

Or could you ask your doctor to recommend someone?


I love your drawings. I love your drawings of you. Do more.


And I love the mental image of a corridor full of students gurning and hopping about - no, it's coursework! Obviously!

As for the dust-storm, eh. It sucks. I'm sorry. As you may remember, H and I went off to a Professional Hand-Holder And Referee for a bit, to learn How To Have Certain Conversations. It was very helpful re: marital harmony, so I make recommendy noises - but nothing, NOTHING, helps with the 'I should be hugely pregnant right now you BASTARD Universe how could you' thing. Even endless lovely sensible grown-up and harmonious discussions with H just leave me feeling empty and raw. Because I AM empty and raw. It will heal. It healed before. Argh.


As for finding a counsellor, here in Blighty we have BICA http://www.bica.net/. I looked at their site and apparently there IS a listing for an infertility counsellor in CORK of all places. She might know people closer to you...


Thank you, May and WFI. That is very helpful and encouraging. Ooh, Cork woman does therapy over the phone! INTeresting...

(The idea of cartoonizing the therapy is cool. Wow. Fantastic. This is cheering me right up).

valery valentina

What with London not living up to expectation I could imagine the residency feeling outside your comfort zone by many miles. Some good shakes some bad, but how to tell the difference?
I found my BambiEyes through the hospital. I like the drawing 'cringe', love the idea of that mirror, but keep puzzling about seeing the glasses at the same angle twice. Wouldn't it work if you took a picture of yourself and think of that as your mirror sister? She would be less known to you than your 'normal mirror image' ?


I love your drawings. Love them.
Good luck on finding the right therapist for you.


Ooh Valery, you're right! Oops. That angle is impossible, isn't it? Takes someone with your training!

Funny enough I am really excited about the residency. I feel like I am going to camp!

Thank you Amanda. That is very kind.

Lunch anyone?
Ah crap, why do you not live HERE?

Bionic Baby Mama

Twangy, my love, THANK YOU for your comment this morning. After I read it, somehow I was able to sleep for another 30 minutes or so.

Sugar, who Knows About These Things, thinks your self-portrait is very good. I do not know about these things at all, but I like the shoulder angle and the mouth expression very much. And I'm amazed at how much you get done with no legs! So brave of you, never even mentioning it.

I wish you luck on the therapist hunt. I've not had good luck in that realm myself, but I grew up surrounded by them (Mama's a shrink -- there's the root of my reluctance, no doubt), and lots of them were good, smart, decent people. It IS frustrating that there's no review system beyond asking friends, and then the shrink in question probably won't see you, because s/he knows your friends.

Sugar and I were just talking the other day about how, while we both have our mixed feelings bout it as a way to deal with congenital gloominess, we think therapy is just the ticket in a situation like yours: when you have a discrete problem/topic/incident/behavior to address.


Twangy, thanks for much for your congratulations on my happy news.

I think you draw yourself wonderfully - as an encouraging art teacher told me, if we wanted an exact likeness, we'd take a photo. Portraiture tells a different story.


Twangy, I went therapist road myself last year when I was trying to figure out what it was exactly I felt about everything.......specifically international adoption/infertility etc. Couldn't find anyone specialising in IF and without that didn't find the experience hugely helpful to be honest. Definite gap in market for someone good.
Hope things improve soon. Love your drawing. x


I'm currently technically living with a psychotherapist in Dublin. She doesn't specialise in infertility issues (though she does do couples stuff) but she might know someone who does... Feel free to email me if you'd like her contact details.

Not on Fire

When I was looking I called some local infertility clinics and asked who they dealt with. I ended up with some decent that way. At least they know the territory.


Am so very sorry to hear abou the stuff. Hope things settle down soon. Like Bunny, I would come over with tea and baked goods, or wine should you prefer.

Love the drawing, all your drawings are wonderful, no matter the subject. As for graphic novels about IF, I think it is a wonderful subject, and often thought of doing such. However, cannot draw.

valery valentina

Hiya, did all this rain do anything to clear your dust? Here I'm happy to see some blue sky again, I am so done with getting wet!
hang in there....

Hairy Farmer Family

I somehow missed this post and have also missed the comment bus behind all the other lovely commenters who have said Wise Clever things.
*pats hand* *smiles encouragingly*

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