Jenny's Bright Story: An Artist's Path to Recovery and Healing
I have been an artist all of my life. Drawing was my first comfort zone.
I could escape into this form of creativity and painted pictures for my family as a child and they were proud and encouraged me to keep up with art. As I grew up, art was always with me and I took it into my own active addiction to Alcohol.
Addiction came later in my life in a sneaky way. I was a stay home mom of a two toddlers. After they were put to bed I would take a drink with me down to my basement art studio and I would paint. I told myself: booze was my reward. This was my time. Not shortly after, I started to liked the buzz when I painted. A lot! It started with a drink or two and then true nature of the disease started to take shape over the next several years of alcoholic binges.
For me, this created a slew of mental and emotional health challenges. At the end, I asked a doctor for help and that’s how I got into recovery. This was during a time I was not making art. After I had stayed sober for awhile I was struggling with some emotions. I heard my inner voice tell me that if I could paint I could heal. So with that in mind I fought for recovery and found my way back to the paintbrush.
There were fears in the beginning. Would I be triggered? Could I still paint without that cocktail to relax or get into the mood? Would I go to that Art Show opening without the wine? The answers were all yes ! When I painted for the first sober time after the dry spell it was an emotional reunion. The paint touched the canvas saying “welcome back, missed you! Let’s paint to paint and heal through the art you make.”
Since then I have been painting and participating in a recovery program. I had to relearn how to sit still, to make art a practice and priority. Being a creative woman in recovery has allowed me a space to process my life with colors and textures. Recovery can turn a dark and painful time into something bright and beautiful. My art is a reminder of this.
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