How the Community Uses Creativity to Make a Better Life: #ChronicLifeClub

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In the October 2015 #ChronicLifeClub we talked about how we use creativity to create a full and meaningful life with chronic illness. We received a lot of wonderful submissions showing many different ways to be creative. Here is a selection!

Making space shoes

Bri created these custom shoes for her son. “I busted out some paints and brushes and made him some space-themed kicks that are the envy of his friends at school! Being creative has been hard for me since before I was diagnosed. I used to draw, paint, dance and play guitar daily. Now I struggle to find the motivation to do it, but I'm trying!”

Using drawing to express emotion

The Original Dragon Mother shared several powerful drawings she did when she was just diagnosed. This one especially spoke to us. “There were a lot of voids during those early years... I've not done any drawings like this for a very long time - I don't know what any RA related drawings might look like now. I'm in a - thankfully - much better place.”

Nothing will stop this photographer

Marlene uses photography as her creative outlet. “I live in N/W Oregon, and have some of the most beautiful places to shoot. I was diagnosed with RA in 2011. I was bound and determined that it was not going to stop me from enjoying my photography, so far it hasn't, however there are some of the hikes I cannot do anymore due to the length of the hike, but there are still plenty of hikes I can do.”

Creating and advocating with your voice

Cara (@bimpse on Twitter) told us that since painting got too painful, she has channeled her creative energy into the podcast In Sickness and in Health.

These hands can do anything

Gay is an accomplished artist — just look at this intricate work! “My daughter and I shared our story of the living every day and year with the limitations and the blessings that sometimes come through inner strength, like Art when dealing with a chronic illness.” You can see more of Gay’s story in our Turning Points.

Creativity in motion

Kat (@KatMcFarlane on Twitter) told us “I thought my self-designed therapy pool workout was pretty creative today. Seriously I was proud. Muscles sore, joints ok.”

Art can help you heal

@LadyofLyme shared her creative endeavors on Twitter, showing this wonderful card with a fleur-de-lis. She says that art is “a source of therapy for me.”

Chronic illness can help you grow creatively

Michelle (@Michmamo) shared this beautiful painting on Twitter, saying “my creativity has been enhanced by my living with RA (rheumatoid arthritis), it changed how I paint!” Because her hands can’t hold brushes for long, she now uses her hands and fingers to paint.

Different ways for being creative with photography

Stacey shared several photos and we especially loved this beautiful shot of ballerinas in motion. “On good days, when the world is right and the future seems limitless, I take my camera and try to capture that moment in time. On the days when my pain or fatigue from RA keeps me from exploring, I like to edit. Bringing out the color and emotion in a picture, brings me right back to that day.”

Achieving your dreams through creativity

Ross posted this astonishing photo of a heron fishing for dinner. “I can escape chronic illness through photography! Never let chronic illness stop you from achieving your dreams!”