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An Artistic Heart

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

By Kelly Deeny

I’m a firm believer that the creative arts can help significantly during times of trial, struggle, and emotional/physical/spiritual pain. I make such a claim out of experience—personal and through numerous years of volunteer work. Currently, as I navigate a lapse in employment, I’ve turned to the arts as a healthy form of expression. I’ve been thinking a lot about just when and why my fascination with music, writing, theatre, film, and television began. In all honesty, my suspicion is that it started during my hospital stay as a congenital heart patient.

My parents would tell me stories about how they played records (yes, actual vinyl records) for me as I lay in my hospital crib. They played Disney albums and the soundtrack to the film Grease, though I suspect Sesame Street was included among the list. Those choices make perfect sense as to why I grew up with a strong love for anything Disney, Broadway, and children’s entertainment-focused. I’m not claiming that there was an automatic correlation in my brain from listening to them—rather the music connected with me on a deeper level and that affection only grew over time.

As I struggled through the years with life’s trials and tribulations, I used various forms of the creative arts to help make sense of what couldn’t be easily explained. I gravitated to film, television, musicals, and singing from a very early age, and those fascinations remain to this day. There is something so profound in listening to a piece of music when I’m having a trying day. I can sit back, allow the melodies to soothe my aching spirit, and calm my senses.

In examining all of this recently, I wonder whether other CHDers have encountered similar experiences. Have you used the creative arts to help you during frequent hospital stays, bed rest, or physical rehabilitation? Did you gravitate to certain art forms at a young age and couldn’t quite explain why?

I’d love to hear about your experiences!

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The opinions expressed by ACHA bloggers and those providing comments on the ACHA Blog are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of the Adult Congenital Heart Association or any employee thereof. ACHA is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the ACHA bloggers.

The contents of this blog are presented for informational purposes only, and should not be substituted for professional advice. Always consult your physicians with your questions and concerns.

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