Excuse me dear readers if this is a bit of a polemic but I will start with words from a great mind –
“Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties” *Erich Fromm*
One of those certainties is that the way mental illness is dealt with by the individual and society currently is neither healthy or holistic.
However, we can be more certain, and I know I am, that arts therapy can help in learning to cope in a world that, after eons in existence, still struggles with effectively dealing with this issue. Whether for the individual being due to the influence of the pharmaceutical industry pushing reliance on untested or heavily-backed corporate meds or heavy-handed therapies, gimmicky therapies and inappropriate ill-fitting ones is not easy to discern.
And, here is a bit of honesty and transparency. Personally at Uni I took a gap year out as I had panic attacks, depression and manic mood swings. Been on meds and tried different ill-fitting and tip-top therapies. Let’s switch it up, also before I became a EuroBrit I worked with people with mental challenges or problems, from agoraphobia, rage to cognitive disorientation.
Click to enlarge!
A TextArt inspired by my work in the day centres, poem written in 2000
I got a lot of benefit from this work and really have seen that arts therapy has many sides to its effective usage. The work can have success that is simply measured by smiling faces to the realisation of talents people did not know they had. An example of this is the joy that the Dolphins and Whales painted on blinds gave to the guys chilling out in the sensory room who participated in the painting in the mini-project in the day centre in Droitwich Spa.
A lot of people have said I am happier when I am doing art, this is true if I can maintain a balance and it does not overwhelm me. This time I have not fallen into the funk of depression as I call it, and have not had, touch my wooden head, a panic attack in 5 years, but have skipped to the end and reside with these moods. I call it a dark to lighter blue period, and my work in day centres and previous experience have made me aware of recognising triggers early enough. This could answer the why behind my production of the TextArt series you may have seen recently, which is very productive and helps in healing/coping. Arts therapy I believe can help the individual and wider society cope with many of the issues that ail them.
But let’s return to those certainties and letting go. Here is a top 5 I pulled from my archive while decluttering my life and having a spring, masked as autumn, clear out –
1) Only you can affect real change. Do not rely on others, but on yourself.
2) Open up to others, but keep some of you back and something for yourself.
3) Take time for you.
4) Remove the unnecessary, or the clutter.
5) Make sure to be aware when your body and your mind is speaking or screaming
As a closing thought take it easy, and remain positive and creative, peeps.