donderdag 11 februari 2016

the life of death

walking along the Ijssel is such a treat everyday
even though it's pretty much flooded now since all the rain
and i suddenly stood in the water untill my ankles.
discovered my shoes weren't waterproof.
but my day isn't that easily ruined.
im writing little poems about the moment first time i realised my parents had actual names 
other than mama and papa.

do you remember very long ago i shared a shortfilm my sister made
about The Life of Death?
and how i couldn't show it because it was still running in a festival-thingy?
well it is finally online!
took a few years, but better later than never!
and i'm proud that my sister was able to make such a touching handdrawn story.

you can watch it 

dinsdag 2 februari 2016

what a week

these are some of the pictures laila and i shot together!

it's been crazy weather, a few weeks ago ronja and i lost two balls because of the snow and ice
and now suddenly it's warm enough to walk around with-without-coat.
and we still lost another ball. so that's not really connected in any way with the weather.
ronja and i have been playing tom and jerry with a few mouses in our house
even though they are incredibly annoying and noisy for such tiny creatures,
they are just. so. cute.
and annoying.
a week ago one of them was drinking water out of ronja's water bowl
while it stared at me.
 i have to buy some animal-friendly not-killing traps.
on friday i visitied hans and went to watch her photography exposition
(favorite photo *click*
and then got a phone call from the old man i am helping to clean his house (remember?)
he was going to have the results of a biopt, and it turned out to be bad news.
so on saturday ronja and i went to the market, bought a boquete of flowers and went to visit him
where he ofcourse welcomed ronja and me with open arms. 
oh and earlier there was a swan walking in the rushing traffic and i hobbled over, stopping cars
and driving the swan to the side of the road towards to water.
i think it must have looked pretty funny,
it's a little strange not having the therapy, but i'm replacing it with good things.
now i am writing this wrapped up in a blanket while on the background How i met your mother is playing.
wobbe is snoring next to me on the couch, i just gave melle a belly-masage because she is bloated and that's how we do and ronja is sleeping.
i'm gooood!

zondag 24 januari 2016

Q&A - therapy taboo

so for those who follow my instagram know what this post is about already
(and probably recognize these therapy toilet selfies!)
yesterday i finished my 6 months of therapy at a chronic pain treatment.
and i have always been getting questions about it, so i decided to do a Q&A
it's a very personal subject, but because i often feel like there is some kind of taboo on being in therapy
so i want to give you guys some insight about how it has helped me.

what is your therapy for?
 this therapy was specifically for my physical limitations.
in a rehabilitation centrum, specialized in chronic pain.
the goal was not to get rid of the pain, but to learn to cope with the pain

what causes your chronic pain?
 that's a difficult question, since in the regular hospitals they will tell me 'there is nothing wrong with me'
though there have been a lot of studies lately in which there are some breakthroughs of what may cause chronic pain. in my case my neural system is simply said overstrung.
you could also call it fibromyalgia, a chronic disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and tenderness in localized areas. 
when i was still a teenager i had a strong need to get a 'name' for what i was going through. especially because so often people with my symptoms often are being told
 they are just overreacting, that it is 'in your head', to 'get yourself together'
which is kind of logical when you think about it, 
because there are a lot of  'i'll believe it when i see it' people around.
let's just say there is a lot of incomprehension.
that is also what i believe is so wrong in the medical world, trying to divide physical and mental symptoms
when our bodies are one, our mental state influences our physcial state and vice versa. 
you can not see those two apart from eachother.
luckily that idea is finally getting through to the medical world, providing treatments like the one i just had.

what are your biggest achievements? what do you think has changed in your life since you started? 
before this treatment i didn't trust my body anymore, and felt like there was nothing i could do to influence the pain. i felt very powerless and started to ignore all the signs my body gave me, pushing it farther and farther over the edge. my biggest achievement in this therapy is that i feel much more in control over my body and to take it serious again; which is hard when your body is always screaming everything is too much.
i found out resting is a problem for me, because as soon as i rest, i feel lazy, useless.
i have found a better balance between activity and rest, and understand my symptoms better.

what does this therapy looks like?
i have been in many different kinds of therapy over the past ten years for many different things
depression, anxiety, eating disorders, insomnia and physical problems.
to narrow it down a bit i will only describe my latest treatment;
it was a part-time treatment, meaning i wasn't admitted into a clinic, but had two days of therapy in a week.
it contained PMT (psychomotor therapy) in which i was exploiding my borders, and learned which signs my body gave me were the ones i should take serious.
then Occupational Therapy (in dutch its Ergotherapy, not sure if this is the right translation)
in which i was trying to get a better view on how much energy every activity costs me by writing down everything i do in a chart, and how i could make it less energy consuming.
 Physiotherapy, in which i have gotten a different view on relaxation, and how to.
then the Fitness and Swimming therapy, to slowly build my endurance and muscles.
and last but not least a psychologist with whom i was able to talk about my experiences throughout the treatment.

