Just over a year ago, I walked into my doctor’s office for my annual physical and told her that I was going to quit drinking alcohol. This was my way of making sure I would be accountable to someone for my decision. She was super supportive and referred me to an addiction counsellor at our local hospital. Of course I didn’t think this was necessary but I thought, “it can’t hurt”. Well, what a journey it has been. Working with my addiction counsellor and joining a recovery group has changed my life! I have received sooooo much support that I am overwhelmed with gratitude. Not only have I met wonderful people just like me, who want to leave their past behind and move forward in their life sober, but I have been learning about mindfulness and being kind and gentle to myself. It’s not always easy but when I take the pressure off myself to be in complete control of my life, I am a much happier person.
Around the time I quite drinking, I also discovered my “why” as an artist. Being in recovery and trying to figure out my creative purpose was serendipitous. My addiction counsellor had been encouraging me to explore more deeply my art making as well as encouraging me to write my thoughts. So it was no surprise that I started making Self-Forgiveness cards to help me and others like me overcome our self-inflicted shame of past choices and events. This is my purpose. In two days, I will be facilitating my first “Fight Shame with Forgiveness” workshop with my recovery group. It will include an art therapy exercise to warm up our creative brain and then we will start writing our letters of self-forgiveness. Wish me luck!