Day Seventy eight – Pop goes the Apple!

My favorite Christmas show is Rudolf the Red Nosed Raindeer – and it’s because of the land of misfit toys and Charlie-in-the-Box was the misfit in chief.

Growing up I always felt like I didn’t fit in.  I was too tall, too skinny (then not now – lol), the new girl (constantly the new girl), sports were riddled with injuries, and the list to me went on and on.  And then in my mid-twenties I met a great group of friends and we were inseparable until we all started getting married and I became sick.  After living in California for a couple years we moved back to Colorado – I was not the same life of the party person they expected – again the misfit.  This was right before I was diagnosed and I was distraught about what was happening.  I thought I was going crazy – what was happening to me?  Those friends didn’t stand by me so I haven’t spoken with any of them for over 6 years because it was earth shattering at the time to have them doubt me right when I needed their support the most.  There wasn’t as much information available then so I didn’t have a Facebook page or blog to point them to and say “SEE!”

For anyone in their 20’s (this is making me tear up) just starting to deal with a diagnosis of AS – here is what I need you to know:  You are not alone, you are not crazy – the pain is real and there is a reason for it that is not your fault.  There are people in many places out here who will stand by you and help you get to a better place with the disease.  It will get better – maybe not because of a remission or a cure – but it will get better because you will find ways to incrementally deal with it and accept it.  It will get better and believe it or not, you will become a stronger, more empathetic, and loving person.  And…. AS teaches you to fight and persevere.  Without the experience of dealing with this disease I would never have had the courage to attempt my journey to create 365 daily art apples.  For that I am truly grateful – and feeling a little bit less like Charlie-in-the-Box.

Until tomorrow.


Day Seventy eight was created with pen, ink, watercolor and a touch of acrylic ink.

5 Replies to “Day Seventy eight – Pop goes the Apple!”

  1. Jen,
    Your courage during the struggle to find a diagnosis was and is inspiring. Your courage in dealing with the pain overwhelmed us. All your life you strove to do new things, meet new people, reach to explore new experiences – I still can’t think about your climbing escapades – and be an adventurer in life. Having to put all your energy into a quest for answers and health slowed you down which you hated. We are so happy you have created and started a new journey. It will be filled with friends, acceptance, understanding, and love. See you on the trip! You go girl!

  2. Today’s blog reminds me that it’s all about AS and helping to bring awareness to its physical and emotional challenges. Your message is carried so effectively by your inspiring and entertaining art; but it is really all about the message. I was reminded of the scars that all those moves left on you, your brothers and your mother; sorry that those early days were so much about my succeeding in business and unfortunately, not about family first. We move on from the past but never really leave it
    behind. We’re so blessed that you’ve become such a wonderful, giving person and we are blessed by your brothers, too. We appreciate being included in your journey.

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