Art Heals

Jessica Kaliher

Eating disorders, over exercising, body image struggles, and recovery can be difficult to explain.
These topics can conjure up some intense emotions and sometimes you just can’t find the words.
This is why I created some collages to represent them. The first two depict some of the messages
in the media, everyday challenges, irrational thoughts, and unrealistic “goals.” The second two
represent a healthier approach to food, forgiveness, and positive affirmations.
While there are two different themes, recovery is not black and white. Recovery is not always
pretty and peaceful. It’s rocky. Often, it can feel like you are constantly shifting from one “page”
to the other. One moment feeling triggered by an ad in a magazine or a comment from a family
member, the other feeling calm around food and finding gratitude for the positive strides you’ve
made. Progress is not linear and that’s okay.
It’s not easy, but it is possible. I would like to point out that this is entirely my experience and it
may be completely different from someone else’s. My intent is not to show more triggering
images or phrases, but to possibly show others they are not alone. I encourage you to get creative
yourself and make some art out of the pain you may carry inside. It can help you make light of
situations and come to conclusions about yourself and your experiences.
You are enough. You are doing great. You can do it!

The collages depicting “irrational, unrealistic goals” have been omitted due to triggering images and language. The author agreed that her message is still clear without them, as many people might have an idea or their own version of what would be on the first two collages. She still encourages this activity for anyone, and we agree creative outlets can help with the healing process!