MISSION, KS (KCTV) – Patrick Pribyl's paintings are abstract and unusual, but so is his story.
There are many layers as his emotions turn to color. Blue and white are peaceful tones while yellow shows energy, but one hue he used recently told a more personal story of his challenges.
“I started using the red, when I started talking about addiction,” Patrick shared of a time he was unrecognizable, even to himself. “There's a smile on my face, but I wasn't happy. I was just dead at that point.”
It was something his mother Linda saw as well.
“We couldn't explain his behaviors,” she explained. “He was drinking a lot. The lights were out of his eyes.”
Patrick said his alcoholism put him in a downward spiral and “a total loss of control.” That's when he checked himself into The Treehouse, a rehabilitation program in Texas.
One of the available programs there was art therapy. He tried it, even though he hadn't picked up a brush since grade school.
“I knew I couldn't draw a stick figure,” Patrick recalled.
The real masterpiece, though, was how it made him feel.
“The second I started, I felt a wave of calm,” he said.
Patrick has been sober for nearly 100 days, and in that time, he's painted prolifically, sometimes two at a time.
His parent's home in Mission is now full of colorful canvases, and a gallery in New York is displaying some of the work this spring.
“The art was so surprising,” Linda said. “We were blown away.”
“I hope someone will see it and say, ‘That makes me feel something,’” Patrick added.
He's also working at a local theater, launching an Etsy page and continuing his treatment from home, saying that for the first time in years he is “looking forward to the future.”
Patrick's journey led him to a new passion but more importantly a realization on how he found his stroke.
“It's okay to ask for help.”