I’d heard about all the amazing classes run by SCT, like woodwork, creative writing and art that you could do if you were in recovery. I was going through a break-up at the time, and I looked for women’s support groups online. When I walk through the door, I realised this was a place where magical things happened. 

When I first came, my work was really dark, it was like my brain was on fire. Everything was black and purple. I was not in a good place. The art tutor was like, okay, we’re going to take away the fire, take away the black. He gave me a canvas, and he said, two rules no black and bright colours only. So that’s when I started working in colour, and I saw the world in colour. 

Part of what I love about being able to paint is putting what’s in my head onto a canvas for other people to see. The fun of it for me is just putting it out there and letting other people interpret it the way they want and allowing their curiosity to play at the same time. 

SCT played a big role in my recovery.

SCT was one of the things that really carried me and held me through a very difficult time. I’ve moved house, changed boroughs, changed healthcare system, changed routines, and this has been a constant. It’s allowed me to dream, to start to dream again, and it’s allowed me to play. It’s also like, the first family atmosphere that I’ve had in a really long time. Whenever I come here, I feel at home, I love being here. 

It’s helped me develop confidence and a sense of connection. It sparked my creative joy again, and I think that, along with where I’m living now, is, like, allowing me to begin to pursue the dreams that I had a decade ago that I just never allowed myself to do. I can see a start of a future, as well. 

I always really liked English literature and art at school, and they were my two things. I like to do art inspired by literature. The reason I like my art to be interpreted by people the way they want to is because I really like English literature analysis and different types of interpretation.  

Along with doing the art classes here, I am looking to apply for the Open University for the first time ever, to do English literature. The application is happening. I just reached out to my old English teacher who was retired, who I haven’t spoken to for a decade, for a reference, and she is writing one. 

The last six months are kind of a miracle of how much has changed.

A year ago, I was dreading everything, and my anxiety was so bad as well. I was really struggling in a lot of ways. In the last six months, it’s like my whole world has opened up and I feel safe and I can see a future. And I have a huge support network. I’m just going with it because it feels exciting to be alive, to be in recovery and to allow myself to dream again. Coming here, was the start of it all. 

The relationship with myself has got a lot better. My confidence has grown, and I’m allowing myself to see a future. I also know that every time I come to SCT, I feel safe. And I think it’s allowed me to have a lot of trust, like, the trust of a family. It’s like, changing my perspectives on people. But it also helps that we’re all just in recovery. 

If someone had told me six months ago that I would be where I am today, I would have told them they were lying. I wouldn’t have believed it. Where I’ll be in a years’ time is impossible to know, but I’ll be creating and hopefully closer to myself.