Last week, I taped a couple of small drawings to my studio wall with some satisfaction. They were character studies of two people who were very important to me during my stay at the OCD Institute; two fellow residents who became good friends and helped me find my way. I wanted to capture their personalities without making them too recognizable, and it looked like I’d been able to do that.
I’m not getting a lot of drawing done these days. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m trying to work through the story in detail, which I find gruelling, even though much of it is based on events that actually happened.
I’ve also had some rewarding distractions: teaching healthcare workers dialectical behavour therapy at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and helping the Frederick W. Thompson Anxiety Disorders Centre at Sunnybrook Hospital to get a patient- and family-centred care council up and running.
Even better, though, is that I’ve had a few opportunities to provide peer support to some young people in treatment, some of whom are entangled in OCD-style intrusive thoughts. I and a couple of these kids really connected, in part because they’d never spoken before to someone who struggles with their thoughts just as they do. It was good to be able to show them my excerpt from Dinosaur, and simultaneously frustrating that the book isn't complete.
It was a great reminder that though I get a lot of selfish pleasure from writing and illustrating Dinosaur, there are people for whom the book could be quite helpful. As I did, they are suffering in silence, thinking they are alone.