When I began my blog last October it was most definitely a selfish endeavor. I wanted (and needed) a space of my own to vent, process, absorb and share what my life with Fibromyalgia is all about. Since the birth of my blog, I have had a personal awakening and now understand that I am so much more than what Fibromyalgia has taken away from me. Writing about my experiences has given me back the control that I let FM take away from me so many years ago. I have become more accepting of how my life has changed and more hopeful for what my future holds.
The best part of my blog though has been the connections I have made with people who also struggle with Fibromyalgia and other chronic illnesses. It brings me joy when someone takes the time to leave a comment because something I wrote spoke to them, or when someone adds Fibromyalgia Haven to the blog roll on their own site as a recommendation to their readers. Recently I discovered a new blog because of the link she created by adding me to her blog roll. I wanted to share with you her latest post and introduce you to the brave woman and talented artist Kellie Robinson.
Here is a excerpt from her post and an example of her art:
About a decade ago, when I first found I was addicted to polymer clay, I fell in love with doing filigree work. I discovered eventually I could blend my clay colors as I was extruding them, and I became even more entranced.
Shortly after this, I became a victim of a violent crime. I was at work, and a guy put a gun up to my head while he robbed us. I immediately had a severe post traumatic stress attack. I couldn’t leave my house or go anywhere by myself, and work was out of the question. I sat around and thought about the incident over and over. My husband had to drive me to therapy appointments, because I thought I saw this guys car every time I got behind the wheel. After a week or two I eventually turned to my clay and my new discovery. For almost a month, I worked on these beads. While working on the beads, I just blocked everything out, and would get so caught up in them that I forgot to think about the armed robbery. That is just the way it is whenever I do the filigree work. They really did help me to heal. The beads are quite large, I really never meant to wear it. It was meant as an art piece, even though I didn’t consider myself to be an artist at that time. A friend talked me into submitting them to a magazine, Jewelry Crafts, and to my amazement, they published the piece, with my instructions.
I ended up developing fibromyalgia shortly after the armed robbery (there is a connection!) and over the years, my clay went on the back burner. I spent the last 3 yrs trying to work full time at the bead store, and that didn’t really leave me much energy for my clay. I was still teaching polymer clay, but rarely brought the clay out just for myself. About a year ago, I decided I wanted to try some filigree again. I remembered how therapeutic it was, sitting and coiling the strands of clay, gently making precise cuts so everything fit together like a glove. I don’t know how to explain it, other then it’s almost like a trance-like state.
I was so touched by Kellie’s post and the telling of her traumatic experience, which developed into Fibromyalgia. If she had not created the link between our two worlds I may never have heard her story or seen her beautiful wearable art. Aren’t her beads amazing! Kellie’s description of the therapeutic “trance-like” state she goes into when creating them is the reason I think art exists. It is an outlet, an expression, and a gift. I wanted to share Kellie’s gift with you and also share the comment she left me after I left one to her:
fibrohaven, I have to tell you I had mixed feelings about posting this blog. I really thought my artsy friends would have no interest in my health problems. I thought about it for over a month before I finally posted it.
I am very new to blogging, and don’t at all understand how you found my post, but I am so glad you did. of all the posts I might possibly get, I can promise you that yours will mean the most to me. I found your blog about a month or so ago, and have found it to be the most up to date, SMARTEST, no bullshit info on fibromyalgia. I wish everyone in my life read your blog. I have been devouring your blog! it’s not just the info on your blog, but the artistic element I find there…it speaks to me.
Reading her comment was most certainly one of my defining moments since beginning my blog. It may seem self-serving that I am sharing it with you, but I do not mean it to be. Instead I mean to show the power of sharing and connecting. The connection Kellie made has been meaningful to both of us. By sharing my life and my story Kellie learned she is not alone in her struggles, and by sharing with me how reading my blog has affected her, I have learned that my voice has purpose and that my story is meaningful. Is there a greater gift then that?
I am so proud of you Kellie for being brave enough to share your truth, even though you worried that your friends may not understand or be interested. I hope they surprised you with their compassion and understanding. And now you can count me among your friends. I do care, and I do understand. Thank you so much for connecting our two worlds. I hope your story will inspire others to do the same.
P.S. And you most definitely are an artist!