Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Creativity and Healing [day 6]

Yesterday I wrote about relationships and healing. I want to clarify one thing before going on to today's post. I was not hurt or disappointed by what happened in my small group. It is the nature of life that sometimes moments get interrupted. I did not feel snubbed or judged. I never intended for the post to be negative, but rather to show how difficult it still is to share my history. 

I never considered myself a creative person, and yet I have found so much healing by allowing myself to create. 

It started with coloring. I needed something to do that occupied my mind, was restful, but required little thought. I loved the idea of sketching, but I can barely draw a recognizable stick figure. I kept reading about art therapy and how so many survivors were helped my drawing their feelings. I did a few exercises, but was never happy with the results (I'm a bit of a perfectionist). 

I don't know who first suggested coloring, but I think it was my husband. I played around with it a bit, testing to see what kind of coloring books relaxed me. I tried crayons and markers, but I found that colored pencils were the most soothing. I got a fairy coloring book (I have an affinity for fairies) and began to take it with me anywhere I had to wait. At the time I was getting allergy shots, and the process had become extremely triggering for me. Walking into the office knowing I was going to let them hurt me, even though it was for my own good, was a tough pill to swallow. 

One day after getting my shots, I was waiting the required 30 minutes and using the time to color. Another lady in the waiting room complimented my picture. She asked if I was a school teacher. I realized I was going to have to tell her something. Another thing you need to know about me, I'm pathologically honest. Especially early on in my recovery I didn't know how to do evasive without it feeling as if I were lying. So I told her it was part of my therapy. I did it to relax in stressful situations. As I sat there waiting for her to mock me, I was surprised to hear her say what a good idea that was. She'd never thought of that before. She had loved coloring as a child and wasn't sure why she'd given it up. Maybe she'd get a coloring book for herself.

I was stunned! That certainly hadn't gone the way I expected.

Now I'm amused by all of the "adult" coloring books that are available. Don't get me wrong, I think it's fabulous. It's just funny to me that nearly 15 years after coloring helped to save my life, everyone's on the bandwagon. Maybe I'm a trendsetter!

This is day 6 in Write 31 Days


  1. I read about those color books too. It really is nice that you found a creative outlet. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Adult coloring books IS such a craze right now, but I haven't tried it yet. I love being creative, even tho I am not super talented at art. :)

  3. When I was deployed to Afghanistan we colored often to help relieve stress. I guess it makes sense that it can bring so much joy to a stressful situation. We just were trying to be silly. :) I'm glad coloring helped you.

  4. I love that! Maybe you ARE a trendsetter! I have several coloring books for adults... now, it is just making the time to sit and relax and do it!


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