Throughout this last year, there are many things that I have taken up that help with my mental health. Mostly, I learned how to adapt the things that I was already doing, turning them into powerful tools for healing and self-exploration. I have been using a Bullet Journal for the last few years in an attempt to learn how to harness my time and effort. After I started therapy, I adapted it to work on my mental health as well as time management.
The biggest change though, has been using my art to work through the bigger emotions that I cannot fully express with words. One of my symptoms is that I have moments where I cannot speak, or topics that I won’t let myself focus on. Self-preservation gone wild I guess.
Art is where it gets into the gritty stuff, the feelings that I cannot accurately express with words to my counselor. It allows me to show the chaos of my feelings without making me sound crazy, and it also helps allow me to feel in control of something when I’m dealing with those bigger issues. I have several paintings going right now that deal with different aspects of my past traumas.
Abstracts allow me to just paint the color of the feeling, to scrub my brushes against the canvas so hard I damage them. I can show and explore the layers of feelings that have to do with what is going through my brain while I’m painting them.
The Steampunk and Fantasy paintings allow me to deal with my feelings in a more controlled, long term way. I have several in the works right now that deal with sexual assault, the death of my stillborn son, and the process of reclaiming my power from my night terrors as a child.
Art is helping me heal.