does contact with your best friends help you, or has it no influence?
i would even say it's one of the most important things for me.
if i am not in contact with people, i tend to drift off in my own head
believing all my negative thoughts.
contact with friends, or even strangers, is so important in order to keep evolving your view on life.

do they really listen to you?
not everyone listens. i've had a lot of different therapists over the past 10 years
and i think about 20% were good for me.
if you consider therapy, it is very natural to 'browse' for a right fit.
that might sound a little weird, but i think it is very important you feel safe in therapy.
when i was younger i didn't feel comfortable telling a therapist it wasn't working out for me
costing me a lot of time i could have spend with someone i actually feel comfortable with.

at what age did you get into therapy?
about age 12, but my first admittion in a clinic was at 14.

do you ever dislike going to therapy?
in the past, most of the time.
because i wasn't really ready to change, and the treatment wasn't something i had chosen for myself.
but this treatment i háve chosen myself, and i was very motivated.
and even more important, i was ready. 
but ofcourse, somedays i really didn't feel like confronting myself with the flaws and difficulties in my life.
during therapy do you feel comfortable sharing your feelings with your therapist? or is it hard for you to talk about personal things?
like i said in another answer already, i think it is important to feel safe around your therapist.
otherwise it's hard to share.
but there are always subjects that stay hard to talk about.
everyone has some.

do you take medicine besides the therapy?
yes, i take antidepressants for the pain.
 painkillers don't effect my pain, because the pain is caused in my brain.
the antidepressants numb my neurosystem.
i have injections to increase my resistance so i won't catch every cold
i take magnesium and vitamin D supplements.

oof! hopefully you've found my answers helpful in any way.
it's a subject close to my heart because so many people get looked at funny because of being in therapy
but i think it shows you are working on yourself, admitting and accepting your flaws.

maandag 4 januari 2016

beter iets dan niets

 these are the pictures from last ''third christmas'' i spend
 with the lovely people i have met here over the past two years.
 i had been looking forward to this day
since my months of therapy had started i haven't been able to see them all 
as much as i would have liked.
and it was even more lovely than i imagined (:
later that week Melle and i traveled to Ameland, one of the dutch islands
where my parents, sisters and ronja had already arrived a few days ago,
to spend the last days of the holidays and new years' eve with them.
and it was a great decision, just haning out in my pyamas, making puzzles
(i'm really way too unpatient for puzzles! whenever i can't find a piece, i just assume it's 'lost')
and playing card games with my family.
long walks on the beach, watching the majestic sea, watching Ronja and Wobbe play on the beach, breathing the air that's so fresh it almost hurts my lungs.
i'm left with an incredibly grateful feeling.
especially since a few days earlier i went to do groceries,
 and saw a boy about my age sitting in front of the supermarket.
he had a carton box in front of him with only a few coins in it, looking terribly unhappy.
after a few moments of doubt, i walked towards him and tried to ask him if he perhaps was a syrian refugee.
he didn't speak dutch, or english. but the words 'syrian refugee' he recognized and he nodded, kind of in an embarresed way. 
it wouldn't have felt right to just toss him some coins, so i pointed at him, then myself, and then the supermarket, asking him if he wanted to come with me so i could buy him some groceries.
he started smiling, stood up and we went inside. 
i felt ashamed, as i opened my arms wide to all of the food and products in the store
trying to make clear he could pick anything.
awkwardly we walked through the store, talking in gestures,
 he slowly getting more comfortable, taking what he needed,
i slowly more and more embarresed by the difference between us, that just because he lived in a land of war, and i in this peaceful place i was walking him through the store 
and not the other way around.
he murmured some things in his language,
 bowing his head down while holding his hands as if in prayer.
i bought him cigarettes and we shook hands,
 looking at eachother trying to comminucate a 'thanks' and 'you're welcome'
and as he walked back to his spot in front of the supermarket, i walked back home
feeling confused by what just happened. not sure if i did any good by trying to help him,
as it could never be enough.
and at the same time feeling of intense gratefulness for the things that i have in life;
 i am rich in so many ways.
in the end i decided it was better to do something than nothing.

donderdag 10 december 2015



ik experimenteer met het licht
en schaduwen in mijn gezicht 
ik sluit mijn ogen voor de zon
voel de schaduw op mijn mond
ik zwerf tussen het donker door
sluip langzaam naar het licht
en als ik dan mijn ogen open
verblindt de donkerte
mijn zicht