Art Therapy


It was in hospital that I first started being creative again. In a previous life I participated in a number of  creative activities; I sung in bands and choirs, wrote music, learned instruments, painted, did scrapbooking and card making, enjoyed sewing and knitting and writing. But somewhere along the way I started to let go of my hobbies. I didn’t have the time, I didn’t have the energy. I had an assignment to write, a newborn to care for. Somehow the little things I enjoyed became less and less important. I became less and less important.

In hospital I started knitting, I found pastels and drew wild colourful pictures, I painted and wrote and brought in my guitar to sing. I don’t profess to be in any way to be any good at these things, it was more a release. I could draw or write how I was feeling far better than I could say it. I loved sketching frantic wild pictures and then blowing the rainbow dust off of my hands. It was about creation and expression rather than production of anything to be proud of.

I realised recently that I have neglected the creative side of me. That part of me of me that was so important and so therapeutic lay dormant. Looking back I have rarely sung or created any type of artwork for anyone but myself. During my school years I became very involved in singing, so much so that it ended up a chore. Another performance, another exam, another piece to learn. Something I loved started to become an effort. So when I left school I vowed to never succumb to pressure again. If I joined a band it was for me. If I painted or sewed or knitted or scrapbooked, it was for me. The Hubster has not heard all of the songs I have written, perhaps he never will. Those songs are important, and they are for me, not to showcase.

So I have started unlocking that creativity once more. I sing and write every day. I have started crafts again, and have many little projects that I am undertaking. I’ve moved all of my art materials into a cupboard that is easily accessible.

Suddenly I feel content. If I’m angry, or sad, or happy, or excited I have an outlet. I can write about it, sing about it, paint it. I can get the feeling out and understand it. I can look at it. I can release it

Yesterday I was doing some crafts with my Mum. It was the first time we had done anything like that in years and I was in my element. I got all my materials out, planned my design and then gleefully muttered to myself “I can tell already this is going to be GREAT”. Mum laughed, “you always were so over confident about your work”. I thought about it for a while. I did used to feel fairly optimistic about my creative activities. But I don’t think it was to do with thinking I was especially talented or artistic. I enjoy the process more than the end result. I enjoy he feeling of creating something through words or art or music. But most of all I know that if it turns out to be a disaster I can chuck it away and start again. There’s always another blank canvas.

There’s always room to start again.