I am a big fan of Mari Andrew, a writer and illustrator whose funny and insightful drawings have generated a lot of Instagram followers. She recently wrote a book, which I just started reading, and I had the chance to hear her speak recently in Washington, DC.

Am I There Yet.JPG

Two things she mentioned in her talk really stuck with me. A few years ago, Mari dealt with a serious illness while traveling abroad, and she talked about how experiencing pain gives us empathy. That’s something that I have felt living with a chronic illness – it has helped me realize that everyone is going through something, big or small. Not that it’s made me a perfectly empathetic person all the time, but I do think my illness has helped bring me a little more compassion for others.

Mari Andrew speaking at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in Washington, DC.

Mari Andrew speaking at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in Washington, DC.

She also talked about why she shares her drawings, and it’s the same reason why I started this blog. It’s the hope that someone reading this will see themselves in something I write and feel a little less alone. I know I don’t post as often as I’d like to, and that’s mostly because of the voice in my head telling me that no one wants to read what I write, but I do try to keep posting because I know living with a chronic illness can be lonely. If sharing my journey has helped just one person to feel understood, then it will have been worth it. Even if that one person is me.

Thank you for reading.