Making Art Heals Me
Sometimes I’m tired of talking about myself in therapy. It’s exhausting, and I feel like I’m talking in circles. How much can I talk about my childhood, heartbroken adolescence, and fragmented adulthood? I know that therapy helps, but it can feel draining. Since I was 15, I’ve been through many different kinds of mental health treatment including psychodynamic therapy, gestalt therapy, psychoanalysis, CBT, and EMDR. It’s been exciting learning about myself in these various forms of treatment. Each of them taught me a variety of emotional skills.
Emotional exhaustion leads to creativity
Despite how much I learned by working out my issues in therapy, there have been times when I’ve been straight up emotionally exhausted. I’m tired of talking. Instead of talking, I want to take my feelings and transform them into something creative. That’s where making art comes in. Maybe I’m in a play reciting a monologue or doing a scene. Perhaps I’m sitting at a table in my house making a collage, or (most commonly) I’m sitting at my computer writing a story, blog post, or a poem, I feel alive. Creating something makes me want to make more things.
Translating feelings into art
When I create something, it’s different than sitting with the emotions in a therapy session. When I’m in therapy, I don’t have anywhere to place those feelings. I feel stagnant. However, when I take what is in my brain and how I’m feeling emotionally and translate that onto paper whether that’s writing a story or creating art, it feels incredible. I’m not the only one who feels the benefit of emotional release or catharsis through art. Some of my friends that have been hospitalized for their mental health have told me about art therapy. They say that it was their favorite part of being in an inpatient facility. They got to take what was inside of them, all the pain, anger, frustration and fear and put that into an art project. It was healing. They got to be around other people and create things for themselves whether that was a collage or sketching a scene from nature.
I find art healing in many different situations. For example, when I’m on hold with the electric company, I find myself doodling, and it feels therapeutic. That is a small piece of what I do to make myself self feel calm. Sometimes when I’m angry, I write a story or draw a picture of how I feel. There are times when talking doesn’t help. Talking isn’t making me feel better. And that’s why I turn to creativity. I know that making something out of my emotions are going to help me. It will make me feel better. Sometimes all I need to do is use my voice. I can belt out a song in the shower or the car. Anything that gets the creative process going and allows me that cathartic release is what I’m aiming for, and I’m going to get it.
Therapy does help
I’m not knocking on therapy. Therapy can help you work through a lot of emotional pain. There is a special kind of treatment called “art therapy” where you use different mediums to express your emotions. In addition to art therapy, I believe we can all benefit from being creative in a multitude of ways. For example, I’ve always written when I feel intense emotions. Writing makes me less overwhelmed by my feelings. I can let go, get the words out, and move on. All I need to do is release the pain in my mind, and I can keep going. What about you? Does creating art help you heal?