2020 had been a very turbulent year for me and for the planet to say the least. I am by no means special or unique in this. Covid has obviously been eating up the airwaves and the thought waves of both yours and my brain. What does make me unique though is that my wife and I split and I moved out. With that my mental health took a battering. I have schizoaffective disorder too if you don’t already know. All of this combined you might think that would leave a person completely down the rabbit hole of despair. Well it did. However, I didn’t stay there and to be honest it took some doing to get back out of that hole, clean myself off and press on despite the massive boot to the emotional feels.
To get out of all that stuff that happened I did something that I always do. That something is to draw it out. Whenever, in the past, I’ve had a personal or mental health issue I’ve taken to creativity to help express it. So that’s what I did and set myself a task of illustrating a positive vibe, quote or idea and used it as a kind of therapy to soothe. To be honest, I could be known to cringe at overused platitudes however this is exactly what I needed. 30 days of illustrated positive vibes to get myself straight.
I am by no means a self help guru but don’t we all need a little help every now and then? Don’t we all need to find our tonic whether it’s through a friend or a piece of music or a book? Whatever your remedy is, it’s important to not neglect it’s healing qualities. I’m a great believer in talking things out and I have a couple of good friends who checked in on me which I’m eternally grateful for and will never forget. I’m also a great believer however in standing on my own two feet. It might be a pride thing and maybe my downfall sometimes but it’s something that makes me feel more human, alive and myself. To feel like ourselves and to be ourselves has got to be a massively rewarding goal in life hasn’t it? My illustrative self-help therapy worked massively. It was nice to have that outlet to express and centre myself again.
It’s now 2021 and with it being a good 6 months or so away from when the poop really hit the fan, I’m pleased to say I am in a much better place emotionally. Obviously COVID hasn’t gone away but I’m optimistic still about the future ahead and I’m keeping safe and well. What I have learnt through my illustrative series and refocusing myself is that sometimes it boils down to how you look at things. Easier said than done I know and I’m certainly not going to cure my mental health condition with that mindset. I’m locked in for life. However, that idea can help alleviate some pressure not just with my mental health issues but also with whatever negative kicks come flying at me. Thankfully I had some good support from my family and some good friends. But it’s through my oldest friend that I found the most peace. That friend being, illustration, or drawing, who I have confided in for most of my life, who got me out of the hole, who soothed my pain from the kick in the feels and in turn, helped flip it on it’s head.
A friend in need is a friend indeed
Whatever or whoever your friend is, physical or metaphorical it’s important to confide and work it out. Wherever your friend is a childhood companion, your pet, illustration or even a punch bag. Confide in what you know and look at how you can take that negativity and turn into something positive. “Every cloud has a silver lining” as they say and you can do what I did when things go low. This is to see the lining and that a bad situation could in fact be an opportunity and not a knock-back. Maybe next time you get a roundhouse kick to the feels, focus that emotion or situation and use it to fuel something positive. It might take some practice. It might not be easy. But you never know what good might come from it.
Thank you for reading!