Shana Mental Health Hero for Mental Health Month 2013 cartoon by Chato Stewart

Shana Koehler

2013 Mental Health Hero Cartoon-A-Thon

Drawing by Chato Stewart

Shana smAbout myself…I love to read!! I also love to color. I find coloring helps me with anxiety. Reading usually takes me away from the world once I can concentrate enough on a book to get lost in it. (ADD & mind racing)

A few years ago, after my finished basement flooded a few times, I hired a friend who was just starting her business as a home stager to re-do the room down there. (after hiring someone to fix the original problem that is!) Anyway, she did an amazing job that fits my personality to a tee. The floor is stained pink. Zebra area rug and a zebra print hanging on wall. Painted existing bar and picked out really neat retro stools, 2 red 2 pink. Interior closet painted orange and hung shelves with mirrors to show off my wine glass collection. Highlights of lime green around room. Magnetic paint on walls around room where I can hang quotes that I copy onto black scrapbook paper. (I love quotes!) It’s just a really unique room…pics on facebook under my album titled the Lounge. She got the idea for magnetic paint because after the flooding, when we ripped up the carpet for the 3rd time, I took all sorts of colors of sharpie markers and wrote all over the floor! My favorite quotes, kids drew pics, and really big down the middle of the floor, I wrote down a special favorite poem called “The Oak Tree”. You can actually still see whispers of it through the concrete stain.

Martial Arts is another love of mine. I started doing it with my kids. It helped me so much with confidence! One of my proudest moments was earning my 1st degree black belt in 2008. Unfortunately I stopped going. My meds at the time were messing with my balance and also my ability to learn new forms. 🙁 I also gained a ton of weight due to the meds and my lack of activity. I still want to go back and earn my 2nd degree. 3rd degree would be awesome to obtain along with a degree in Okinawan weapons. All 3 of my children earned their Jr. Black Belt and my youngest is still in it.

Some background info…moved around a lot when I was in elementary school. Only child for the most part, shy, and didn’t get to form many friendships. Finally settled in to a house for middle school and first two years of hs. Then we moved again when I was 15. Not good! Attempted suicide. Therapy for a year, but no diagnosis or meds.

When I was 16, I met Cory. I had gone to prom with some girls from 1st hs and we went to what I thought was an after-prom party. It turned out to be Cory’s 20th bday party and we were the only girls in prom dresses. Anyway when my friend introduced us, he kissed my hand. <3 We married 4yrs later.

Shana Mental Health Hero for Mental Health Month 2013 cartoon by Chato Stewart

See Your Bonus Drawings by my children.
LP 14Sweet Pea 11 Precious 10 and Belly 7

He started his own construction business, we built a house, had two children…and fell apart. Post-partum depression set in after 1st child was born and never left. We were young and tried and failed. (I was undiagnosed bipolar). In July 2001, separated but not divorced, Cory was in a motorcycle accident that took his life. Major head trauma. We donated his organs. Our children, Eric & Kyra, were only 5 and 3 years old at the time. :'(

Unfortunately then I ended up with a man who turned out to be abusive. Things were perfect at first, of course. I got pregnant and thought that if I didn’t get married my Grandma would be ashamed. Plus I was still hoping he would change. Bretta was born in 2003 and in 2005, on my birthday, I filed for divorce.
Restraining Order filed in 2006 against him for assaulting me and taking Bretta out of my van by force while I was picking up Eric and Kyra from school.

I received my diagnosis of Bipolar around 2002 I think, but didn’t really buy into it. Took me years to accept. At the end of 2008 I had to stop working. Been on SSDI since 2010. Had intense therapy. Diagnosed with PTSD from childhood molestation, Cory’s accident, and abuse from Kevin (husband #2). Tried Gestault therapy and EMDR. Outpatient hospitalization program, inpatient, and a few months of ECT.

Meds are fairly stable now. I don’t know. Hard to tell what is normal. But my kids are doing well so that’s what matters!! I am amazed how awesome they are. They’ve been through so much…how did they make it this far without more problems?! I just thank God!!!!! My kids are honestly what keep me alive and my inspiration, motivation, everything!!!

I am in a good relationship now with a good man. We’ve been together for 7years. He even took the NAMI family course. We get through one day at a time (oh yeah Alanon helped me tremendously also!).

I feel this whole journey has helped me to know myself better. 40yrs old. I love to learn and I miss my career a lot. I was a Radiologic Technologist and then specialized in Mammography. I miss talking to patients. I’ve kind of isolated myself and now am pushing myself back out there in the scary world lol.

