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