Creative Directions: my story
One of our Creative Directions participants has kindly shared their story below.
My move back to Doncaster in November 2017 was not exactly a joyous occasion. The five weeks prior to that I had spent in a psychiatric hospital in the North East.
Life had become desperately unmanageable. My addiction to drugs and alcohol were out of control and having a catastrophic impact on my mental health. I had lost everything. I felt truly alone and fear had encapsulated me. I truly believed that this world would be a better place without me in it.
I was able to transfer my care so that I could come and stay with my family. There was no other choice as I knew that if I had returned to my own home, life would become unmanageable again.
Creative art has always been a great passion of mine. Over the past few years I had convinced myself that I wasn’t very talented so I stop creating. It was like I had switched off that part of my brain.
Whilst I was in hospital there was an amazing art room. It helped me to concentrate as I couldn’t sit still for more than 30 seconds unless I was in that room. It became my sanctuary, hiding myself away from the world. I would sit for hours obsessively creating one thing after another. However I still didn’t have the belief that what I was making was any good despite positive praise from others.
It was my family that told me about Doncaster Community Arts at The Point. They have been and continue to be an amazing support and their love and care has been unconditional.
I knew that my journey to recovery was going to be very hard and that I needed to find a place where my exploration of art could continue. However this would have to be in the real world and that was a very scary thought.
Creative Directions is a fantastic art workshop. It embodied everything that I needed. Art, people and a beautiful building that I would feel safe in. The staff are class and they create a warm, loving and aesthetically pleasing environment for everyone who attends.
At first I could only manage to stay half a day as tiredness impacted my daily routine for quite some time. There was never any pressure put on me to stay and I liked that.
My confidence and emotional well-being were very low, but having worn a mask for so many years it took me awhile to fully relax and trust the surroundings that by was in. Looking back I was so fragile and unsure of which path to take. I suppose I was trying to figure out how I would fit back into the world again.
When Jamie shared the news with us that a textile designer was going to be facilitating the next afternoon workshop I was overjoyed. It gave me the push I needed to stay all day.
It has been such a delightful experience and I have learnt so many new skills. I have made some lovely friends and it has helped me to feel like I belong again.
I can see the positive change in my confidence and my involvement in Creative Directions, alongside other agencies, are having a huge impact on my life. I continue to be clean and sober, nearly five months now and I am so grateful that this wonderful service continues. It enables me and others to continue to grow and have hope that we can live a wonderful life no matter what. Art is such a huge part of that.
I can now see the gifts that I have been given and I cherish them. We celebrate together through laughter and praise each other for every achievement no matter how small.
I can now see a future ahead of me and I am very fortunate that I have been given the amazing opportunity to volunteer for Doncaster Community Arts so that I can give back to others all the care, hope, love and support that I received when I needed it the most.
If you would like more information about Creative Directions, visit our website page here.
Creative Directions are held every Wednesday between 10am – 12pm and 1:30pm to 3:30pm. The morning session is self-led and the afternoon session is artist-led. All sessions are designed to be flexible, so just come along when you can, stay for however long you would like, and get involved as much or as little as you want. Information about The Point including opening times, getting here and parking information can be found here.
There is no need to book – you can just turn up at The Point. If you have any questions, you can call Amy Knowles on 01302 558041, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.