Today, existing is painful

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

Today, existing is painful
it’s not specific
I can’t explain where it hurts
or why
it’s overwhelming
and confusing
logically I can tell myself I’m ok
I’m safe
people love me
but that doesn’t make it hurt less
then the guilt comes
telling me I shouldn’t feel this way
shaming me for not “appreciating” what I have
don’t you think I know what I have!?
don’t you think I want to feel better!?
of course there are a million reasons to be happy
and people have it worse than I do
and if I could just “feel better” I would

when our heart isn’t working properly
we tell the doctors – they help us
when we break a bone, it’s clear where help is needed
if a loved one dies and we’re grieving,
love and support from friends and family flood us

so, why is it when our brain is lying to us
and confusing us and convincing us that we are not worthy
that few people notice that help is needed?
some even get annoyed
would you get annoyed while your friend is having a heart attack?
would you tell someone to “shake it off” if they broke their arm?
mental health pain is not obvious
some people hide their pain well
and never get help

but maybe if we start talking about it
talking about mental health
our brain
in the same way we talk about brushing our teeth
then those of us in pain won’t feel shame
those of us who need help, will ask for it
and everyone around will flood us with love and support


Depression is not always obvious and asking for help can be difficult. Talking about depression can be difficult, but there is hope – you are not alone. I’m including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 – if you have this in your phone or contacts, it could be life saving to your or someone you know.

Depression can be a very painful and scary experience, if you have never felt it then you may not fully understand, but that doesn’t mean the pain isn’t real. Open – show love – and allow healing to begin. Call 734-502-7920 or email to talk to me about art therapy and how it can begin to help relieve your depression.


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

a poem about depression

Daily Visual Journal – mindfully making art

I have been working on my Daily Visual Journal for over 6 years – on and off, not everyday… but I’m trying to get back into the habit of creating everyday. Just a few minutes of mindfully focusing on your art is a great way to decrease stress and increase self awareness.

I’ve been recording my work and uploading it to you YouTube this week. I actually find it fascinating to see myself work and see the work evolve and grow.

Peace in presence

Heather Brown is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Registered Art Therapist,  Advanced Certified Trauma Practitioner and owner of Brown Counseling, LLC. She facilitates a six week art therapy group and I had the privilege to attend one of the sessions. This group is open “…for anyone who values their own creativity and want to come to a safe space to playfully and meaningfully make art with others” and is held at Light Box in Detroit.FullSizeRender-2

Even though I was only able to attend one day, I knew the art therapy group facilitated by Heather Brown would be beneficial. Heather has such a calm presence that I always feel better just being around her and participating in this group felt the same. Initially, I was reluctant to attend and thought of a dozen other things that I needed to do. But realized my resistance to meeting new people and working in groups is exactly why I needed to go. I didn’t know what to expect and had never been to this particular area in Detroit before. It was easy to find the address, but the building itself didn’t show signs of being open and there was only one car in the parking lot. I thought maybe I was in the wrong place and would just go home… but I decided to drive around the front one more time and then I saw the word -Light – high up on one of the outside walls. I was in the right place. I parked my car and just as I was about to go in the building, Heather opened the door.

Continue reading “Peace in presence”

Do you know the 2nd leading cause of death for youth ages 15-24?


Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for 15-24 year olds. And for every suicide death, approximately 25 people attempt.

These statistics are even worse for LGBT youth and specifically transgender youth who are 41% more likely to attempt suicide according to reports from the American Association of Suicidology. This is unacceptable and also preventable.

I attended the conference, The Silent Epidemic: A Conference on Suicide, which was presented by Kevin’s Song, ..”a charitable organization dedicated to generating public awareness about the causes of suicide, its prevalence in our society and possible preventive measures.” The organization was founded by John and Gail Urso after the death of their son Kevin. Kevin’s Song will bring attention to the existing resources as well as bring more awareness to the public of the epidemic of suicide through conferences and workshops.

I am grateful that I had the opportunity to attend all three days of this meaningful conference. Thursday we heard from professionals at the Henry Ford Behavioral Services about their Zero Suicide Initiative, which is a commitment to suicide prevention. Thursday evening there was a screening of the documentary, “Death is NOT the Answer” by Director and Executive Producer, Keith Famie.

Friday was packed with sessions covering a wide range of topics including: Youth Suicide Risk and Bullying, EMDR as a suicide prevention, Social Media Skills: New Media for Messaging, The Hidden Risks of LGBT Youth, Military and Veteran suicide risk, and so many more. The sessions I was able to attend were very informative and I came away feeling more confident that I would be able to better assess suicide risk and actually have resources to refer someone to if needed. However, one of the most inspiring presentations was from Dennis Liegghio from KnowResolve. I was so inspired by his presentation and his personal strength to be able to move on from the loss of his father from suicide to creating an organization that educates and inspires.

Please visit the Kevin’s Song website for more information and be sure to attend the next conference!


National Suicide Prevention Hotline 800-273-8255


Art Journaling – a little bit at a time

I started a daily art journal years ago and created art everyday for years, then a few times a week, then sometimes several times a day and not again for weeks. I thought when I made the commitment to work in my Daily Visual Journal everyday that I would create the habit and I would just do it – every day. I discovered that it doesn’t always work like that. Sometimes it’s a struggle to be consistent and each day represents a new opportunity to start again. Each day I am grateful to have the opportunity to create art – to have the materials, the space, and the time. Here is a doodle – simple and quick – to kickstart this habit again.