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How Art Benefits Mental Health and Addiction Recovery

Blog by Gloria Grace Woods

I have had the blessed opportunity to volunteer at these art classes for the past two months.  These men and women are not only talented individuals, but they have become friends to me.  We are on equal ground.  Being bipolar and a recovering alcoholic, we can relate to each other.  They are authentic and real.  They don’t care about what I do for a living or that I am in the middle of pursuing a career; they care that I am loving towards them and grateful that I can help them with their artwork when they need assistance.  I have formed bonds with a few of them.  They light up when I walk in the room.  It is so rewarding to me to share two hours with these beloved artists.  It is a delight to see how far they have come each week I return to the classes.


One special artist shared with me his feelings as he was painting a beautiful picture of Pocohantas:


“Our life is a puzzle; the pieces of the puzzle are finding the missing pieces but they’re not in a box.  When I paint I feel inspired.  My imagination and a pat on the back inspire me.  Learning what went wrong last time and redefining my weaknesses and strong points so it won’t happen again.  Also looking back at flash points in my life, then trying to outdo what I’ve done before.  I live in a fantasy.

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