crayon scribbles courtesy of Big Stock Photo
Gina Quarles : Priceless Scribbles
Healing Through Creativity
Therapeutic Doodles, Creative Healing
By Gina Quarles
After my near-death auto accident in January 2012, I had to heal. I broke my neck and my leg. I was not sent home until late February. You can imagine the very foreign feeling of coming home in a wheelchair, unable to walk, and a halo screwed into my skull. I know I was very thankful to be alive and to come home, but I was helpless and still in shock. I needed assistance with everything. Part of my physical therapy was exercising my fingers. That is how weak I was when I finally came home.
Part of my exercises included holding both hands together with finger tips touching from the opposite hands while bending them in a rhythmic motion. After days of what comes so naturally for most, I finally could do it without my fingers collapsing and without that feeling of being agitated. I was happy and ready to do anything to feel better and a bit more normal. I would draw in the hospital to communicate when I could not speak. I was on a ventilator and that was the only way I could try to let them know what I needed. Eventually I could write words. Many of them were not legible.
While recovering at home and as my strength in my fingers increased, I could finally read my own writing. I began to feel the need to get some much needed relief from the repressed and raw feelings I had brewing inside of me. They were silenced and suffocated for far too long. Parts of my feelings were fear, anger, and sadness. I found myself scribbling and pressing hard on the paper while releasing much confusion and anger. I was leaving very visible indents and marking on these pages. Then, on some of the other pages, there were lighter strokes of the pen and not so many pressure marks.
I kept these pages. I viewed the scribbles on the pages weeks later. I was trying to make sense out of what I was feeling and looking at what was on the pages. All I had was time. I drew on occasion in the past, but I would much rather write any day. When I looked back at the pages, I could see the anger coming out on the indented pages, which also revealed harder markings from my pen. On some other pages, there were lighter free flowing strokes, without pressure marks and much lighter markings. That represented to me a feeling of surrender and of being very tired. No one else could interpret or read anything into my personal scribbles. They would look at it and assume it was scratch paper and just throw it away. I could see more because I intuitively know myself. I believe we all do.
These pages of my many scribbles, allowed me to get my very raw emotions out onto paper. It was a form of release for me. It felt good. It gave me a partial feeling of closure as well. It was therapeutic. Those scribbles that looked ridiculous to anyone who would find them meant the world to me. They were my voice, my feelings finally coming alive and finally being allowed to be heard. They were my gems, my journal and my personal emotions that no one else could ever understand. They gave me some sense of purpose. That purpose was my outlet for creativity and healing. It was freeing me from my emotional and physical prison of confusion and pain. My creativity was trying to emerge once again as these scribbles lead me to ideas from which I could build upon. They lead me to the form of the written word once again. I missed that personal aspect of myself.
I now have pages upon pages of the written word from the raw emotional drawings and scribbles being allowed to take form. It was a process I needed to allow to happen. I am so thankful I did. They are now the building blocks to which I continue to stack my creativity on and shape into a beautiful form of a memoir. I was finally smiling. I felt worth even though I was helpless in every other way. I had something to claim as my own. It gave me a sliver of independence. I will forever be grateful for my doodles and scribbles. They can and will take you places you would never think you could endure if you allow them to. The pen released so much pain. It was my natural pain killer and it did not have to be contained to a prescription bottle. I had enough of those already! This was the pure and natural spirit of creativity doing its healing and work in me. Even eight months later, it still has never stopped. •
© 2012 Gina Quarles. All rights reserved.
Gina Quarles is a mom, wife and a creative soul who is passionate about the art of writing. She's currently recovering from a near-death auto accident and working on a book, which is an outlet for her healing. She encourages others along the way through kindness and hope. More »