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

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"Giving gout [arthritis] the boot!" Hera and Lori in #Taihape on their way to #Ohakune to provide professional development on #goutarthritis for local health providers. ...

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The tragic fires in Australia remind us that it's always good to be prepared for disasters. This webinar tells you how you can prepare, particularly if you're someone with arthritis. ...

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Register here: bit.ly/2QaQCLB

Questions that will be answered include:

• Do I mention I have arthritis in a job application?
• Do I tell my employer that I have arthritis?
• What are my employer’s legal responsibilities for employees with disabilities such as arthritis?
• What rights do I have if my arthritis could cause harm to myself or others?
• What reasonable accommodation can I expect my employer make to accommodate my needs?
• Can I leave my workplace for doctor’s appointments?
...

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Employment issues for people with arthritis - New Zealand

Join our webinar with an employment lawyer who will outline key points to know about employment issues for people with arthritis.

This webinar will cover information on:

• Do I mention I have arthritis in a job application?
• Do I tell my employer that I have arthritis?
• What are my employer’s legal responsibilities for employees with disabilities such as arthritis?
• What rights do I have if my arthritis could cause harm to myself or others?
• What reasonable accommodation can I expect my employer make to accommodate my needs?
• Can I leave my workplace for doctor’s appointments?
...

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bit.ly/322OYxS ...

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Arthritis New Zealand

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We had our inaugural Accessible Product Design Alliance mtg last Tuesday!
Our #AccessibleDesign Division has been working hard bring together NFP consumer health orgs, to advocate for the design of products & packaging to be accessible for all consumers
https://bit.ly/2N3GKRR

Help Kylie reach her fundraising goal! @everydayhero #everythingcounts https://give.everydayhero.com/nz/kylie-s-race-to-beat-ankylosing-spondylitis

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