For a long time after leaving the safe space of the women’s refuge my mind kept revisiting my past and I started having recurring nightmares. It felt like I was falling apart all over again.
Sometimes out of the blue, a comment, a smell or even a song on the radio would transport me right back in time to the violent relationship. I would be paralysed with fear and unable to move or even speak. My breathing would come in short sharp bursts and my whole body would be covered in a cold sweat. Then my body would just give up and collapse, hitting the floor like a sack of lead. I would be so afraid at what was happening to me that I would begin to cry uncontrollably.
Luckily (even though at the time I did not feel lucky at all) one of the last times it happened when I was at the doctors’ surgery. A song came on the radio that was my abuser’s favourite. I was about to give my name into the receptionist, when all of a sudden I was hit with all the above mentioned feelings and the next thing I knew I was sitting in a chair in a side room with a nurse holding my hand and reassuring me I would be okay.
So, to cut a long story short I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic stress disorder, and high levels of anxiety which led to me getting the help that I needed.
I hate having to take medication for these conditions and I have done for the whole fifteen years I have been on them. It is only now that I am thinking of starting the process of coming off them completely. This will be a slow process for sure but using art and creative exercises is helping me to release the traumas of my past and is enabling me to live the life that I was meant to live.
How am I doing this?
Below are just three ways that helps me let go of the past and heal using art.
Every day I make a conscious decision to disconnect from the world around me: turning of my phone, closing my laptop and even unplugging the doorbell. Then I will find the art materials I have and that I am inspired to use, put on whatever music I feel drawn to listen to and begin to paint for a couple of hours.
By doing this every day it is like a tonic full of love.
2/ Create new memories
I love creating new memories with my art by adding to my art journal as often as I can. If I have had a joyful experience then I will paint it, draw it and even paste photos I have taken in it. Sometimes if I have had a bad day I will express the emotion onto the page to get it out of me and stop it festering inside.
3/ Intuitive painting
Every now and then I decide to do some intuitive painting. First by gathering all the materials needed and then setting up a large enough work space. The materials I choose are whatever I am drawn to on that particular day as I haven’t got an end goal in my mind. Then it is just a case of getting the colours onto the paper in whatever way my mind directs it. It really fascinates me when I have finished the artwork and I can see what emotions were waiting to be released.
I always feel lighter after all these methods and the stresses that I had been carrying around with me seem to be lifted.
I love that I can do this whenever the inspiration comes to me, which is usually every single day.
How cool is that? To be able to paint your worries away.
If this is something that you love to try then why not join me in my awesome Facebook group. A group full of women just like you wanting to begin that journey of self healing through art.
Join Here ——-> SHE SPARKLES
Would you love to get involved with a 5 day healing with art challenge that is taking place in my Facebook group? I would love to see you there and it starts on 26th November so plenty of time to gather any art materials and get comfy in the group.
Join Here ——-> HEALING WITH ART CHALLENGE
Always remember that you are beautiful and never let anyone dim that sparkle