Author Archives: Nicole Schryer

About Nicole Schryer

My mother engrained in me the benefits of the creative process combined with helping others. I am currently working as a Counselor and Art Therapist helping children ages 5-16 understand and gain control over their symptoms of their mental health diagnosis through Beech Brook. This is an amazing workplace that truly puts client’s needs first. I graduated from Ursuline College where I have learned how to be a professional through my internship experiences and now career. I previously have worked with adolescents in a residential setting. I enjoyed allowing these teens a safe space to share their feelings and emotions. My internship in a hospice setting was influential. I would love to work with this population somewhere down the line. This was my way of giving back. Hospice was amazing when I lost my mother six years ago due to colon cancer. I hope I will be able to offer support to the best of my abilities like my previous counselors, supervisors, and professors have helped me.

Happiness a Running Definition

Happiness what is it?

The dictionary describes happiness as the state of being happy. Good fortune, pleasure, contentment or joy.

Happiness can happen in years, months, days, and moments. The year of 16 was forever happiness. I never knew that my mother was dying. I was free to go to the beach, drive and my biggest struggle was telling a boy that I liked him. Then my mother was diagnosed with Colon Cancer. My world changed when I was 18 years old. Happiness would shine every now and then, but I struggled to find this piece of mind daily. Eventually she passed a way and I met the man who I would spend the rest of my life with. I had mixed feelings of sadness and happiness. We then dated for 5 years before we got engaged. I then experienced the happiest day of my life. This consisted of 2/3 of my day where I was genuinely ecstatic and happy. Our wedding day was when I had felt true bliss. I was happy beyond belief and did not have a care in the world. This occurred August 2013. Since these high moments in my life my happiness seems to come and go. Sometimes my happiness can last for days other times it lasts for an hour. What is left when happiness has disappeared? Sadness, grief, anger, irritability, exhaustion, anxiousness, and etc. are some of the feelings that emerge when my happiness dissipates.

My question is, “How do I gain happiness daily?” Articles have told me that I need to stop dwelling. I have learned CBT due to my education and career in counseling. I still struggle with finding true happiness to fill my days. I then remember things that I have heard in passing, “If we didn’t know sadness we would not know happiness,” and “This is a mindset of thinking positive and not negative.” These are great sentiments, but how do people put these into effect to increase happiness 100% of the time. Is this possible?

Over the next year I will be posting friends, family, associate and stranger’s perspectives on happiness. My goal is to develop my definition of happiness, as well as increase my personal happiness on any given day.

Here is my first entry:

Jackie Lombard: “Happiness is a state of mind, People live in that state. Perceive that they are doing it. This is a sense of calm and confident. What it comes down to is belief in self. You are not questioning yourself. You’re living in your own personal ethics that is very close to happiness. You are just happy to be out there.”

Second Entry:

Lauren Mailey: “Happiness is the duality of life; accepting the Yin and the Yang, the high and the low and being comfortable with the fact you’re not always going to be happy. Happiness is accepting life; It means the waves, they come in and go out; it’s accepting that life is about the back and forth, masculine and feminine, the good and the bad a balancing act. It’s being okay when times are bad because you know that things will be good again. Accepting the duality of life.”

Third Entry:

Jenn Shannon: “Happiness is truly doing what you want to do at that moment in your life. That’s it.”


It’s Not About You…

Because I’m Fabulous, wrote an amazing post that makes you think. I remember hearing years ago “Remember your child is a stranger that you are meeting for the first time the day that baby is born”. Putting labels and unrealistic expectations on your child is dangerous. I will never fully understand what it is like to be a transgendered, homosexual, bisexual, and etc. but I was taught by my amazing parents that everyone deserves respect, love, support, and human decency. This article teaches how important it is to listen and respect one another without judgments or preconceptions.

Because I'm Fabulous

I remember being pregnant with my children, feeling as their gentle flutters progressed into full belly flops on my bladder and painful karate kicks against the backs of my ribs. Back then I had no clue what my children would be like; they were more like ideas than real people. I’d sit in my rocking chair with my hands clasped gently over my stomach and wonder who they’d be. Dreaming of children who loved singing as much as me; envisioning singing rounds, our voices weaving together in harmony.

Then they were born. Short, chubby, bald people who looked a lot more like Winston Churchill than either their Dad or myself. People that screamed randomly, pooped on themselves, and considered “gah” to be an entire conversation. I still had no idea what they were like except loud, messy, and highly uncoordinated. They slowly evolved into their own people. Emma was colicky and had a desperate need to be…

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He Wrote It Down.

This story shows strength, love and support on various levels. These women truly show what courage is and that it can never be taken away. The policeman in this story shows a man of love and support. This is a man that truly deserves his title of protection in a community where devastation has incurred.

In Others' Words...

Our intention was to dance on his grave.

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My beautiful cousin, who I’d not seen in 35 years, and I set out to dance on our grandfather’s grave. Our first dilemma was, of course, song choice. You have to have the right song. We bandied a few song titles about, Alanis Morrisette was a front runner.

Obviously.

We drove to the town where he lived, and where he is buried. We drove to the town where we were abused. Driving down the picturesque New England roads, I felt a little faint. Mary felt a little barfy. We pulled into a store parking lot, and Mary spent some quality time behind a dumpster, hurling. It happens.

We weren’t entirely sure where the cemetery was, so we pulled into a police station to ask for directions. I said, jokingly, We should go in and file a police report. Mary said, What would…

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How Studio Night Saved my Marriage

Self care is the most important thing that a professional helper can do. This is what we try and teach our clients daily. This article expresses how a couple was able to find peace amidst the chaos in their daily lives. This simple idea would be beneficial to offer counseling to couples, as well as, to allow myself to remember this article when I am married in August and when I eventually have my own children. Studio Night for all could be highly beneficial!

 

How Studio Night Saved my Marriage.


Finding Happiness

Imagine focusing only on the here and now. This blog inspires me to travel and identify what is really important in life. Teaching our clients to focus on the present moment is a daily struggle. However, once we are able to allow our client’s to understand the importance of this moment they can grow an appreciation of their emotions and their inner selves.

 

Finding Happiness.


Sawdust never looked so good

This article reminds me of Andy Goldsworthy’s work with nature. I love the idea that after you create an image the elements of the environment transform it. Although the piece is eventually blown away the pictures last a lifetime. I could see adapting this idea of sawdust into an art therapy technique that allows the clients to understand that everything changes and nothing is permanent.

Sawdust never looked so good.