How Sarcoidosis Inspires Me to Be Creative Everyday

This article originally appeared on themighty.com.

After I was diagnosed with sarcoidosis I spent weeks circling the drain of self-pity.

I was convinced my problems were worse then anyone else’s. I blamed myself. I cursed God. When my wife tried to talk to me I was tight-lipped and curt. I was angry and afraid and spiteful.

Why was this happening to me? I believed I was too young, too important, too full of promise to be stricken with such a nasty, mysterious disease.

As a child I dreamed of becoming a writer. Sitting on the edge of my bed I would scratch down stories in marble notebook.  Stories about a superhero chicken, a baseball playing iguana and 15 year aerospace prodigy name Gunnar and his dog Comet chosen to lead a select group of teenage astronauts in a shuttle mission to Mars.

But then I grew up. I got my first job flipping hamburgers, bought a car,  tried to meet girls and stopped writing.

I went to college, became a teacher, meet a girl, got married, fathered three children, got sick and in one of the most important decisions of my life– started writing again.

“Creativity is a great motivator because it makes people interest in what they  are doing. Creativity gives hope that there can be a worthwhile idea. Creativity gives the possibility  of some sort of achievement to everyone. Creativity  makes life more fun and interesting.”- Edward de Bono

Sarcoid inspires me to write everyday. Though I can not predict the  course of my disease  I am responsible for every word I write. Words that when they are fastened and forged together, energize me with power and strength to fight my fickle disease.

If you are struggling with a chronic illness I challenge you to return to your childhood, to become a creator again. Creating is a profoundly constructive way to distance yourself from your pain, to remind you that you are stronger than you think you are.

Paint, draw, sculpt, build a bird house, make Christmas ornaments, restore an old car, get crazy with a crock pot. Create whatever makes your soul sing.

Despite popular belief, creating is not about money or fame. It never has been. It’s about totally losing yourself in a process until your self-pity is silenced, your spirit is renewed, and you’re afforded needed relief from the pains of living.

 

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