Today is Day 123 of the Art Apple A Day Retrospective – for information on the project click here.
Day One Twenty Three – January 31, 2011
Looking back 10 years ago today…
I was discussing health advocacy and writing about what three fortunes I might give the AS community about their futures. It was a good post for then and for today. It’s fascinating how many times that has accrued in the last three months! The reason this post from back then is so appropriate is because I am leaving the world of health and AS advocacy today.
I have three new fortunes.
Fortune One: You are okay exactly as you are. I have fought for understanding of this disease. A disease called… (I have no idea at this point because Rheumatologists, Scientists, Non-profit organizations, and Educators) can’t come to a consensus. Ankylosing Spondylitis vs. Spondylitis vs. Axial Spondyloaropathy – seriously, it’s insane. The fight is even harder these days because of this and it’s a disease that is difficult to define, spell, and even label. I’m okay regardless of the name of what causes a few things to go a bit haywire in my body. It is what it is and I just don’t need to feel inferior from it any longer. I AM FINE!!! This is how I am and my challenges and pains in life are different from other people’s challenges and pains but we all have them. I am ready to embrace my life away from A.S. which means I have to stop talking about it. (see Fortune 3)
Fortune Two: Your current and future self needs you to focus on your gift not what is trying to keep you from your gift. A.S. (or whatever) has stolen a lot from me and over the years completely robbed me from my gifts and abilities at times. Maybe some of you have heard me discuss how all the medications didn’t let me see the colors right – I became numb to them. Some days now I am sidelined from it for a few days but those days I’m gaining strength and my mind can be active and be inspired so it is ok!!! These gifts we all have are stronger than the disease and they are what is important for us to develop and champion for ourselves. My future self is ready to move forward into my next stage and I need the bandwidth to put into what I’m creating right now because it feels glorious and right and I don’t want to do anything else but throw myself into my current work. I’ve listened to my inner voice and today with this post, I adjust and it is a relief.
Fortune Three: You get what you focus on. This may be a difficult one for many to swallow especially when it comes to health challenges. I try to deny this or I hedge about it but it is true. It could be a coincidence (things are stressful currently and my Remicade dose was lowered) but over the last three months that I’ve been doing this retrospective, with the disease on my mind every morning as I write my retrospective post, I have not been feeling well physically. And emotionally I am in some cases dreading this retrospective and that is not good. I LOVE my apples. I have loved being someone in the community who “did this art thing with apples” and then started the non-profit, Walk AS One. I will always be so proud of having done these things.
The last thing I hope to do for the community, is to go live my best life. So… I’m going to ride off into the glorious sunset tonight and starting tomorrow I’m solely, completely, and joyfully, Jennifer Visscher, artist.
To see my original Day 123 post ~ Three Fortunes ~ from 10 years ago click here or on the image above.
And the story ends here.