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What is ItDoesNotHaveMe all about?

ItDoesNotHaveMe is an awareness group on deviantART started by opioid after unexpected but incredibly positive feedback for her Lyme Disease article on dA's editorial news. It is a place where artists coping with illness--either physical or mental, their own or a loved one's--can seek out a headquarters for awareness and expression.

Submissions to the group's gallery should be directly related to an illness or condition. There must be a mention of this illness or condition in the Artist's Comments.
This was originally posted to ItDoesNotHaveMe's profile page, and the author Farand has agreed to my reposting it here:

"I've spent 7 weeks on a psychiatric ward, and was discharged today! :la: I was also given a diagnosis of Anxiety Avoidance Personality Disorder - has anyone else here received that diagnosis? It would be nice to chat with someone!"
Hello! AlanRalph here. :wave:

My thanks to Tanya (RockstarVanity) for letting me take up the reins of this Group, and to Allison (opioid) the original Founder. I'm pleased to count them amongst my friends. :)

I'm no stranger to online support groups, having been involved with Circleoffriends, one of the very first such groups, since 2004.

I'm also no stranger to illness. :hmm: In late 2007, I started experiencing a series of medical issues - arthritic-like pain in my joints, permanently congested sinuses, blood when I blew my nose, partial hearing loss in one ear. By the summer of 2008, I could only walk with great difficulty and much pain. After much analysis, including MRI scans, blood tests, urine samples and chest X-rays, I was eventually diagnosed with Wegener's Syndrome (now renamed to Granulomatosis Poly-Anginis or GPA), a rare condition similar to Lupus and ME that causes the immune system to agressively attack the body. In my case, it was making my red blood cells super-size, leading to damage anywhere where the veins are narrowest - the extremities, major joints, lungs, liver, kidneys, sinuses.

After about 3 years of treatment with steroids and other medication, including two courses of mild chemotherapy, my condition finally went into remission. Alas, there isn't a cure as such, nor much knowledge of what causes GPA to occur. So I remain on medication to this day to keep my immune system under control, and have regular blood tests to check my status. Once my immune system finally settles down, I can start reducing my medication and move to a milder, less frequent treatment. (This last part is important, because my current medication does have some potential side-effects if used long-term.)

Today, the only visible sign of my illness is a slight deformation in my nose, where the cartilage was damaged. I have a little bit of ringing in the ear that was affected, although I can hear OK.




OK, enough about me. I've done a little spring-cleaning in the Group, mainly to remove some deactivated accounts from the membership roll. I'd also like to take this opportunity to talk about the rules for this Group, going forward.

  1. You're welcome to submit your artwork, photography or literature to the Group's Gallery, as long as it's related to the subject of illness - mental, physical, your own or someone else's. This is a place for support, not pageviews.
  2. If you wish to make a request anonymously, for whatever reason, you may Note me either directly or via the Group. All correspondence will be treated in strict confidence.
  3. Please be respectful and polite to one another. Any abuse or drama that you bring in here will see you removed and/or banned.
  4. Above all, don't be shy! We all have something to share about pain, fear, uncertainty, frustration - and we all gain from the joy of good news, recovery and rehabilitation. In the words of one of my favourite authors, Spider Robinson - "Shared pain is lessened; shared joy, increased—thus do we refute entropy."


Thanks for reading. Feel free to comment with your thoughts.

:heart:
Alan
AlanRalph
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:iconfarand:
Farand Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2015
I've spent 7 weeks on a psychiatric ward, and was discharged today! :la: I was also given a diagnosis of Anxiety Avoidance Personality Disorder - has anyone else here received that diagnosis? It would be nice to chat with someone!

Hope you're all well!

:milk: :cookie:
Reply
:iconalanralph:
AlanRalph Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2015  Professional General Artist
Hi there, I can't help you myself, but if you like I can post a Group journal entry to solicit advice and support from our members. :heart:

Alan, ItDoesNotHaveMe Admin
Reply
:iconfarand:
Farand Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2015
Well, Alan, if you were to do that, I would appreciate it very much! Many thanks! :ahoy:
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:iconyour-demon-servant:
Your-Demon-Servant Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
thank you for making this group. :)
Reply
:iconalanralph:
AlanRalph Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2015  Professional General Artist
:bow:
Reply
:iconyour-demon-servant:
Your-Demon-Servant Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
It may help a lot of people like me. I appreciate your support for others  who struggle with their disabilities and diseases. :)
Reply
:iconoriginalkitten:
originalkitten Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Alan am I already a member here? If not how do I join?
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:iconalanralph:
AlanRalph Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2014  Professional General Artist
Apparently, you're already a member, according to dA. :hmm:
Reply
:iconoriginalkitten:
originalkitten Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ahh cool. I thought I was but wasn't too sure. You know me lol :hug:
Reply
:iconanythingbtordinary:
AnythingBtOrdinary Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Hey so I'm sort of new here (just joined this group a couple of days ago). Most of my writing is about addiction (cutting, anorexia,)/mental illness (sometimes I feel like ADD/ADHD is a mental illness) or somewhere in the mental illness category (Do people consider ADD/ADHD to be a mental illness?). I submitted a lot of my work and am just waiting for it to be accepted in the meantime please check it out beforehand!:)
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