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Spoonie Artist Guest Post: Bethany@lymelifecomics

I followed Bethany on Instagram because of her beautifully drawn, professional-looking comics that reminded me of  my favorite graphic novels, only they were about Lyme disease! I love Bethany’s style, humor, and the painfully accurate way she reflects the patient experience.

Hey! I’m Bethany, creator of lymelifecomics. I make comics about the struggles of chronic illness. I’ve been an artist since I first held a crayon.

Bethany gluten-free drawing

I taught myself to draw and always dreamed of going to art school. I love to draw the human figure and to use my work to express human experience. I enjoy traditional media such as pencil and watercolor, but Photoshop is my tool of choice. I can use my laptop and tablet anywhere, especially on my foldable desk in bed. Digital art doesn’t require a lot of movement or supplies, so it gives me freedom to create, even with chronic pain.

Bethany fatigue drawingAfter years of struggling with my health, I am finally earning an online degree in illustration, concentrated in sequential art (best known as comics, or the perfect combination of visual and written storytelling, if you ask me). The storytelling underlying comics, anime, and books brought light into my life in times of darkness. I hope my comics can reflect hope in hopeless situations.

Bethany cookie drawing

I was inspired to create lymelifecomics during intensive medical treatment—the most difficult sixteen months of my life.

I have battled Lyme disease for eight years. My mom has been sick her entire life and was misdiagnosed by countless doctors. In 2012, when she was finally diagnosed with Lyme disease, my brother, sister, and I also tested positive and were diagnosed. At that time, I struggled to keep up with classes and graduated high school after five years. Because of the setbacks of illness, I had to put even more effort into college, especially when I contracted Lyme again through a second insect bite.

Bethany knife drawing

My health declined, but I denied the need to quit school and I studied liberal arts for one year before the program was cancelled.

Bethany Oscar drawing

So I had no choice but to join my parents, who had temporarily moved to Florida for my mom’s medical treatment. I lost all hope for the future, but God showed me the stars in the darkness.

For the first time in my life I met people outside my family who struggled with similar conditions. I was surprised by the amount of people my age at the clinic. We instantly connected through similar stories: lack of awareness, understanding, empathy for an invisible illness, and worst of all, the suffering of loss. Illness caused the loss of health, peace, passion, opportunities and experiences.

Bethany symptoms cause drawing

But from this loss, I have gained endurance, self-love, patience, kindness, empathy, and purpose. I became inspired to share my own experiences because of the countless stories, experiences, and frustrations of other patients. I am privileged and blessed to be on a journey of healing and creativity. I want to be a voice for the voiceless.

Bethany battery drawingI cannot speak about other chronic illnesses because I have only experienced Lyme, but I hope those who are struggling, even those without chronic illness, can identify with my comics. I hope my comics will show the reality of living with Lyme disease, and will not only raise awareness, empathy and understanding, but will also provide hope for healing and thriving.

Bethany brain fog drawing

Check out Bethany’s work on Instagram.

Connect with Bethany on Facebook.

Follow Bethany on Twitter.

To learn more about Lyme disease, check out Project Lyme
and Lyme Disease Challenge. (There are many great websites, but these sites are well-organized and easy to read and navigate.) To find a Lyme-literate practitioner, go to ILADS.org or Global Lyme Alliance.

I wish everyone a low-symptoms day and “Happy” Awareness Month! 💚 If you want to see my other awareness art guest posts, just type “Spoonie Artist Guest Post” into the search bar. (When my brain fog allows, I’m going to make a single page for all the posts.)

Published by

Vicki

Hi! I'm Vicki. My blog is called "Miss Diagnoses" because I have too many diagnoses and because my Lyme disease was misdiagnosed for many years. In addition to being a professional patient, I'm a compulsive reader and doodler. Sadly, my writing and drawing are limited by repetitive strain injury and neuropathy. I use assistive technology, but I can't post as often as I'd like. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and I have two short cartoon videos on YouTube. Twitter and Instagram: @miss_diagnoses Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube: @MissDiagnoses

3 thoughts on “Spoonie Artist Guest Post: Bethany@lymelifecomics

    1. Cool! I will tell her! She has an amazing drawing style, doesn’t she? My own style is more goofy and simple. After this one I have one more guest blogger for Lyme Awareness Month and then I’m going to go back to doing these artist guest posts once a month or once every two months. All the artists I picked have totally different styles and different illnesses.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Great comics and thanks for sharing. It’s wonderful technology helps us manage physical barriers compared to traditional media. Keep up the good work 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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