Coloring Helps Me Cope with Stress and Exhaustion

March 28, 2014

God does not give up on us, but calls each and every one of us to God self, to relationship, to community and to God's ideal vision.  And we, imbued with that kind of calling, have the power to change the world. (77) Making a Way Out of No Way by Monica A. Coleman
The hearing was very hard-one of the most stressful things I have done in a long time.  My lawyer was very nice and the psychologist was on my side, but still, talking about my diagnosis with people I had never met before was intimidating and even though I knew why my lawyer had my files, it was not comfortable.  
It absolutely wore me out and unfortunately talking about old urges and symptoms brought some of them back.  Anxiety returned and I was having trouble finding peace of mind, so it was time to figure out what coping skills would work until I returned back to normal.  It's funny how different coping skills will work at different times and I found last weekend that art did the trick-it seemed the only time that I experienced peace of mind was when I was painting or collaging or coloring.
Here are two pictures from the Color Your Heart with Joy coloring book by Claire Christin (You can buy it at Donna Van Gogh's in Atlanta):
"Slow down and listen to your heart."
"Children need love most when they deserve it least."

I love this coloring book!  I used fine point sharpies and I was able to mindfully fully immerse myself into the activity and so forget about my stress.  I stayed in the art room all day Monday working on my art project and fortunately by the end of the day I felt rejuvenated and back to my old self.
I did not give up on myself, but was gentle with myself, which was something I absolutely did not know how to do a few years ago.  I believe "God's ideal vision" is for us to not give up on ourselves and to trust that the bad time will eventually change; not only will it change, but one can find comfort by focusing on this truth.  I have found that there is always at least one thing that can distract me and bring me peace during a hard time.  And when we find peace during hardship, we show others that they can achieve that too and so "the power to change the world" has begun it's rippling effect. Even though I consider myself a Christian, I also see Godde in my therapist, in my art, and in the DBT principles.  I see Godde anywhere that seems to promote healing and love.

Link Love:

Nobody does life perfectly.
Nobody gets it right the first time out.
Which is a deep shame because, well, we only get one shot. So the one shot we have is a shot that will be marked by mistakes and missteps. We’ll try to avoid adding to the shit around us, but inevitably we will add to it, pile it on, and step in it.
And then we’ll probably put our foot in our mouth.
Which means we need to learn grace. It needs to permeate our interactions and expectations.

$400 million: The amount of money the US federal government and state governments could save in ink costs if they exclusively used Garamond fond on printed materials, as determined by clever and curious 14-year-old Suvir Mirchandani "when he was trying to think of ways to cut waste and save money at his Pittsburgh-area middle school."

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