Gavin was suffering from intense feelings of anxiety about Covid 19 when he first started counselling sessions with Michaela at the beginning of lockdown.
Michaela and Gavin worked together over the telephone for several weeks, exploring his fears and anxieties and gradually helping him to find ways of coping.
Turning to his abilities as an accomplished artist Gavin found an original and creative way of working through his feelings and responses to coronavirus. His solution was to create a visual account of his experiences in the form of a pictorial diary.
Now, as lockdown is being lifted, Gavin’s graphic diary provides a fascinating account of his journey, which you can see here.
If you look closely, you will notice that many of the earlier pictures show dark and disturbing scenes, including nightmares and images of fear and despair. However, as time progresses and Gavin begins to feel more in control and more mentally robust, the pictures begin to convey a lighter, more positive mood – showing humour, a sense of hope and a closer connection to family and nature.
Gavin has given his permission for us to share both his pictures and his story, in the hope that they may encourage someone else to explore and discover different ways of dealing with anxiety. Gavin also feels that it is important to encourage open and honest discussion of issues relating to our mental wellbeing.
As well as being a creative and cathartic experience for Gavin, the visual diary provided him with an ideal way of reflecting on his progress and demonstrated how far he had come in his therapeutic journey.
Despite its many challenges, lockdown provided Gavin with an opportunity to reconnect with an aspect of himself which he says he had neglected for many years. For him this was his artistic, creative self.
We can’t all be as talented artists as Gavin, but perhaps we can find our own unique ways of expressing our creativity – helping us to push through our fears and anxieties and arrive at a more positive place.
Many thanks to Gavin for sharing his story.