If Legal Highs Leave You Dry, Sculpt A Painting


After finally agreeing to take anti depressants, I felt peculiar. Then I realised: even though my counsellor told me, at least twice, that all my emotions, including anger, were welcome in our sessions, the message I was giving myself by taking anti depressants was that they were not. So I weaned myself off them and glued the remaining ones to this painting.


It was cathartic and empowering. I broke some of them in half before sticking them to the painting, just like I did when I started taking the tablets. Some I pasted glue to and dropped them from a height; you could say that movement is like the come down from illegal highs (I’ve had those too when I used to self medicate).


I placed the painting against a window and daylight filtered through the red base paint creating a warm foetal hue. The white solid objects used to be dish cloths; no longer useful in the kitchen, they dried and I cut them up and sewed them to the canvas before adding numerous coats of white matt emulsion natural paint. Now they’re a sculpture! And I’m free to feel my feelings.

What do you think?


12 thoughts on “If Legal Highs Leave You Dry, Sculpt A Painting

  1. I love this… I went through a similar thing awhile back and was put on multiple drugs… drugs that made me crazy and puke my brains out. I stuck it out for awhile but they didn’t help… and in the warnings it says may cause suicidal thoughts… gee thanks. Ha… but on a serious note, I love how you’ve turned that situation into a beautiful work of art. Let go of that anger and stay true to yourself. Surround yourself only with those that uplift and love you. I learned the hard way. Thank you for this wonderfully thoughtful post.

    • Hello Polly, thank you for your thoughts and for sharing your own experience. Those side effects leaflets can be more scary than the reasons for trying the drugs! How is it helpful to take something that may cause suicidal thoughts?! The leaflet that came with my tablets warned that too. I think the only way out is through and that means feeling the crap stuff as well as the good stuff. Thanks again for your comment!

  2. I like how you are able to translate your feelings and your medication into your art. I also think you are brave and I hope not taking tablets works for you.

    • Hi Taluula, thank you. Not taking the tablets is working better for me than taking them; allowing myself to feel my feelings feels (!) like an empowering step forward. I still have some instances of withdrawing inside myself when I feel overwhelmed and I’m working on noticing what’s going on in me when that happens.

  3. The pills look wonderful on your page. I love how they sit among the mountains and the valley’s of the paper. I wonder if they are trying to level out it out the ups and downs- as they would be if ingested? I have my pills in a drawer. After 12 years I weened myself off them last year in December. Yoga-healthier eating and taking up writing (I found Fiona and started writing small stones in January) have been an amazing way to keep my balance. I do not recommend it for everyone but I have found the insights and letting go (over and over) and creating or writing while going through it to be what I have needed to do.

    • Thank you, Teri, for sharing your experience. What made you decide to wean yourself off them? Sounds like a decision that was right for you. I agree that creating is an important part of healing; it gives me something to pour myself into and I can externalise and look at how I felt or something that happened that I don’t have words for. I’ve found making pictures, writing (small stones, plays, short stories, journalling, blog posts), arranging my flat, cooking, studying and visits to gallerie, countryside and unknown (to me) places have all helped me. I guess it’s about enrichment. And I’m finding it easier to be with people since joining Writing Our Way Home, I think because it’s so supportive.

  4. I think that’s wonderful Julia! As you know, I use many, many ways to block out my feelings rather than deal with them. I feel my creative block is more hurtful than any initial trauma I went through. Still trying! xx

    • Yes, I know what you mean, Rach; creativity can be a way of processing trauma and/or of tapping into that core that was there before the trauma. If you wanted to, we could look at that creative block, just to see what it’s like, together in a (free) coaching session.

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