One thing I find super hard is changing doctors/therapists. Since 1996, between insurance changes and physicians moving, etc. I’ve had 5 psychiatrists, 5 therapists, and 2 good family practice docs that managed my mental health. 😛 They were all good though. Right now I see a psychiatrist who also does my therapy. I think that, along with decent med combo, has made a big difference. He is my hero! I’d nominate him if I had a pic!! He isn’t in too good of health right now. He needs a heart transplant. You would never know it though. I pray for him everyday.

Wow I really rattle on. Sorry this is so long! And rambling! Thanks for taking the time to read it. You are an angel!

Smiles to you Chato!
Shana 🙂

Shana Mental Health Hero for Mental Health Month 2013 cartoon by Chato Stewart Carol Bond Mental Health Hero for Mental Health Month 2013 cartoon by Chato Stewart 460 Gina Jones Mental Health Hero for Mental Health Month 2013 cartoon by Chato Stewart Mary Ann Widenhouse Mental Health Hero for Mental Health Month 2013 cartoon by Chato Stewart Chris Dean Mental Health Hero for Mental Health Month 2013 cartoon by Chato Stewart Mike and Hope Mental Health Hero for Mental Health Month 2013 cartoon by Chato Stewart 460 Victoria Maxwell Mental Health Hero for Mental Health Month 2013 cartoon by Chato Stewart 460 Dr John Grohol Mental Health Hero for Mental Health Month 2013 cartoon by Chato Stewart 460 Margarita Tartakovsky Mental Health Hero for Mental Health Month 2013 cartoon by Chato Stewart 460 Michael Kuhl Mental Health Hero for Mental Health Month 2013 cartoon by Chato Stewart Kim Mental Health Hero for Mental Health Month 2013 cartoon by Chato Stewart 460 Melanie Oldham Mental Health Hero for Mental Health Month 2013 cartoon by Chato Stewart 2 Chris Curry Mental Health Hero for Mental Health Month 2013 cartoon by Chato Stewart Aletha Fields Mental Health Hero for Mental Health Month 2013 cartoon by Chato Stewart 460 460 Victoria Cannon Mental Health Hero for Mental Health Month 2013 cartoon by Chato Stewart 460 Kristin Selby Gonzalez Mental Health Hero for Mental Health Month 2013 cartoon by Chato Stewart 460 Bobby Durham Mental Health Hero for Mental Health Month 2013 cartoon by Chato Stewart 460 Ed Pazicky Mental Health Hero for Mental Health Month 2013 cartoon by Chato Stewart 460 Joe Kraynak Mental Health Hero for Mental Health Month 2013 cartoon by Chato Stewart Mental Health Hero for Mental Health Month 2013 cartoon by Chato Stewart http://mentalhealthhero.com/?p=1698 460 Shannon Jacuzzi Mental Health Hero for Mental Health Month 2013 cartoon by Chato Stewart 460 Logan Noone Mental Health Hero for Mental Health Month 2013 cartoon by Chato Stewart thumbnail David Speicher Mental Health Hero for Mental Health Month 2013 cartoon by Chato Stewart460 Kathi Stringer Mental Health Hero for Mental Health Month 2013 cartoon by Chato Stewart460 Linda and Charlie Bloom Mental Health Hero 2013 Mental Health Month - cartoon by Chato Stewart 460 thumbnail KellyBabcock 460 Kristi Goldsberry small cartoon

——Sponsors——

Enzymedica the enzyme experts Sponsor Mental Health Humor Project - Cartoon-A-thon 2010 Mike Bundrant Sponsor Path to wellness Facebook BG - Mental Health Hero 2012 newsletter going lime copy copy CBHC sponsor2 5-6-2013 Blue ad Discover me Resized Mental Health Humor Project - Cartoon-A-thon 2010

FreeCounselingHelp.com is America’s only directory connecting people with affordable counseling. There are thousands of non-profit agencies within America that are available to help those with limited means. FreeCounselingHelp.com allows people to quickly search by ZIP code and find the best fit for their mental health needs.

Mentalympians is a mental health community development initiative to raise awareness of mental health recovery, inspire hope, reduce self-stigma, foster recovery and also connect individuals who are interested in campaigning for mental health reform.

I would like to thank Enzymedica’s Tom Bohager for his support. Enzymedica is Florida-based founded in 1998 to offer consumers targeted digestive enzymes products. Considered America’s #1 selling enzyme brand sold by health food store retailers. They also offer a FREE Digestive Enzyme interactive education program that is very helpful in learning the benefits enzymes have on our over all health.

 

Thanks to my wife Joan Winifred for her care, compassion and being my partner in wellness for the past 21 years. The Family Stew is about our family

Friend me on Facebook @chato B Stewart.
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Bonus My kids’ Drawings:

LP 14*

Coming Soon

 
Sweet Pea 11 * Sweet Pea 11

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Precious 10 *Precious 10

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Belly 7*Belly 7

ajb400