[Note: In the story that follows, Cameron is not the name of the patient. Other identifying details have been changed in order to protect privacy.]
On Thursday, Cameron, a colon cancer patient, came into my office for the fourth psychotherapy session. I noticed in each of the other visits he was dressed in dark, drab colors. But on this day, he wore a royal blue sweater and jeans. Settled in the chair across from me, Cameron excitedly related what had happened after our last session.
Please note: in a previous psychotherapy session, Cameron defined cancer as a black hole with no light source. Being in the middle of the black hole, Cameron stopped seeing friends, stopped listening to music, and stopped painting…though an accomplished artist. Life for Cameron was medical appointments and shopping at grocery store or pharmacy.
But then a string of events changed everything. While driving home, after our last session, Cameron got distracted by a billboard painted a brilliant, eye-catching royal blue. His thoughts drifted to the sweater his aunt had given him last week for a birthday present, royal blue. Now home, he kicked off his shoes and saw a paintbrush on the floor. Confused, Cameron wondered how it got there. After his cancer diagnosis, he had gathered paints and brushes putting them high on a shelf. Yet, there was the brush.
Taking the paintbrush to his studio, Cameron noticed more brushes scattered on the floor. While picking them up, he stepped on a tube of paint as his marmalade cat skittered quickly by him out of the studio. The paint color was royal blue.
With paints and paintbrushes and art supplies all over the floor, Cameron broke out laughing. “I get it! I’m supposed to be painting anyway”. And so he did.
Thank you so much for your story about Cameron. It provides us with a wonderful and instructive example of the healing power we gain when we re-connect with our innate creativity.
I am very glad that you sent me your story to share here.
This post was submitted by Niki Barr, Ph.D..