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Please welcome first-time contributor Jeanette Clawson, a 46-year-old woman from Beaver Dam, Wisconsin who has suffered from depression and severe pain related to migraines. Jeanette was a school psychologist until pain and disability forced her to stop working. She had been working with children and families who were dealing with educational and/or mental health challenges. The position came naturally to her because of her own struggles. After finding some relief using acupuncture, Jeanette began slowly tapering off of Cymbalta under her doctor’s supervision. Unfortunately, she has been experiencing a lot of difficult side effects, including cramping, sleeping difficulties, twitching, and irritability, so she is not looking forward to the next three months of tapering. Jeanette has long used art to help her cope with dark feelings and hold on to positive ones. Her most enjoyable and successful artistic endeavors are her gratitude journals. She is now focusing on her art, teaching occasional workshops, and blogging about gratitude and altered book journaling.
About this photo: “Here I am in my creative den. I suffer from chronic migraines and I spend a lot of time in my room in the dark. Today as things were feeling better I opened the curtains a little and took this self-portrait. You can see the zentangle that I designed for my tattoo. I call her sunshine in a nod to John Denver. ‘Sunshine on my shoulder makes me happy.’ I really identify with butterflies and I try to think of my time of rest as my transformation into a butterfly. Some of my best creative ideas come to me while I heal. I believe I am becoming someone better.“
Find more from Jeanette at lunanista.wordpress.com