You can express your thoughts and feelings without talking. There’s a different way of sharing how you feel about living with a bleeding disorder, and it can be fun. It’s called art therapy.
If you’re ever feeling sad, mad or scared, it’s important to be aware of it and then figure out how to handle it. The same goes for happy feelings, like excitement, thankfulness or love. Art therapy helps you let stuff out and get your creative juices flowing.
Instead of using words, you grab a brush, a sponge or even a pencil, and pick colors that match how you feel. You can also mix a few colors to create a whole new color. Then, let the lines, shapes, textures or whatever else you feel come out on the paper or canvas.
If you’re new to art, this may feel strange. Here are some tips to get you started:
Ask a question
Ask yourself a question, like: “How did I feel during my last joint bleed?” or “What was I thinking when that kid at school made fun of me?” Then show it in your art project.
Create a collage
Cut out pictures and words from old magazines that show how you feel. Paste them together in a colorful collage.
All artists invited
Art therapy is not about creating something beautiful or perfect; it’s about showing your feelings. No one’s grading you or judging you.
Free your feelings
Be open to whatever thoughts or moods come out. Art therapy can help you not only express your feelings, but also discover them.
Sharing and caring
When you’re ready, consider sharing your art with someone who can help you work through any feelings that concern you. That person could be your mom, dad, grandparent or the social worker at your local hemophilia treatment center (HTC). Some HTCs even offer art therapy to patients.
So open up to the artist within you. It will help you express your feelings creatively.