This week for Brave Human Monday, I am highlighting an amazing woman by the name of Amy Oestereicher. 

Amy is a PTSD survivor like myself, as well as an artist, author, speaker, actress, and playwright.

art maya perpetual you AMY magazine cover

Amy Oestreicher

In her “About” page on her website, she says,

“I call myself a “thriver” as well as a “survivor”.  I’ve been through 27 surgeries, a coma, sexual abuse, a decade of medical trauma, and all of the setbacks and frustrations that go along life-altering events.

This beautiful detour has turned into the richest time of my life, and I’m overwhelmed with gratitude.  Every twist and turn has made me who I am today – a bold, resilient woman with a deeper purpose.“

She has been published in the Huffington Post, the Washington Post, and On Being.  She is also a regular contributor to Elite Daily, The Mighty, Indie Chicks and Career Girl Daily.  Her story has appeared on the TODAY Show, CBS, Cosmopolitan, and Seventeen Magazine and she speaks for RAINN among other organizations.

In 2012, she wrote, directed and starred in a one woman musical about her life called Gutless & Grateful.  Her production toured theatres across the country for three years and was nominated for the Broadway World Award.  Her visual art has been shown in respected galleries and solo exhibitions and she uses her talents to teach others to employ creativity to heal.  Some of her pieces include:

AmyOestreicher1-Dancing Girl

See more of her work here.

What I love about Amy is that she talks about her traumas and her life’s setbacks as a “beautiful detour” and that inspired her to start the #LoveMyDetour movement.  The campaign inspires people to flourish despite their challenges, making the most of how their stories have been written.  I LOVE this idea – it is everything that I stand for as a writer and speaker, so to network and become friends with Amy has been such an amazing experience.  I definitely admire her journey and her drive to improve other’s lives through her own tragedy.

Amy and I both realize the power that art has to heal and she has created storytelling workshops for the Transformative Language Arts Network National Conference, the Eating Recovery Center Foundation, and The League for the Advancement of New England Storytelling.  She also tours college campuses with a program combining mental health advocacy, sexual assault awareness and Broadway Theatre.

I’m obviously a fan, but you get to make your own decision.  You can visit her blog at and see what you think of her story and her art, I can say I have spent hours on her website with no complaints.  It is also for that reason that I was 100% certain that I wanted to dedicate this Brave Human Monday to her.

There are people like this all around us – you just have to look around.  Not everyone will save a life, but everyone can positively effect a life.

Who are the brave people in your life?  Do you see yourself as brave?

~Haley  (Read Haley’s guest post for #LoveMyDetour here.)