JUNE WAS NATIONAL PTSD AWARENESS MONTH
“Oh honey, yes, you do.”
Sure enough by the end of the three weeks I was diagnosed with PTSD.
I first found out I had PTSD from another veteran when I was an inpatient in the hospital's psych ward for depression. I self-admitted. I was the only woman on the ward. We were all standing in line at the nurse's station getting our evening medication when the man behind said something to me. I don't remember what it was. I just remember that I jumped. It felt like I jumped straight up 5 feet, right out of my own skin. He apologized. “I didn't know you had PTSD.”
WELLNESS THROUGH EXPRESSIVE ARTS
Ever since that day back in 2001 I've searched for ways to get healthy. Stay healthy. Medication. Exercise. Breathing exercises. Meditation. Prayer. Self-care activities….which led me to create Color Joy and the coloring book membership. Sometimes we need more. Sometimes I need more. And, that's ok. Because it's led me to develop Wellness Through Expressive Arts – a new faith based membership that allows you to go on a personal journey of growth, well-being, and healing through active art making and prayer. We'll be using things like acrylic paints. chalk pastels, and modeling clay.
So, if you…
- Suffer from anxiety or depression
- Have low self-esteem.
- Are dealing with stress overload
- Have trouble coping with a physical illness or disability
- Or are struggling with the challenges of being a trauma survivor
Wellness Through Expressive Arts is for you.
Engaging in the creative process and reflecting on your artwork can foster self-awareness, cultivate emotional resilience, explore aspects of your personality, reduce anxiety, enhance self-esteem, promote insight, enhance social skills, reduce and resolve conflicts, and manage stress and traumatic experiences. There is no art experience or skill necessary, but if you are an artist, that’s cool, too! Wellness Through Expressive Arts is about allowing yourself the freedom to express, explore, and expand beyond your natural comfort zone in a safe place.
Wellness Through Expressive Arts is art lessons on steroids.
My goal is to help you:
- Create order amidst chaos – Deepen self-awareness, increase self-empowerment, help discover your unique strengths and ultimately create a positive change.
- Reach self-actualization – Fulfill talents and potential by reflecting on the body/mind/spiritual well-being, increasing insight to your inner emotions, memories, and experiences.
- Improve mindfulness – reduce anxiety much like meditation and tap into your intuitive and creative brain. Resolve problems.
- Have support of a wellness community – Gain access to the exclusive Facebook group where you can share your frustrations, creations, your hallelujah moments, and participate in monthly contests.
How do I plan on doing all of this exactly? I'm partnering with Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Expressive Arts Therapist, Sherry Collier, to bring you Expressive Arts session 2x a month via a password protected Zoom room where we're guaranteed privacy. And, the sessions will NOT be recorded so you can feel free to express yourself and know that we respect your privacy. What happens in the Zoom room stays in the Zoom room, unless of course we think you're in crisis and need to intervene. In these sessions, Sherry will lead you on a healing journey using different art mediums because sometimes words alone just seem inadequate.
You have to be 18 years old to join and agree to a letter of understanding – signifying that you understand that Wellness Through Expressive Arts is not Art Therapy and is not a replacement for individual therapy. Now, is this a contradiction? No. It's not. Quite simply, Sherry is only licensed in one state and we'll have participants from many states and possibly from other parts of the world and the Zoom room we're using is not HIPAA compliant. Plus, while Sherry is using many of the same tools and techniques that she used in her thriving practice they differ from what she used in a clinical setting. Think of this as more of a coaching program. A coaching program to health, well-being, and healing.
Sherry will be your instructor and I'll be your facilitator.
We'll meet the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month starting July 14th at 1:00 PM Pacific/4:00 PM Eastern through November.
A LITTLE ABOUT ME
Before venturing on this endeavor, I was a cryptologic technician in the Navy. I got my programmer/analyst certificate from the University of West Florida, my undergraduate degree in MIS from Northwest Christian University, and studied for a Masters degree in cyber security at the University of Maryland University College.
I want you to know that mental illness doesn't discriminate. It's true some people are more predisposed to mental illness than others, but it doesn't discriminate. Young. Old. Educated. Uneducated. Blue collar. White collar. Man. Woman. Child. Black. White. Brown. Get my point?
I was molested as a child, had a date rape at 18. An attempted rape at 19. And a completed rape at 30.
I was a mess for many years. Sometimes I'm still a mess for a day, a week, a month, or several months at a time.
I often hear women talk about how stressed out, anxious, or depressed they are. And, I hear ya! My kidlets (I often refer to them as the “spawned ones”) are all grown and on their own. I even have grandchildren and I love them with my whole being. Yet, I still struggle and take medication daily. So, I get you. I really get you. So, let’s figure this out together, mmk?
I have multiple mental health diagnoses, including major depressive disorder (MDD) with dysthymia, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) – yep a true diagnosis, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), PTSD due to the sexual trauma, vocal cord dysfunction (VCD) with conversion disorder – I sometimes have difficulty breathing that mimics an asthma attack.
And, sometimes I feel like I’m diagnosed with alphabet soup! Did I mention, that I get you? Are you diagnosed with alphabet soup, too?
I'm working on my certification as a Mental Health Coach and I recently became interested in expressive arts and wanted to bring Wellness Through Expressive Arts to you.
Let's do this!
But what about the BIG DEAL?
THE BIG DEAL!
Oh here's the deal and it's definitely a big deal! This is a course. What does this mean? It means that it's only open for enrollment certain times of the year. It was open for pre-registration for founding members and we start sessions on July 14th. You still have time to join as a founding member, too, which means you get a discount. Your discount code is WELLNESS and will give you $300 off the full pay option ONLY. This discount code is only for my blog readers.
We'll be open again in January at full price, with a start date of January 12th, but why would you want to wait for the full price when you can get it now at $300 off and start your journey on July 14th.
Oh, but one last thing….you can repeat the course as many times as you'd like because there will always be something new to explore. Plus, I offer a 30 day money back guarantee. Check out the FAQs for more information and feel free to use the help widget to contact me about any of your questions.
Find out more about Color Joy's Wellness Through Expressive Arts today, and I hope to see you inside the Zoom room and the FB community!