Yet another thing stolen from me by dermatomyositis...my bicycle

A message for my friends with chronic illnesses

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The three parts of me: body, mind, and soul enjoy a little wake-up call

(How a celebrity body-shaming piece led me to write this article).

In "The Marvelous Transformation: Living Well With Autoimmune Disease," I write about taking back control of our body image even when chronic illness continues to damage it. I ran across one of these body shaming articles this morning, directed at celebrities and the "worst examples" of aging and I got angry.

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SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO PAINT. . . TO SURVIVE

Maintaining a positive attitude is my goal each day when I awake. I generally do a pretty good job of living well despite my chronic diseases; but I am a fallible human being with emotions and physical sensations. I experience stress, sadness, anger, and helplessness just like you. I have a wonderful support system and many coping strategies at my disposal, so I can usually get through any situation. Recently, though, I took the step of finally applying for Social Security Disability and boy has it knocked the wind out of me.

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MYOSITIS-INDUCED DEPRESSION SOME COPING STRATEGIES TO BRING SOME LIGHT BACK TO YOUR DAY

Written with Jerry Williams

Living with Myositis is hard. Let’s just put out the truth and give light to the darkness:

  • Maybe you don’t feel well, although you can’t put your finger on why so you feel frustrated.
  • You can’t do the same things you could do ten years ago, one year ago, maybe even yesterday and it makes you angry.
  • You can’t lift your children, the groceries, or even a backpack/purse and you feel helpless.
  • You miss out on family activities due to fatigue and you feel alone.
  • Someone says “You don’t look sick to me,” and you feel doubted.
  • You have so much pain sometimes that you wonder if fighting is worth it, and you feel like giving up.
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