Hannah Jenkins was knocked off her push bike by another cyclist on her way home in October 2015. Despite battling with the ongoing effects of her brain injury, Hannah has found a way to express herself and relax through her talent for art.
Here, we share Hannah's story and some of the paintings she has created.
In the short term (6-months-ish), I lost most of my English although the German remained.
I could walk fine but struggled with balance and vertigo and headaches.
Now fatigue is the worst, with depression, mood swings, difficulty maintaining focus, sleep problems, finding the right words sometimes, over emotional at the worst time.
I hadn’t really painted much since finishing my upper A-level, but needed something that I could just do when the fatigue made it difficult to read or focus, art seemed to use a different part of my brain which was still able to function.
Now even when I struggle to string a sentence together I can pick up my pallet knife and disappear into myself and actually relax.
They are all about light and colour and a lot more dramatic then they used to be. I see the world differently now and feel so much more free to play around a little.
I can switch off properly and just get totally lost with no real effort, before I started again I struggled to recharge without just going back to bed and losing an hour of the day.
After I’ve done even half an hour or so of painting I feel better then when I’ve had an hour- long sleep. Plus I can express myself without being interrupted while I struggle to find the right words.
Try and have patience with yourself and try and find something that can focus your mind on something other than your injury.
Family, carers, friends, they can all step away and have a chance to escape, my partner could walk the dog for me and eventually go back to work again long before I could.
I felt stuck with this unwanted guest who just wouldn’t leave. I did end up going for walks but my mind would still drift back to negative thoughts such as how much more tiring it was to just get the woods.
Art lets me escape, I focus on how the paint covers the canvas or which yellow I need to mix the right shade of green and the unwanted guest is forgotten for a while at least.
You can see more of Hannah's artwork on her Etsy shop.
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