A significant time in my life was when I was studying towards a Diploma in Photography. I was in my early twenties, and at that time, I didn’t talk about having Rheumatoid Arthritis freely. I don’t really know why but I think I just didn’t know how to talk about it.

In one of my classes, I had a documentary project and I decided to focus on myself (self-portraiture) – there is no better subject matter than yourself, right? I explored the idea of art therapy. This is where people use art to creatively express themselves with the purpose of improving their wellbeing or overcoming personal issues. It is much like how some people use Instagram – to share their struggles of their illnesses. I created a series of photograms that explored my feelings in relation to my arthritis. Here are a few…

They’re not much to the outside eye. Art therapy is not for others but for yourself. These photograms ended up having a very significant effect on me. I didn’t realise how having RA was affecting me until I saw these. And I didn’t notice it at the time, but not long after this project I started asking for help and telling people that I was in pain. From that point, life got a little bit easier.

I guess the point I’m trying to make here is that this project was my first step towards an easier life. I am a creative person and this just happened to be the thing that helped me to accept that I have RA and that having RA is my normal, even if that wasn’t my aim.

If you are in the position that I was, I would encourage you to find your own way to start dealing with your feelings. It’s important to acknowledge and explore those feelings and how your disease impacts on your life so that you can accept it and start to make positive choices and changes.

Arthritis New Zealand

Facebook Feed

17 hours ago

Arthritis New Zealand

It's easy to support Arthritis New Zealand... www.entertainmentbook.co.nz/orderbooks/136q587 ...

View on Facebook

Support Arthritis New Zealand when you buy your Entertainment membership! www.entertainmentbook.co.nz/orderbooks/136q587 ...

View on Facebook

Help in our Annual Street Appeal (24 - 30 September)

We have opportunities to suit everyone so get in touch today!

Contact: Adrienne on P:0800 663 463 E: awr@arthritis.org.nz

View on Facebook

We had a great night last night at a casual support group meeting at the Rutland Arms in Whanganui for people with a new arthritis diagnosis, collectively presented by these four:
Dave Or and Lisa Maskary (support group leaders), Madalaine Wetzels (rheumatology nurse, green scarf) and our Lori Davis (Arthritis Educator)

The people attending gathered important information to facilitate staying well with arthritis and goals to set alongside their new diagnosis.

#arthritis #arthritis_new_zealand #whanganui

View on Facebook

Arthritis New Zealand

Twitter Feed

Some photos I took today, after I ran a Pain Toolkit workshop for educators who work for @ArthritisNZ

By the way, they were an excellent group to work with and very switched on 👍

Load More...

Arthritis New Zealand

Instagram Feed

Translate »

Share This

Share this post with your friends!