Who Am I?

I am a CREATOR! A creator of art (of all different sorts), a creator of hope (through the job I do), and a creator of dreams (my own and in some cases through my work, dreams of others). I live with my beautiful, supportive, momma Sue and the most INCREDIBLE, hard working man a woman could ask for, Nicholas. Finally, I’m a person in recovery from heroin addiction and bipolar disorder. And I’m not afraid to tell the world that I’M IN RECOVERY!!!

I have dedicated my life to helping people through advocacy and peer support and currently I am working as a Certified Engagement Peer Specialist and an artist in my spare time. This means that I have lived experience of the same caliber as the clients I work with… and these clients happen to be homeless and most often, mentally ill. Since I’ve been in those exact situations myself when I was using and homeless, I now give back and help as many people who were in my situation as I can. And I spread and light and love through my art. I believe strongly in the healing power of art, and color, and CREATIVITY! This is something I will be focusing on with this blog.

 

I also want to mention that I am a chronic illness WARRIOR living Brittle Type 1 Diabetes and Diabetic Gastroparesis. These are debilitating illnesses that have literally almost killed me a few times now… especially the gastroparesis! And sadly there is no cure for either and gastroparesis has almost no treatments! However, I recently had surgery as a last resort and I can now say I’m the proud owner of a belly pacemaker (aka a Gastric Stimulator)! I’m a bionic woman, lol! So we’ll see how that goes.

This blog is something of a life goal for me. I’ve been wanting to do it for years but never knew how to take that first step… and all I can say is that I’m so glad I did! I’m so excited to see where this journey takes me and all of you who follow me. Throughout this blog, you will learn about my life: you’ll learn about what makes me tick and my crazy, twisted story of addiction; how I found art and how it saves me on a daily basis; how I got sober and how I maintain my recovery everyday; the story of my health and all the trials and tribulations that come with having multiple chronic illnesses, and with that, you’ll also find all kinds of resources for coping with a chronic or terminal illness; you will have access to so much juicy, delicious art, artists I admire and links to their pages, and art tutorials I will create via YouTube including art journaling and mixed media canvas art (no art experience necessary btw); there will be resources on trauma and how art and creativity can help you through that, articles about all sorts of strategies to deal with depression, bipolar disorder, and much more; you will have access to a vast array of addiction resources including treatment centers, articles, the latest science and news surrounding the topic, etc… you’ll have access to my Etsy store where you can purchase all my handmade creations if you’re so inclined lol AND you can place custom orders for any kind of mixed media art.

All in all, I simply wish to create a space where people can be inspired to be who they’ve always dreamed of being by learning about my story and seeing that people can recover… from ANYTHING. Sometimes the best you can do is maintain and not cure and that’s ok too; to be inspired to use creativity as an outlet for self-care; and a place where people can come to find resources for many things that they might be having a hard time finding elsewhere. I’ll share with you all the knowledge I have learned over my lifetime that’s gotten me where I am today… Sober, happy, working, sheltered, and blessed. You can get there too!

Welcome to Healing Hearts with Art & Love! I’m so happy that you’ve stumbled upon my corner of the webisphere and I want to personally say that you are loved, you are light, and you are beautiful!