I was introduced to art a few years ago through an art therapy program at St John of God Hospital, Burwood. I considered myself very unwell at the time after experiencing a trauma. I was then diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression, and began my journey towards wellness.
The art therapist who ran the art therapy program explained that just making marks on the page can allow the release of emotions in a safe, supportive and non-judgmental environment. I didn’t feel I would benefit from this type of therapy but I gave it a go.
Art therapy provided a focus for self-reflection and gave me an unanticipated sense of meaning and satisfaction. Art helped me express the inexpressible, and acted as a container to help make sense of my inner experience. The process of painting enables me to play and to self – sooth through the sense of touch, texture, movement and colour. My art has allowed my shame to BE! I can find freedom in BEING – creating and feeling in the moment.
Nothing has been easy about my recovery, but all of the following has helped towards my well-being:
- The love and relentless support of my husband and children
- My friends’ understanding and tolerance
- The trust I have in my therapist, psychiatrist and GP
- Learning to trust me, myself and I.
- Being in the moment
- Blending through discovering these parts of myself that have experienced trauma
- Learning to stand in the spaces to accept myself and what happened, and to give me space to breathe.
The main message I would like to deliver through my painting is HOPE. Hope for others experiencing the challenge of finding the space of wellness to stand in. Also, perhaps you can get a feeling of the struggles involved.
Story told to Loretta Picone.