Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

Your Life On The Big Screen

The first Monday of the month I attend an artist talk in downtown Denver.  Last night the artist being featured wasn’t the actual artist, but the creators of a Denver Film Festival.  “Festivus” is in its fourth year as a local film festival with 300 films submitted from 25 countries.  Why am I talking to you about a film festival?  Because I want you to ask yourself a couple of questions.  “If my life were a film what genre would it fall in?” and “Who would play me in the film?”.

Your life is the greatest epic ever told and as you crossed the threshold from “healthy” to “health challenged” you’ve set up a story line filled with uncertainty, intrigue, and action.  Whether you believed it about yourself prior to your diagnosis; you’ve become a hero.  You take on the villain (your illness) and try to bring it from the dark side to the light.  You work tirelessly for justice and to live the life everyone deserves.

Now I’m not saying that James Cameron is going to spend $400 million dollars shooting your story, but he doesn’t have to because you’re the star, director, and producer.  You bring more life to the story than any screenwriter would dare.  The amazing thing is that I’m not even talking about your life as a documentary, although that may be the chosen genre for some.  It could be animation, romantic comedy, or an action film.  It’s all about perspective and it’s your perspective that counts.

This isn’t about working toward an Academy Award nomination.  It is about how your frame your story based on what you believe is important.  As the creator you get to drive the story line, so what’s it going to be?  Is it going to be a comedy or tragedy?  Is it going to be a documentary or fantasy?  It doesn’t matter because your essence runs throughout the story line and that’s what you connect to and so will others.  This is why support groups encourage people to tell their stories and to tell them over and over, because the story is powerful.


I've lived my life in service to others. I'm focused on mental health and how it impacts our relationships, culture, and society. Through creative expression and narrative I believe we can impact change.

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