I am a US Army veteran, artist, teacher, creative soul guide, and like all of us — a work in progress. With all of these things that I feel I am, I know that being of service to others has been and will always be a thread in the tapestry of my life. The many journeys within my life always bring new challenges, self-awareness, and growth.
It’s been 20 years since my first battle with suicidal ideation and major depression. I’ve had some relapses since then, but with each fight, insights surface and propel me to more self-discovery and deeper healing. It wasn’t until after my last relapse four years ago that I discovered what my “service to others” would be, and that my journey of healing through creativity would be born …
I had to find my way back, and the only thing I knew well was art. I forced myself out of the bed and grabbed an ink brush and sketchbook. I drew a line. One after the other. Just lines across the page. After a while, I decided to draw a line with my breath to control my breathing. The trigger that always induced panic. I would draw as I sustained my breath and would pick up the brush when I gasped. I’d leave a space, then continue with brush, breath, and line. Over time, the spaces between the lines would become fewer and fewer. They were lines unbroken. This was how I calmed and reconnected myself to the present moment. While other breathing techniques have failed, my roots of creativity provided me a steering wheel, so I could leave my home and get the help I needed.
Read the full article about a veteran’s journey back from depression through art by Saori Murphy at ARTS Blog.
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