Business offers therapy by letting customers shatter glass

An old Cheerwine factory is a refuge and safe haven for those who need an escape.

SALISBURY, N.C. -- If Salisbury was a soda, it would taste like Cheerwine.

The drink is celebrating its 100th anniversary in North Carolina but inhabiting one of its old warehouses on Council Street in is a new business, the Grievous Gallery.

"It's not a fix-all but it is a life-ring, especially for someone who's tired of treading water," said owner Timothy Demers. Demers and his wife, Elysia opened the Gallery in August.

Its mission is to help people "frame the pain." Elysia and Timoten courages age folks to throw glass, scream, and take whatever safe steps are necessary to express emotion.

For a simple $25, the Demers provide glass products and a special space to throw the glass and break the chains away from your feelings.

"We lay out all the stuff on the table," said Elysia of the unconventional therapy. "We encourage people to write on the objects and really visualize what they need to get out and just toss it away."

As word of mouth has spread around town, the people have poured in and then walked out with a testimony of unbelievable relief but to run a business like the Demers have, you have to first understand their story about transforming tragedy into helping others.

"My husband suffered a traumatic brain injury in 2012," recalled Elysia.

December 12, 2012 is a day Timothy barely remembers. He was thrown off of a motorcycle, going head-first into concrete.

"He lost consciousness. He actually died and had to be resuscitated twice," said Elysia.

"I don't remember a whole lot but it was extremely painful and it was life changing," recalled Timothy.

He was airlifted to CMC, where he underwent surgery, rehabilitation and extreme frustration with learning how to live a lifestyle he wasn't accustomed to: disabled.

"I've learned to cope and I've learned so much that it might just help [others]," said Timothy.

Reduced to helping a frustrated Timothy rehab and raise their children, Elysia also experienced angered, bottling up her emotions until Timothy encouraged her to destroy a cookie sheet.

The rest is history. The Demers' found a new way to vent. Timothy acknowledges that it seems childish, but "time and place are everything" and the Grievous Gallery is the perfect place to help people overcome adversity.

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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