Art therapy is one of the things that helped me recover from addiction. I began painting and drawing while I was in treatment for drug addiction and have been doing it ever since. There are several ways it has helped me tremendously.
1. I Was Able to Express Myself
My inability to express myself and communicate my feelings are one of the reasons that I turned to drugs. I used the drugs to numb my pain because I could not express how I felt. Art therapy helped me get my feelings out in a healthy way. I am able to depict the way that I felt in my drawings and paintings.
I may not necessarily feel like verbally expressing the way that I feel. I often feel like I am being judged when I express the way that I feel. One of the reasons that art therapy is so cathartic is because I do not have to say anything. My artwork speaks for itself. It tells the story that I am often afraid to tell.
2. I Was Able to Reduce My Stress
My life is incredibly stressful. I have so many things to do, and there are days that I feel like I do not have time to do everything. I turned to drugs because my life was so overwhelming. Art therapy has helped me deal with my stress in a healthy way.
When I have a stressful day, I turn to my canvas instead of turning to drugs. Regardless of how bad my day is, I am able to calm myself down after I spend time painting. I stop thinking about my problems and focus on creating the perfect picture.
Art requires a lot of attention to detail. That is why it is great for helping you escape from your problems. It helps you mentally block out everything else.
It is critical for everyone to have a healthy outlet to relieve their stress. However, this is even more important for someone who is recovering from a drug addiction. Many people relapse because they are unable to cope with their stress. I believe that art therapy has kept me from relapsing. I no longer crave the drugs when I am stressed. As long as I have a blank canvass, I will be able to reduce my stress.
3. I Have an Active Imagination
Drugs not only helped me escape from my problems, but they also caused me to picture life differently. Art therapy allows me to develop an active imagination in a healthy way. I am able to paint and draw the way that I wish my life was. I am working hard to make the vision of my life become a reality.
4. I Increased My Self-Esteem
Art requires a lot of skill. It took me some time to develop my art skills, but I am good at drawing and painting now. I was able to boost my self-esteem after completing art therapy. Before I started art therapy, I was hard on myself. I felt like I could not do anything right. Art therapy gave me that self-esteem boost I needed. I no longer feel like a failure who cannot do anything right. I now know that I can accomplish anything that I set my mind to.
I feel accomplished every time that I complete a piece of art. It is important to note that self-esteem is built on what you are able to accomplish. The more time that I spend painting and drawing, the higher my self-esteem is. I would not be able to accomplish any of the goals that I am working towards now if I had not started art therapy.
Photo is from shutterstock
Guest Author Bio
Ruben Lopez is a freelance writer from Tampa, Florida. He is passionate about recovery and helping those who struggle with drug and alcohol addiction.