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  • Reyna Estrada

Healing through helping

Sometimes after going through a difficult or trying time, individuals may feel empowered to share their own stories and help others. It can be healing to express oneself, particularly during hard situations. According to Psychology Today, speaking out and sharing hardships can help with the healing process after tragedies.

Research shows that even brief autobiographical storytelling exercises can have substantial impacts on psychological and physical health even months after the storytelling,” an article stated. Additionally, speaking out can help others who may be going through a similar challenge realize they’re not alone.

“I've gone through a whole lot for one person,I know it's not just for myself I want to be able to give back. I want to use my life as a testimony,” said Listiner Martinez, a Chicago based author and entrepreneur who was diagnosed with breast cancer this January.

Martinez said that she was not new to difficult situations however, as she grew up in an abusive household and struggled with depression and anxiety. She said she channeled her pain into her writing, using it as a coping mechanism and a way to help and inspire others.

“The healing journey for me has been as a survivor, an overcomer, so what I do now, is I tell my testimony and I help others,” she said.



Now, Martinez is an author with five books published and a couple more in the works. She published her first book in 2017--titled “Rebel Inspired: A Poetic Journey into Awesomeness."

Martinez is also a life coach and inspirational speaker. Through her workshops, one-on-one coaching and speeches, she said she has one main intention--to teach people about what it means to heal.

“I want people to understand that no matter what you’re going through, healing is available to you, and it is a journey,” Martinez said.

Janna Moultrie, a Chicago based makeup artist and 29-year Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma survivor has also used her hardships to help others.

At just 13 years old, Moultrie was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and soon her illness started to progress.

“The treatments were not working--I was dying,” she said.

After persistent treatment and hope, Moultrie started to get better. She said her faith helped her to hold on, with the help of her doctors.

“He not only treated me, but he ministered me as far as faith--everybody has their own faith systems, but it gave me life, and I knew that I would live and not die.”

Now, Moultire takes a natural approach to holistic health. She utilizes herbs and stays away from dining out and drinking soda. Moultrie went on to graduate college, get married and have children--all things she said she was unsure of whether or not she would ever be able to do.




Moultire also got a certification in holistic health, and said she hopes to use her experiences to teach and inspire others.

“I just wanted to, you know, give back to help people understand that you have to take care of yourself, and if you don't take care of yourself, it will affect you,” she said.




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