This year has meant more anxiety, worry & fear
Little face-to-face company, less laughter – more tears,
Darks thoughts were buzzing in my ears,
Disturbing my fragile mind,
No matter how much people were being kind,
Despite the good times, I turned blind.
I now look at the picture of my own brain,
And wonder if I will feel sane again,
Those dragonflies - they are coming for me,
questions are tumbling, asking me:
What do I see?
I made the screen-print thirteen years ago and didn’t think at the time that it would feel very personal. I chose the dragonfly as a symbol of something both beautiful and scary. How we perceive images depends on the state of our mind. Where some see positives, others see threats and dangers. Mental illness can affect people of all ages at any time, the effects are often devastating. The Corona pandemic has added to our losses and made us feel even more fragile – I personally lost three of my friends to cancer and an uncle to Covid – and not being able to attend any of the funerals made me feel so helpless. I struggle with the lockdown and it has increased my anxiety – maybe even causing depression – I have not contacted my GP – maybe I should! What really has helped me this year has been my involvement in several community art projects. The various art demonstrations inspired me and taking part in a communal art project which will be shared with others made me feel inspired and proud, and it allowed me to articulate my feelings in a different but very poignant form. I am so grateful for these opportunities and hope that more resources will be flowed directly into mental health services.
Barbara Boyle is a member of the Wise The Bap Bangor Arts Project.