So far, 2015 has been a tough year for our family. I'm usually an optimist, but for the first time in a long time, I felt depressed, totally withdrawn. One thing that has helped me is my art journal. It's a way for me to express my insecurities, my worries, my frustrations while I try to stay strong for my family.
The piece you see above was done earlier this year. It started out like this.
These are just a few emotions I was feeling. I then wrote my heart out in the blank spaces, pouring my anger, frustrations, my fears. It just felt so good to get all of it out. I then covered my journaling and parts of the words I initially wrote. I turned my negative thoughts into affirmations.
I am happy.
I am worthy
I am loved.
I am talented.
I am included.
It's a simple excercise in changing your mind set. And it was very therapeutic to voice my feelings, even if no one was there to hear or read it. And the act of painting over parts of those words lifted my spirits.
I believe in art therapy. I know child psychologists use art to get their young patients to draw their feelings. Artists like Paul Richmond use art to help kids express the impact of bullying. Perhaps it's because I'm an introvert that I always had difficulty expressing my doubts and negative thoughts to others. Or maybe it's a cultural thing, as many Japanese believe in keeping emotions to themselves. Whatever the reason, I feel good knowing that I now have an outlet. There are other pieces that I've done during this period that helped me cope with various issues I've faced.
I hope that you'll give art therapy a chance too.