With the holidays approaching, I had in the back of my mind something I wanted to do for current residents of a Recovery Home in Fayetteville, NC. There are thirty residents that were going to be spending the holidays most likely without any friends or family members to celebrate with. And that is where my dream of creating individual Celebrate Recovery pieces of art for them was born.
I am part of NarAnon, a support group centered around friends and family members of addicts/recovering addicts. I have been part of this group for four years, attending meetings almost every Wednesday night. It has been a vital part of my life, seeing as that I have been profoundly touched by this epidemic that has been prevalent in our nation for years. I have a family member that is a recovering addict and I found this support group during a time I was at my lowest… physically, financially and emotionally.
Our group has a tradition of throwing a Christmas party and lunch for the residents each year at the Recovery Home in Fayetteville. In years past, I have gone out and randomly purchased inexpensive gifts to add to the rest of the gifts other support group members contribute along with mine. We have a delicious lunch catered in and play Christmas games, have Christmas music playing, share our stories with each other and give the residents an opportunity to win small gifts.
This year I have been enjoying a new form of art called Acrylic Paint Pouring. It is a super fun, always magical and quite beautiful form of making art with acrylic paints. I wanted to find a way to give these 30 residents something hand-painted. I decided to do 8″X8″ canvases instead of something smaller, like an ornament or such. In a 48 hour span, I poured over 30 canvases in unique forms and a wide array of colors. Each was quite beautiful. They take several days to dry lying perfectly flat. It was quite an undertaking and I also video taped me pouring them all as well to post on YouTube. I loved every one of them.
I also wanted to include the Serenity Prayer with them somehow. “God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference… One day at a time.” This is something I have memorized day by day for the last four years. I wanted to write it somehow on these canvases, but did not want to cover the beauty displayed in the colorful paintings. So I decided to just give them a bookmark with it printed on there with a small personal note from me and a scripture written on the back.
I was stressed out and apprehensive about this party as it approached and whether there would be any reaction from these addicts in recovery on my canvas and bookmark gifts. The party came… and as always… it was a very precious and positive experience (just like each one has been the last few years). I spoke to these people about my/our experience as family members of addicts, whether they are in active addiction or recovering. I spoke from my heart. And then I told them I had painted each of them a unique, colorful canvas; a bookmark that I wanted to hand each one individually; and that I wanted to look them in the eye as I handed each one to them. They stood in line and one by one, each person came up and picked the canvas/color/design that appealed to them. I hugged them and handed them their bookmark and wished each of them a heartfelt Merry Christmas and good luck in their walk with recovery. It was extremely gratifying and each one showed genuine gratitude and thanked me for something so special. Some people (residents in recovery and members of my support group) had tears in their eyes. It truly felt so wonderful to present them with something extremely heartfelt and personal to me. I walked away feeling truly blessed to be a part of that day.
A few days later I decided to make a photo of the 30 canvases that I had painted to Celebrate Recovery! I had snapped one photo at 2 am the morning before the Christmas party for these residents. This is the photo you see in this post. It is part of my heart and part of my wish to those across America and far beyond…. for those who struggle with addiction…. for those of us whose hearts are ripped out and praying for a true change in our loved one who faces the demon of addiction in their lives. It is a major life-changing experience to be on either end of the spectrum.
My Celebrate Recovery Art Quilt is my expression of the ups and downs, highs and lows and many colors of what addiction feels and looks like. I hope you enjoy looking at it. May you be blessed this holiday season and if you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, I pray for your healing or theirs. It touches every family in one way or another. Let’s press on and pray for all to Celebrate Recovery! You can also find it in my shop on Etsy at this link https://www.etsy.com/listing/580601905/celebrate-recovery-acrylic-pour-art?ref=pr_shop