I met with Jennifer Bullock from NBC 4 yesterday to do an on camera interview about my story and artwork. I hope when it airs that someone who maybe suffering with PTSD or other mental disorders will see it and find hope. A lot of times mental disorders are pushed into the dark and not talked about, hidden and locked away. People in movies and TV are portrayed as evil or because they have these disorders then everyone who does will do bad things.
I haven't always been open about things with myself. I spent years hiding what was going on with me. I had the attitude of "suck it up and move on", "you are only as strong as your weakest link" and "people won't like me if they know". Keeping all the thoughts and feelings inside to myself did nothing but hurt me and those around me even more.
By being open about having PTSD, Anxiety and Major Depressive Disorder some of my worst fears actually came true. I lost a job that I loved and was passion about. At the time that really hurt, it was like one more nail being added to my coffin. Today however, I am actually glad that happened. I may have never embraced doing art as a therapy to help me heal and grow.
I was in some very dark, dark places. I wasn't sure if I would ever see the light again. Things may seem like they are never going to look up again, or that you will always be where you are today. I can assure you that this thinking is just a thought. Something you tell yourself over and over again until you believe it to be a truth. You can change your thoughts!
I am in a better place today than where I came from. I honestly believe that out of all the various forms of therapy I have tried that embracing creativity and expressing myself through art has been the best for me. It has saved my life. Art may not be what works for you. I would encourage you to explore what is and what could be. I have a veteran friend that finds peace in farming, another who has found photography works for him, one friend discovered he really enjoys getting out on a kayak and fishing. I am positive that you will find something equally as well that can help you.
What I discovered with my art journey is not a cure-all. It hasn't totally healed me. I still have down days, I still have things with my PTSD and Anxiety that effect me everyday. But what it has done is made the rollercoaster ride to be more manageable and help me to cope better with what I face.