Before starting counseling services with David Lawrence Centers (DLC), I was hopeless and felt nothing would ever change. I had several admissions to the Crisis Unit because I wanted to end the pain I felt inside. It seemed like no one around me understood my depression, or understood how hard it was to function each day at school and at home. I didn’t know where to turn to get the help I desperately needed.

Since being in therapy with the Community Action Team (CAT) at DLC, my life has changed for the better. Now, at 16 years old, I have personal goals, and am moving toward my goals each day. My school work has improved, and so have my relationships with friends and family. I’ve found purpose and meaning in my life. I’ve discovered that even though my life still has its challenges, it is worth living.

I’ve been creating artwork since I could pick up a crayon. I’ve always loved it and it has always been an outlet for me. When I found out about art therapy at DLC, I wanted to give it a try. It helped me take time out of my stressful life to create art, and it decreases some of that stress. Sometimes I forget to slow down and use art to cope, so attending art therapy lets me set time aside to help myself.

I was asked to create a graphic for the David Lawrence Centers 2016 holiday card. This was an honor. I wanted to create a festive piece that wasn’t focused on any one religion or tradition. I used the app Pinterest for inspiration, and was also inspired by a sunset painting I had previously created for my mother’s birthday. I wanted to keep it fun so both adults and kids would enjoy it. I wanted people to look at the Florida Snowman and laugh — because laughter is so important.

Someday, I want to be able to support myself as an artist. I know that’s very difficult to do, but I want to be able to do what I love for a living. I would love to major in Art in college. I would love to create artwork that creates change or inspires thoughts.

I want to encourage everyone to live life to the fullest and not be afraid to pursue what makes them happy in life. I have asked myself many times if I’d rather be financially secure or happy. My answer is always: I want to do what I love. I already spent too long being unhappy, and I do not want that for my future.

Nov 30, 2016 | News

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