Tom

Tom
Earlier in the year (2019) I had an emotional and mental breakdown. I was taken way back to when I was a kid about 7 years old. All the fear and everything else came flooding back. It took me a good 3 months to get through all that, by applying the 12 step recovery programme.

I spent a weekend away meditating and thinking about what I would like to do with my life. I wrote pages on where I thought I could go forward in my life. My wife was really worried about me, she wasn’t really sure what was happening. I wanted to reconnect with Art again having previously completed a degree in Fine Art. This was something I had enjoyed achieving and wanted to revisit the thinking, research and interaction with artists.

Part of my course led me to sign up to be a member at Tate Liverpool. So I went on the website, and up came Fallen Angels Dance Theatre. When I looked at the event, I saw it was for addiction, mental health and movement. I had always been into dancing and movement, I thought I would go along and see.

I went along (to Tate Liverpool) I met you all, saw the performances, I went for 3 days actually. I got involved in the warm-up, questions & answers, putting things on the wall. I met an Angel and her partner who I know from a mutual aid group.

I believe in synchronicity and all things coming together. I had realised I hadn’t been doing anything for me. I decided I would have a day doing the things I needed to do for me. So I went along to the Bluecoat. I went for my lunch; I met up with members of the well established Liverpool group of Fallen Angels Dance Theatre; I got involved in the activities and dance session in the afternoon.

My first session with Fallen Angels, pulling; stretching; tensing and relaxing; getting out of my head and into the body, released pent up emotion in my body. The body stores an awful lot of trauma. That first session brought me to tears, something had happened deep within me and the feeling of freedom and relaxation was something new and lovely for me.

I just enjoy being part of Fallen Angels Dance Theatre. When we are working it is serious, there’s a lot of laughter and banter, it is good and I continue to attend and develop my technique. Where I have made the most progress has been in the lockdown. I have enjoyed the lockdown. I have treated it as a retreat and I have done a lot of mediation, thinking and contemplation.

Hannah’s poem, which was used to inform the “Together While ApArt” project has been especially helpful for me and really touched me; something had been deep down within me for a very long time. Once again the Fallen Angels exercises and performances, despite using Zoom brought me to tears 2 or 3 times. I have been able to change my thinking. It always starts with the thinking and then turns into action and recovery.

Black and white photograph of a man looking down into the corner, arm stretched out to the side. In the background there is another person with arms outstretched.

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