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Mental Health Art Exhibition

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Rainbow Ruby - Bottled up emotions

Ruby blew another one of her unwanted feelings into the bottle. She took a deep breath to blow hard and push it down as much as possible. All the feelings and emotions she had put into the bottle were now cramped inside. They had no air. Those feelings wanted to get out, so they protested. They didn’t want to be in there. They felt they were human, just like Ruby. They wanted to be heard and noticed by Ruby and talk and be friends with her. Ruby blew in the bottle the last feeling. She picked up the lid and placed it on top of the bottleneck. She twisted it tight and stared at it for a while.

The beautiful colours of her rainbow were slowly fading, losing all their brightness. Each emotion and feeling she placed in the bottle took the brilliance and colour out of her, making her rainbow grey, dull, and sad. 


Those feelings and emotions wanted to get to know her. Anger would be gentle on Ruby. It would come out only in controlled outbursts, but it needed to come out and breathe; otherwise, it would come out fiercely all at once. Ruby would then transfer her Anger to someone else, maybe someone she loved. 

Frustration needed some air as well. Frustration would promise Ruby it would give her a warning when it was arriving so she could be prepared and welcome it for a short while, but then she could let it go away. It would come back for sure, but when it did, Ruby could give it some more attention and then send it away again. 

Loneliness wished it could keep Ruby company for a while to show her it wasn’t that scary. If Loneliness were out of the bottle, it would nudge her and tell her to call a friend because she was isolating herself too much. But Ruby kept pushing Loneliness down. It was too painful for Ruby to look at it. 

Annoyance was a little annoyed at being stuck in the bottle as well. It knocked on the glass, trying to get Ruby’s attention, but she kept looking away.

Nervousness, Stress, Sadness, and all the other feelings had had enough of being bottled up, so they set up a meeting to see how they could escape from the bottle. The bottle lid had a little valve from where some of the pressure could be released, but Ruby had tightened that as well, making sure none of those feelings that she saw as enemies could escape.

There was a lot of chatter in that bottle; ideas were thrown about, and suggestions were made. The bottle finally rattled with excitement as they found a solution. They called on the fairies to help them. The feelings were prisoners, but the fairies were free to fly around wherever they wanted.  

The fairies got to work. At first, they couldn’t find Ruby because all her colours had faded– she now blended in with the grey cloudy sky. But Ruby wasn’t completely dull; she still had a few rays of light that managed to cut through the dark cloud that she had created around herself. The fairies flickered and buzzed around her, trying to wake her up. In the end, they decided to send arrows with notes on them. 

The arrows hurt a little, but they finally woke Ruby up. She opened her eyes and found herself surrounded by notes. Ruby picked up a message from Anger and read hunger, fatigue, and overstimulation. She thought about that for a while and remembered many times that she was angry; she also felt tired and overworked. 

The Fairies launched the arrow from Sadness. It had written on it: problems sleeping, stomach aches, and distraction. Ruby was confused; how could they know she always had tummy aches? She started collecting all the notes that were flying around her. Ruby looked at herself in the mirror and noticed she had lost her colour and splendour. Inside she felt grey like her body. She didn’t want her colour to go away.

Fairy Dana buzzed around Ruby and noticed she was sad, so she placed a crown on Ruby’s head.

“This is the emotional intelligence crown that will allow you to get all your colour back, but first, we have to release all the emotions and feelings you’ve bottled up. Those feelings are inside your body; that is why you are feeling sad and physically ill; they are trying to get out to make you breathe, but you won’t let them. Your colour is all in that bottle, so you’ll never get your colour back if you don’t open it. 

Don’t be scared of those feelings; they aren’t that frightening once you get to know them. We can help you get to know them if you let them out. If you set them free, they won’t often come back to annoy you, and if they do, you will know how to manage them. Remember that you control your emotions; they don’t control you. If you keep them bottled up, they will explode, and that’s when the feelings will control you.  

 The fairies helped Ruby release the valve to let some pressure out. They slowly and carefully opened the bottle, just a little, so they could come out one at a time. The fairies sat Ruby and all the feelings and emotions down in a circle; they explained that they would all have to work together and cooperate. 

The feelings and emotions nodded and promised they would behave. Ruby promised never to bottle them up again. Ruby watched the feelings fly away; she knew they would be back soon, but this time she would be prepared for them… with all her radiant colours. 

The fairies started their first ‘Emotional Mastery’ class and told Ruby the meaning of all the colours of her rainbow. Ruby didn’t know her rainbow coloured skin tone had a purpose. She didn’t realise that red was her strength, orange creativity, and imagination, or that yellow was clarity. The fairies focused on the green, which meant health, balance, and healing. Blue was awareness, communication, and connection. 

Ruby loved that her violet represented her spiritual mastery, like Harry Potter! She decided she could not afford to let those colours fade away. Ruby’s rainbow would soon shine again and colour the sky with her beautiful qualities.

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