art my therapy

4x4in acrylic and gouache on canvas

4x4in acrylic and gouache on canvas

A few years ago I decided to taper off my anti-anxiety and depression meds. They did help my mood, but they also took the highs away. I didn’t like the lull state, I wanted to laugh hard, I wanted to cry too. And I did it being fully aware of the roller coaster I was entering. I know I have to be very conscientious about what I eat, how much I sleep, and to get some exercise in. Once the basics are covered I do other maintenance things like prayer, supplements, writing, reading, meditating, and art.

A particular morning at the end of November anxiety hit, and I needed something physical to shift my thoughts. I wish I like exercising, it is a quicker solution. But I chose to sit down and deal with my feelings in a colorful way.

So here is how it happened:

  • I needed something small enough that wasn’t overwhelming, something I could accomplish, hence the 4x4 inch canvas. Baby steps take me many places.

  • Green: is what my anxiety looked like that day, organic, multi-layered, a weed that grows way too easy.

  • Yellow: all the things I do to hold it together, to fill in the voids, times and spaces. The prayers, the supplements, the writing, the talking, the reading, meditating, and art that make life manageable and interesting.

  • White: a layer of protection I feel from above, how my growing faith finds roots even in the darkest places and times. I believe God has a purpose for it all, sooner or later it will all make sense.

I have learned that anxiety and depression signal when I am too off balance. So I have to re-visit the basics and move slowly from there. It is frustrating at times to feel that I am doing all I could and know how and don’t seem to make a difference, but then little miracles happen that tell me that while I chose the roller coaster, there is something bigger than me in charge of it all.

This is a joyous time, but it can be hard at the same time too for many different reasons. To all of us I say, hold on tight, we can do it!