If you’re reading this, you likely know something to the effect that I’m a type 1 diabetic and an art therapist whose professional and advocacy work is directed towards helping people with diabetes through art. Towards that goal, I facilitate Diabetes Art Day and the World Diabetes Day Postcard Exchange, I have a small art therapy practice, I spread my passion for art through Facebook, and to a much lesser extent, blogging and twitter, and I’m working on my doctorate with plans to do research on art therapy for people with diabetes. I do all of this because I believe in the healing power of creative expression for people with diabetes.
Sometimes I’m overcome with doubt though, not in the potential for healing through art, but in my ability to effectively demonstrate that potential such that others understand its true value. The reality is that no matter how much I believe that creative expression has the amazing capacity to heal people with diabetes, if no one else believes it, then my efforts, art projects, advocacy, and use of social media to promote art for healing don’t amount to much. The other reality is that I need to make a living, and let’s just say I’m not exactly raking in the piles of money. I thought that if I stuck with advocating, if I poured my heart into these projects and the work that I do, that eventually I could cover my own costs, plus pay a few of my gazillion copays, but so far that hasn’t happened.
So I’ve been discouraged and increasingly questioning how much time and effort I’m dedicating because it’s not fair to my family to continue chasing this dream at the expense of more practical things. I’m discouraged because I don’t know how to continue the work that you know me for at the level I’ve sustained. I need to reevaluate my vision, and alter my course, or at least change my pace. I’m not sure yet what that means for my various advocacy activities, but as I figure it out, I’ll let you know.
Despite this need to reassess from a practical standpoint, I will never stop believing in the infinite healing value of art for people with diabetes. Until there is a cure, there is healing through art. If you haven’t discovered it for yourself yet, a real treasure awaits you.