Art & Healing – Part 2 of 3

(See Art & Healing – Part 1 of 3)

Therapy was mandatory and medication was an option.  Yet, the thing that got me through the daily grind of loss was art. I found that art helped me heal in ways I never thought imaginable.

There is an established field of art therapy that is used as a healing practice by many therapists and medical facilities and I highly recommend it to anyone as a form of support and help, since everyone works through their own grieving and healing process differently.

My approach to art healing me was entirely intuitive.  I didn’t have a standard; who sets one for grief?! My state of mind was not on beauty or perfection, it was on keeping me from bursting inside out.

At first, I painted pages and pages of paper in colors that were gloomy and dark. I literally just made a mess. It gave me something to do in the alone time. That time, when talking to someone or listening to someone was not an option. I craved mindlessness and a ritual at the same time. I don’t know know how many pages I painted.  Those pages represented the gloomy and ugliness of grief I was feeling and there was a lot of it!  During and after all the gloomy painting, I was numb.  Here was tangible proof of what I was feeling right in front of me; a massive mound of grief, sitting outside of me.

Understand that healing takes time! It may be weeks, months or years for you to get back to your “old” self. I don’t want you to think that this was a quick process, it was not, actually, it still is not.

As time went on, I tore some of the pieces of painted paper up, I threw some away and I burned some of it!  Finally, what was left became  a journal.  I never started the process with sharing in mind, it was just for me.

I felt once it became a journal, I had a tangible piece that contained the colors, textures and words of my healing process.  A healing art journal combines the powerful healing properties of art and writing in a private and meaningful way.

Healing art may not be something you want to share or keep. But, as a process it can help you  through a difficult time.

6 Comments »
  1. Thank you for sharing the process you went through to help you heal from grief. I'm so happy that you found art.

    Comment by Suzanne — November 10, 2012 @ 8:38 am

  2. Thank you for sharing your struggle with grief. Sometimes I feel like people allot us a certain amount of time to "get over it", but I don't think it's that easy, and you had too many hits in such a short period of time. Sometimes I make my ugly paintings in my head. I think maybe I don't want that kind of emotion looking back at me. It takes courage to do what you've done and to share it. Thanks!

    Comment by Linda Hensley — November 11, 2012 @ 5:22 pm

  3. I like your new look! I'm breathing. Ahhhhhh.

    Comment by sharon wagner — November 12, 2012 @ 9:43 am

  4. Thanks Sharon, and I hear you!

    Comment by indigene1 — November 14, 2012 @ 12:16 am

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