Personal Stories

Getting a New Lease on Life: Four Ways Art Therapy Helped My Addiction Recovery

By Peter Langiewicz
 My name is Peter Langiewicz, and I have a long-term history with drug and alcohol addiction. This led me to me being homeless for the better part of my twenties. Now, I live in a nice house with my beautiful wife, I work full-time as a freelance writer and marketer, and I’m able to help others struggling from addiction.
As I help others who are struggling with addiction, one of the most important things is helping others figure out what they are passionate about. One of the things that really helped me in my own recovery was art therapy. I started art therapy while I was in recovery and have been doing it ever since. There are several ways that art therapy has helped in my addiction recovery.

1. I Was Able to Express Myself

My inability to express myself and communicate my feelings were some of the reasons that I turned to drugs. I used the drugs to numb my pain because I could not express how I felt. Art therapy helped me get my feelings out in a healthy way. I was able to depict the way that I felt in my drawings and paintings.
I may not necessarily feel like verbally expressing the way that I feel. I often feel like I am being judged when I express the way that I feel. One of the reasons that art therapy is so cathartic is because I do not have to say anything. My artwork speaks for itself. It tells the story that I am often afraid to tell.
2. I Was Able to Reduce My Stress 
My life is incredibly stressful. I have so many things to do, and there are days that I feel like I do not have time to do everything. I turned to drugs because my life was so overwhelming. Art therapy has helped me deal with my stress in a healthy way.
When I have a stressful day, I turn to my canvas instead of turning to drugs. Regardless of how bad my day is, I am able to calm myself down after I spend time painting. I stop thinking about my problems and focus on creating the perfect picture.
Art requires a lot of attention to detail. That is why it is great for helping you escape from your problems. It helps you mentally block out everything else.

Art Therapy_Addiction Recovery
Art therapy has helped me deal with my stress in a healthy way.

It is critical for everyone to have a healthy outlet to relieve their stress. However, this is even more important for someone who is recovering from a drug addiction. Many people relapse because they are unable to cope with their stress. I believe that art therapy has kept me from relapsing.
I no longer crave the drugs when I am stressed. As long as I have a blank canvas, I will be able to reduce my stress. 
3. I Have an Active Imagination

Drugs not only helped me escape from my problems, but they also caused me to picture life differently. Art therapy allows me to develop an active imagination in a healthy way. I am able to paint and draw the way that I wish my life was. I am working hard to make the vision of my life become a reality.

4. I Increased My Self-Esteem
Art requires a lot of skill. It took me some time to develop my art skills, but I am good at drawing and painting now. I was able to boost my self-esteem after completing art therapy. Before I started art therapy, I was hard on myself. I felt like I could not do anything right. Art therapy gave me that self-esteem boost I needed. I no longer feel like a failure who cannot do anything right. I now know that I can accomplish anything that I set my mind to.
I feel accomplished every time that I complete a piece of art. The more time that I spend painting and drawing, the higher my self-esteem is. I would not be able to accomplish any of the goals that I am working towards now if I had not started art therapy.
art therapy accomplishments
I would not be able to accomplish any of the goals that I am working towards now if I had not started art therapy.

I am so grateful for my recovery because I never would have discovered my love for art without it. If you are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, it’s essential that you seek professional treatment. An important part of that treatment is finding something you are passionate about, like art therapy. For more information, have a look at this page:

Editor’s Note: If you liked this story, and would like to check out more such awesome and inspiring stories of victory and valour, then head on to our section on Personal Stories!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *