Success Stories

Personal Stories of Recovery

Client's crafts serve as therapeutic source of pride

The crafty decorations Theresa Laniewicz has fashioned serve a number of purposes.

The wreaths and other arrangements she has created are not only eye-catching adornments meant to spruce up weddings or greet visitors to her eastside house—they also serve as a therapeutic diversion for the artist.

“Creating beautiful things is a way that helps me cope with everything a whole lot better,” Theresa (right, holding one of her creations) said.

Theresa has bipolar disorder and is prone to bouts of depression. In keeping her hands busy and her mind at work, Theresa has also been able to explore her creativity.

“There is a creative side to bipolar,” she said. “Anyone that has bipolar can do something like this. It can help sometimes when you’re in a manic episode.”

Others first noticed Theresa’s penchant for crafts when she contributed a few floral arrangements to a coworker’s wedding. Others soon caught wind of Theresa’s craft skills as her work began attracting attention.

Soon, Theresa was enthusiastically creating more works for people as the word spread. The crafts often serve as much as a favor Theresa gives as one she receives in a way.

Theresa has long dealt with bouts of depression that often cause her to isolate herself. But in the moment she presents her work to an appreciative and satisfied recipient, she feels a deep sense of joy.

“I like to see their reaction and like to see people happy,” she said.

Thanks to Stairways’ Client Wellness Fund, which provides clients with resources to pursue healthy activities such as Theresa’ crafts, she has been able to create even more works.

Theresa is not only practicing a hobby, but is feeding a passion that serves a very important purpose.

"It makes me feel better to be creative,” she said.

"Stairways helped me to work on recovery, one step at a time." -Ron S

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