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Dan shares his story

I've been thinking about what Ipsum through the Art and talks with my counsellor Natalie has done for me, and it's hard to say / put into works. It's more of an inner feeling...?

A few years ago in 2011, I was stuck in the middle of the Libyan desert during the civil uprising with no way out. Whilst I wasn't directly threatened or endangered while out there, an adjacent process plant exploded and kids broke into our camp one night. I felt completely left for dead for the week I was stuck with my workmates - lots of broken promised to get us out of there. Eventually we made out way to Tripoli, where I managed to get onto a flight to safety with the American Embassy.

Due to this mis-adventure in Libya after I was told it was safe to go, I suffered from PTSD, though it took me many years to even accept that there was anything wrong with me. Everyday noise, even from my own kids would set me off, and I'd end up shouting at them over petty little things. The PTSD put a great strain on my marriage.

I came across Ipsum at a Pop-up art / music show in the Swindon Brunel centre by accident whilst out with my wife. Talking to Sue and Craig, they made me feel welcome. 2 months went by and I still hadn't done anything, so my wife booked me in to see Sue.

Over the past year, through Sue and Martin's art classes, I've explored different art mediums, settling these days on predominately painting with acrylics on canvas. Its opened up a creative side that I never knew existed. Small things like face painting on my youngest daughter are a new and enjoyable experience.

For the past few months, I've been seeing Natalie for counselling sessions to explore my anger issues and problems with noise. Natalie is a great listener, providing useful techniques for dealing. Just having someone to talk to on a weekly basis and any problems that have cropped up really helps.

I've met many many wonderful people through my time at Ipsum, people I'd of never have met otherwise, some of whom have become great friends.

I can't quantify what Ipsum has done for me over the past year, but what it has given me is an inner peace, to live in the moment and learn from your own mistakes - especially with my art work!

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