Since my depression has made it difficult for me to start on the creative hobbies I’m interested in, aside from writing, I tried an art therapy group yesterday. The project turned out to be painting Christmas ornaments! I painted three, and of course, my favorite is the one with the heart on it, since I thought of my amazing boyfriend, “Purple,” while working on it.
One of the members sitting next to me offered to let me use a purple paint that she had mixed, so I added stripes to my green ornament from her mix. That one is also meaningful to me, since it’ll be a reminder of someone’s kindness and of collaboration.
The members mostly stayed silent while we worked on our projects, so I followed their lead and didn’t talk much, either. I’m lonely (except within my relationship with Purple specifically, since we have great communication and I feel cared for, with him), so I was disappointed that I barely got to interact with anyone. Still, at least I got to be around people for a while. There were a few minutes when the instructors allowed us to each show off one thing we had worked on and talk about it a bit, and I enjoyed finding out a bit about peoples’ mindsets about their work. One person described how her color choices represented her conflicting feelings about Christmas.
My least favorite part was that I felt pressured by one of the group leaders to move faster and get more done. That surprised me, since I had assumed that a therapy group would be a low key place to ease into doing artwork. I told her that when it looked like I was doing nothing, I was actually waiting for my paint to dry, since I didn’t want to mess up my work by accident; for instance, if I flipped over one of the wooden ornaments while the front was still drying to work on the other side, I figured that some of the paint would get smeared off from the wood, where I wanted it, to the table.
I had hoped that she would understand, but later in the session, she criticized me for my slow pace. I feel judged and rushed, which gives me doubts about going to anymore sessions.