When I was very close to suicide, I decided in a split second to pick up a pen instead. I started writing my journey through anxiety and depression. Initially, my writing was intended to heal me, which it did thankfully. It was important to share my journey with others in the form of a book – this turned out to be the first of many I would publish. My latest best seller is the basis of why I now co-run Write.Edit.Publish Masterclasses. Many people with different issues can write their story so they can heal.
The role of art is a big factor in my personal healing journey. Being whole is so important in many different ways. Art with writing creates a path for people through the darkness, to come into the light and share their wounded stories. Writing alchemically deepens one’s healing journey. It is not just about writing your story – it’s about how you heal. It’s the process of being able to tap into that wound and putting it onto the canvas and in the written word. Writing is healing and when we incorporate art psychology into the process, the healing occurs on a deeper level.
What made it hard for me was that I felt so alone: I had nowhere I could go or turn to for help, especially at a time when I needed it the most. I retreated and hid due to my marriage breakdown and the fact that I was well known in the community as a business owner. I found out that I had no friends, which made recovery extremely difficult. Without anyone to turn to, I worked alone for a very long time healing myself.
I have always loved art and anything to do with creativity is restorative. I met my best friend who did art psychology and we decided to combine my writing and her art. We run masterclasses to help others dealing with mental health and other societal issues. While we have engaged with many by bringing art and writing together, it’s just the beginning – and is the best thing we ever did!
Once we met, the real healing began. I vowed to myself that if there was any way I could make this process of recovery easier for others I would find a way – and we have.
Recovery is all about finding a way you can heal your wounds, of finding your tribe, community or group of people that can be there for you, to guide you on your journey to wholeness once again. I strongly believe that healing through art is so powerful, and combining it with writing is where the real magic of healing happens.
Story told to Loretta Picone.