Jessica Stratton | Removed
I was diagnosed with my first chronic illness at age 19, and then only two years later was diagnosed with a second chronic illness. In the beginning, I tried to ignore the realities of my future and just focused on survival: graduating college, getting a job with health insurance, and trying to stay healthy. Reading about my diseases was depressing and made me feel unattractive in a society that prioritizes superficial beauty. Twenty-two years later, I finally embraced my illnesses by making art about them, or rather, making art about my lifelong battle against illness. I realized people which chronic illness cannot persevere over their illnesses, because the illness is permanent. Through making art about my relationship to my illnesses, I was able to recognize that my illnesses made me stronger in spirit, resilient, and powerful. My illnesses have become my superpower.