Member of Out of the Blue – a group that grew out of our My Time My Space project.
“My name’s Catherine and I’m from a group called Out of the Blue, which was set up to help women with post-natal depression.
For me personally, and everyone’s very different in how they cope with it and what symptoms they get. Number one that was at the forefront of everything was that I felt so incredibly sad, I couldn’t stop crying and often I’d be physically on the floor and just couldn’t get up because I just felt so exhausted from crying and then you’d look at your young children and you feel guilty because you’re crying in front of them and you are trying so hard.
You feel that, well I felt that I was in a black hole, like a well but it went on and on forever and I couldn’t see a chink of light at the top and there was no ladder and you just can’t see a way out, ever.
Through my health visitor pushing me to this other art group My Time My Space I was very much against it at first but I’ve never done art, I’ve never been into art, I always thought I was rubbish but going to that art group where you were surrounded by likeminded people who knew exactly what you were going through and you’re children were being cared for in a different part of the building gave me time to switch off and actually I discovered that I was good at some forms of art, rubbish at others but that I could do something and that started to build up my confidence again.
When you look around you and you see all the women that are in the room discovering that they can be some bright bits of the day and you can enjoy yourself and some of us made some great friendships from that group, it was a case that we had to do a follow on group to carry this on because ten weeks wasn’t enough and that it was just so important, and it was the be all and end all of my week.
I can’t tell you how important it was and art is such a great escapism and it just works.
This mosaic just shows well really a frightened, scared person standing at the top of a cliff, looking down thinking which way to go and the sea looks calm in the picture and it makes me feel at peace and able to take that next step forward- not off the cliff, to sorting myself out.
We had a large kitchen table and we had it at one end of the table and every available moment- breakfast, tea, whenever the boys were sitting in their highchairs, eating at one end of the table I’d be at the other end of the table doing a little bit more and a little bit more and I felt that I was achieving something.
The first thing I’ve achieved in a long time and it was something for me. I wasn’t being a mother I was just doing something for me that I enjoyed with an artform that I discovered that I really really loved and experimenting with the colours. This was such an eye opener for me as I was just never had been into art at all. It was very therapeutic and then when everyone was asleep in bed I could just do a little bit more and potter away with it until eventually I finished it.
When the light catches it, it just shines and it… I don’t know what it is and even now people comment on it and it means the most to me then any other pieces I’ve done because it was my very first piece and I spent a long, awful lot of time on it, months and it helped me with the healing process of getting better.
I am 100% great. It’s not a closed chapter, it will always be there, it was nearly five years ago now but often it still feels like it was last week. It will always be there but hopefully I’ve learnt some good things from it and also I’m in the position now to help other people get through it as well.”
Please note that names and locations have been changed to protect participant’s privacy.