Well, it’s been an eventful year, to say the least.
I’ve been doing a lot more visual arts this year, so I thought I’d do a month-by-month, blow-by-blow, pictorial representation of my year. (Lucky you.)
Actually, the reason behind it is to see if/how the images/moods have changed over the course of the year. And how that might correlate to my mental health.
As some of you know, I volunteer for an arts charity called Arc, (Arts for Recovery in the Community), which works with people with mental health issues. I am an ardent advocate of the arts as a medium to treat mental health, and wellbeing in general.
Many years ago, I visted the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and you could see the gradual decline in his mental health through his work.
Whilst I’m no Van Gogh, I am trying to see if there are any similar patterns to my own work.
Let’s have a look, shall we?
And before I forget; Have a Happy New Year and an absolutely spectacular 2020.
Oh dear… that’s not a good start.
That’s a bit more positive. Birthday trip to Haworth, West Yorkshire, (home of the Brontes’), with my daughters.
Pros: Part of an Arc exhibition. Cons: Became homeless.
Ee, it’s grim up north. Charcoal sketch of an L.S. Lowry.
“Are you sure you’re all right?”
Think I can see a pattern emerging.
I guess a lot of things are obvious in hindsight.
The road to recovery.
Signs of improvement.
Apart from my volunteer work at Arc, I started facilitating a Creative Writing Workshop at The Wellspring homeless charity in Stockport.
There are always reminders.
A change of outlook.
As you can see, it’s been a tumultuous year.
I feel very fortunate to be able to experience the last day of it. That would not have been possible were it not for the actions of my dear friend, Siobhan Costigan, over in Australia. Her, and my friends, family, NHS, Stepping Hill Hospital, Pathfinder, AA, The Wellspring and Arc have all played their part in saving my life and helping me to recover. And I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
As of 31/12/2019, I am 140 days abstinent. I feel completely blessed that I have been able to experience 140 days on Earth with my daughters, family and friends that I might not have been able to. I am truly a lucky man.
I wish you all a magnificent 2020; may the forthcoming decade bring you everything that you hope and dream for.
If you, or a loved one, are going through a difficult time, there are organisations out there who can help. Reaching out isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength that you have managed to hold on this far. And remember, if things get so bad, go to your nearest A&E dept., they will take care of you just like any other patient.
The Samaritans call 116 123
NHS call 111 or 999
Alcoholics Anonymous call 0800 917 7650