I have spent most of my life living with a chronic illness. My childhood memories are littered with doctors’ appointments, surgeries, physiotherapy, pain journals, medication regiments and memorized explanations to help people understand my ever changing diagnosis. Throughout my teen years, I struggled to notice the signs that my health was getting worse and instead buried myself in my studies to avoid confronting my reality. Eventually it all caught up to me and forced me to leave school and put my life on hold. I was 17 years old and I felt completely lost.
After attending countless support groups and pain management classes, I realized that I was always the youngest person in the room. My search for youth based support groups and online forums turned up empty and no matter where I looked, youth living with chronic illnesses and invisible disabilities seemed to be overlooked. It was then that I made a promise to myself that when I was well enough, I would create art about my experiences. I would make sure that the stories of chronically ill youth would no longer be kept in the shadows. This play is the first of many works exploring that perspective.
I hope this piece can offer clarity and inspiration to those afflicted with chronic illness and make future space for more conversations and representation. 'You Look Fine' opens tomorrow night! Please come out and experience my story.
Photography by: @smotional_film
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