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Relearning To Paint

Relearning To Paint

A traumatic brain injury can’t stop me.

By REBECCA

A car accident — caused a traumatic brain injury / concussion.  I went back to work initially because Urgent Care told me “come back in a month if you still have problems”.  In fact, they told me it was just “shock” and I didn’t get my first MRI until several months later.
 

I’m still recovering but I absolutely know miracles are real, gratitude helps, & small progress is a big deal.

I was literally unable to read but just laughed it off and believed I would find a way around what seemed temporary.  I didn’t realize that I was a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) survivor.

I was unable to read, focus, problem solve, remember, drive, cook, work, play, watch TV / movies, listen to music / audio, text, nor communicate to others the amount of pain I was in — words became stuck in my head.  I’m forever grateful for so many people and complete strangers who surrounded me with literally hundreds of hugs, rides, meals, phone calls, prayers, and help doing what I couldn’t do for myself.

The only thing I could do successfully was pray, take baths, meditate through the pain, take short walks (to my mailbox), imagine recovery, laugh, cry, and wait.

Painting — my ultimate refuge in tough times  had slipped out of my reach.  I was devastated that I could not paint what I could see so clearly in my head.  There wasn’t a single drop of paint on my paper, even after holding my paintbrush for hours.

I didn’t try to paint again for months because I was heartbroken I couldn’t anymore.  Besides, I had always hated abstract art.

Someone finally convinced me to paint — trash I definitely planned on throwing away.

I ripped my paper into 4 small pieces because I didn’t want to waste valuable watercolor paper on garbage.  Something magical happened as I allowed myself to be creative in ways I had never dreamed of.  At first, I could only drop paint onto the paper.  It took me multiple days to paint what used to take me 15 minutes to accomplish.  I painted in the dark and couldn’t see the colors I was mixing because of severe light sensitivity.

What I had considered "trash" became treasured proof of my progress.

I needed patience, persistence, and flexibility to allow my creativity to exist. Fortunately, I didn’t throw these paintings away.  What I had considered “trash” became treasured proof of my progress.  

My watercolors tell a story of hope, heart, and healing.

Recovery from a traumatic brain injury was a slow process but thanks to my paintbrush, I climbed seemingly insurmountable mountains.  I imagined healing, didn’t give up, and believed, “I got this!”

Get a little more hope needed to live joyfully despite your circumstances.

Traumatic brain injury didn’t stop me from relearning to read and paint.  Hearing impairment didn’t stop me from moving abroad or learning languages.  Pain and fear won’t stop me from creating joyful memories and spreading hope.

Offering hope to each other is the ultimate goal.  It is my hope to change the way people view mental health and brain injuries/diseases by sharing my story of hope and healing through watercolors.  Begin by recognizing invisible illnesses are real challenges & then offer hope to each other.

Every purchase from Artsy Paint is a way to send hope to someone else.

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