I often think that one of the reasons art works so well in helping people recover from illness is the way that it can replicate real life situations in a seemingly inconspicuous creative activity. Twice this week sessions at S2C have done this very clearly done this and it has been very interesting to observe how people have dealt with it and the real life skills it develops.
One of the things about mental health issues, or indeed many kinds of illness, is the way it drains your ability to cope with new situations or decision making. I can speak from experience when I refer to the fear and inability to function that literally feels like you are being boxed into an ever decreasing and limiting space. This is where you can end up spiralling inwards and becoming very isolated. Breaking out of this is very difficult and trying to do it in the “real world” can seem almost impossible.
That is where S2C and many services like it come into play. We can create an environment that feels non threatening, is supportive and welcome. Most importantly, a place where everyone is in the same boat and feeling in very similar ways to differing degrees. This means that we are all able to support each other. So, back to the art.
How is painting a picture like real life? Well it’s not but it does recreate some of the same feelings a person needs to deal with in order to get out of that downward spiral but in a microscopic way. For a start it may well be something new, a new technique, a new style and new ways of working. Having a go at something new is a terrible ordeal for some people and these art new things are not threatening. It’s safe because if it goes wrong the only issue is a messed up bit of paper.
In attempting this new thing, at S2C, you have others around you. Some of them will know how to do it and can help you, others are in the same boat as you and you can help each other. The point is though, that in taking these small risks you build up resilience and reduce that fear of failing, fear of the new. With others around you, you can take on new challenges. Over time this resilience builds and suddenly some of those things that felt big scary barriers in the real world are not quite so threatening and you can begin to face them.
We have amazing people at S2C. Some are amazing because of what they have been through and survived, some are amazing because they are surviving and some are amazing because they are willing to give their time and support others. achievements don’t need to be big. Getting up in the morning, getting outside, getting to S2C, joining in and having a go, creating something new and unique, smiling and laughing. These are all great achievements for some of the people the come to S2C.
Some of this weeks achievements…….