Our lovely client, Vanessa, shares how she learned to express emotion through creativity…
My art teacher when I was 15 said that we should “see where the creative journey takes us while creating a piece of art”, and I quite literally cringed in response. I hated metaphors or similes, I hated inspirational quotes, I hated anything that made me feel like my heart was warming – and this was still the case until a short time ago. Whenever I created a piece of art, sewed clothes or made a miniature theatre, I would criticise the piece, tear it and myself apart to the point of smashing my work. I was too stuck in my perfectionism to ever feel the piece of art or the process behind it.
Ever since I can remember, creativity was a massive part of who I was. As a toddler I used to take my brother’s crayons and draw on the walls of the house which of course was not encouraged. It is just something crawling inside of me, and I used it during the years that I was crippled by an eating disorder – but I still couldn’t feel…it was mainly an escape, to get out of my over-active mind.
When I started Creative Group at Recover this is exactly how I treated it. I would make these colourful pieces of art, but there wasn’t much emotion behind it, and I would straight away want it to disappear as it made me question my artistic skill.
Gradually, Creative Group has changed for me. As someone who finds it very difficult to express emotion or even access it a lot of the time, I have used these groups to portray to others (and myself) how I really feel inside – to show that sparkly side but also the dark, hurt, side which I tried to keep hidden for so long. I have been able to connect with the emotion that I felt when moving countries, when I experienced loss and change, and also the excitement that I feel for the simple pleasures of life.
I have been at Recover for almost 3 months now and I don’t know where I would be without it. My life was a shambles, I was losing everything I once loved and was just going through the motions. I am so appreciative that they have a group like Creative where someone like me, who’s mind works in images, can express this directly in front of them and then also reflect on them. The power of creativity, I have learnt, is much stronger than I once thought.