From Depression to Action -Salma’s Story

Salma talks to us about the benefits of time attending our classes.

Talking Art de-stresses me. It’s my time on a Friday. First, I get to do the aerobics class, then afterwards I come to the Talking Art. It’s brilliant. I made new friends. I found out about this center and I’ve been coming here for about a year now.

I was going through depression. I just moved house, I had a new baby and I had no friends. I was just staying indoors. I didn’t realise because I was just doing the normal daily chores; the school run, looking after the little one, doing the after-school clubs, then the dinner, tea, housework – never-ending stuff. So, I decided last year that I was going to put myself first and it got me out of depression. It worked.

I started with just walking in the park. Then I noticed that there was Birmingham Run people there on Tuesday mornings. Through the friends I made, they told me about different centres and activities going on. I’ve got a routine now and everyone knows that mum needs the car because she’s going to do her session. They know mum’s self-care is important. I’ve got three boys and their dad’s a big baby. I said, stop it, forget looking after everyone else, you need to look after yourself so you can look after the family. Positive thinking, positive role model.

I do bike rides as well as the Talking Art. We’ve got our own different things to do. I’ve lost a couple of pounds. I’ve made new friends in the area. I’ve learnt about new activities going on in the area. I’m more sociable now. I’ve gotten myself out of the depression mode. This ain’t going to get the better of me now.

I said to them, if you don’t look after yourself, you can’t look after others. If your mindset ain’t right, how can you put anybody else on the right track?

First, we had no clue about crochet. We started small with crochet squares, then we made hats for Syria. Then we did Macramé. Then we started Talking Art which is basically: we have a cup of tea, you look at things and see what innovates you to draw. I come up with different pictures and ideas. There’s some squiggles, my son said, why don’t you draw something for me? So, I drew him the minions. I like peacocks, so I drew a peacock. My son is moving away so I made him a canvas. I went home, put glitter on it.

Now Salma goes even when she’s not in the mood to make art

I usually say, I don’t feel very artistic, so get me to clean up the paintbrushes instead. Or help somebody else or make teas. Its about helping others as well. One lady had her piece stuck to the paper and when she tore it apart, it ripped. I said shall we stitch it. Teamwork. Teamwork.