Two years ago, I spent time in the Behavioral Health Unit at Swedish Hospital Ballard. I’d had my second manic episode, and I was brought there to stabilize and heal. My favorite part of the day happened at about 10:30 — occupational therapy.
I don’t know what your impression of what a session of that might look like, but I was surprised and delighted to discover it was arts & crafts! I was able to focus in out of the haze of the rest of my days and apply myself to something productive and beautiful. I made a friendship bracelet that I sent to a friend in Michigan, and I exchanged acrylic paintings with another artist.
One day, our wise and fearless leader made the kindest request: would I fold paper cranes with the other patients in our unit? It was a moment of joy that felt real and surreal at the same time, with my wires half-crossed and my thoughts deadened by my morning dose of medicine.
I’m currently sharing two pieces inspired by my experiences and my current mental health goals. Both pieces have 50% of profits going toward the Buckminster Fuller Institute, whose namesake’s work brought me great peace during my hospitalization.