The Trick to Coloring

“I’m not a child! I’ve had enough of this! It’s time for me to go home.” I told the nurses repeatedly.  I knew I wasn’t supposed to be here, but they weren’t going to just let me out.  I knew that, but I couldn’t stop yelling at them.  I couldn’t control the anger.

They sent me to my room, like a child, and told me that I had to finish 3 pictures in a coloring book before I could join the group again. I sat on my hospital bed for what seemed like hours, just stewing in anger. I would have never admitted it then, but I was throwing a fit, just like a kid. It took forever for me to give in. Then I spent another few hours just coloring. Finally, I got hungry and came out with 6 pictures completed. Then I was able to join the group for dinner and they posted all of my pages on the board, like I was in first grade all over again.  It’s funny though, because everyone told me out beautiful my art work was.  Half of them I believed, the other half I felt like I was getting lied to, but that was all perspective.  I completed a task and that alone was progress at this point in recovery.

They have come out with these new adult coloring books for stress management.  I am in love with them.  I probably have 10 on my bookshelf. My kids love them, too!  It’s one of the easiest things to get my kids involved with and also helps me manage my stress.  I feel like it helps the little ones, too.  We all need a little quiet time.  The whole time I’m coloring I let my thoughts sift through everything I did that day and everything I’m worried about for the future.  Letting the thoughts pass, instead of taking control, was not easy to master.  I still don’t think I have it down just right yet, but again, we fight every day for this control.


We are not children, we are adults.  We are not immature, we are different.  But it does help to go back to our roots and give ourselves time-outs or count to ten moments. It is just another trick we have up our sleeves to learn control. Our time-outs don’t have to be alone or very long, but we do need to give ourselves time to gain control.  Most people will respect our space while we figure things out, and some people won’t.  You still need to practice this technique.  You can’t control other people and the way they react to you, but you can control yourself and how you react.  Not easy, not at all, but worth trying.  Good luck and be patient with yourself.  Ask your support family to be patient and allow you time, also.  They love you and will help you.

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